July 04, 2006

ring of fire

I am not sure whether I fell in to the ring of fire or whether I jumped. Supporting the GOP was for me, like most people, a conscious choice but after a while, I discovered that like love, politics too burns.

In my defense, I was never fully comfortable with the GOP. I supported them by pulling the straight party levers (back when it really was a lever) because I was overwhelmingly concerned with fiscal policy, national defense and abortion. As a teenager and young adult, it was easy to make the error of assuming politicians actually mean what they say, so I beg the forgiveness of the Almighty and my gentle readers for the transgressions of my youth.

I remember my mid-life political epiphany with clarity though it came about not in an instantaneous flash of light but over a period of a few months in 1996. Having already had all I could stomach studying asset forfeiture, flag burning, sacramental peyote and other significant civil liberties affronts, the extraordinary hypocrisy of the budget battles sealed it: I had become a full blown political heretic. After dabbling with the Libertarian Party for a few years and eventually abandoning that institutionally defective and philosophically incomplete camp, I found the path of political redemption by dropping out of the existing political process altogether and dedicating myself to using the power of the pen to try to shake whatever small circle of people I can out of the two-party stupor which plagues our land.

I am reminded of all of this because of reading the recent Supreme Court ruling in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. It is an interesting read to say the very least.

Interesting because of its overt political nature. The political thrust and parry drip from the white space between the words of putatively sober jurisprudential exegesis. Stevens and Scalia were at their result oriented best reducing the opportunity for righting egregious wrongs and propounding great ideas into a base game of political sport.

Stevens and Scalia are no Hand and Holmes.

The decay of our Federal Judiciary is emblematic of the larger trend of politicization of our nation. Stevens and Scalia are both extremely intelligent men who are fully capable of propounding great ideas in articulate and reasoned analysis. Instead, they give us eisegetical crap.

As a nation we have come to accept this hyper-politicization of everything as something normal and wholesome. When the blue team scores, the crowd roars its approval while the red team clings to hopes of a good free agency period between elections. It is all about victory and defeat.

This politicization affects big stuff that is easy to identify, but you can even see its subtle affects in the smaller things as well.

Perhaps space exploration is not a small thing, but it provides an immediate and useful example of how deeply political we have become. As I write, we are awaiting the Space Shuttle return to flight launch and there is considerable angst over the future of the various NASA programs. If you are not keeping up, it boils down to this: if the flight is successful, then the Shuttle will continue flights for the next four years to complete the International Space Station (ISS). Another failure will likely permanently ground the Shuttle fleet and the ISS will never achieve any stage of construction remotely similar to finished.

Whether Space Exploration is a worthy goal or not is a separate and interesting debate which I am happy to have. But we have gone forward in this direction and having made that decision, we should be proceeding based on scientific merit and rational objectives. Instead the go/no-go decision is being influenced by budget cycles and political spin. The growing corollary national disease of extreme risk aversion plays into the politics of the Space Shuttle, but I’m going to exercise some discipline and avoid venturing further down that tangent.

Truly, it must be incredibly disappointing to career scientists and engineers at NASA to be at the mercy of the spin cycle. But no more disappointing than this political reality is to thousands of our best and brightest who pursue noble causes such as medical research only to find out that getting funding is also a political process. No more disappointing than realization that meritorious science is less important than spending on the political disease du jour.

No more disappointing than figuring out that this is what we have become as a nation.

As we play the two-party game, the federal budget grows and grows. Vote producing procurement programs move forward while things that matter are not even discussed much less addressed. As we fall down, down, down into the political ring of fire, more and more people are getting burned.

I, for one, refuse to stoke the flames.

532 Comments:

Blogger Brackenator said...

I was having a similar discussion the other day with a friend at church on how political and unfriendly the judiciary has become toward religion. Not that I want to change the topic, because I feel it is along the same lines.

We have an ideal in this country that justice is blind. We even remember when they would show the statue of justice as a woman with a Blindfold on with a sword in one hand and the scales of justice in the other.

According to Curmie, the guardians of our jurisprudence now have Zulu vision or 3-D glasses over her eyes instead of the Blindfold looking for the added depth of field provided By Blue or red.

What is causing the hyper-politicization of the judiciary? As this discussion continues, I would like to hear the opinions of my fellow posters.

As one more side note, the Sci-Fi channel runs a marathon of the Twilight Zone every 4th of July, and it amazes me how relevant "The Monsters are due on Maple Street" is today.

Brackenator

9:10 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Brackenator,

Good to see you post here again my friend. I hope you can make some time for us as I think we have had some spirited and educational discussions of late.

I think the reason for the politicization of the judiciary is quite simple: it is closely tied to the politicization of the nomination process. The same corrupt processes that influence the other branches have crept in.

Initially, the justice is beholden to the powers that put him in the position. Back room deal that lead to the nomination followed by various agreements to insure the ratification of the nomination. Surely there are none here that actually think the nomination hearings are real...if there are, please let us know so you can be subject to ridicule such a verbal swirlies.

OK, so perhaps you need evidence of the politicizaton of juidical nominations and how sordid and ugly that has become. You need look no further than the Harriet Meiers nomination.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will repeat that Harriet Miers and I attend the same chuch and while I do not know her, we have a lot of mutual ties. So much so that I am unwilling to label her as a co-conspirator and uncharacteristically for me, I give her the benefit of the doubt.

That said, whether she was a pawn or knowing and willing servant, her nomination served as a foil to the political process. She was the decoy on which the left was allowed to unload their ammunition. Once spent, a much more capable and hard to refuse nominee came to the front as a virtual shoe-in.

You gotta give the Shurb Cabal some credit here. They have learned well. They were not about to let another Borking occur and they skillfully navigated the shark infested waters. Shrub himself may be dumb, but the administration is not. And that is scary when you think it through.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Tony,

Shrub himself may be dumb, but the administration is not. And that is scary when you think it through.

Exactly. I think I was subjected to conspiracy theory verbal swirlies {good one btw... but doesn't pass the Google spellcheck} when I suggested a long time ago that the moneyed slime behind the scenes searched out Rove who had control of his publicly sell-able presidential drone. A US GOP president now seems to be little more than a face in front of the marketing backdrop billboards, Conservative think tanks, focus group tested soundbites and staged audiences. For crying out loud, they don't even have to be able to complete entire sentences now.

Brack,

I was having a similar discussion the other day with a friend at church on how political and unfriendly the judiciary has become toward religion.

Maybe you can be more specific. I've found many religious folks have a strange definition of "unfriendly towards religion in our representative democracy". You hear crazy things like "it's unfriendly to keep prayer {and they always mean Christian prayer} out of public schools". Throw out some specifics we could discuss. Maybe the Supreme Court isn't unfriendly towards religion, but frickin scared of it. After all, part of this country wants to send mothers, daughters, sisters to jail based on religious beliefs about a women's right to control her own procreation. That's what I would call UNFRIENDLY.

Tony, you strike me as a pro-life Democrat 1) once we elect some better people AND 2) once the Democrat party caves to religious statistics in this country and creates a home for the serial single issue voter {was that the term DavidR coined?}.

btw... DavidR. I listened to the song clip Tony linked. Wow... you seem to be pretty good at that musician thing now. :)

8:43 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

One more thing on the Supreme Court "activism" charge you hear thrown around so much today. When one disagrees with a Supreme Court decision, there would seem to only be three possibilities:

1) The one that disagrees is right based on the law, and a majority of the Supreme Court Justices are wrong on the law.

2) The Supreme Court Justices are right on the law.

3) It was a decision in the grey, could go either way... but a decision was required.

Maybe, just maybe... people who want the decisions to come out another way tend to slide those category 3 decisions into category 1. Just maybe. :)


Tony... so back to the topic. You continue your war against the two party system. I still have a serious chicken vs egg question in that regards... do we have the polarized government we have because WE THE PEOPLE actually are that polarized OR does the two party system actually have a substantial effect on our polarization? We the Curm bloggers are definitely polarized on some major issues, and no two party system made us that way {it might have added to the fire, but the underlying polarization exists regardless of the two party system}. Remind me :), was your specific point: "the two party system prevents our government, and therefore it's citizens, from having the substantial detailed debates that are required to run a government/society?". The two parties do seem to represent two very seperate visions of the United States, regardless of the quality of those we elect.

Elephants:

- anti-New Deal
- anti-progressive taxation
- maximum take home pay
- volunteer-only charity
- pro-life
- pro-theocracy {at least recently}

Donkeys:

- pro-New Deal
- pro-progressive taxation
- don't measure liberty by tax rate
- for both nation and individual based charity
- pro-choice
- pro-seperation of church and state

Remind me... how exactly are those two equal?

9:05 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Serial Single Issue voter is a perfect description of me. I have fully embraced that in an on-going fit of circumspect self-flagellation.

Perhaps there are some ways I resemble a liberal, but truly not comprehensively. I’m sticking to the position that I do not fit well in the two-party labeling stupidity. If labeling me helps you I won’t stand in your way. When I tried to come up with a label for myself in one of my earliest Disenfranchised Curmudgeon posts (back in 2003), I said, “My new political credo would make for an odd political animal: libertarian progressivism. All the capitalism we can stand and no more.” I think that description still works for me.

By the way, call me a Democrat again CG, and I will have to hunt you down and destroy your Tivo.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

I also decry the hyper-politicization and the problems with the two party system. But I am also curious, how many parties do you think we need. I am hesitant to go to a Knesset style democracy where a small band can hold a government hostage that needs its support to form a government.

I don't think its the two party system that you upset with but what you view or have finally realized is their moral bankruptcy.

Also, I know we all learned about the constitution and the supreme court and the "independent judiciary" but the only matters the supreme court takes on any more seem political.

The vast majority of the judiciary both state and federal are dealing with much more mundane issues. Hostility towards religion? I have never been to any of our secret cabal meetings with any members of the judiciary where we spoke of any religious hostility.

Judges aren't kept in some secret enclave. They are your neighbors, local church members, members of the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, and Rotary Club. The judiciary members I know of are some of the most church going people I ever met.

This campaign against the judiciary is going to harm us in the end. People make grand statements about the judiciary. They are keeping my kids from worshipping God. Really? Prayer needs to be back in the public school. If it was ever there, it wasn't supposed to be. Separation of Church and State has to be for all religions not just those that aren't Christian. I don't want my kid getting religious instruction of any kind at school, no matter how benign or how much agree with it. I realize there may come a day when they want to teach a religion other than Judeo-Christian.

The other day, a sign appeared in front of my child's elementary school stating that "Kids for Christ" meets here on Wednesday's after school. I am sure many parents were comforted to know that was going on. I wanted to put a sign up that said "Kids for Allah" meets every Thursday. Talk about pitch forks and torches coming out. But we don't see it when we agree with it.

Today the standard is he is a good judge if he makes decisions I agree with. A bad one makes decisions I don't agree with. This is an unworkable standard.

This does not speak to the politization of the Supreme Court, that is a different animal. But your local judges are not in some grand freemason conspiracy against religion no matter what your preacher says.

I am a lawyer. A member of a guild and a believer that we are a nation of laws. And I have disagreed with many a decision of local judge made. But they weren't in a conspiracy against me or my client.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

CG,

You won’t get much interest from me to discuss the laundry list of the platforms of the two parties. No matter how many times you have alleged that I have said the platforms are equal does not make it true. I have never said and never will say the platforms are the same: that is simply absurd.

What I have said is the same is the methods, motivations and results.

I defy you to name where either party obtained real lasting results in advancing what they trumpet as their core beliefs. It hasn’t happened during the last thirty years except for two notable exceptions that I have written about before. We did see the collapse of the Soviet Block which was attributable to some degree to US policy, and we did see slight progress in budget balancing under Clinton (only to see that rapidly undone by the current administration).

Here is the central point of this websites existence…try to listen this time as I will try using smaller words. If you believe in the platform of one of the major parties, the one way to GAURANTEE that you will not achieve those goals is by voting for that party. Lets do it again in bold:

If you believe in the platform of one of the major parties, the one way to GAURANTEE that you will not achieve those goals is by voting for that party.

Whew. I know that is complex, but there it is.

The platforms are designed to pacify the 15-20% of the parties’ core supporters. The game happens in the arena of the 60-70% of weakly aligned voters. For those weakly aligned voters, strong positions are not desirable. The way this plays out is that legislation is advanced that supports the party platform but which leadership know has no chance of passing. Then, the legislators from the safe seats (which is an appallingly high percentage of seats these days) cast the vote for the cause and those where the issue is problematic for them can vote against the party line. This creates the illusion that they are fighting for platform type issues without ever having to implement or be accountable for their actions.

Both sides of the isle engage in this. You talk about GOP “red meat” but there is red meat for the leftist pack hunters as well.

If you are satisfied voting for people who say the things you like to hear even though your experience and brain tells you that have no interest in or ability to actually succeed, then I am happy for you. As I said, I have become unwilling to stoke those fires any further. It is my firm belief that all of you sincere but misguided party voters are in fact the source of the problem. The politicians have just learned to live in the world as it is.

You want to find the cause of this mess? Causation is always a stick problem especially when you leave out one of the key culprits: erosion of critical thinking skills due to a dangerously flawed public education system. I think I’ll decline to go down that path for now. I tired of causation during Torts.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

Exactly. Allah meeting on Thursday. We have had that discussion here in Curmland {at this point I think we have covered everything... reminds me of that commercial where the guy leans back from the keyboard and says he has DONE the internet}. My questions regarding religion in the public square went like follows: "If Christianity is alright for the public square, than EVERY religion has to be alright for the public square. If the public square includes public schools and court houses, then everyone is entitled to their religious displays. Do we dedicate part of public building walls to ANY display? Do they get equal square footage? Does the enterprise in the public building have to devote resources to management of this display, or do we have federal minders for it? If you have limited wall space, do you reserve space outside, or work out some rotation schedule {Jesus in April, Allah in May}. Can a child have an audible filled-with- the-holy spirit moment in the middle of science class, or does those wanting prayer in school accept a scheduled time? Is scheduling individual prayer time a violation of the individual child liberty to worship as they please? Given that we have limited space for public display of religion, can we do this in electronic form... maybe an electronic billboard with software algorithms policed by government minders that guarantee equal religious display time {reminds me of Google ads... although I'm sure that's more capitalism driven... pay more = more display time}. There are practical concerns with the law, and people that don't at least address those practical concerns in their desires aren't really worth arguing with.

You cracked me up with:
But I am also curious, how many parties do you think we need.

I was just coming to type that basic question in for Tony? I also had related questions:

1) Tony, how many parties do you want?

2) Would you give full agenda control to the winning party in the Senate... like it is now in the Senate?

3) You have said that my question above (#2) is almost irrelevant. Remind me why such a rule change in the Senate would be minor. It would seem to me you could have 50 parties, but as long as the one winning party controls the entire agenda... you have pretty much what you have now. Sure, you may have more deals between smaller factions happening, but the deals are still deals per the one party agenda.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Guy,

You are correct that it is the moral bankruptcy that bothers me more than the limit of two parties per se. But I do not see things changing absent some other credible voices. By having more voices in the process we would have less of this we v. they thing going on and more opportunity for genuine discussion of issues. Can that happen in a two party system? Probably so. But the fact is that it is not happening now. We have to break the deadlock somehow and I don’t think it will be because the major parties themselves are going to change.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

CG,

#2 is irrelevant because Senate rules are not law. They can change them how they deem necessary. Now you and I will agree a lot of the rules work against progress, but that goes back to my central point: they don’t care about progress. Get a more diverse set of CongressCritters and you will get rules changes that support the new reality.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Tony,

I am now immune to "I will type slower", "I will use smaller words"... or with a bold font for that matter. :)

I defy you to name where either party obtained real lasting results in advancing what they trumpet as their core beliefs.

Let's use the Senate as an example. You can listen to the budget debate between a Kent Conrad and Judd Gregg, and the debate is way past a game. What you see is a real {seemingly irreconcilable} difference in ideology. I absolutely believe games are being played and there is often a complete lack of substantive debate on the Senate floor {forget the House, that's chaos and nonsense}. That said, at the core you see split ideologies driving this. For example, what's the middle ground between New Deal and Trickle down? If we introduce more parties, do with get mild trickle or a Used Deal? Maybe so, but only if you address the rules also... i.e. total control of the Senate agenda. If the GOP is the majority out of 10 parties, we still get to discuss gay marriage and flag burning during election years. We need rule changes, which I will repeat:

1) Alternate serve in the House and the Senate. Both parties (or however many parties we end up with) get some form of rotation in the agenda. GOP presents their top item, followed by Dems presenting their top item... and on it goes. Maybe with both sharing the stage, you get agreements across agenda items.

2) Stop the precinct gerrymandering... don't pass go. What nonsense and insanity... 98% safe seats. We are definitely polarized but 98% safe? How sad.

3) Public funded elections. If you don't fix this one, then $1 = 1 vote, and Representative democracy is a TOTAL illusion. I say "total", because representative democracy is a bit of an illusion by definition (I think a required one that has worked pretty well, but still... an illusion of citizen participation to some degree).

4) Divide electoral college votes. I can vote Dem in presidential elections in Oklahoma to everyone realizes global warming is real... and my guy will never win. My only reason for voting becomes conscience. Change it were the 40% of the Oklahoma Dem votes go to the Dem, and then I feel my vote counts. Just another form of illusion... maybe, but I can see my vote in the electoral college. {I was for the concept of 100% electoral college vote per precinct, but that fails also. I want a popular vote within my state's electoral college... i.e. still not a popular vote across the country, but within my state. It does beg the question, why wouldn't I be for a popular vote across the entire question, and I can't say I have an answer.}

5) Education yes {leading to more participation and democracy obligation), but smarter people will not be fooled as easily about illusions built into our representative democracy. (See rule change #4 above)

You aren't going to get a better government with the current rules, IMO.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Tony,

Get a more diverse set of CongressCritters and you will get rules changes that support the new reality.

However we get there, is sounds like we agree new rules will be required.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

CG,

Glad to hear you have powered-up with an immunity mushroom or somesuch. If only you could find that golden "clear thought" mushrooom instead.

I have never said that these guys don't put on a good show. And down deep, some of them actually believe the ideals they purport to defend.

Now, I will sit back and wait for you to explain how all that hot air in comitte matters. Fortunately I have a comfortable chair as I will be here a while as results are harder to find than WoMD in Iraq.

Again, if seeing those CongressCritters on TV getting red faced and spouting stuff that sounds good to you is satisfying, then I am happy for you.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Tony,

And down deep, some of them actually believe the ideals they purport to defend.

I guess you see core games to get elected {DeLay and now Liberman} with some edge ideals and I see a core Ideological divide driving the games. :) Of course, the real game with the current pro-business GOP is that business owns the government. You tell me business would also own the government with a Democrat administration... i.e. the Clinton administration was owned by industry also. That isn't as obvious to me... by definition it certainly couldn't be a blatant as the pro-gilded age ideology. One is fulfilling a campaign promise, and the other has to hide it if the entire US oil industry walks into the VP's office.

Hey, I wish you could have heard Michael Bloomberg today testifying on the immigration issue today. He pretty much slammed both the House and the Senate in royal Curm fashion on their mindless plans, which failed to take into account reality. I know nothing about Bloomberg other than he has an (R) by his name and he has a few $s... but on this issue on this day he provided the kind of detailed thought that you would expect out of elected officials. If it was yet another game, then at least he picked the right speech writer. :)

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

This looks a lot like flame stoking to me.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Guy,

Depends on which fire of which you speak. I don't stoke the partisan flames. Now CG's fire is an ENTIRELY different matter.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

CG,

You said, ”You tell me business would also own the government with a Democrat administration... i.e. the Clinton administration was owned by industry also. That isn't as obvious to me... by definition it certainly couldn't be a blatant as the pro-gilded age ideology.”

You forget with whom you are speaking some times I think. I have to exercise care here to avoid venturing into privileged information but let’s say I saw some of the Clinton administration in action. Let me tell you, if you don’t think it is all about the money on both sides of the isle then you are just kidding yourself.

Methinks you have a very selective memory. Hint: Coffee Klatches.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Oh. What you seek is a "Realigning election." I recalled this paper from politcal science, V.O. Key's 1955 article, "A Theory of Critical Elections" I could not find it on the web but a Wikipedia post seems to correctly describe the theory in general. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realigning_election

In my view, we are long over due for one. Which way or what event will tip us one way or the other out of these close elections, I cannot predict. But I agree with the theory.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Guy,

Yeah, that is close to what I’m talking about though that entry lost a little credibility with me when they put the 1994 election on the list.

But then the problem is that the major parties have limited ballot access to the point that it is difficult to see re-alignment happening unless it fits the 1980 model and is realignment on top of existing party structures. Coupled with serious campaign finance reform and term limits of course.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Yeah... term limits should have been on my list {it always is but I forgot}.

When I heard Ken Lay had died of a heart attack, I was reminded of a thought I had a couple of weeks ago, and posted here. I was thinking that what happened with Enron was more likely a matter of conservative ideology than some specific unusual evil trait of Ken Lay. IMO, history proves that any attempt to keep government out of our economic system is a guarantee that government will be owned by business. Ironically, engaging the government is the only potential safeguard.

In honor of Kenny Boy and other malefactors of great wealth.

It's my understanding that is was an Enron Jet that flew Shrub to his 2000 inauguration. Equal ideologies... hardly.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous guy said...

Tony . . .
I don't think the 1994 was a realignment either. Of course, I don't think that was the author's view but the wikipedia submitter's view.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Guy,

You are probably correct. Obviously the 1955 paper didn't list the 1994 election.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

CG,

Interesting article. Since you are relatively new to the political game, you might check this out and note that four of the Keating Five were Democrats.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Tony,

By the way, call me a Democrat again CG, and I will have to hunt you down and destroy your Tivo.

You have such a bad bedside manner I don't know if the Dems would take you... but from where I stand, you are a pro-life Democrat. btw... I have two Tivos... so I have a backup.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

What you seek is a "Realigning election."

These last 5 years have represented a Realigning moment for me... I changed parties over it. Shrub and the GOP passed a $100,000+ tax cut for millionaires while we were at war... and I promptly exited the greedfest.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

C.G. “These last 5 years have represented a Realigning moment for me...

That makes no sense. You were pro-choice, pro-sodomy, pro-collectivist, pro-progressive taxation, anti-religious expression... you were a Democrat in every sense of the word. How in the world did you ever “align” with the GOP?

Now, I can see how you might align with Bush. He’s a great Democrat. He’s for amnesty for illegals, greater centralized control of education, creating more entitlements, he’s AWOL on the marriage amendment, he’s reached more across the isle to the Dems and left his supporters in the lurch numerous times. Of course, he does tend to stick with something once he decides on it, so he is not as “flexible” as John Kerry when it comes to being on all sides of an issue.

Prof. Ricardo

9:15 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

How in the world did you ever “align” with the GOP?

Before 911, I wouldn't exactly say I put much thought into my party affiliation {that's what Tony means when he says I'm new to the political game}. I live in a red state with red state friends. I guess I heard wealthy friends once too often make the case why they have no obligation to others in our society {unless they volunteer too}. It seemed those who had the won the economic lottery became more self-entitled rather than less. We can argue whether that is American or not, but it's not who I want to be.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Saw a Dailyshow repeat last night and the author of this book appeared on the program:

Fight Club Politics : How Partisanship is Poisoning the U.S. House of Representatives

Might be an interesting read based on the interview.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

And appropo to the last two blog topics.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Fight Club Politics

Tony, I read your Wikipedia link. I don't need any convincing that both sides are corrupted by money {will be forever unless you go to publicly funded elections}... but will require a lot of convincing that they are equal. Yes, I know you made clear you are not saying they are equal. You are saying they are both corrupt enough that their differences do not matter. This is where I disagree with you. I align myself with the Dem platform... and hope for better elected types. I can't really see how vote fasting will move the US back in the New Deal direction I'm for. Ironically, your link contained the perfect example of a significant move in one direction under the two party system (i.e. the pretty face Reagan put on Conservatism\Greed). Your argument has more merit if your goals are a moderate "better debating" Congress. For my progressive hopes, I wouldn't seem to have that luxury. I see a GOP that flat out seems to be committed to the elimination of all forms of safety-nets with a large dose of RR theocracy. Where exactly do you think my progressive hopes benefit from a better debate with that ideology? This was my point before... there is a core polarization on the definition of what America should be that is not created out of thin air by the 24 x 7 cable talking heads. I guess you could say that core polarization goes back to Hamilton and Jefferson/Madison. The Hamilton disease raised it's ugly head again with Reagan {planned long before that}, and continues to thrive. If your idea of a better government is a better folks having better debates but still selling Hamilton... then we just have different goals. I want the idea of a Progressive America to win. The quality of the folks in Washington are of course important, but again I will go with results. You point out that neither side seems to produce results. Well, if you really are a polarized nation, and neither of the parties achieves a super-majority status... doesn't it make sense that we are in deadlock. You would think there would be plenty of non-polarized areas where they could make progress, but I'm not sure. Make a list and prioritize what you think the government should be working on now. How many of those items don't run head-long into "minimum government", "federalism", "tax rates", "conservative social values issues", etc. Should be a short list.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

I truly fear the remaining Bush years before he limps back to Crawford. They have invested so much in the Iraq decision, and have been so wrong... they now seem like a caged animal backed into a corner. Does anyone think these type of personalities {DavidR is probably right... sociopaths} ever back off and quit digging? Even the remaining few that still believe the Iraq war was good for our country should hope for the same: a new administration before any major attack {against us or by us} happens. We are living in very tough times, and even a president that has the public behind him\her will face incredible challenges. Justified or not, this president has lost the public on the Iraq war. Maybe new faces in the White House will provide new hope and get us through this. The old faces dug in scare the hockey out of me. Since we are dropping book titles, This one might also be worth reading. According to Suskind, Cheney is really our US foreign policy {not exactly a news flash}. Bush just huffs and puffs within the Cheney One Percent Doctrine. Bush is for show... Cheney is the face of our Iraq war choice and what is likely to follow. Never trust your future to a guy who has already had 4 heart attacks... he is just wrapping up his stay on this rock.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Randy P said...

This should rattle the cages. Sorry I have forgotten how to create a link, hope you can paste it.

Sept 11 Conspiracy

4:19 PM  
Blogger Randy P said...

Well that did not work, I will try again, but go to google and look for "Loose Change 2nd Edition".

4:24 PM  
Blogger Randy P said...

Conspiracy Theory of Sept 11th

4:31 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Hey Common Good, and Tony... ever heard of this term?

Ubuntu

Tony, I thought this was interesting, I came across it today. I thought it kind of related somehow to what I emailed you about.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Yoshi... good word, and I'm in. I hadn't heard of it before.

Randy P, welcome back and holy conspiracy theory. I watched that entire movie, documentary or whatever they call it. I'm now officially out of the conspiracy business... I am not worthy. That was a masterpiece. I guarantee the people behind that need to go to Hollywood and give us some better movies. Of course, it could be George Clooney behind it {Oops, we are now in an endless conspiracy loop}. I have to admit their were some very interesting observations and questions. One of the ones that really hit me {and still is}... why didn't they find the two 12 ton engines that hit the Pentagon? Why did it leave such a little hole? Also... can Jet Fuel really bring down the towers like that?

I highly recommend the rest of you guys find some time to watch this. RandyP makes a reappearance with a vengeance. :)

7:37 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

I'll watch it....

9:16 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

I'd watch it just in honor of RandyP's return. Besides, I love a good conspiracy theory. Maybe this weekend. I watched the first bit and saw McNamara...he is a great starting place for a nice work of conspiracy fiction.

BTW, Yoshi, I had heard of the Linux distribution of that name. I for one won't be ascribing to the theory. Anything that defines my existence in terms of other humans will never work for me. For every Eistein we a dozen Hitlers.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Re: 911 Conspiracy Theory.

For real video enjoyment go to the same video.google.com and search for “screw loose change 2nd edition”.

This conspiracy theory is a reach. Of course there is an audience hungry to hear why George Bush is bad. They know everything is his fault, its just a matter of rearranging the puzzle pieces to explain their given. With truth and reality not the final objective, its amazing at what otherwise reasonable people will fall for to justify their true agenda.

If the airliner that hit the Pentagon was a cruise missile, then where is the plane, passengers, and crew? Are they insinuating that Bush, or some other US government officials conspired, with al-Queda to fly planes into and blow up simultaneously demolish the same three buildings. Were the cell phone calls to family members from passengers a fraud?

This is not just the suspension of disbelief, but the immersion of a fantasy world that even toddlers dismiss as going over the top.

The reaction of physical matter at extreme speeds is a curious thing. The plane that hit the Pentagon at 530 mph is ((530x5280)/3600) approximately 777 feet per second. This is the equivalent of a slow 45 ACP bullet. The video camera outside of the Pentagon does not have the ability to capture items moving that fast. The time between pictures (frames per second) and exposure speed (probably 1/100th of a second) would not permit anything other than a fireball to appear.

The reaction of items being shot with high speed projectiles are interesting and sometimes unpredictable. Having fired many weapons at many different targets and studied much from written and video sources, it is obvious to me the author of the Loose Change 2nd Edition is not well informed of such things, or he is and is disingenuous in the video. I am afraid ignorance and deeply fecal colored glasses are more to blame here. But, at least the video keeps the CTU’s off the street (Conspiracy Theorist in Underwear).

Prof. Ricardo

9:04 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Re: 911 Conspiracy Theory.

------------
911 Commission report, p.25-26
"Regan National controllers then vectored an unarmed National Guard C-130H cargo aircraft, which had just taken off en route to Minnesota, to identify and follow the suspicious aircraft. The C-130H pilot spotted it, identified it as a Boeing 757, attempted to follow its path, and at 9:38, seconds after impact, reported to the control tower: “looks like that aircraft crashed into the Pentagon sir.” "
--------------

But I’ve got some good news. I just saved a lot of money by switching to GEICO.

Prof. Ricardo

9:18 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

"Were the cell phone calls to family members from passengers a fraud?"

I think this is the same video a friend was telling me about... and I mentioned the phone calls from the flights. And anyway, they said the calls were set up basically and were a hoax.

Of course I don't believe any of it. I might try to watch it if it's not too long, but otherwise, I think I might just save some valuable time if I take the Prof's word on it, which is what I assumed anyway about the video when I first heard about it.
________________________________

Tony, I don't think the word ubuntu means literally that you "exist" b/c others exist. Or maybe I'm not sure if you read the expression right- what does Hitler and Einstein have to do with it? I liked the "I am because we are," which seemed to be a theme for me yesterday; it seemed to expand on the I AM concept. I also found it interesting because I was at a Student Atheist Discussion Forum back around Thanksgiving, and I basically described this concept to all of them without having known there was already an African name for it. (We were talking about the immorality of not saving a drowning man, and remember, I was talking to atheists- who view the world in binary code, so they had a hard time understanding things in a holistic, "we are all one thing together" way.) They look at the trees. I look at the forest, maybe that's the way to put it.

And then consider the "Truth and Reconciliation Committee," where criminals of the Apartheid era had to face their victims and describe what their actions where, own up to them in person, in exchange for amnesty. This was done instead of physical retaliation towards all whites in general, a very real possibilty that COULD have happened in South Africa if had not been for this concept being promoted.

Anyway, I just thought this seemed like a very Christian idea, and actually, it did mostly come out of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who I personally saw give a very, very incredible sermon once.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Prof,

The Geico line reminded me that shooting water through your sinuses hurts almost as bad a Dr. Pepper.

Seriously though, you should lighten up. The conspiracy huckstering is fun. I think I may write a few of my own.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Yoshi,

I re-read the wikipedia entry on unbuntu. I guess I’m quibbling over translations since it says:

’A rough translation in English could be "humanity towards others," or "I am because we are," or "A person 'becomes human' through other persons", or also, "A person is a person because of other persons". Another translation could be: "The belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity."’

I’d say the first and last renditions are very Christian. The other three are problematic. The Bible is very clear that man’s humanity is a created condition and not contingent on anything else. We are created in the image of God and I find the notion that we become human through other people contradictory to this fundamental tenant of Orthodox Christianity.

Now, a reasonable rendering of unbuntu might be, “we express our humanity through our community with others”. I’m just twisting up the words a bit and trying to restate those first and last translations. But, if that is what is meant, the notion would be thoroughly Christian. It goes off the Christian rails when existence is defined by communal context.

Personally, I do not see the time to the “I Am” of the Bible either. “I Am” there is the self-description of a sovereign pre-existent omnipotent personal God. In the unbuntu context, it is the self description of a person. It seems to have far more in common with humanism than it does the Judeo-Christian/Muslim idea of theism.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Yoshi,

Seriously, watch that video. It's very well done and very interesting {regardless of whether one believes anything they suggest). It's only 1 hour and 21 minutes {longer for me, I replayed many parts... including trying to pause on the airplanes right before the hit the towers}.

Anyway, I just thought this seemed like a very Christian idea, and actually, it did mostly come out of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who I personally saw give a very, very incredible sermon once.

The conclusion I have come to are Christians get a mixed message from the bible. They get quite a bit of "we" in the Gospels, but at the end of the day the free will choice concerning your soul is about as individual as it gets. Add to that the "teach the man to fish feed him for a life"... and many take that to be a "personal responsibility doctrine". I have to believe that Archbishop Desmond Tutu biblical interpretation represents a very minority view.

RandyP,

So what was your opinion of the video? These are the one's that at least made me think... i.e. I didn't reject them out of hand as just Bush hatred mantra. Besides, it could be entertaining to come up with theories to explain the questions these guys raised in their video.

1) Could jet fuel really make those building collapse exactly like a planned demolition? I had read some articles at the time that suggested the intense heat migrated down the steel frames and set the stage for what happened. However, as the video points out the planes hit very high up on the towers. We all know heat rises... had the planes hit on the lower floors it would seem to make more sense to me. Also, if you watch the second plane hit, it sure appears that vast majority of the jet fuel and heat went right back out of the building. And yet... that tower came done first. What about all of the witness claims of secondary explosions? Maybe the heat causing things in the building to blow up? What about the little white blasts (looked like small explosives) as the building collapsed.

2) Seriously, why couldn't they find the two 12 ton engines that hit the Pentagon. Prof seems to suggest that vaporization of these engines would or could be normal. I'm having a real problem with that one. I also have a problem with the size of the hole in the Pentagon. Surely two 12 ton engines traveling at 700+ feet per minute {thanks for the stats Prof} would make a mark or two on the building.

3) What about the calm voice of the stewardess explaining that one of her fellow crew mates had been starved. Calm as hell... really? I guess we could say people react different ways to shock... but that struck me as very strange.

4) Found one of the hijacker's paper passport in the streets of New York, but not the black box. Pawaaaaa!!!!

Perhaps the conspiracy that someone other than Bin Laden pulled this off is total fantasy, but the conspiracy stuff about tons of things being hidden from the public is closer to the truth than we would like to admit.

Or maybe... it was just a very entertaining way to spend an hour. :) Thanks RandyP. I agree with Tony... this stuff is fun.

Prof, the wife and I actually love the Geico commercials, although I was shocked to find out the believed their were Geico lizards. You haven't really had a good laugh until you hear Geico lizard pronounced with Texas slang. Wow.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

correction for post above:

Prof, the wife and I actually love the Geico commercials, although I was shocked to find out she believed their were Geico lizards.


Yoshi,

Imagine a movie where the plot line is that the #1 Democracy on this rock {Guy, I am officially stealing your word} entire citizens live under illusion. Powerful forces behind the scene are about to be exposed based on evidence found in a federal building 300 yards from the Twin Towers. The entire power structure behind the scene that has existed for decades is at risk, including the military industrial complex. They stage 911 as a cover to take out the third building.

Tell me that plot isn't better than almost any movie you have seen lately. :)

10:41 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

"teach the man to fish feed him for a life"...

Can someone tell me if this is a Chinese proverb? Not Western, or Christian?

I could have sworn that was Chinese....

Tony, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If the answer is no, then I can connect "I Am because We are" to "I AM." Because without our existence, does God, like the tree, really make a sound?

It's like the Chicken or Egg first thing... like the both have to exist simulatneously.

11:13 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Not only that, but the I Am because We are suggests that we are who we are because of all the variables around us, our environment, our genetics, the people in our lives. One simple smile to another person might prevent him from going into an office and shooting his co-workers, or jumping off a building, that sort of thing...

Personal responsibility that Common Good is talking about is kind of a paradox. It exists, but it kind of doesn't. There but for the grace of God go I. And how does the grace of God manifest itself...? In my experience, through other people, often the most unlikely of people at that.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

In the same press conference where Bush proudly proclaims that he ignores our polls {for the 1000th time}, he chastises other nations that ignore the will of it's people. Very interesting fellow, our president. I guess if one was to put the proper spin/illusion on those statements, they would point out that we really only get to express our will on the day we vote... and after that our democracy is a spectator sport. We could have 90% of the public demanding we pull out of Iraq, and nearest I could tell... one man can flip off that will of the 300 million. Interesting president and interesting government participation illusion. Perhaps it would be chaos to have the will of the people taken into account 24 x 7.

11:55 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Okay, I don't think "I AM (as in God), is because "we are." I think that God is much more beyond simply us. But I do think that "I am" (as in me personally), "because of who we are." At least, I think I can say, Yoshi is who he is because of the people who have been around him (or sent his way by a mysterious force?) in his life....

What I was saying earlier about the "I AM" theme in the Ubuntu word, is that I thought coming across that word was a syncronicity, because I had the phrase "I AM" in my head. I thought it was a dot I was supposed to connect.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Yoshi,

I took a philosophy course in college and the people we studied wrote just like your last post.

I particularly liked telling the professor how ludicrous the question about the tree falling in the forest was. It seemed obvious to me, but heck, I’ve got two feet planted in reality - what do I know.

She graded on a non-linear scale. I had A’s, B’s, C’s, a D, and an F on all the papers I turned in. The average she calculated as an F. Upon flunking the class I went to the department head and mathematically proved that my professor was insane - or at least did not know how to score grades. With conclusive proof in his hands he went AWOL on his responsibilities and rejected the evidence and defended the professor (why did I expect any difference?). I later heard that my professor had a nervous breakdown after that. :)

Some day I really, really am going to ask forgiveness for any part I had in her breakdown. But don’t hold your breath just yet.

Prof. Ricardo

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Hmmmm . . . I have nothing to add.

* * *

No really, nothing to add. :)

12:35 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

GREAT LEAPING JEHOSEPHAT!!! A SPEECHLESS LAWYER!!!

1:50 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

I certainly could see how Prof could send a teacher over the edge. I'm surprised my keyboard and mouse have survived this long.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

I find many times that people credit me with more intelligence when I remain quiet at a meeting. I am not so much speechless, its just that I have nothing of substance to add.

I could give you my five minute rant about how Oliver Stone and the X-Files contribute to this conspiracy fever. It makes the world so much more interesting.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Randy P said...

I must say that it is very intimidating coming in from such a long absence to read all that goes on here. I liked it much better when I was into it on a daily basis. WOW. Filosofy is way over my head.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Randy P said...

Along the lines of conspiracy theories, anybody put any thought to what we are actually doing when we “letter” verify to log a post to this blog.

Sorry to drag you into this Tony

3:40 PM  
Blogger Randy P said...

CG,
My thoughts on the video:

1. I think that there are valid questions in there, hard to say which ones are which. I think that some strange things happen in the world that can not be explained by physics or logic or anthropology. Anything for that matter.

2. Supposedly they have located 9 of the 15 hijackers, alive, what is that all about. I have not doubt that we probably did not have all of them right in the first place, and I could see how a very few people could “hijack” a plane and get away with what they did. We have become so complacent in our old age.

3. There seemed to be a lot of story lines in that video that should be “run to ground”, like the gold and the engines that should be at the Pentagon.

I think if you look real hard at about minute 45, you can actually see where Hoffa was buried, and at minute 53 there was something I could not quite make out about the Kennedy assassination.

Bottom line is I like Bush….I mean “Shrub” even if it is not him, at least his administration has balls, better than most we have had, or the options we could have had if he were not elected….twice. Any way back to the subject matter at hand, the claims on the video about Bin Laden not being able to actually pull this off are just plain bunk. It would not take much, at the time it occurred, to pull off at least one hijacked plane and crash scenario, with the fanatics he has pulling off four is not a stretch either. What did really happen though? I do believe that there are things you and I will never know, and cover-ups that will never be uncovered. I have no doubt that things happened that day that could have either prevented or at least averted some of the devastation that happened.

Also just to throw this out there, maybe the Govt. was not in on this conspiracy would not be the first echoes of “Remember the Maine” from 1898 still reverberate through the anthems of history. Who did sink the USS Maine? Was it really the Spanish, whom, according to the Captain of the Maine were quite hospitable and entertaining? You be the judge.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

RandyP,

I must say that it is very intimidating coming in from such a long absence to read all that goes on here.

Don't confuse the full of **** that goes on here with deep Filosophy. :) Tony just throws in some big words :) to keep those Yahoo trolls away.

I didn't follow you on the "letter" to blog thing.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

I find many times that people credit me with more intelligence when I remain quiet at a meeting.

I'm with Tony, you had me at quiet lawyer. :)

4:27 PM  
Blogger Randy P said...

Sorry the "word" verification below so that you can publish the post. Are the letters in the "word" really just random, or is something else going on

4:31 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

RandyP,

In honor of your return, and the fact you still like Bush... let me actually agree with the Bush administration on something.

I think they are getting it right forcing 6-party talks with N. Korea. Forcing their neighbors to be at the table, and avoiding the 1 on 1 blackmail that is sure to come... they are on the right track. I will even throw in a bonus bone... Bush seems to be getting the immigration problem about right also.

That's it though... they are wrong on EVERYTHING else. :) I'm not impressed with executive branch balls myself. I like that in sports though. More of a chess guy when it comes to a war against terrorism. Oh yeah, there is another place they get it wrong... "calling this a war against terrorism, and chastising anyone who treats it more like a law enforcement action". I bought that for a while {because it sounded good}. However, when I thought it through and observed it is closer to fighting gangs than nations... that little soundbite started to sound stupid as the rest of that focus group tested bs.

Sorry... intended to just throw you a bone of agreement, and went into the rant. I can't stop myself with these guys. I can listen to Bush speak {actually try to speak} for around 5 minutes each time before I get mad.

I don't see any conspiracy in the letter verifications, but I am now on guard. :)

4:42 PM  
Blogger Randy P said...

CG,
Check this out, and see why the whole war on terror works. Long read, but not an hour and 21 minutes.

Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

As long as we are passing on comedy movies, here is my favorite from the past election. If you have seen it before, watch it again. It always makes me laugh.

http://dvblog.org/andydickbushspeechwritermov

Oh BTW - the word verification, That is an NSA encryption device that allows faster word searches and tagging for national security pruposes.

5:11 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Why We Fight

My turn now. This is "Why We Fight," about the military-industrial complex. I haven't watched it yet, but it seems well done, professional, it was even at the cinema. I think this is the whole movie here, but it's on a small screen.

10:55 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Common Good, check this out:

[Gates warned, however, that private charitable contributions alone will not be enough to achieve the DATA goals; governments also must play a part.

"Private philanthropy is no substitute for governmental action here," Gates said. "The scale of the problem and the need to engage, government-to-government, is just way too great for this to be done, even with the kind of increase we'll see in personal philanthropy. And we've said to governments, you know, 'If you step up and increase, we'll step up and increase as well,'" Gates said.

"If government is pulling back on this stuff, then the AIDS epidemic absolutely will not be stopped and the whole view of the rich world and how they've behaved to the world at large I think will be sort of irredeemable," Gates said.]

C.G., I think you and I should both write a letter to Mr. Bill Gates and let him know that we are privy to info from a mutual friend of ours, who is in fact, a Professor of some kind, and who happens to know just a little more about capitalism, running and organizing massive global operations, and being the richest man in the world than he, Bill Gates himeslf, does.

Poor Bill Gates, so naive he is... it's comical... and oddly strange that with that lack of understanding of the basics in this universe that he managed to make it so far... what an ironic world....

1:08 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Yoshi,

I'm smiling right now because you wouldn't believe what documentary I just watched last night. Yep... Why We Fight. I highly recommend it to everyone. Of course, I wasn't smiling after watching it. I hate to break it to my friends on this board... it's not just conspiracy theories. This country has either willingly or unknowingly turned our democracy over to corporations.

Yoshi, good Bill Gate quotes. Do you have a link... I have a friend who needs to see that. He sent me an email with the same drivel that Prof stated here... Buffet really didn't favor things like inheritance tax or progressive taxation... he was just in it for the tax dodge. It's must hurt to hear the two top capitalists in the world say such heretic things, and proclaim self-entitled is a bit unattractive.

Prof... btw... I'm two thirds through the "Screw Loose" rebuttal. It's almost as entertaining as the original. That said, I have to say they had no explanation for one of my major questions: Where are those two airplane engines that hit the Pentagon. I am simply not buying the fact that they would vaporize. That said, they had some great responses. One of my favorite was: What was this blue material covering be marched out hiding? Answer: Dude, see these two blue tents on the property. That was great. :)

3:31 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Yea C.G., when Bill Gates says it, it's pretty much "Check Mate" for all those still in denial about this stuff.

I'll try and find a link to that...

I'll watch the "Why We Fight Soon."

7:02 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Wow, the GOP Congress lemmings will no longer line up behind this blatant executive branch power grab

I was so impressed with "Why We Fight", I watched it a second time. They have some great footage of Eisenhower, including his farewell speech where he warned about the military industrial complex. As someone noted in the documentary, if the military is treated as any typical for profit capitalism business, then there will always be strong motivation for war from the war profiteers. When they get big enough {pretty much like they are now} the government power elite and war private industry elite become indistinguishable... as in Cheney Secretary of Defense -> Haliburtion where Cheney's personal wealth went from approx. $1 mil to $60 mil -> back into the White House as VP -> Cheney sponsored Iraq war where the military industrial complex see profits soar. It's sickening and what's so sad... it's right their in front of all of our eyes. It's Democracy vs Capitalism, and Capitalism is winning.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

I watched "Loose Change" very interesting. I would like to know what happened to those engines also.

On another subject, I saw a very subversive film this weekend that depicted America as weak and powerless. The government was portrayed as a bunch of bumbling buffoons who almost killed hundreds of people through its efforts to distract America from its real problems by showing off a new space program.

It was also very pro-immigration as we the people seemed unable to withstand the corrupt corporate America without the help of immigrants. One in particular who seemed to have super human strength. Our government was unable to respond to any of the crisis portrayed in the film and I assure you that there were many in this pro-immigration propaganda film.

The immigrant came from outer space and (get this) while this was his "adopted" home, he thought he stood for Truth, Justice and the American Way. Yeah right. Like anybody not born here or who got into this country legally could do that!!

It is this kind of film showing at our local multiplexes that is subverting our youth and makes amnesty for immigrants palatable.

He had the gall, even though he wasn't an American to call himself "Superman." (While he did not explicitly state his political affiliation in the movie, I have to believe he leaned to the left.)

The movie was also an assault on good American family values. Despite the obviously gay nature of his clothes, he had fathered and abandoned a child out of wedlock only to return and seek to intervene when a real man had stepped up to be the child's father.

It's this kind of popular media onslaught that it driving this country to the very edge and will lead to the moral decay that will eventually result in the same kind of sex in bath houses that brought the Roman Empire down in its last days.

I can only ask, "When will America wake up?"

Just thought I'd try on some righteous indignation and moral outrage. ;)

2:34 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Careful Guy, your sarcasm is showing.

4:39 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

I think I'm going to go see this pro-immigration propaganda film about the guy from space tonight also....

6:21 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

After having a lot of time pass, I decided to watch Fahrenheit 9/11 again. Assuming Michael Moore didn't lie about any of the facts {Prof can give me some links again}, the only thing one could really fault him on is playing on emotions (i.e. playing on the emotions of family members who lost loved ones in Iraq). I could also see where some things may not have been in context. But that seems so trivial to the overall truth that he put the spotlight on... 1) the very real tie of Bush family money with Saudi and the military industrial complex 2) the very real tragic decision that is Iraq 3) the obvious fact that we elected a man as leader of the free world that had no apparent significant achievements in this life other than what family money and influence could buy 4) and the very real hierarchical society we have... i.e. poor people fighting our wars for us, while the very rich and connected get rich off of wars. Seems like he got a bit right to me... and the message is a heck of a lot more important than the messenger. I missed his closing line the first time about us being a hierarchical society, and how throughout history the powerful and wealthy have fought to keep that in place. I'm sure Cheney would tell us that "is their due". Less hair... but still a bunch of apes.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Michael Moore lies... saving Prof some time with the link :)

I can see some valid criticism in that list, but it still seems trivial compared to the truths he spotlighted (see my post above). There were too many core truths in his documentary to agree with Koch ... i.e. it trivialized the debate about Iraq.

btw... now I remember where the footage came of those two guys getting blown to bits at night on that Loose Change video. Can't you imagine being that second guy who just saw the other one disintegrate... knowing you have seconds before experiencing the same thing.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

hierarchical society:

Getting rid of the inheritance tax that provides government revenue in the $ billions per year, effecting less than 1% of our population is a MUST... funding port security to the tune of $600 million is a MUST NOT.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

btw... I thought Pirates of the Caribbean was better than Superman... but very long.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Tightening border security would complicate the CIA's drug trafficking program and thereby potentially constrain their deep-black budget they use for all the "really fun" stuff.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

BTW,

Saw Syriana last night. If you like the conspiracy stuff, you should like that better because much of what we see in there is actually plausible. I don't want to be a spoiler so I won't say much more. But it involves the CIA, Big Oil, FBI Investigations, Emir sucession, and of course, terrorism.

Very interesting movie.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Tony -

The CIA Agent who wrote Syriana and who the main character is based on appeared on the daily show recently. He has a new book out.

Also, last night did any body see John Dean promoting his new book "Conservatives without a Conscience"

Spoiler Alert - The Conservatives he is referring to are the current bunch of whitehouse malcontents.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Who wrote:

We don't want to drink from a white water fountain; we have our own wells and our natural reservoirs and our way of collecting rain in our aqueducts. We don't need a white water fountain. ... We are not interested in what they have because we have so much more and because the world is so much larger. And ultimately, the white way, the American way, the neo-liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Tony,

If you can detail the entire Syriana plot, then spoil away. That was one hard to follow movie. I saw it with the wife and parents, and they were officially lost after 5 minutes. :) Thanks for reminding me that I intended to add it to the Netflix queue. It was definitely good enough to see twice {with a pause and rewind available :) }.

Guy... "lack of conscience in the current GOP crop". That's giving them to much credit... it assumes they started with a conscience. I challenge you to find much conscience in laissez-faire eat-your-own-kill types that marched into Washington to secure their miliary industrial complex profits. Shrub is just continuing Daddy's family business. Consider this: Every day, week and month our military drives across the IED invested Iraq roads. They make $2000-$3000 a month. They are surrounded by private contractor employees who do bascially the same thing for $10,000 a month. We are a society {at least the GOP side} that would explain that away as our glorious volunteer army and American capitalism. We have enough money to pay private contractors $10,000 a month, and then pat ourselves on the back when we FINALLY bump up soldier family death benefits to a trivial amount. It's the kind of thing that makes rational people think Prof's quote may have it right: "And ultimately, the white way, the American way, the neo-liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction." I think capitalism coupled with the current GOP's lack of conscience very well could lead to our destruction. I'm hard pressed to think of a reason why we wouldn't deserve it, if that is our society's final vote on suppressing conscience.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

Also, last night did any body see John Dean promoting his new book "Conservatives without a Conscience"

Jon Stewart: Tonight on the program... John Dean. John Dean became known in the Nixon years where the country lost it's innocence. Now we are just an aging whore that will blow dogs in the streets for crack money.

Stewart for president. :)

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Calm down little grasshopper. Roll with it a little. To every thing there is a season. You are only seeing the yin and not realizing the yang is there too.

I guarantee the pendulum is swinging back the other way. Cycles, context, whiplash politics - there will be a reaction. Power is self consuming.

I am thinking of starting a petition for an amendment that would allow Bill to run at the end of Hillary's term. Will you sign?

My apologies to those who just spit their coffee out on their keyboard.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

I guarantee the pendulum is swinging back the other way.

That pendulum has very limited range. It now swings between RR and moderate right. Left is dead... unless of course we get our own 30 year movement and find a grandpa\grandma president to put a pretty face on it. :) Corporate America plays the RR like a musical instrument, and I can't see anything that will change that. In fact, my guess is terrorism and abortion will keep the RR fuel stoked and mold-able, and therefore US society evolution really ended at Reagan.

And no... I will not sign your petition.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Common: That pendulum has very limited range.

I would say yes and that range is all concentrated on deciding how government should intrude on our lives further. Some for the good of self interest groups (minorities, indigent, businesses, etc.) and some for the good of moral issues, what you label as R.R.. (BTW, its hard not to think of A Tuna Christmas every time I see you abbreviate “religious right.”) However, both are pro-government to the point of excess. Apparently not excessive enough for some, but if a proper study of history serves me well, for the past 230 years we have been adding to the original responsibilities of government at all levels and not taking away from it. Therein lies the abuses of power from authority that only recently has been imputed to specific individuals, governmental departments, and the Constitution. Take away the runaway expansion of government and you hinder the gold rush to cash in on the government’s benevolence to, not only the defense industry, but the politicians who are impressed with their ability to right the worlds wrongs.

Prof. Ricardo

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Prof - I ask again, "When will Jeffersonian Agrarian Democracy come back in vogue?" I appreciate your railing against the machine but that horse has left the barn. Not saying its a good thing but noting the futility of your posts. But I guess thats what being a curmudgeon is all about isn't? Yelling into the void not expecting any real response.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

But I guess thats what being a curmudgeon is all about isn't? Yelling into the void not expecting any real response.

Yes, we are here for the echoes. The only agreeing voice we ever get is our own voices echoing back at us. It's also a lot cheaper than a shrink.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Guy said... I appreciate your railing against the machine but that horse has left the barn.

Yes, and man had already exercised centuries of inhumanity on their fellow man before the Magna Carta. In the midst of that which is not the best, and sometimes intolerable, doing better is not an accident, but by design. Since we do not have the option anymore to hope over to a “New World,” we must fix the one we have. The first step in curing a drunk is to get him to admit he has a problem. On this blog alone, getting a consensus that a 2 trillion dollar a year government budget is too much, is difficult. When you consider that is only the federal portion, its insane. The .7% for the ONE Campaign that we have discussed before is not insurmountable, but it is not in lieu of other funds but in addition to. Add in universal healthcare insurance and any of the other hair-brain schemes and you’ll be lucky enough to bring home enough money for the kids to get a goody from the ice cream truck. What the heck, let’s nationalize those too.

As a nation we are drunk on mother governments milk and apron strings. To discuss different ways to spend ourselves into oblivion does not address the more core issues. The fact that there are so few of me is not evidence itself of how wrong I am, but of how drunk the nation is.

Not saying its a good thing but noting the futility of your posts.

As a matter of principal, speaking the truth is not futile. It can be fertile. As I spread seeds of doubt as to the perfection of the savior government’s role in our lives, and I water and fertilize it with links and logic, who knows? Maybe even Common Good is winnable. :-) Of course, he’ll see me as mostly spreading fertilizer though. :-(

P.R.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof creates sh*t echoes.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Prof said, "As a matter of principal, speaking the truth is not futile. It can be fertile."

That sums me up pretty well. I believe that Truth will prevail. Not necessarily on a timeline that I am happy with, but it will prevail. While I have no claim to perfect understanding of Truth, I do believe it exists and is worth pursuing. Utilitarian measures are useful up to a point, but must be discarded when they cause the principals to warp out of shape.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Utilitarian measures are useful up to a point

Maybe, but that point covers planet earth.

The human mind is our fundamental resource.

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie: deliberate, continued, and dishonest; but the myth: persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.

Our problems are man-made***, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be a s big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.

*** actually, many are just sh*t we are born into.

for Prof:

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.

For Yoshi:

For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.

For me:

I'm an idealist without illusion

bonus quotes:

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute;

I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair, neither imposed upon him by the nation, nor imposed by the nation upon him¹ as a condition to holding that office.

JFK address to the Houston Ministerial Association

--- JFK

There is illusion built in to all US presidencies... speech writers and half-truths. That said, we should weep that we have moved from the likes of JFK to the likes of this administration. I think Ralph Nader called it 100% correct: This administration is a corporation masking as a human being. It's time for another JFK illusion... see any out there?

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Well that sobered me right up. I can't help but notice some optimism in both your and Tony's last posts.

AAHHH . . . mission accomplished.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Your = Prof.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Also - What upsets me about a two trillion dollar a year government is not only the price tag but just how little we get for it.

At two trillion, that $6,762.00 per person. In France, based on my rough calculation they spend $23,783.00 per person. In England it is $14,267. So it seems we have plenty of time before we reach the level of tyranny exercised in those countries. So shine on you crazy diamnond!

9:12 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Jeeze, it's going to feel like an eternity waiting for Shrub's return to Crawford.

World War Three if neocons get their way

If terrorism continues to ramp up over the next several years, I have to figure Rudy Giuliani becomes a serious contender for president.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

You speak of a turning tide and current context. Do you have any thoughts regarding the ideas of Federalism and the terrorism threat. I have posted here before I think terrorism will test the concepts of federalism... i.e. each state doing it's own independent thing. IMO, federalism concepts {which is core to the GOP} will not be sell-able to the public in the face of terrorism. We got a glimpse with the Tsunami and Katrina. If the GOP definition of Federalism falls, then maybe the entire "personal responsibility" doctrine falls.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Quotation day continued:

"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."
-- John Kenneth Galbraith

"I believe and I say it is true Democratic feeling, that all the measures of the Government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer."
-- William Henry Harrison

"In truth, there never was any remarkable lawgiver amongst any people who did not resort to divine authority, as otherwise his laws would not have been accepted by the people; for there are many good laws, the importance of which is known to be the sagacious lawgiver, but the reasons for which are not sufficiently evident to enable him to persuade others to submit to them; and therefore do wise men, for the purpose of removing this difficulty, resort to divine authority. "
-- Niccolo Machiavelli

"Annual drug deaths: tobacco: 395,000, alcohol: 125,000, 'legal' drugs: 38,000, illegal drug overdoses: 5,200, marijuana: 0. Considering government subsidies of tobacco, just what is our government protecting us from in the drug war? "
--Ralph Nader

In honor of current times:

"...But when he [the people's champion] has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader."
-- Plato

10:29 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Last night I witnessed what can only be described as milestone in cable television interviews. FoxNews -> Brit Hume -> Bob Novac -> Why what I did wasn't really just ugly politics directed by an ugly administration.

I haven't watched last night's Daily Show, but I'm willing to guess Stewart has a comment on Novac-the-tool. :)

10:42 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

OK... last quote. This was the one I was looking for that started this entire quote frenzy.

Government should not be in the business of absolute truth.

With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

JFK Inaugural Address

11:05 AM  
Anonymous guy said...

Is this just a different version of Bible quotes again?

1:06 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Fortune cookies.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

Is this just a different version of Bible quotes again?

Different illusions... this is how it's suppose to be vs we could make it better.

1:48 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

"The .7% for the ONE Campaign that we have discussed before is not insurmountable, but it is not in lieu of other funds but in addition to."

Guy, Prof.... mentioned this to you. I just want to set the record straight. Once again, Prof. gets his facts wrong. That isn't true. To end poverty worldwide, it's just a grand total of .7 percent. There is no "in addition to." That means not even 1 percent in totalm but merely 70 percent of 1 percent. So now we are at roughly .2 percent, and we want to increase that to .7 percent. It's 7 pennies for every 10 dollars. A social safety net to fight poverty, not just in America, but all over the planet, well, that's a good buy for 7 cents...

Hell, I already pay 8 cents on every dollar for everything I buy in Texas...

4:21 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

You are a man who likes to get value for his dollar. Let me ask you a question.

Which of the following is a better investment for the security of your kid's lives?

1) Yoshi's pennies devoted to a global fight against poverty and giving countries a leg up.

2) Our military star wars defense system.

Hint: think future disgruntled poor person merging with perfected suitcase nuke technology or bio attack. The question above isn't an either or, but out of a $400 billion a year budget, I think I will throw a few pennies at feeding folks with the long shot it might reduce some of the stress and US hatred. Also, you have an out when it comes to your personal contribution. You do not tolerate your taxes being used for foreign aid, but you do not have a problem with chipping in for our military. This can be thought of as a legitimate defense of the nation expense. Right?

5:18 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

"This can be thought of as a legitimate defense of the nation expense. Right?"

Common Good, according to Colin Powell, yes, it is part of a legitimate defense....

but was does a military man like Colin Powell really know? ;o)

5:45 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

yoshitownsend said...

Once again, Prof. gets his facts wrong. That isn't true. To end poverty worldwide, it's just a grand total of .7 percent. There is no "in addition to."

Let me explain. If you will back up a sentence in my post, you will see that I was referring to our $2 trillion budget. So to bring our expenditures up to the promised .7% was not in place of other spending in the budget (education, defense, SS, highway funds, etc.) but would be added onto all the other items in the budget. I said THAT alone would not be insurmountable, but everybody’s pet project added together is what created the $2 trillion budget. I think you’re a little close to the tree. There is a whole forest out here. :-)

Prof. Ricardo

10:31 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Common Good said: Seriously, why couldn't they find the two 12 ton engines that hit the Pentagon....

That said, I have to say they had no explanation for one of my major questions: Where are those two airplane engines that hit the Pentagon..


Guy said...
I watched "Loose Change" very interesting. I would like to know what happened to those engines also.

As luck would have it, I found them for you here.

Of course, the vastness of the human imagination is enough that if someone wants to believe anything, the can.

Although I never said they would vaporize, it is easy to see that they might be hard to spot.

Prof. Ricardo

10:33 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Common Good,

For the “security of my kid’s lives,” hands down a missile intercept system wins. Obviously not by itself. You must secure the borders, recruit and train soldiers, and all that. It’s a package deal.

You may not have been in on the discussion, I believe I had with Yoshi previously, on the ungratefulness of those who receive welfare. Its not that they desire to be ungrateful, but the resent their dependence on others. I won’t rehash that argument here. However, just realize that you will win few real friends spreading around green backs. You will spread resentment. And if logic serves me here, that would fail to appreciably eclipse the missile intercept system, particularly given this past week’s events.

Prof. Ricardo

10:46 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

"I said THAT alone would not be insurmountable, but everybody’s pet project added together is what created the $2 trillion budget. I think you’re a little close to the tree. There is a whole forest out here. :-)"

sorry, Professor, you're right... now I see what you are saying...

-speaking of vaporizing engine planes, I spoke to an elderly man who told me he saw a plane vaporize as it was coming down.... I wouldn't underestimate the power of heat. It's possible...

12:10 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Guy,

I am very optimistic…just not optimistic about the United States continuing to carry the torch of liberty.

I’ll give you a current example. A good friend of mine is trying to arrange a visit of his parents from India. He is couple of years away from naturalization himself but his parents are obviously citizens of India. Apparently, since 9-11 you can no longer contact the American Consulate directly. You have to apply through some forwarding company that deals with the consulate. They set up an appointment for you after you pay them the fee. Paying the fee is a bit of a hassle too because of them requiring a draft and not cash. Well, his parents did all of that this week and got their appointment at the earliest available date: mid-December. All of this for an ordinary tourist visa for an ordinary citizen of India with immediate family legally here in the United States.

BTW, prior to 9-11 the procedure was go to the consulate with your identification papers and bank draft, stand in line for a few hours and the visa was issued that day.

This is just one piece of a larger picture. We are closing in our selves in many respects. We are valuing security over freedom at every turn.

Optimistic, yes, just not about US.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

I stopped in briefly over at Wilderland. Wow... that Bush new car scent has certainly wore off. The theocracy pushers are up in arms. I read some of your how-a-gay-is-created enlightenment you shared with Yoshi. I had no idea they were almost all created because of sexual assault as children. This is why I enjoy the internet... I learn so much valuable information that the satanic left wing press does not cover. I learned that gays have an agenda to have unfettered acceptance of the American society. I guess that would be in lieu of unfettered bigotry. Here all this time I thought their agenda was equal rights under our Constitution. Like I said, thank goodness for the internet for quality information. Of course, the following was your best line... I can't believe no one saw the quality of the humor: They want to shove it down everyone’s throat. That's good stuff... you should write for Jon Stewart.

Friends call out friends when it comes to bigotry. I'm calling you out. Witch burning came from this same type of religious zealotry bigotry. As an American you should be entitled to measure other's behavior and morality by any religious filter you choose, but you should not be entitled to use that as a basis for unequal human rights. I have yet to hear anyone put it better than Tony did here.

I'm calling you out Prof... throw down your bigotry and use your talents for more important issues. A talented Puritan mind is a terrible thing to waste. If you turn out to really be a gay illegal Mexican immigrant... the joke is really going to be on us.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Looks like Valerie Plame has filed a civil suit against this administration. I would be curious if Tony or Guy thought this will be something that is automatically thrown out, or whether or not this will end up with Rove and company having to testify to White House tactics. My guess is it gets thrown out. I ask because I think American citizens only get occasional glimpses behind the illusion we call the American Presidency (AP), and this would be one of them if it comes to testimony. We got a glimpse of AP when Jacqueline wasn't enough for JFK, and he banged Monroe... because he could. We got a glimpse when Nixon used the government for his own personal political reasons. We got a glimpse when we found out Clinton was willing to use the Oval Office for adultery... because he could. If this administration was actually required to testify about the obvious... they used executive power to damage someone working in the CIA... then it moves out of the GOP defense of "no crime was committed" which is actually no crime was prosecuted. Surely this would be a significant glimpse past the AP illusion. One has to ask, given the rare glimpses we actually get, what's going on we never know about? Curiosity... might indeed kill the cat.

10:09 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

"They want to shove it down everyone’s throat."

...literally and figuratively.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

I do not know the exact basis for the suit, but my hunch is that it will go forward. I don't think she is likely to win, but there will smoke and even a little fire.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Prof - Thanks for that. I was worried that our government may be lying to us. Whew!! That was close. ;)

Tony - That's why it is important to support Bush's program for outsourcing jobs overseas. Since we can no longer let them in this country, we must establish call and service centers overseas. Yeah, it's cheaper but really it for our own security.

Plame Lawsuit - Want to know how to be able to tell a good lawsuit from a bad lawsuit? No lawyer that the Plame's spoke with were willing to fund the case on a contigency fee basis. See article where they request help to defray the costs and establish a website to contribute. If this were a winner: (1) it would have been filed a longtime ago; (2) it would be funded by lawyers and (3) the lawyer would be in front of the camera and not the client.

I'm sure this confirm's Prof's worst fears about the legal system but it is the truth.

Never pay a lwyer to prosecute a case when you are the Plaintiff on an hourly basis. If the lawyer doesn't beleive enough in your cause to put his or her own money into it, you should take this as a sign that you don't have a good case.

The only time you should pay hourly leagl fees is for form work (i.e. drafting documents) or to defend yourself. (Note, in defending yourself, it's best to have insurance to pay any settlement or verdict and the costs for attorneys.) Finally, to the extent that this constitutes free legal advice. Remember, consult your attorney before proceeding and you get what you pay for.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

CG - To the substance of your question about the nature of the lawsuit, I haven't looked at it but my hunch is that they are suing for a violation of law for which Congress provided no civil remedy. In other words, you may be prosecuted by the state (federal or state gopvernment) for a violation but it can never be the basis for a civil suit.

The best example I can give you is perjury. Perjury is of course a crime and you can be prosecuted for it and pay a criminal penalty. But in the civil context (a suit between individuals) you have complete immunity for what you say on the witness stand. No private lawsuit can be brought for being untruthful in the witness chair.

Under Federal law, there are numerous examples where Congress pased a law that provides criminal penalties for a violation but never authorized a civil suit for a violation of that law.

I hope this helps. It can be a hard concept to get your mind around and I know a lot of lawyers who still don't get it.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

CG - One other thing. I don't think it will be thrown out for any of the reasons you cite. I don't think Cheny was sleeping with her although shes does look perrty.

If it does get thrown out, it will not be based upon executive privilege but for the reasons cited in may last post. No cause of action.

BTW - Spell checker, off. Just trying to catch up using my three thumbs.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

I would have thought, based on the cries by the GOP, that the Dems are beholden to the lawyers in this country. If that was the case, you would think the lawyers {or Dems paying for lawyers} could volunteer a few lawyers to attack this GOP administration via Plame. I'm so confused... has that left wing liberal media been lying to me again?

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

CG

We discussed this at our last cabal and there seemed little interest in helping the Plames. I can only surmise that even the Plames have worn out their fifteen hours of fame and we have grown weary. It's old news; a dog with fleas.

We need a new scandal or threat to our security, something to hold the public's attention and rev us up for the next election, lets see . . .

NSA Wiretaps? Played out.

NY Times as champion of free press? No, too unbeleivable.

Gitmo Abuses? No, Geneva Convention applies now, 3 squares a day and clean sheets.

Iraq? No, it's same ol' same ol'

Iran? Crazy Leader getting nukes. Lesson learned, go thru UN.

North Korea? Crazy Leader who has Nukes. Lesson learned, go thru UN.

Let's see. There must be something new going on the past couple of days that could be spun as a national threat that would allow the government to play on our fears. What is it?

Well, can't think of it now. I am sure it will come to me or them sooner or later.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

North Korea? Crazy Leader who has Nukes. Lesson learned, go thru UN.

No, now Pasture Rick Warren is going. It will be all good.

Can I come to one of those lawyer cabals sometime?

4:06 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Common said:

I'm calling you out Prof... throw down your bigotry and use your talents for more important issues.

I am not immune to error, and as painful as it is, I appreciate the outing. :)

We are a product of the information, perspectives, and w___d v__w that we have been exposed to. My perspectives on homosexuals have come, in part, from themselves. Over the past several decades of reading and hearing homosexuals talk about how they found out the were homosexual, several key characteristics appeared in most cases. The first was exposure to same sex to some degree at an early age. This I mostly heard from males. You may have heard different. The next is a weak, poor, or non-existent relationship with their father. This is what I have heard, you may have heard different.

I’m not real hip on the “environment makes the person” philosophy because I believe we all have free will and in places of hardship we can all react differently. However, I believe these two characteristics that have exposed themselves do indeed have an influence.

In our country we have migrated from the individual rights of liberty to the rights of groups, to the shameless adoption of groups to adopt a victim and entitlement mentality.

I am sure in their opinion they think “their agenda was equal rights under our Constitution.” I can’t imagine any group defining itself as desiring “special rights.” To desire the CHANGING of the definition of marriage from what it has been for thousands of years to accommodate their “orientation” IS a special right, not a Constitutional rights issue.

What I use as weapons against those of differing opinions is their own words. I said as much when I responded to Yoshi:

Have you ever wondered why decent civilized society has always shunned homosexuality, incest, adultery, and relations with children, and why all depraved wicked societies always embraced such sexual sins? It would be of great benefit to those who have bought the gay agenda hook, line, and sinker to read at least chapter 1 of The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian. There is nothing like burying somebody in their own quotes and like a surgeon he cuts to the heart of the gay agenda. They absolutely hate his book. It must be something more powerful than lies - - like the truth.

But my other responses on the subject I reread and stand by. Maybe you can quote me something I said that I need to reconsider. I don’t mind if all go there and read my responses, particularly my response to Ralph Taite where I quote some homosexual activists.

I guess from the left’s perspective my outing BY QUOTING the activists is bigotry, or not falling for the propaganda is bigotry, but words have meaning and I prefer to stick with Webster. I know that not falling for their bait or cowering before their demands may look like hate and intolerance to you. But that is the substance of a poor parent and an unwise citizen. Usually recognizing something for what it is and treating it accordingly is a sign of love and wisdom. However, those who believe that the group that can not reproduce somehow passes on a “gay gene” generation after generation is showing a level of appeasement and self delusion that can hardly be reconciled to real love.

Prof. Ricardo

9:18 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Guy said:
Prof - Thanks for that. I was worried that our government may be lying to us. Whew!! That was close. ;)

I am sure they are lying a lot of the time. However, to insinuate that a 757 that hit the Pentagon didn’t hit the Pentagon because every part was not photographed and on the blogosphere, and that because they hate Bush 9/11 must be something he either concocted or caused, and offereing no reasonable explanation where said 757 and passengers are if they did not run into the Pentagon, is the main reason that people where these.

Prof. Ricardo

9:33 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

To desire the CHANGING of the definition of marriage from what it has been for thousands of years to accommodate their “orientation” IS a special right, not a Constitutional rights issue.

Read Tony's blog again. I support EQUAL rights, and I believe that NO rights should come from a religious ceremony. It should not be state business whether or not a church performs gay marriages or not, and rights should not be church business. Coupling rights... (inheritance, hospital visitation, taxes, parenting, adoption, etc.) should be EQUAL.

I guess blacks got special rights when we went against their slavery orientation. We certainly went against the history of the slave trade. I'm not sure what's the oldest... slavery or marriage. Assuming it's marriage, would you like to explain why marriage would fall under "history" and slavery would not. We went against history when blacks and women got the right to vote. We went against history when interracial marriages were allowed. We surely went against history when we killed all of the indians to start our country. What exactly is sacred about history?

I looked up the definition of a bigot. I would say everyone here is strongly partial to their politics and intolerant of those who differ. You can pick a better word for me... but my point is that the following doesn't fly:

Human A is not allowed the fundamental humans rights of x,y and z because of B.

I challenge you to work through that one, and still claim you believe in equal human rights.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Guy,

You said, ” That's why it is important to support Bush's program for outsourcing jobs overseas. Since we can no longer let them in this country, we must establish call and service centers overseas. Yeah, it's cheaper but really it for our own security.”

HAHAHA…that is perfect.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

On what causes one to be gay:

Since we are bearing soles on this topic, I guess I will burden you all with my view. First I remind you that I am a hard-core civil libertarian. As I have argued long and loud, the government should not have any say in the institution of marriage whatsoever. What I am about to suggest has no relationship to those discussions.

I seriously doubt there is a biological basis for homosexuality. I believe that the current explosion we are having in homosexual expression is easily accounted for in the normal psychology of human beings that we have been accustomed to. At the same time adolescents are becoming aware of sexuality, they are experiencing all of those other social pressures we make movies about. You know, the ones where the ugly fat girl or awkward dorky boy join the smoke hole or gang in order to find acceptance on some level. We all grew up with people who fit this pattern and often with self-destructive consequences. And we all know of people of other “in” groups that themselves seek acceptance on other levels such as when trying to fill the void left by the lack of loving relationships at home.

Enter the age of homosexuality as fashionable. It is no wonder that once it became cool that many young people reached out to this form of individuality. Man, talk about getting in Dad’s face big time! Think Cheney. I suspect that as the bloom fades on the homosexual rose, this behavior will return to its millennia long status as a significant but minor deviant behavior that is snickered about and largely ignored. The irony here is that the folks kicking up the homophobic firestorm are probably doing more to entice children to experiment with risky and deviant behavior than “Will and Grace” ever will.

But hypothetically, if homosexuality were determined to have a biological basis, it really would have no impact on the analysis whatsoever. After all, adultery and homicide have a biological basis but we do not accept those behaviors as moral because we understand that as humans we have the ability to keep passions under control. This is what makes ordered liberty tenable. And as for the Christian world view, it has never been true that morality is measured based on biological urges.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

I have thought about whether I want to enter this debate. I will say this (1) I am unaware of any gay explosion; (2) given the risk of violence towards gays by homophobes, I do not think that being gay has ever been "cool" or will be in the future; and (3) I don't care.

Having said that, I am sure some of you will decry some moral degradation. I have been around many gay men. I have been on tour with them, slept on gym floors with gay men all around; have many that I consider good friends. (Tony, Drum Corp for 4 years.)

I have never been recruited or hit on. I can tell you that "gaydar" must be most accute in gay men because they have an ability to seek other like minded or genetically predisposed individuals. Having said that I am sure there is room for error.

For those who see being gay has some moral weakness. Well the world is full of it and so is your church. Love them, guide them if you see fit but they are not worthy of hate but deserve your compassion as any other human. (I am not saying that anyone here has been hateful.)

Choice or genetics, compassion is what they, as any other human deserve. Not derision or scorn. I am always amazed at how many "christians" have nothing but scorn for them and condemn them to a hell not only on this earth but in the hereafter. They must be old testament because I hear little of the sermon on the mount coming from them. (Pun not intended.)

5:45 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

I think anyone that doesn't realize some people are gay from the day they are born are fruitier than those they believe are immoral. Jeeze guys, lay off those worldviews and taste a little reality. All joking aside, it puts into question one's ability to perceive reality and use it for reason. My wife's childhood friend was obviously gay by 10, and it wasn't abuse or Tinky Winky the gay teletubby.

Regardless, I don't see what it has to do with human rights. I will assume we all agree marriage {and all associate legal rights} is way up there on the human rights list. If not, start there and explain why they are something different than fundamental human rights. If we follow Prof's grandaddy's rule... your rights stop at my nose... then same sex couples are more than capable of pursuing their human right of marriage out of range of other's noses {well maybe not their partners noses, but that is kind of gross}.

Tony said:

After all, adultery and homicide have a biological basis but we do not accept those behaviors as moral because we understand that as humans we have the ability to keep passions under control. This is what makes ordered liberty tenable.

Still working off the premise that marriage is a fundamantal human right... and not a privilege provided by the state... What does morals have to do with anything? What does ordered liberty mean? Is that code words for a majority being able to define minorities that are barred from human right x,y and z? I suspect someone better make the case here that marriage is a society right and not a human right... or you are going to tie yourselves into knots chasing that tail.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

To heck with such lame topics as marriage Nazis. WW3 is heating up... we will have other more worthwhile stuff to talk about.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

I guess I'll add a bit more. Probably will regret it, but I will.

I have no problem with gays as individuals. I have been hit on many moons ago and while that was uncomfortable, it really didn't bug me that much. I have had two supervisiors over the years that were gay and they were both awesome people to work for. And once upon a time my wife and I spent considerable time with a lesbian couple and even bought them a housewarming present.

I just do not take the next step and approve their choices as moral just because these people are agreeable to me. I come much closer to Guy's statement that "I don't care". Ask my opinion, I'll tell you what the Bible says about it. But my next sentence will be about what the Bible says about lots of other things including those faults that I am entirely too guilty of myself.

Something about a log in my own eye goes here, but I'm a little tired tonight...

11:29 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Common,
It should not be state business whether or not a church performs gay marriages or not, and rights should not be church business. Coupling rights... (inheritance, hospital visitation, taxes, parenting, adoption, etc.) should be EQUAL.

C.G., you can get married in any religious ceremony you want, to any thing or body you want (except perhaps minors), right now. The issue with government is what should be sanctioned in law and society.

By the government sanctioning a mutilated definition of marriage contrary to history AND the wishes of the majority of society, all kinds of violence is done to law, precedent, psychology, logic, and the well being of children, already in place with regard to families. The definition of marriage and families in government has more to do with the welfare of children than any comment on the parents sexuality. Are mothers expendable and do not contribute any more than just another “adult” to the parenting equation? It must be if two guys can be married and raise children. Are fathers expendable and do not contribute any more than just another “adult” to the parenting equation? It must be if two women can be married and raise children. Your compassion to appease the legal desires of the unbridled sexual fringe of this country while trampling the children hardly bespeaks of love and wisdom. That may not be what drives you. It may be religious bigotry. The fact that religion has had something to say about, and an interest in, marriage and family irks you to no end. I can see the veins raised on your forehead now. :)

When you bash Bush, the GOP, and opposition to liberal hair-brain schemes, you always jump on the “RR”, the religious right, Christians, the Church, and of course, noteworthy Christian leaders. You have created quite a body of evidence at the Library of Curmudgeon for people to verify if this claim is valid. Care to visit the numerous other religions and their abhorrence to homosexuality? You act as though a hate filled religion known as Christianity has recently hijacked marriage in a political move, rather than a love filled religion defending marriage over millennia. That skewed perspective and attack on Christianity does not help your defense against my charge.

Prof. Ricardo

6:50 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

I've had an epiphany. Gay marriage isn't even worth discussing. It's a trivial non-isse. The questions I asked that you haven't responded to are not trivial. Perhaps you would like to answer them now.

Questions:

1) Is marriage a fundamental human right or something else? If something else, give me a definition.

2) Under what circumstances is it ok for a majority to exclude human right x,y or z from a minority?

I look forward to your response... at the Libary of Curmudgeon. I would be interested in our Curmudgeon host's response to the same questions.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

CG - I will answer your questions but I submit this preface. Discrimination is not illegal. We discriminate everyday in the choices we make. What is illegal under our constitutional jurisprudence is discrimination on these basis:
1. Race and Color
2. National Origin
3. Sex, Sexuality and Pregnancy
4. Religion and Religious Practices

These are the protected classes from discrimination. You may discriminate on lack of qualified education, poor appearance and hairstyle or personality but you may not discriminate on the above list.

So as long as it not based on the forbidden list, it is OK for anyone, majority or minority to discriminate.

To your first question, is marriage a fundamental human right? I'm not sure what that means "fundamental" but under constitutional jurisprudence the SC has determined that there is a right of privacy. The Supreme Court first recognized an independent right of privacy within the 'penumbra' (fringe area) of the Bill of Rights in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965). In this case, a right of marital privacy was invoked to void a law prohibiting contraception. [Insert republican outrage here of the court making this stuff up.]

The right of privacy does not speak of any right to be married but it does declare that if you are, there are certain decisions that are made that are private and the government does not have a right to interfere. It seems very libertarian in nature and consistent with republican libertarian elements but they have nonetheless denied the idea of this right of privacy and seek government regulation in this area usually on the basis of some moral high ground to which we should all aspire and, short of that, be legally required to live up to.

This may be too simple an explanation but beyond this I think you get bogged down into how many angels can dance on the head of a pin which I really don’t think is helpful.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

#1) Yes, all have the right to marry, ie one man to one woman.
#2) Forfeiture due to a criminal act.

P.R.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

I'm not sure what that means "fundamental" but under constitutional jurisprudence the SC has determined that there is a right of privacy.

Let me catch you up a bit on the Library of Curmudgeon. There has been much discussion {and education for me} here regarding human rights... including their origin and definition. Leaving the origin of rights for another discussion {I still don't see why an atheist (supposedly an equal citizen) would sign the pact that our rights come from god}, let me explain what I mean by "fundamental". There is an obvious difference between "free speech (fundamental right)" and driver licenses (legal right). Common sense dictates there should not be state prerogative {federalism} regarding our laws regarding fundamental human rights... i.e. one state defining free speech different than another. However, a driver license certainly does not seem to be AS fundamental, although I have to confess I am about as anti-state rights as they get. The idea that one state could define marriage rights, procreation\abortion rights, etc. different from another is ludicrous, IMO. However, I am for using states as labs for social policy when we aren't talking about "fundamental" rights. A perfect example is Arizona and health care. Arizona seems to be currently providing an excellent health care model, which might be of assistance to the federal government in devising federal policy. So getting back to "fundamental human rights". I believe our fundamental human rights should not be the prerogative of the state... i.e. whatever fundamental human rights we have... we all have the same ones across the United States. Well... that requires us as a nation to be able to LIST what is fundamental... which totally drives Tony bonkers {he says that is dumb and human rights are everything the constitution doesn't specifically take away from the individual}. I'm left with a void... my gut tells me it's not ok for each state to have different marriage and abortion laws {abortion should be legal or illegal for everyone}. My gut also tells me more minor items like driver license could very well be considered something less than a fundamental right ... say a legal right... and these could be subject to state prerogative.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Nice dodge Prof. I don't blame you... you see the corner you are about to crawl into.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous guy said...

CG

Well, I should have used this emoticon ";)" for my coy "I don't know what you mean" statement. A list though?

You guys do like to debate about how many angels dance on the head of a pin. My problem with a list is it sets the list of fundamental rights as a static rather than dynamic concept. All we agree upon today is static but it is a dynamic concept.

In my view our understanding of "fundamental" is evolving (I can hear prof screaming from here) and would hesitate to make an all inclusive list.

Certainly, the list would have been different and prgroessively shorter if you were to go back and create one for every 100 year time frame. And each list would have been correct for each time frame as they understood it.

I do agree with Tony that the Constitution is more easily understood in light of the things that we acknowledged were the government's province. Everthing else was retained by "we the people."

With regard to the Bible, and our resident scholars, I query: Does the Bible list or give any fundamental rights? I can't think of any. It has many proscriptions and directives but I cannot think of any "fundamental rights" it explicitly acknowledges. This is an "honest" not "knowing" question. (Many of which are aksed here.)

I guess, thinking out loud, it starts off with an implicit fundamental right of free will although the conduct that resulted in the fall of man was proscribed. I will be curious to see the responses.

Certainly, the Declaration delcares that we are endowed with certain inalienable rights but what is the source? Mere Lockian thought proceesses and deductions?

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?

Life is seems fairly cheap in the Bible depending on which side of God you are on. Liberty? - Slavery is common amongst the conquering tribes. No directives to free your slaves. Pursuit of Happiness? I guess "be fruitful and multiply" could work but you don't have to be happy to do that.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

Care to visit the numerous other religions and their abhorrence to homosexuality?

Nope... all organized religions are about the same to me. I'm watching the current Middle East organized religion movie as I type... heck of a show.

Hezbollah - Party of God

Falwell - Blow them away in the name of the lord

Organized religion {that beyond individual and community solace} is, and always has been a plight on humanity. Oh yeah... I forgot... the US has the right organized religion and the right god and god is on our side. Giddy up... I've got my popcorn ready.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

BTW feel free to refer me to an earlier post if it saves time rather than rehash an argument.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

In my view our understanding of "fundamental" is evolving (I can hear prof screaming from here) and would hesitate to make an all inclusive list.

Certainly, the list would have been different and prgroessively shorter if you were to go back and create one for every 100 year time frame. And each list would have been correct for each time frame as they understood it.


I think it has been a progressive exercise because we started with hypocrisy and have been gradually correcting it ever since... so I guess I don't agree that the list was correct for it's time frame. This all comes down to what I keep asking for... a definition of fundamental human rights. To start with, without your protected list:

1. Race and Color
2. National Origin
3. Sex, Sexuality and Pregnancy
4. Religion and Religious

calling our rights fundamendal human rights is hypocrisy. OK.. we have pretty much worked out most of the hypocrisy now... with an exception of gay marriage {I'm just going to say that marriage and it's entire tree of legal rights under it is MARRIAGE for this discussion}.

So if your list is protected classes from discrimination under our constitution, a gay is entitled to the fundamental human right of marriage. If that is not the case, then we must drop #3 from the discrimination protected list... ironically driven by protected class #4. I'm trying to understand how one states that kind of "fundamental human right"... it just doesn't seem much of a human right if a majority can nix it by adding back in classes that can be discriminated against. Perhaps we need a new term ... fundamental human rights agreed to by the majority of humans.

I would have never signed an original contract anyway that claimed our rights come from god {hint: it didn't say that}. That's like Christians telling everyone else our core society contract is based on Christian's beliefs, but that ok and it will be equal for the rest of you. Guy... you are a skilled lawyer. Could you get all of our citizens today to sign that?

12:03 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

CG, bless his socialist stained little bleeding heart, still has questions for me on same-sex marriage. {sigh}

I will try even though there is probably no topic that I have written more upon than this…which is itself kind of sad.

Q: Is marriage a fundamental human right or something else? If something else, give me a definition.

A: None of the above. You have a variety of fundamental rights that our government has no power to infringe upon. Important among those rights is freedom association, freedom of religion, and freedom to do what I damn well please as long as it doesn’t infringe anybody else’s freedom-to-do-what-they-damn-well-please.

This is the power of NOT having a list. If you look at it this way, as the founders generally did, then you are inexorably drawn to the conclusions that 1) The state has no role in religious sacraments, and 2) people should be able to engage in whatever kind of interpersonal relations they choose as long as it volitional.


Q: Under what circumstances is it ok for a majority to exclude human right x,y or z from a minority?

A: Any time there is a constitutional amendment giving the state the power to abridge those rights. Once again, if we take the constitution seriously…if we actually enforce its provisions, so many problems are avoided.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Tony,


Q: Is marriage a fundamental human right or something else? If something else, give me a definition.

A: None of the above. You have a variety of fundamental rights that our government has no power to infringe upon. Important among those rights is freedom association, freedom of religion, and freedom to do what I damn well please as long as it doesn’t infringe anybody else’s freedom-to-do-what-they-damn-well-please.


None of the above? There is something else besides a fundamental human right and the OTHER rights. Cool... what's the third category? You have told me for years that everything the constitution doesn't take away is by definition our HUMAN RIGHTS, therefore we don't need a list. Well, the constitution doesn't take away gay's right to marriage, or a 12 year old's right to a driver's license. I'm afraid you are stuck with adding a bit more meat to that open-ended-everything-is-a-sacred-human-right thing. I guess we could start with a 12 year old could have a driver's license, but that would effect the safety of others and therefore violate their rights {obvious judgement call}. That analysis seems to fall down on gay marriage... my lesbian neighbors getting married and obtaining associated legal rights EFFECTS MY RIGHTS... NOT!!!!


Q: Under what circumstances is it ok for a majority to exclude human right x,y or z from a minority?

A: Any time there is a constitutional amendment giving the state the power to abridge those rights.


The constitution doesn't give the state the right to exclude free speech or driver licenses... i.e. see above.


btw... I'm no longer debating gay marriage at this point. I agree that is lame. However, the source of our rights and the distinction between classes/levels of rights remains interesting and relevant to our pluralistic society plagued by fundamentalism. :)

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

CG - Again I think context is important and your discussion of "fundamental human rights" needs to be viewed in the context of Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Certainly, when we are down on the hierarchy these rarified discussions have little value and generally do not occur.

"Hey, I know I haven't eaten in five days but those guys are abridging my right to freedom of association."

At the lowest level your fundamental right is a right to exist and that right may clearly trump any other human's right when necessary. (See Deadwood, HBO; See also Israeli Bombardment of Southern Lebanon).

As we get more sophistcated, I do believe our understanding of rights correspondingly becomes more sophisticated. Also, situational rights plays into it and we may regress given the current need. (See Korematsu v. United States where the US Sup Ct. upheld the internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans in the absence of any actual evidence that they posed a danger, deferring instead to the military's unsupported assertions of national-security concerns.)

I am not saying that fundamental human rights a mere whim but they certainly are a luxury. Having said that I don't think we need to stop moving forward either.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

In the category of further lame discussions, the Senate is debating stem cell research (I say lame because it's beyond belief that we wouldn't use stem cells that would be thrown away anyway to try and save our sick).

Senator Brownback and my Senator Coburn are leading the case that it is ok to create extra embryos via in vitro fertilization {I don't hear anyone saying we need to stop in vitro}... but it's not ok to use the extra embryos that will be discarded to try and save others. This position defies logic. A logical argument could be that creating embryos that will not be used is immoral and therefore illegal. This would cover in vitro and any future use, because future use would be facilitated by a prior illegal act. I guess Brownback's and Coburn's logic is: trying to have a baby honors god's will, and throwing away extra embryos would be MORE LIKE god's will than using the ones discarded to try and save other human lives. Wow... not much to really add to that. Anyway, Brownback wins the award for the most creative debate on this subject to date. He put several pictures up of famous people... and proudly claimed something like: "look, Martin Luther King... he wouldn't have existed had we killed his embryo". Man am I glad I wasn't eating or drinking anything at the time. The only response that came to mind is ... hey, if we had killed your stupid Kansas embryo early, I wouldn't have to listen to this bs on our Senate floor. Yeah, that's not nice, but he couldn't hear what I was thinking. :)

3:32 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

Man, you sure are likely to get a dose of Plank by calling our human rights a whim. I'm ducking as I type.

I just recently got hooked on Deadwood. I am reminded they spent less time debating in those days. :)

3:37 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

"A logical argument could be that creating embryos that will not be used is immoral and therefore illegal."

-Good point, C.G.

It's a little funny no one ever mentions ending in-vitro altogether... If you are creating embryos that we know will die, then.... I think they want their cake and to eat it to....

Why don't you run for U.S. Senator from Oklahoma C.G.? Can't be too hard to get that one..... I imagine the current US Congressmen from there to be Don Knotts-types...

6:54 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Yoshi,

I actually heard some in the Senate did try to block in vitro in the 80's. I heard that after I posted. CG winning a Okieland Senate seat... that's a good one. :) Hint: they like Coburn and Inhoffe. You've heard my rants here... wouldn't exactly classify me as a red-stater would you? :) They did elect a Democrat governor over Steve Largent... I'm still scratching my head over that one.

btw... quit slandering Don Knotts like that.

7:59 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Wake up democracy crusaders... not everyone wants it... yet another thing Bush is wrong about

8:13 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Tony and Guy,

Let me ask my "rights" question one more time... I think a little more directly.

What rights do states have prerogative with, and which ones are off limits?

I believe Tony answered that with: "if the constitution doesn't say states can mess with right x, then THEY CAN NOT". That makes sense to me. It would mean, for example, that since the definition of marriage is not in the constitution, it can't be in the domain of state prerogative. But then, what about my original example... driver licenses. They are not mentioned in the Constitution, and yet common sense says each state can come up with different legal driving ages. Our conversation here before lead to the idea that their are fundamental rights and a lessor right {we called legal rights}. That makes sense until you tell me we can't list what our fundamental rights are... i.e. how can I label a right as fundamental or legal if I can't list the fundamental ones.

Guy, I have bugged Tony forever on this one. I don't think he has given me a good answer yet... and he thinks I am not capable of hearing the answer. :)

8:35 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Bill of Rights, 10th Amendment:
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.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

C.G.

It would mean, for example, that since the definition of marriage is not in the constitution, it can't be in the domain of state prerogative.

I’ve tried to steer you in the past on this issue, but I have failed. The Constitution restricts the federal government to that which it permits it to do. The states are open to be free or a communist hell hole as they see fit. A state, at least under the original Constitution, could dictate any reasonable or ludicrous requirement for marriage, drivers licenses, or whatever, as they saw fit. The Constitution does not restrict, or did not restrict, what the states did. Read the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall not...” That’s the Federal Congress it is restricting, not the states, not the people. That’s why I keep telling you to implement your wickedness on a state level and you can do it with a clear conscience. That way people who want to participate in that level of governmental intrusion can do so and experience the bliss. And those poor selfish mongrels who want less bliss and reap our just rewards as well, and everybody is happy. For some reason you seem resistant to allow anyone to escape your idea of bureaucratically induced nirvana. This is common on the left. Their socialism doesn’t work on the local level, or the state level, or the national level, and its not going to work on the world level either. At each step, the leftist keep saying: “Well, if we could just get everybody to participate....” Same song, same delusion, different socialist apologists.

I hope this helps. :-)

P.R.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

Using your own words... did you think Guy wasn't up to the answer? :) How did you put it... wanted a non-CG filtered answer or something.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

CG is amazingly impervious to information at times. I do in fact think he is incapable of hearing the answer on this one.

I think we'll keep him anyway...just for general amusement.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Oh yeah... it wasn't CG-filtered. It was the taint of CG.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Tony,

I do in fact think he is incapable of hearing the answer on this one.

My mind has advanced to where it blocks out bs. I find when I go back and read some of your posts, and mine... many sentences are no longer there. However, with Prof... it's like the entire post is missing. Weird. :)

I think we'll keep him anyway...just for general amusement.

What an honor. :) Speaking of amusement, I offer exhibit A... our very own leader of the free world at the G8 meeting... talking with a full mouth of food saying "these other guys talk to much". Will the national embarrassment ever end? You have to figure this was when he was at his best... i.e. his G8 A-game. Thank goodness that is all they caught on tape. Man, that was close.

Jon Stewart: Hey Condi, you know you have to grind up the ritalin in George's food or he won't take it. Pay attention.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

I think we'll keep him anyway...just for general amusement.

Its mostly why we have chickens...in town. The cost of our fresh “organic eggs” is about $8.14 each because of the heat and therefore lack of production. Almost lost one yesterday from heat prostration. She was face down in the dirt and the other chickens were just walking right across her. They are very simple creatures with no measurable level of brain activity.

Hey, I just got this great idea for a new mascot for the Democratic Party!

P.R.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

She was face down in the dirt and the other chickens were just walking right across her.

Sounds like GOP chickens. I'm just surprised they didn't stone the sick one. As you say, the chicken in the dirt would resent it if the other chicken's helped out.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

CG

I hate to be lawyerly but the problem and I hope Tony agrees is that the more specific you get the more nuanced the constitutional analysis becomes.

For instance, on your driver license question. Yes it is not a right and therefore left to the states. But then you get into a trump card carried in the constitution by congress called the commerce clause. Sure they can regualte this area but if the regulation is too onerous then congress steps in with the commerce clause.

The commerce clause is the basis for all federalism in my opinion. The power to regulate interstate commerce has been the basis for almost of the federlism complained of by prof.

The interplay between the commerce clause; the fourteenth amendment and the Bill of Rights is complex. Layer on top of that the rule of stare decisis and there are no clear cut answers in my opinion.

I am not saying that as a layperson you can't understand it. Hell most attorneys don't (I am not saying I can fully explain it myself). Several persons who are "experts" would even tell you that at least half of the supreme court doesn't get it.

I don't if this helps but I really do view it as a debate of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. For every case that a conservative scholar can show me that says this, I can find one that says the opposite.

I don't think this helps. That is what I meant when I said in some of my first posts that I apply Sup Crt cases in a specific context. Much easier to do I assure you.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Sounds like GOP chickens....would resent it if the other chicken's helped out.

Touché!

10:30 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

What is it with you lawyers? You ask for a simple fundamental human rights list and you get "oh, it's a difficult concept". :) Tony must be a good lawyer because I got back the same fuzzy {learned that from our pres} logic. I guess I am left with the idea that when it comes to state rights... you know it when you see it unless the SC Justices don't see it. No wonder we are locked into a 24 x 7 pissing match over the constitution... the darn thing is vague as hell. I hope most of the SC Justices continue to "not see" state rights, or else we might end up with Prof as our governor to the south, and have to take out his Katyusha missiles someday.

I guess I owe Tony an apology for beating him up on his vague lawyerly answers. He was just practicing for high billing rates someday. I bet this is covered in the cabals.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

have to take out his Katyusha missiles someday.

No good. We have the Texas Rangers and that would be considered a provocation. You don’t want to get Chuck Norris angry.
---------------------
There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Chuck Norris lives in Oklahoma.

The show Survivor had the original premise of putting people on an island with Chuck Norris. There were no survivors, and nobody is brave enough to go to the island to retrieve the footage.

Chuck Norris doesn't bowl strikes, he just knocks down one pin and the other nine faint.

In the beginning there was nothing...then Chuck Norris Roundhouse kicked that nothing in the face and said "Get a job". That is the story of the universe.

Chuck Norris has the greatest Poker-Face of all time. He won the 1983 World Series of Poker, despite holding only a Joker, a Get out of Jail Free Monopoloy card, a 2 of clubs, 7 of spades and a green #4 card from the game UNO.

Chuck Norris always knows the EXACT location of Carmen SanDiego.

Contrary to popular belief, there is indeed enough Chuck Norris to go around.

Wilt Chamberlain claims to have slept with more than 20,000 women in his lifetime. Chuck Norris calls this "a slow Tuesday."

When Steven Seagal kills a ninja, he only takes its hide. When Chuck Norris kills a ninja, he uses every part.

When an episode of Walker Texas Ranger was aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side.

The grass is always greener on the other side, unless Chuck Norris has been there. In that case the grass is most likely soaked in blood and tears.

Chuck Norris doesn't actually write books, the words assemble themselves out of fear.

Some people like to eat frogs' legs. Chuck Norris likes to eat lizard legs. Hence, snakes.

Chuck Norris once ate a whole cake before his friends could tell him there was a stripper in it.

An anagram for Walker Texas Ranger is KARATE WRANGLER SEX. I don't know what that is, but it sounds AWESOME.

Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.

Hellen Keller's favorite color is Chuck Norris.

Superman once watched an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. He then cried himself to sleep.

Chuck Norris doesn't play god. Playing is for children.

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

CG

It is vague. The language is deceptively simple. I repeat my earlier post:

Hey, given the brevity of the document I think that it is a mona lisa masterpiece. What the hell are they smiling about? The devil was in the details and to the extent you include too many, the chances of each colonial legislature adopting the document drop drmatically. I beleive the intent was to make it vague on purpose so they could get passed by the people. Sorry, I mean State Legislative Bodies. No democracy, it's a republic. The words are always subject to interpretation (intentionally).

8:45 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Common said: “In the category of further lame discussions, the Senate is debating stem cell research...

Although they may be doing that too, the vote as I understand it is on the taxpayer dollars FUNDING the stem cell research. They have been researching it, they are researching it, and they will continue researching it. The debate is on whether to take money out of the pool that can be used for universal national health insurance or to have it only be privately funded like much of the research already going on in the medical community.

P.R.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous guy said...

CG

This WWIII thing is getting off to a slow start.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

the vote as I understand it is on the taxpayer dollars FUNDING the stem cell research.

Yes, that is correct. Coburn and Brownback tried to sell the idea that regardless of the moral implications, other non-embryo stem cell research was superior anyway, so there was no need to bother with embryonic stem cell research. They were playing a typical politician game... turning the debate into a false either-or when the logical course should be to pursue BOTH/ALL research avenue {hint: the clue is the word research}.

We have already covered here who thinks we need to honor human cells over living human beings with current disease... so we don't need to rehash that. In fact, we are running out of things to talk about here. :) But I do have a few comments about Bush's veto.

1) It will only temporarily delay science... and it is a delay because it is a bogus argument that private investment counters what was about to be invested via public pooled funds {total bogus argument}. The reason it will only temporarily delay publicly funded embryonic research is simple... it effects everyone. A majority of us, for example, will continue to back our immoral policy of having our "volunteering poor" fight our wars for us. Our vote or passive acceptance effects somebody else besides ourselves. Not so with the equal opportunity disease and sickness (ALS, Parkinson, Cancer, heart disease etc.) regardless of economic class. This effects all of us, and we will eventually vote that a family member with disease trumps that {more moral} process of throwing away frozen embryos. If something significant happens on the science front that really does make embryonic stem cell research obsolete, than that would rightly change the funding policy. That said, let's just say I won't rely on the religiously motivated for my science analysis.

2) We don't have the ala carte tax policy you and Tony (maybe even me in some circumstances) wish for. Until then, it will not be ok for a narrow few to dictate tax policy for the majority. Tax policy is a majority game, with the only limit those fuzzy human rights. If we did have an ala carte federal tax system, this is the deal I would offer those against embryonic stem cell research: If you were willing to sign a pledge that you would never use medical cures for yourself or your family that were discovered from embryonic stem cell research, then you could opt out of that tax. The rest of us would opt in for the tax, and reap any benefits that may come.

3) This will be a reminder that even OUR public will get that from now on... our President really matters. A majority of the population appears to be for federally funded embryonic stem cell research {unless of course it's a FoxNews poll}. More importantly, a majority of both the House and the Senate voted for this. I do not know the background of the presidential veto, but I can say I'm not for it in any form. I'm not a fan of Congress anymore than the next guy, but I have come to the conclusion I absolutely do not want one man\woman in a 300 million person democracy to have the power to overrule Congress {I'm sure someone thought that was a check and balance, and I'm sure they were wrong}. btw... this also goes for declaring war. No more of the nonsense of the Congress giving a weasel blanket ok to a president when it comes to war. They need a public vote on the actual war or significant military action.

4) This veto will be in the top 10 when the historian measure ... what I have to say now for sure... is our worse president... at least in my lifetime. I have always held out that Reagan had the most negative effect on the direction of this country, but Iraq will now probably trump that. Bush's highlight reel will include (post-911, Iraq, Katrina and not this veto).

4:12 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

This WWIII thing is getting off to a slow start.

FoxNews said it is so... except one guy who said it is really WWIV. You don't question FoxNews do you?

I guess since you watch Jon Stewart, he has a bit of a problem also with calling this WWIII. :) Someone was asked on one network what they thought of Newt Gingrich calling this WWIII, and they said the thought Gingrich was a WWIII. :)

Of course, if you are one of the million Israelis in bomb shelters as I type, or anywhere in Lebanon south of {and including} Beirut, you might just call this a World war.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

I forgot one observation about the Bush stem cell veto. This one will not be able to be sold right down the pro-life line. Frist, Hatch, Smith votes in the Senate... all pro-life GOP.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

I have to agree with prof a little on this. If there's so much promise in it, then there's a lot of money in it too. Therefore, funding (private) should not be an issue. Also, once the new president gets in, republican or democrat, the law will be trotted back out, passed and signed.

The only historical significance of this veto is that it is his first in six years. Spending out of control, a war president and a repub rebellion and this is it? No leadership in the executive branch, no leadership in the legislative branch and a new court. How the hell did we get here?

No leadership in either party that would make me want to get up off the couch and walk across the street for anybody.

With all that is going on in the world, you think it would bring out or best. Instead it mediocrity is on display. Chewing some bread and cussing is we get. Oh yeah, an attempt to give a neck message to another world leader as if she were the new girl in the secretary pool.

Now I'm depressed.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Guy,

Don't be depressed! You need a completely new attitude. Fortunately, I can help.

You see, all that stuff inside the beltway...that is entertainment. Hell, the part we see is even mostly produced by Hollywood. I think they should call the series Dynasty - The Next Generation.

So don't worry or fret. Pop some pop-corn, top it with extra butter if you are really down, and kick back in the lazy boy: enjoy the show. With it being one of the few Hollywood feature productions sporting free tickets, what is not to enjoy?

7:45 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

“the vote as I understand it is on the taxpayer dollars FUNDING the stem cell research.... to have it only be privately funded like much of the research already going on in the medical community.”

One of the greatest fears of the 13 colonies was that if they joined the United States that the Federal government would become all powerful and the state governments would be of no effect. Its amazing how we look purely to the federal government to accomplish every good thing. Today we have state governments, many of which rival the population and resources of 1789 USA, and we fail to recognize them as capable, useful entities for accomplishing common good, objectives. The stem cell debate is mostly about Federal funding of new lines, two qualifications you don’t hear. The Fed IS funding stem cell research now. The Fed will be funding stem cell research tomorrow. But any state wanting to could pick up the banner and run with it, funding stem cell research of new lines if they saw fit to do so. Rather than be known as the “Show Me” state or the “The Lone Star” state, your state could be known for its dedication to research, disease and poverty eradication, or something similar. The blue states in unison could pick up the ONE Campaign. Their 50% of GNP multiplied by two could make up the infamous 0.7% needed to end all poverty, or whatever. So if 0.7% is nothing, surely two times that figure for the blue state, or 1.4%, is barely more than nothing for the blue STATEs to brag about.

This could go on ad nauseam to accomplish all of the worthy goals we desired. Those states wanting Universal Health Care could so implement that, others could pass. States could be known for all kinds of socialist or free elements. Of course, the socialists hate this because it is somewhat decentralizing of power and they want to concentrate it at the top, forgetting approximately 100% of history that says that is not a good idea. They, with a straight face, bring up slavery as a condition that will return if the Fed does not control 100% of everything. It’s hard not to laugh and cry at the same time when trying to respond to that one.

I must apologize to my Marxist friends though. I have accused the socialist path as one that stifles ingenuity. I have been proved wrong. I sincerely apologize.

P.R.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

If there's so much promise in it, then there's a lot of money in it too.

I don't buy your premise. For one, I don't limit common good to a profit motive. For another, some things are of a scale that it requires government involvement. Tony has often pointed to our nation building the railroads. I would say infrastructure in general provides the examples. They talk in terms of decades of research when it comes to stem cell research. Just because it is viewed too risky by the free market doesn't mean it doesn't hold great promise.

With all that is going on in the world, you think it would bring out or best. Instead it mediocrity is on display.

I couldn't agree more. Our frat boy rubbing the shoulders of Merkel was bizarre. The Bush drivel caught at the G8 wasn't so revealing because he said sh*t {who cares}... it was revealing because it showed the simpleton on display. It showed Blair doing his best to interact/guide the american cowboy. Blair lost me on Iraq, but he had always struck me as a competent world leader. We have a checkers president when we needed a chess player.

btw... regarding WWIII. I heard someone from Stratfor {Tony uses these guys for a reference often} last night say that this has all been a prelude to a full scale Israel ground invasion of Lebanon. How big a leap is it to a broader war from there that brings in more countries?

Israel moves into Lebanon on the ground -> Syria makes a military move against Israel -> Israel starts bombing the hockey out of Syria -> Iran joins the fight against Israel -> US sends bombers to support our Ally Israel {and Bill Kristol and the neocons have their wet dream} -> China moves on Taiwan while we are busy in Iraq and Iran -> N. Korea is ignored and does something like give Hezbollah a nuke

or a slower route to the same eventual US-Iran war that brings everyone else in:

x -> Hezbollah becomes our Al Qaeda inside the US {terrorist attacks including malls, movie theatres, schools, buildings, etc} -> we live like Israel for some time -> we eventually go full scale war with Iran -> yada yada yada from above.

Here is quicker path:

Hezbollah attacks one of the ships evacuating Americans from Lebanon... or... Hezbollah starts taking American hostages. We will get frustrated by not being able to get our hostages back, and bomb Syria/Iran... it's our way.

The neocons expected to already be at war with Iran. The Iraq cluster f*** made this unsellable to the public, but Iraq hasn't altered their thinking 1%.

Israel hints of full-scale invasion

8:25 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

I agree Prof, we should go back to the Articles of Confederation. We should get our own Jerusalem too. Our OU-Texas college football rivalry will look like nothing in comparison... that will be a hoot. The US border argument, of course, would need to be expanded to those little lines on the map that define the state borders. Texas would have to expand their slogan... "New Mexico Socialists, don't mess with Texas". Of course, this would accelerate an alternative to oil. Since each state would be in effect competing with each other, Texas oil reserves would be an asset they might choose to leverage to their advantage {capitalism baby, right?}. Can't you hear it... California, no oil for you. Texas, no stem cell medical cures for you... oh yeah, grow your own oranges.

This is an entertaining exercise. Let's keep trying to "paint" that US you hope for. This will be fun.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Tony - Thanks for the pick me up. I forgot that this is all grist for the mill.

CG - I thought prof and Tony were just mudslinging when he called you a socialist but maybe not. While I agree there are some tasks the government shouold do, these are limited. I like the workings of the free market better and trust it a lot more. I repeat, this is not a big deal except to those institutions who were looking for more government grants to buy i-pods with.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

CG -

I am reminded that WW starts small and grows big with much appeasement along the way. Having said that, the seeds of this go a long way back. (Obviously).

I think Bush maybe right here, no quick ceasefire. Let's get this worked out. I for one don't think Israel's response is out of proportion. Having said that, this is a dangerous game. Having it "worked out once and for all" may mean an all out culture war and the final act of the crusades.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

I agree Prof, we should go back to the Articles of Confederation.

I think this shows how difficult it is for the liberal mind to step outside of total collectivism. You see what I said as the “Articles of Confederation,” but that is what the articles of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights pointed to. It is beyond your imagination, ie your world view, to imagine a world not driven by a command economy. A land where people are forced into a cookie cutter citizenry marching like those N. Koreans or Nazis for some greater common good, and miraculously, while ignoring family, profit motive, and self, food appears like manna’ from heaven every morning on the breakfast dishes. The liberal mind is bragged about as being so open, yet I have never seen a mind so closed.

The liberal mind speaks of intolerance, but what they mean is for people of religious convictions to become bigger hypocrites through embracing and practicing that which their religion condemns. The liberal mind speaks of compassion, but what they mean is for me not to sacrifice for a cause I feel as worthy, but to force others to use their money to sacrifice for my pet “common goods.” The liberal mind speaks of Choice© for women, but what they mean is they want women to choose death for their child, because choice involves options and a full knowledge of what they are, and the liberals have rejected at every level information about the abortion being given to the parents, the husband or partner, and even to the woman getting the abortion. They are against sonograms, pictures of fetal development, discussions of post abortion depression. They are against ANY RESTRICTION ON ABORTION PERIOD! If not so, name one. There has never been a more ANTI-Choice© party than the liberal. They speak of honesty (Bush lied, people died.) but they are the ones that make stuff up and once their statement has been proven false, drop it and try another claim to see if it will stick without regard to truthfulness, accuracy or ANY abhorrence to lying. They are the ones who excused Clinton’s lying because, after all wouldn’t ANYBODY lie about sex? Wouldn’t anybody perjure themselves on the witness stand for their family? And the liberal mind speaks of being open minded, but what they mean is they want opposition proponents to open THEIR minds to the liberal’s way and not vice versa. The liberal speaks of being bipartisan, but that means they want the conservative opposition to yield their point of view, never the opposite.

Your lack of historical understanding of what I described above that was in the realm of our current Constitution and not the previous Art. of Confed. is dismissed as a triviality. Why would you have to understand to comment on it? Your utopian collectivist answer is the only answer, regardless of the question. Its only a matter of making history and “facts” mold to your answer. And I must add, you do it brilliantly.

P.R.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Guy,

CG - I thought prof and Tony were just mudslinging when he called you a socialist but maybe not.

I think labels tend to be too broad, but Social Democrat seems to fit me. I have no intention of replacing capitalism. I also have no intention of ever accepting the fact a just society pops out the other end of unfettered capitalism. That last sentence makes me a socialist by many... and if so, I gladly proclaim I'm a socialist.

While I agree there are some tasks the government should do, these are limited. I like the workings of the free market better and trust it a lot more.

I think this is the typical either-or argument we find ourselves locked into. My position\strategy\ideology\worldview is really rather simple:

1) Define via representative democracy what our common good {federal tax based by definition}is before we discuss tax rates or method of delivery. You often hear people say I should never have to pay more than X% in taxes. That's were they start without a nanosecond devoted to any definition of what common good should be in our society.

2) After defining common good... i.e. what we will pool federal $ for, we should define most efficient delivery method {note: that is not necessarily the same as the profit motive, and not necessarily best served by the free market}. I agree with Mario Cuomo here: Any time the free market can provide the society need more efficiently, or equally, compared to a federal public method.. IT SHOULD. By definition, if the private sector provides any need society would be willing to vote into the common good, it never becomes common good. As Cuomo points out, in the entire history of our nation, the private sector always has first shot at covering that need. However, it's obvious that the free market is not sufficient for our common good definition. Old and sick people are not necessarily profitable. Is that the end of the definition for our common good regarding how we treat our old. If so, Social Security would never have existed. That's how Prof would define our society. So for me, a failure of the free market to cover a need {anything we vote on via representative democracy} does not expel it from being common good. Just because I make the call that x now has to be federally funded because the free market chooses to not persue it, does not necessarily mean a government RUN program... it does mean a government FUNDED program. For example, I'm for Universal Healthcare. That doesn't necessarily mean government run... it just means I've made a vote that I will pay taxes to make sure EVERYONE is include in healthcare in this country. It may just mean we keep the healthcare system exactly like it is now, but those with means pay the tab for those without... i.e. I don't change the free market whatsoever, I just collect taxes to slide those without means into that free market. The absolute last choice should be a government run program, but I'm convinced many programs will logically fit in this category. We need to get better at it. I would start with being able to audit our $400 billion a year military budget... but that's just socialist me.

3) Once something has been voted into common good {by definition, private sector opted out}, then we need to define the level of the tax need, and the allocation {progressive taxation, etc) to covert it.

If that approach makes me a socialist, I proudly claim to be one. In my US, we wouldn't have yet another silver-spoon frat boy president bought into office by the moneyed elite giving a speech to the NAACP preaching fairness. In my US, a Martin Luther King president would be giving that speech.

What happens on this planet is driven by people like us... the economic winners {at least I used to be}. It has never been driven by those without means. We made the prettiest package on that reality to date with our Constitution, but it was in the end, a pact created by economic winners. We have never advanced past the idea that the most $ doesn't equate to the best ideas. Think I'm off-base? Then please explain the presidential qualification of this president giving this speech to the NAACP as I type. I don't think I'm off-base at all. Of course, an insane person never knows they are insane.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Tony,

I know where you stand on embryonic stem cell research, but I'm guessing you could speak to federal funding of scientific research {given your better half was in that business}.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

I think we would both agree there is no such thing as a 100% autonomous citizen government. The government with out some collectivism has not been invented yet. We have confirmed before here you are not against everyone paying for the military. It's like the old joke... now that we have determined we are a whore, we are now just negotiating over the rate. Well over half of this country thinks the Iraq war was a huge mistake, and yet we all chip in our federal dollars to pay for this. I have a hard time understanding that your moral position is that is ok, but it becomes immoral and bends you over if we all pool funds for our old and sick people. I realize this is a clear bright line for you... but I think you are just a fellow whore with a different rate. :)

10:34 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

The liberal mind speaks of intolerance, but what they mean is for people of religious convictions to become bigger hypocrites through embracing and practicing that which their religion condemns.

I accept the fact that your religious convictions prevent you from pooling federal taxes to help the needy in our society or foreign societies. I highlighted the word "accept" because most in these discussions just throw in the word "respect". I just have to be honest here, I don't respect any form of thinking that leaves the huddled masses still huddling at our current GDP. I find "scripture" to be an inadequate defense, and it's what I meant before when I said "you can only reason with a scripture-based worldview up to the boundaries of the scripture". We could have infinite scientific and economic evidence that said x, and it would be no match for scripture beliefs. We leave the realm of debate and compromise here... it's simply a matter of winning or losing. It's not your fault, and it's not any fault of a lack of open mindedness on my part. Fortunately, there are many more areas where compromises are possible than those where it is not. For those unfortunate areas with no chance of compromise {and unlike human rights, we could do a pretty good job of listing them}, then we must "accept" the other view, but spend our efforts at "winning". Tony should split his blogs into two categories... 1) those with a small chance of convincing each other of our views 2) only for entertainment purposes, not a batshit chance in hell of convincing the other one. :)

Personally, I enjoy that angels on the pin thing... but I'm easily entertained.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Let's See . . .

Prof - What a bunch of intolerant horse hockey!! The problem for our debate is that you don't believe in the seperation of church and state as a starting point and that your religious convictions give you a moral imperitave to create a government that will force your views on all others. Admit it, you want a christian based theocracy.

Also in response to - "They are against ANY RESTRICTION ON ABORTION PERIOD! If not so, name one."

Plenty of liberals are for restrictions on abortion. I think the Sup Ct reasoning is abundantly reasonable and consistent with centuries old common law.

Prior to the "quickening" the state has little interest in the life. Typically or at least in modern times, the quickening has come to mean after the first trimester. The right to an abortion only exists in the first trimester, thereafter the state's interest take hold and more restrictions become reasonable. Like most things, it is not all or nothing. Ithink most liberals agree with this proposition and therefore agree to reasonable restrictions on abortion.

CG - Can't say that I disagree in general. As always the devil (or liberal according to Prof) is in the details.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

btw... on the open-mindedness. If I was convinced that church-only-volunteer-charity sufficiently served the needy in our country and this planet I'm in.. How is that for open-mindedness? I would still think we have public good freeloaders in this society that are chipping in, but that means almost nothing to me compared to those I see in need. Yes... those in need is a subjective call. Welcome to life on planet earth... very tough gig with subjective chances for making it better while we are here.

Do you care to give me your counter open-mindedness pledge?

I heard a great statement yesterday... by of all people, Bill O'Reilly. If the anti-Israel forces put down their arms from now on, a deal could be reached. If Israel took every one of their weapons, and threw them into the sea, we would have the second holocaust. I agree... and think that statement should be repeated constantly by our administration. There are valid grievances on both sides, but at the end of the day that statement frames the core fact.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

Prepare to laugh:

I've narrowed down our worldviews to quick soundbites even the GOP focus group marketing guys would appreciate.

Prof's worldview: Facts from the sky.

CG's: Facts on the ground.

btw... when your church-only-volunteer charity comes through, I will throw in that "respect" also.

Hey, I just thought of a great t-shirt.

Neocons--- they get you into war based on opinions, and leave you holding the bag of facts on the ground.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Much to respond to. I’ll deal with C.G. later...

Guy said... “The problem for our debate is that you don't believe in the seperation of church and state as a starting point....

Exactly! And you and others do. That is the rose colored glasses for the liberal. EVERYTHING including truth and history bow down to the slogan of the secularist proselytes. Remember, your starting point, your standard, that by which everything else is judged is your religion, and my religion, and everybody else’s religion.

...and that your religious convictions give you a moral imperitave to create a government that will force your views on all others.

The whole concept of government is the use of force to compel some people in some way to accomplish some goal. Those goals vacillate between the acceptable extremes for the period and cultural society we are in. According to my Bible, worshiping God and not killing your neighbor are voluntary restraints - it’s up to you to do what is right. I can not, nor should I ever use government to make you worship anything. That is between you and God and the afterlife. However, murdering another person is something that I can and should use government for to exact justice. The basis for a lot of these laws is Biblical law. You could say I have a moral imperative to exact justice based upon my religion and you’d be right.

... Admit it, you want a christian based theocracy.

OK. I’ll admit it only to you. But please don’t tell Common Good. He’s stirred up enough already.

Plenty of liberals are for restrictions on abortion.....The right to an abortion only exists in the first trimester, thereafter the state's interest take hold and more restrictions become reasonable. Like most things, it is not all or nothing. Ithink most liberals agree with this proposition and therefore agree to reasonable restrictions on abortion.

I know arguing with a lawyer about law is a losing proposition, but you can’t win against Goliath if you don’t fight Goliath. From what I understand Roe v. Wade allows abortion up to and including partially born. As long as the head is still in the birth canal, the little booger is a target for the abortionists tools. All the polls say the average person only believes abortion is legal in the first trimester. All the analysis of Roe v. Wade have said it is the full term. Maybe you can give me comfort that a full term, family in the waiting room, “It’s a Boy!” infant is protected from the D&X slaughterfest. I await your scholarly council.

Oh, and another thing. Just so it isn’t so easily swept under the rug - I didn’t see a single restriction on abortion that pro-aborts would accept itemized in your retort. Maybe I could give you the , , or web sites so that you could use them as your resource. But you and I both know that would be to no avail.

Guy, another widespread myth is that repealing Roe v. Wade legalizes abortion. That would only revert to the states to control such activity. States could then keep or restrict abortion to any degree they saw fit. And I’ll throw a bone to C.G. to gnaw on ‘cause I know how he dislikes obscene capitalist gain. It is the normal practice of abortion clinics to accept only cash for abortions. No checks and no credit cards. It is not uncommon for abortion providers to take $10,000 to $15,000 a day to the bank. In such an unaccountable environment of dealing purely in cash, I wonder if all of the taxes due on such income are paid. I should probably be tarred and feathered for such a comment. After all, it is obvious they are only providing such services for the benefit of poor troubled women and not for any personal gain.

Prof. Ricardo

2:45 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

I don't know what I did wrong with the link, but I had put in the links to Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and NOW. Just put a .org on the end of each and you'll get there. Sorry for the html butcher job. I learned everything I know about it from C.G. :)

2:48 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

C.G. said: “I accept the fact that your religious convictions prevent you from pooling federal taxes to help the needy in our society or foreign societies.

Actually, my religious convictions do not specifically prevent it by stating “Don’t tax thy neighbor for thy needy”. What scriptures DO say is that it is a personal responsibility of mine. I guess I could delegate that to others, but that does not lessen my responsibility. So if I give $100 to help an individual in need, I know that $100 is used for its intended purpose. If I give $100 to a private charity, whether religious or not, I know that a certain amount of money is used for administration and fund raising. Out of $100, probably $85 makes it to the needy. If I give $100 to the government, knowing historically how they have handled this, I know that only about $35 get’s to the needy on average. If I care about the needy, then I will try to use the method that get’s the most real help for the needy. If I care about my responsibility to discharge my duty to the needy, I will seek to use the method that gets the most help for the needy from my $100. If I feel compelled to help those in Africa, and I know I’m not going there anytime soon, I need to choose either private or governmental was to accomplish my method. Given the horror stories of government funds going to despots, buying condoms and unneeded medical supplies, etc., it seems a safe bet that the multitude of private charities, some religious and some not, that they are the best bet purely on a pragmatic economic basis.

Morally speaking, a couple more issues crop up. One, can we legally (Constitutionally permitted) take money from others for the specific purpose to enrich others. Although I see provision on the Federal level for collecting money for public purposes (that is, that benefits all people, like roads, defense, settling disputes, etc.), I see no provision for collecting taxes to enrich specific people as an end unto itself. So I have a problem with breaking the law to “do good.”

Additionally, knowing how welfare has worked in the pass to “win” the “war on poverty,” it is apparent to all with open eyes that not only has the war on poverty at great expense not been won, it is a path littered with social carnage that few could have envisioned before hand. For example, with government paychecks replacing responsible bread winners in the family, is anyone on this blog surprised at the number of unwed births in the black community? Isn’t it approaching 70%? And that’s averaging in all of the middle & upper class blacks as well. Doesn’t even the most liberal of you see unwed mother’s, fatherless children, and multiple siblings with all different daddies, not a way to achieve a good wholesome environment for raising children, avoiding spousal abuse, increasing family wealth, and avoiding a future of being a “needy” family? There are reactions to receiving money when one is “needy.” You would think it would be purely thankfulness with the desire to use that opportunity to better oneself. It turns out it is one of resentment and anger. And once they accept the help, then their level of achievement seems stifled. They can only earn, say $500 per month and then all benefits (say $600) will be taken away. That means if they have the chance to make $700 this month, they wont do it because they will actually be $400 worse (+$200 over limit less $600 of lost benefits.) They become locked in to poverty by the very thing that is intended to “help.”

Surely even the liberals here will admit to some level of negative consequence that happens when welfare is given. Surely the pragmatism that drives most of you would demand that you weigh damage done versus benefits gained. And given your abhorrence to slavery and championing privacy and choice would allow you to place at least some value on the labor and decisions (choices) that people make, so that when they labor and make money, or invest and loose money, that you would not want to play god and rearrange the fruits of our time and our decisions, to achieve some outcome that is arbitrary according to your since of compassion as you define it.

The position of ones opposed to welfare are not hatred of poor, elitism, some since of superiority, pharisee-ism, or some other boogieman of the left. Rather, it is with a since of compassion, obligation, justice, and a desire to achieve real change in the needy that we take the stands we do. There are varing levels of caring on both sides. But for me to ignore 30+ years of study and insight into the harm and lack of results of the welfare game, would be the least intelligent and humanitarian thing I could do.

Prof. Ricardo

10:23 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

Additionally, knowing how welfare has worked in the pass to “win” the “war on poverty,” it is apparent to all with open eyes that not only has the war on poverty at great expense not been won, it is a path littered with social carnage that few could have envisioned before hand.

Let's be clear here, between the two of us {on this subject}, you are the only extremist. I say give the private sector first chance, then do the best we can with the public sector. A opting out of the private sector, or even a poor performing public delivery method doesn't mean we therefore ignore the need. The answer IMO, more often than not, is the need for a better government rather than no government. We should learn from mistakes and replace public services with private ones when the case can me made, and replace failed private-only methods {our healthcare} when they fall short. You start from the premise that a successful public delivery of required common good IS NOT POSSIBLE. Our Social Security system has been a raging success in the lives of many of our elderly. Does it have problems... does it need to be adjusted along the way... of course, welcome to life on this rock. However, to follow your extremism, you would have us believe we could have {or would have} provided a better way to provide dignity and economic security to our elderly. Do you really need to find a phrase in the constitution for our society to do the best {even if flawed} at taking care of our elderly? If so, I'm for the amendment.

Prof, you are the only extremist here... you are the only one married to delivery method. It's obvious to most of us that our government has to provide at least some social services. It's obvious to a few of us that is what government is for... {not so few in Europe, and our better GDP doesn't make our choice more moral}.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

I wonder what Lebanon would give to have as their biggest problem an inefficient government?

Looks like Israel is just about to go in on the ground in Lebanon. I've been seeing some of the pictures on TV of the damage in Lebanon. It looks like a complete annihilation. There are people there so poor in the south, they can't leave. What a hell on earth this really is. Is it more moral to take a country apart through two weeks of bombing then to give them two weeks to move north, and then nuke it in one shot? I really don't buy the fact that Israel has much of a chance to damage Hezbollah in any significant way. I therefore think the only real gain for Israel taking this particular stand is to once again, try and create a buffer zone. But then, what good is that... they talk about missiles with a 60 mile range. It really makes you wonder how Israel has managed to avoid giving up and using it's nuke threat by now. I expect them to reach a breaking point some day where they tell their neighbors you have two choices 1) let us live here in peace and we and the rest of the world will chip in for aid and helping you guys develop economies and lives OR 2) Israel has had enough, and will start nuking designated targets... one at a time until you guys change their mind, or some other power takes Israel out. Either way... Israel has had enough. The first nuke surely would not be Lebanon... but Tehran. Guy, that will be WWIII.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Tony is the diplomacy guru here, but it occurs to me the US might take the lead in a creative approach to Lebanon. It would seem to be wise for the US to say something like "We defend Israel's right to defend itself, but we recognize the destruction of lives and infrastructure that is occurring. We can't bring back the lives, but the world can recognize that the Lebanon government lacks power against Hezbollah, and therefore is not 100% accountable. If and when the world community can verify that assistance in rebuilding infrastructure will not be used to fund Hezbollah aggression, than the world will be there for Lebanon". Force the moderate Muslim nations hands by requiring them to help fund this.

Maybe you can't talk about such things in the middle of the conflict... but maybe you can. You could at least put that type of thinking out there in preparation for what's going to be a devastated Lebanon and devastating PR.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

C.G. said: “Prof, you are the only extremist here... you are the only one married to delivery method. It's obvious to most of us that our government has to provide at least some social services. It's obvious to a few of us that is what government is for...

?!? I seek a legal, just, and efficient way to help them...and I am the extremist. You come from the stand point of government has to provide at least some social services, and yet you charge me with being married to a delivery method. I ..........er.........uh.......Yes Dear.

Prof. Ricardo

12:51 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Prof,

I seek a legal...

I can see it now... Prof the next Michael Newdow.

fwiw... I think Newdow's case is better than yours.

3:51 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Common Good, Prof, either of you read "Freakonomics." There is a whole chapter linking higher abortion rates and lower crime 20 years later... all the little poor kids without fathers, the ones not able to get educated, etc, basically not able to make it in a capitalist society get aborted, which means all us lucky ones don't have to worry so much about having their guns in our faces when they turn 20....

pretty interesting.

Should I comment about Israel? It seems a little much over 2 captured soldiers, dropping bombs on Beirut and over Lebanon. I'd be a terrorist by now if I was living there, as all of us would. Why don't they just send ground forces from the get-go instead of aerial bombing? Less physical damage to the country, less money to rebuild, less money lost over the long run...

-they ought to be forced to pay for anything they destroy, and reparations for any civilian lives lost.... break it, you buy it. The ratio of deaths is 15/300, Isreali/ Lebanese. That's a little disproportionate to say the least, especially since all of them are just collateral damage.

9:03 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Hey Professor. I finally figured out how the Minutemen could be successful in their endeavors. Make all the brown people use birth control and have abortions like us white people do!

9:06 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Yoshi said: “Hey Professor. I finally figured out how the Minutemen could be successful in their endeavors. Make all the brown people use birth control and have abortions like us white people do!

Actually, that’s Planned Parenthoods job, not the Minutemen. Their founder Margaret Sanger already had experience with eugenics on the Negro Project. It would take very little adaptation for them to prey off of any particular group.

Yoshi said: “There is a whole chapter linking higher abortion rates and lower crime 20 years later... all the little poor kids without fathers, the ones not able to get educated, etc, basically not able to make it in a capitalist society get aborted, which means all us lucky ones don't have to worry so much about having their guns in our faces when they turn 20....

Cool. Death sentences before they commit the crimes. Just hope nobody foresees us doing any crimes, eh?

There are flaws in a simplistic comparison of abortion implementation and crime rate. A simple analysis is available here.

Its amazing how the women knew which children to abort, you know, the criminal ones, before she ever saw the child. Of course, if you kill enough unborn, you’re bound to get a few bad apples.

How about another correlation? Parenting skills of Pro-Lifers vs. parenting skills of Pro-Abortionists. When the offspring of the Pro-Abortionists are eliminated, crime goes down. Cool. We can play all kinds of games with statistics.

Prof. Ricardo

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Prof siad . . . "The basis for a lot of these laws is Biblical law." In a word, bullshit.

Have you ever read Roe v. Wade and the cases that follow or just what Ann Coulter writes?

If you do not believe in the seperation of church and state, then is it OK for a muslim based theocracy too? Or is a christian theocracy the only one that would be OK.

Yoshi - BTW, I read Freakonomics. Great Boook.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Prof said . . . "From what I understand Roe v. Wade allows abortion up to and including partially born. It says no such thing.

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Redo

Prof Said Prof said "From what I understand Roe v. Wade allows abortion up to and including partially born."

It says no such thing. Read it.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Guy said...
Prof Said Prof said "From what I understand Roe v. Wade allows abortion up to and including partially born."

It says no such thing. Read it.


U.S. Supreme Court
ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)

410 U.S. 113
ROE ET AL. v. WADE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF DALLAS COUNTY APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS No. 70-18.

Argued December 13, 1971 Reargued October 11, 1972
Decided January 22, 1973
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=410&invol=113

Relevant texts....

With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in the health of the mother, the "compelling" point, in the light of present medical knowledge, is at approximately the end of the first trimester. This is so because of the now-established medical fact, referred to above at 149, that until the end of the first trimester mortality in abortion may be less than mortality in normal childbirth. It follows that, from and after this point, a State may regulate the abortion procedure to the extent that the regulation reasonably relates to the preservation and protection of maternal health. Examples of permissible state regulation in this area are requirements as to the qualifications of the person who is to perform the abortion; as to the licensure of that person; as to the facility in which the procedure is to be performed, that is, whether it must be a hospital or may be a clinic or some other place of less-than-hospital status; as to the licensing of the facility; and the like. (That’s showing them. Make ‘em use licensed abortionists. Babies in the compelling stage are cheering everywhere.-Prof.)

This means, on the other hand, that, for the period of pregnancy prior to this "compelling" point, the attending physician, in consultation with his patient, is free to determine, without regulation by the State, that, in his medical judgment, the patient's pregnancy should be terminated. If that decision is reached, the judgment may be effectuated by an abortion free of interference by the State.

With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in potential life, the "compelling" point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother's womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion [410 U.S. 113, 164] during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.
--------End of Relevant Text----
We all know that the “health of the mother” means everything from keeping a flat tummy so that her girl friends won’t talk to anything under the sun that might cause stress. Basically unlimited. Let’s go to a non-conservative source and see what happens next....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade
Roe v. Wade

[75% of the way down]

Stenberg v. Carhart
During the 1990s, attempts were made at the state level to ban late-term abortions, which were struck down, again by a 5-4 vote, in Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000), with Justice Kennedy, co-author of the Casey decision, among the dissenters.

Stenberg, Attorney General of Nebraska, et al. v. Carhart,
530 U.S. 914 (2000), is a case heard by the Supreme Court of the United States dealing with a Nebraska law which made performing "partial-birth abortion" illegal, unless necessary to save the mother's life. Nebraska physicians who performed the procedure contrary to the law were subject to their medical license revoked. Nebraska, like many states, banned the procedure on the basis of public morality. The Court struck down the law finding the Nebraska statute criminalizing "partial birth abortion[s]" violated the United States Constitution as the court ruled in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).
----------
Guy,

If Roe v. Wade (its arguments) does not permit abortions throughout the pregnancy, how come states try, try, try to in some way limit abortion, even the insidious partial-birth abortion as a late term gruseome procedure, and it is always struck down. PLEASE, PLEASE show me in a meaningful way that Roe v. Wade is limited to the first trimester.

Prof. Ricardo

1:11 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Guy said...
Prof siad . . . "The basis for a lot of these laws is Biblical law." In a word, bullshit.

It’s hard to address your scholarly response with, as Yoshi might say, a proportionate response. It probably wouldn’t be helpful. However, the evolution of law is an interesting topic.

Commentaries on American Law (1826-30)
Chancellor James Kent

“The law of nations, so far as it is founded on the principles of natural law, is equally binding in every age, and upon all mankind. But the Christian nations of Europe, and their descendants on this side of the Atlantic, by the vast superiority of the attainments in arts, and science, and commerce, as well as in policy and government; and, above all, by the brighter light, the more certain truths, and the more definite sanction, which Christianity has communicated to the ethical jurisprudence of the ancients, have established a law of nations peculiar to themselves. They form together a community of nations, united by religion, manners, morals, humanity, and science, and united also by the mutual advantages of commercial intercourse, by the habit of forming alliances and treaties with each other, of interchanging ambassadors, and of studying and recognizing the same writers and systems of public law.”

Since it is most probable that our founding fathers, 35 of which were either lawyers or trained in the law, were educated by the Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769) by Sir William Blackstone, it may behoove you to read Sect. 2: Of the Nature of Laws in General . I realize that your worldview may prevent you from seeing what is clearly written, given the general perspective of people much closer to the foundation of our laws than are we, I stand behind my original statement.

Prof. Ricardo

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Prof.

I am on a family reunion Des Moines and I will respond fully when I get home. I am quite confident though that our founding fathers had no desire for a theocracy or they would have created one.

That Chancellor Kent is a bunch of self serving rubbish. If it has any value at all it is mere dicta and does not support in any way your argument. Christian comity does not mean the basis for our laws is the bible.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

Prof - from Roe v. Wade . . .

We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.

Although the results are divided, most of these courts have agreed that the right of privacy, however based, is broad enough to cover the abortion decision; that the right, nonetheless, is not absolute and is subject to some limitations; and that at some point the state interests as to protection of health, medical standards, and prenatal life, become dominant. We agree with this approach.

In view of all this, we do not agree that, by adopting one theory of life, Texas may override the rights of the pregnant woman that are at stake. We repeat, however, that the State does have an important and legitimate interest in preserving and protecting the health of the pregnant woman, whether she be a resident of the State or a nonresident who seeks medical consultation and treatment there, and that it has still another important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life. These interests are separate and distinct. Each grows in substantiality as the woman approaches [410 U.S. 113, 163] term and, at a point during pregnancy, each becomes "compelling."

With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in the health of the mother, the "compelling" point, in the light of present medical knowledge, is at approximately the end of the first trimester.

This means, on the other hand, that, for the period of pregnancy prior to this "compelling" point, the attending physician, in consultation with his patient, is free to determine, without regulation by the State, that, in his medical judgment, the patient's pregnancy should be terminated. If that decision is reached, the judgment may be effectuated by an abortion free of interference by the State.

With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in potential life, the "compelling" point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother's womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion [410 U.S. 113, 164] during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

9:27 AM  

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