Letters to the Editor - January 14, 2014

West Valley View's picture

President given illegal power

Editor:

First we had NDAA 2012 and then NDAA 13 (National Defense Authorization Act) and now NDAA 14 which was signed by the President on December 27, 2013. It authorized the military (the President) to detain individuals indefinitely without trial (Habeas Corpus) It also strengthened the national security surveillance state. Congress supported and gave the President that illegal power. Only 15 Senators voted to oppose such a dictatorial action. One, Jeff Flake, was from Arizona. The military budget has now grown to $625 billion yearly. Logically, we must ask — for what purposes is it to be used?

Say what you want — the system is in place.

From the viewpoint of those who presently are wielding unconstitutional power, those who oppose the coming tyranny are the future enemies (terrorists) of the state. The evidence from surveillance emails, phone conversations, etc. will be used against them. That evidence consists of one’s First Amendment right to speak freely among themselves, to discuss the political situation or defend liberty. The violation of a basic right leads to the destruction of other rights.

The Commander-in Chief, the President, can illegally use the military against Americans on American soil to apprehend, arrest and detain those deemed a threat to the government. Patriotic Americans are a threat, especially military veterans.

The national media has not, and is not reporting what you need to know to remain free. Their silence eases the way for more unconstitutional inroads to be made and more actions to go unreported.

Americans need to know and basically they don’t! This is serious stuff and will not go away after the next election. The internal, in-charge, enemies of freedom will proceed as slowly as possible to better consolidate their position — or as fast as necessary in the face of visible opposition and increasing public awareness.

Karl L. Nelson
Goodyear

 

Be thankful it’s not a pig farm

Editor:

Could there be a bunch of vegetarians moving into the Buckeye and Tonopah areas? Why else would they complain about the smell of cows and chickens. If you are a meat eater as am I, you put up with a lot of odors knowing food is near. From west of Goodyear all the way to Arlington was all agricultural including cows, chickens, sheep, goats, horses and a few places pigs!

OK, Tonopah and Wintersburg have only joined this agricultural effort within the last 50 years, but the Harquahala Valley was already agricultural before Tonopah or Wintersburg got started. As a teenager I lived in the White Tanks subdivision. We had horses, chickens and goats. When you have too many horses for a small amount of land, the smell can get as bad as cows or chickens. And in the U.S. we don’t eat horses.

I guess the best I can “say” to those complaining about the smells is to be happy that you aren’t within a mile of a pig farm! There used to be a pig farm over 5 miles north of Snowflake and you could smell if from 5 miles away!

Bernard Oviatt
Salome

 

Snowbirds should pay for stay

Editor:

I have been living here in GoodYear for the last 4 years. And I have been wondering myself, Snowbirds come approx 5 months of the year. Granted that they don’t change out License plates each time the arrive to take advantage of the Weather and take to the roads.

I believe that if they were charge a fee let’s say $150 dollars for there stay in Arizona. You can only use that” just come to visit routine” and now we have to pay for the Potholes and other damaged they cause. As a homeowner I am the one who has to pay to fix Roads in the long run. Snowbirds use our roads and we are stuck With the bill, What’s wrong with this picture?

With Pot Stores paying taxes of which a portion pays for the roads and that $150 dollars we could have the best roads in the Unite States. Maybe I overstated just a tad, but it could work.

Joseph Marcus
Goodyear

 

Kudos to Villa de Paz residents

Editor:

Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa all encourage and contribute to the cooperative attitudes and spirits that seem to grow profusely during the holiday season.

The residents of the Villa de Paz neighborhood [one square mile defined as the area Between Camelback Ave. & Indian School Road and 99th and 107th Avenues] have reacted in clearly defined examples of cooperation and generosity during the recent holiday period.

They have in large numbers scheduled time to present their opinions and feelings at meetings with decision-making city officials, have carefully researched the neighborhood’s history, have independently designed protest signs, and have worked together as activists to demonstrate their position to the public, and shared their creative talents under local leadership.

What has generated this positive cooperation? It is an effort to save the location of their homes in the now quiet, peaceful center of their community: the Villa de Paz Golf Course.

The current owners seem determined to convert the busy, well-liked, popular golf course (40,000 users last year) into a big, money-raising scheme by building and selling 350 homes and 200 condominiums on the present play areas.

Diligent research has calculated that the change, if effected, beside the new houses, will introduce to the area, 1,100 more automobiles, 550 students to be crowded into the schools, the move out of numerous species of birds and animals seeking new habitats, and the prospect of several years of exposure to allergy dust and desert fever germs as trees and landscape plants are removed by the developers.

Villa de Paz residents are fortunate not only to be concerned, creative individuals, but also to be able to face their challenge during the time of the holidays with their stimulating motivation.

Vern Harmelink
Phoenix

 

Obamacare is unconstitutional

Editor:

Eric Nelson of Goodyear asked how I figured Obamacare is unconstitutional. I rely upon my college education and thirty years of extensively studying the U.S. and Arizona and Colorado Constitutions, Federal and State statutes and court rulings, and involvement in various litigations. Also, Chief Justice Roberts, part of the majority, ruled that: “The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part.” NFIB v. Selebius, 567 U.S. ___, (2012). The four dissenting Justices explained various ways Obamacare is unconstitutional.

Mr. Nelson asserted that, if Obamacare is unconstitutional, “it would already be long gone”. Federal court rulings are not law, and they “are often reexamined, reversed, and qualified by the Courts themselves, whenever they are found to be either defective, or ill-founded, or otherwise incorrect.” Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64, 83 (1938, J. Butler). Laws can be challenged as unconstitutional on various grounds, regardless of the law’s antiquity. Pacific Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Haslip, 111 S.Ct. 1032, 1043 (1991).

Courts only address arguments presented to them, not all possible reasons a law is unconstitutional. NFIB v. Selebius does not address Obamacare being unconstitutional for violating the Ninth Amendment or being overbroad or vague. Coates v. City Of Cincinnati, 91 S.Ct. 1686, 1688 (1971). Four Justices point out that, to find Obamacare constitutional under the Taxing Clause, the majority had to change Congress’ repeated use of the word “penalty” to mean “tax”, after holding that a penalty is not the same as a tax. Federal laws being unconstitutional for being changed without complying with Article I, Section 7 was addressed in Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417, 448-449 (1998), but not in NFIB v. Selebius. These and other issues are not settled.

David W. Peabody
Buckeye

 

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Comments

Hey Gordon did you see what that moron governor of New York State said a few days ago? He said in essence that any conservative or anyone else for that matter who believes in traditional marriage, preserving life in the womb and who believes in gun ownership does not belong and is not welcome in the state of New York.   Talk about extreme, Moron Cuomo's words are as extreme as Hitler's words. Now you kniow what people have to fear from Progressives if they ever win the day. but more importantly NOW YOU KNOW WHY I WRITE MY LETTERS BECAUSE PROGRESSIVE  MORONS LIKE ANDREW CUOMO ARE OUT THERE !!

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Roy:

   No, I didn't "hear" that, and you'll forgive me if I factcheck what Cuomo said before responding to your tirade.

   However, when it comes to moronic statements, "Progressives" have no monopoly.  I actually have a collection of similar examples of stupidity from "your side" of the political spectrum (complete with source references, of course).  I'll provide them after I've checked out what Cuomo supposedly said.  (Who knows, maybe for once I'll be pleasantly surprised, and discover you've been accurate.  I'm not holding my breath.)

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Roy:

   Well, I took the time to factcheck the story about Cuomo (it took very little time), and to my complete lack of surprise I found your "spin" to be "inaccurate" (a polite term for deceitful) and filled with hypocrisy.

   Taken in context, it's clear he was talking about politicians and political positions.  He certainly wasn't suggesting there was no place in New York for people who believe "in traditional marriage, preserving life in the womb and who believes in gun ownership".  Those are your words, not his!

   He was talking about extremists within the Republican party, versus the more moderate members of that group.  He was comparing the divide that exists within that party in Washington with one in the New York Republican party, and the struggle within the G.O.P. between those two factions.  He then finished by saying that politicians who are extreme conservatives

have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.

   I'd call that a fair, accurate, if poorly made remark.  New York is obviously a more liberal State than Arizona.  It has far more liberal laws on abortion, gun control, and gay marriage.  Clearly, politicians who oppose such things, and want them eliminated, are out of place in New York.  (And probably won't win control of its government.)

   He was not saying individuals holding such views have no place in New York.

   Which brings us to your hypocrisy, and that of today's "conservatives".  How often have you (or other "conservatives") demonized those you disagree with, calling them a "cancer", denying they are "real" Americans?  Heck, most of you regard America as something that lies between the Appalachian and Rocky mountains!  (The "coasts" being foreign nations, of course.)  In short, you and "your kind" have repeatedly said "my kind" have no place in America!

   So, naturally, when a bit of your own rhetoric is thrown at you, the response is for you to whine, cry, and squeal like a stuck pig!  I'm not impressed.  As I've said to you (and people like you) far too often: If you can't take the political heat, stay out of the political kitchen.  (Or, at least, tone down your rhetoric!)

   But unlike you, I'm happy to provide links to my sources of information.  Just remember to read what's written there critically, and think for yourself, instead of blindly following whatever viewpoint the writers are trying to promote.

Cuomo: ‘Extreme conservatives … have no place in the state of New York’

Cuomo counsel sends open letter rebutting Dicker column

   By the way, on the subject of moronic commments by "conservatives", here's a little item about the New York Post columnist who started this outpouring of faux outrage by distorting what Cuomo said.  I don't know which is more appalling, his referring to the Newtown shooting as "a convenient little massacre", or his attempt to justify his remark by calling it mere "sarcasm".  (And evading and avoiding the point that it was his use of the words "convenient" and "little" which was condemned, not using the term "massacre".)

NY Post Columnist Ripped For Dubbing Newtown A 'Little Convenient Massacre': http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/fred_dicker_newtown

porr000's picture

Hey Roy,

"Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay?

Notice what he actually said:

right-to-life, not pro-life or anything to do with a woman's right to choose = these are wholly different things

pro-assault-weapons, not just pro-2ND amendment = again, two totally different things

anti-gay, not anti-gay-marriage, not pro-traditional-marriage = completely different things.

Right-to-life is probably referring to the Human Life Amendment, not to those who are just pro-life. I am pro-life (always), but I believe people have the right to make their own medical decisions for their body, and that right is an inalienable one.  The woman has always had the right to do with her body as she chooses from the beginning of time, as does a man. Unlike Cuomo however, I do not find someone supporting right-to-life as being extreme. Most people do feel a baby growing inside the womb has the right to life since they nurture it and get pre-natal care and talk to it while it is inside the womb, then eventually give birth to it.  Perhaps he feels those who want to criminalize the woman for "murder" if she were to have an abortion is extreme, and to that I agree. 
http://www.all.org/article/index/id/MjM4Ng

Pro-Assault-Weapons - this one is ridiculous however,  to suggest gun enthusiasts who enjoy collecting and shooting assault type weapons are extreme.  Just look at how popular all the games are for nintendo, xbox, computers, movies and tv shows etc.that have assault weapons.  

Anti-gay - He is not saying people who support traditional marriage are extreme, but those who are anti-gay are. Most people I know who take the pro-traditional marriage stance, have nothing personally against gays...they just want to keep marriage within the heteros.  OR, he is saying those who are pro-traditional-marriage are just homophobes, which of course is rediculous also.  

Finally, when you listen to the audio, he sounds a lot more sensible than the transcripts or quotes being thrown around by the news.   
 

 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

   And before anyone complains, I have no idea why those links came out that way.

porr000's picture

Roy,

It is reasons like this that Regan's famous quote still rings true even to this day!

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; the progressive in government is the problem.

But I am sure Mr. Posner will jump all over this explaining how I probably got the quote wrong.

                                                                                        cheeky
 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   Indeed, but don't feel bad.  You've just fallen for the great "conservative" conspiracy, which insists on misquoting what Reagan said.  Indeed, even the mainstream media is part of it, printing altered videos and transcripts of Reagan's Inauguration Speech.  Here, is what he actually said:

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group of conservatives is superior to government for, by, and of the people. We have been tempted by the poisonous notion that this elite, with their "traditional values" have the right to control the lives of everyone, since those with differing values are incapable of governing themselves according to moral principles. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?

   What's that you say?  You want some proof Reagan said this?  You insist that my statement must be tested against the facts?  Why?  It's just my opinion, and has the same worth as yours or Roy's.

;-)

porr000's picture

Great alteration yourself.

why not look it up and get it right! It took me 10 seconds to find the ACTUAL quote.  btw, the same can certainly be said of conservatives!

porr000's picture

Dennis,

I did look it up and then altered it slightly and then put a funny face after it.  

Patrick

Patrick,

The first line was accurate, the second line you didn't alter slightly, you blew it up. smiley   Sorry that I missed your attempt at humor. I guess neither of us should quit our day jobs. lol

mea culpa

Dennis

Well honestly Gordon I will admit that cancer is not a great word to use when referring to Progressives because it is kind of crude and I could and should pick a better word. The reason I use it is because long ago I picked up on the vibes that you were bothered by that word  so I throw it out there just to annoy you. Now you can deny that word bothers you when referring to Progressive but I know better. Also I refer to the cultural war for the heart and soul of America and literally it is a war and the outcome will determine what kind of country we will be for the next hundred of years.But here is the kicker, Gordon. Let's say the Progressives win the day and turn this nation into a politically correct, loss  of freedom Orwellian society. Guess what. You also lose not just me Once the people become opressed by a smothering government you are not going to be spared just because you identify with Progressives. WE ALL LOSE ONCE THE GOVERNMENT REPRESSES OUR FREEDOMS.  Gordon have you never seriously considered that fact? You are a smart guy, surely you can understand how that would happen to everyone not just Conservatives. The more that government does to control the people the less freedom the people have to plan their lives. Is that what you really want, Gordon, really?

 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Roy:

  Gasp!  You actually admitted something you wrote might not have been completely accurate, appropriate, or based in fact.  Call Emergency Services, I think I'm having a heart attack!

  Of course, I'd be more impressed with your "admission" if you refrained from using such language in the future.  (That also means no comparing "Progressives" to viruses or other diseases either.  You really shouldn't call them "tyrants" for that matter, but I'll cut you a little slack.)

  No, the word "cancer" doesn't bother me when referring to "Progressives" (remember, I don't accept the use of that word either - I'm a liberal).  It bothers me when it (or words like it) are used to describe anyone.  Remember, the Nazis worked very hard to convince the Germans that Jews were "subhuman", comparing them to disease carrying vermin, or to disease itself.  I'm sure you're familiar with the results!

   To choose an example from the "other side" of the political spectrum, remember how all opponents of the Communists were denounced as "running dogs" or "mad dogs".  Heck, Stalin even had opposition to Communism regarded as a mental illness, and consigned some of his opponents to "hospitals".  (Who can say if they were better off than in his Gulag?)

   The sad fact is, for all your prattling about "freedom", this kind of rhetoric is a hallmark of tyrants, and has been for ages.  How many times in history did rulers proclaim that opposition to them, or their policies, was opposition to God!  It's the same ploy.  You should consider the company you're keeping, and abandon it.

   As for the term "cultural war", look up the history of that term in its language of origin (German), and see just what kind of things were denounced as part of a Kulture Kampf in the past.   Again, you won't like the company you're keeping in using that rhetoric.

   And it's hysterical that you invoke the term "Orwellian", since this kind of behavior is exactly what he spent his life opposing.  Have you even read 1984?  In your eagerness to demonize those who dare disagree with you, you sound just like Big Brother!

  Frankly, it's the "right" in this country that is the most "politically correct" bunch.  Look how the Tea Baggers (sorry, Patrick for using that term) have been conducting purges of anyone they consider RINO's (Republicans In Name Only).  It doesn't get more "politically correct" than that!

   (Of course, I totally reject your accusation about what the "Progressive goal" is, much less what my goals are.  That's just more paranoid ideology on your part.)

   But for all your alleged concern about "a smothering government", why have you never answered my question about the constitutionality of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003?  And were I to check the Archives, would I find you railing about the misuse of the NSA, and the complete failure to follow FISA, that took place under Bush the Second?  Or did you keep silent when he (or Reagan before him) violated the law, because "It's Okay If You're A Republican"?

   I know you like to delude yourself that you're behaving on principle, but all I see is ignorance, arrogance, partisanship, ideology, and hypocrisy!

P.S. - The rest of what you wrote is just more of your ususal nonsense, which I've responded to enough previously.  When you're ready to ask me questions based on reality, supported by facts and proof, I'll provide an answer.  But I'm not going to respond to paranoid delusions, and empty rhetoric.

Actually DJ I am no more full of hate than you or anyone else. At least however I am not ashamed to put my name on my comments unlike you. However if you feel sorry for me, well send money. I will consider than an apology from you

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Roy:

   Yeah, you refer to your political opponents as a "cancer" because you're so full of love.  Just as Hitler and Goebbels compared Jews to vermin because of all the "love" in their hearts!  Funny, most people in those concentration camps found it hard to "feel the love".

Again I urge you to read what you write. Virtually every letter you write is laced with hate. And for the 100th time, I am Dennis Louchart, and have been commenting for over a year now. I do feel sorry for you, and if you need money for treatment, I would be glad to help as much as I can. However, you will never get an apology from me. I will never agree with your hateful attack tactics. Gordon and I have disagreed, and are totally capable of airing our side of the conversation without personal attacks. That is something I truly wish you could learn to do. Oh yes, I have snapped back at you when you go on the attack, I guess that is human nature, but not once have I gone on the attack first NEVER. Me DENNIS LOUCHART. You might want to write that down somewhere, because obviously you constantly forget.

DENNIS LOUCHART

P.S. I certainly know that ROY, is Roy Azzerolla, I expect that by now, you would know that djl or Dennis, is DENNIS LOUCHART

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Dennis:

   What's the "J" and the "318" for?

Gordon,

J is my middle initial for Joseph. 318 is my anniversary. I use this login on lots of sites, it's easy to remember. smiley

Dennis

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Dennis:

   Don't you mean you and your wife's anniversary?  Or did you remember the date but forget what it means?

:-)

Gordon,

OK, OUR anniversary. You asked a question and I answered. smiley 42 years in March, and still very much in love!

Dennis

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Mazeltov!

Hey Guys  Thanks for all the attention. The more you slam me the more effective I know I have been in exposing the Progressive cancer. and the more I enjoy knowing I have upset all of you phoney liberals. Keep it up Oh yes, Gordon you talk about projection and tranference. So now are you a psychiatrist as well as an attorney. Wow double major. Good for you. How talented you are.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Roy:

   I was wondering when you'd get around to that piece of malarkey.  Tell me, sir, why doesn't it apply in reverse.  Can't I say that the more you slam me "the more effective I know I have been in exposing" the "cancer" of your inanity, ignorance, and blind ideology?

   But unlike you, while I will support and defend your right to "keep it up" (I find our exchanges entertaining after all), I really wish you would abandon those qualities, and start making arguments, and taking positions, that are rational, informed, and based on fact.  (Then again, the shock would probably kill me!)

I feel sorry for you. It's not healthy to be so full of hate.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Dennis:

   In Roy's case, it's more a matter of "invincible ignorance".  (Which is often more deadly than mere hate.)

No Dennis I am not trying to limit Gordon's right to speak his mind. Only Progressives want those with whom they disagree to be silenced because the Progressives cannot win the argument with better ideas.  I am merely suggesting to Gordon that he goes back to the courtroom to spew his nonsense since this section is for opinions not for legal arguments to be made. Gordon does not offer opinions. Everything he utters is a legal argument. Have you not read his 2,000 words each issue he dedicates to showing off his knowledge to satisy his ego. He thinks he is impressing someone. The truth is he does not impress he only depresses. Now he needs your weak voice to defend him? What a joke !! What an absolute joke.

porr000's picture

Roy:

I don't know which Progressives you have been exposed to, whether they are social media "friends" of yours or some of the easy targets they throw on Hannity or O'Reilly.  However, the ones that have and do currently make a difference in our lives, who are in the government creating policy and regulations, and have been teaching America's children, are and have been highly educated. For the last century, they have been winning arguments with what many people in this country feel is a better idea.  

Even some Republican ideas on national security are very progressive.  I know that sounds contrary to popular conservatism, however is it really suprising when you consider we have been living under the influence of progressive ideology for around a century, that our higher education system has been progressive your entire life, and that conservatives (or RINO Republicans) desiring power, and who are ambitious enough to employ whatever means necessary to obtain that power, may even embrace a progressive concept?

Progressivism is very attractive because (in part)  it promotes the idea that there is no reason why our country, as wealthy as it is, cannot make significant improvements in almost every area.  That idea is so attractive, that many non-progressives feel the same way, regardless of wealth, race, gender or age.  Conservative arguements against that idea generally fall flat for various reasons, leaving many people feeling the progressive way is a better idea, a more humanitarian idea, and an uplifting idea.  The idea conservatives have always maintained (in part) is we will do better if the government gets out of our way and allows us to forge our own destinies unhindered, with low taxes, and the fortitude to reach for the American Dream in a free market where competition drives innovation, improves quality and lowers costs. 

I personally prefer a balance within that dichotomy.  However, what someone thinks is a "better idea" is subjective, based on your belief system, isn't it?  What is a better idea to one person is not necessarily a better idea to another.  

Another reason progressivism has gained in popularity is that it focuses heavily on modern science for a lot of its authority.  Improvements in technology and medicine has had a major impact and influence in our lives. We now live longer, diseases are prevented and cured, and we have boldly gone where no man has been before.  That's pretty powerful.  Where modern scientific facts are employed against age-old conservative ideas, or religious politics, science generally appears to be more authoratative, and that translates into a better idea for many more people in each  passing generation.  I would even go so far as to predict within 2 or 3 generations, science will become more important than religion in this country. (Please do not ask me for a link to provide a study done on this).  LOL    

I'd even predict that you are truly not as opposed to some of the progressive ideology as you would lead us to believe, but instead you are soundly opposed to its methodology.  However, you brought up the argument of ideas, so that is what I focused on here.  

Methodology is another letter for another day.  So is the topic of progressive republicans.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   Once again we have the "Humptey-Dumptey problem: What exactly do you (or Roy) mean by the term "Progressive"?  (You seem, at end of your Comment, to touch on that very issue.)

   The actual Progressives, members of the real-life Progressive Party at the start of the 20th Century, were liberal Republicans who grew disaffected with the conservative swing Taft was putting on their Party.  So they left to join Teddy Roosevelt's "Bull Moose Party", who's official name was the Progressive Party.

   (Though, of course, there were plenty of people with "Progressive" views in the Democratic Party too, along with plenty of conservatives.  Nothing is ever simple in politics, or life.)

   Thing is, many of those "progressive concepts" you mention have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans.  (And, at least prior to the realignment of the parties following the Civil Rights movement, were also opposed by members of both parties.)  Things like minimum wage laws, the 40 hour work week, child labor laws, laws making kidnapping and bank robbery Federal crimes, conservation laws, environmental laws, the Interstate Highway System, the Marshall Plan, and so much more have been supported by both Parties - some even by "conservatives".

   Just focusing on you and Roy the question arises of how "conservative" or "Progressive" you are.  Roy has previously expressed approval for some of what I just listed, and you have stated your support for gay marriage and the part of "Obamacare" that prevents exclusions for pre-existing conditions.  I'm pretty sure Roy would denounce you as a "Progressive" for that!

   As for how you describe "Progressive" concepts, let's just say that I consider that to be a gross caricature of reality.  (Of course, I don't agree with the term "Progressive" anyway.)  Speaking just for myself, I certainly don't believe we can "make significant improvements in almost every area".  And I certainly don't believe the government can or should try to.  (I oppose Mayor Blumberg's soda cup ban, remember.  Other examples exist.)

   Regarding Science versus Religion, that's not really the issue.  I like religion, and take religious concerns very seriously.  (C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors, and not just because of the Narnia books.)  But, I don't believe in mixing Church and State, religion and politics, not just because the Founders didn't want it, and the Constitution forbids it, but because historically the results have been disastrous and tyrannical whenever tried.

   Certainly where material  issues are concerned (the only legitimate issues for government) Religion should take a back seat to Science.  No ideas, however religious, age-old, or conservative, should prevail in this area when contrary to Science.  (Or, should "Obamacare" have included a requirement that our health insurance pay for Witch Doctors and exorcisms?)

   On the other hand, where moral and spiritual issues are concerned, Science should give the lead to Philosophy (including religion).  It can advise us as to what is physically possible, but whether we should do what is possible is a question Science cannot answer.  Simply put, it can tell us how, but never why.

   But purely moral and spiritual matters aren't the job of the government.  It's neither Washington's nor Arizona's job to make us "better people".  (That can happen as a result of our laws, but it's a side-effect, not the main purpose.)  Those things should truly be left to the "private sector".

   Let me add that I don't share your pessimism about the future of religion.  People have been predicting it's demise for centuries, yet it's as alive as ever.  Indeed, the whole thing can be summarized by a famous exchange of Graffitti that supposedly took place on a New York Subway wall:

God is dead.

- Nietzsch

Nietzsch is dead.

- God

 

porr000's picture

Dear Gordon:

I believe Roy's letter in the current issue of the WVV, entitled Progressives Are Here gives you an indication what he mean by the term "Progressive".

The actual Progressives are not only members of the real-life Progressive Party from the start of the 20th Century as you stated.  They include people before and after the forming of the Progressive Party.  President Obama is a self-proclaimed Progressive. Hillary Clinton is also a self-proclaimed Progressive.  My own Representative Rual Grijalva, Nancy Pelosi, and Bernie Sanders to name a few, are members of the Progressive Caucus.  Prior to the start of the Progressive Party, there were people with Progressive views, such as previously mentioned Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, younger President Woodrow Wilson, and Frank Goodnow to name a few.  Many people with means back then traveled to Europe for part of their education and were progressives.  

I had never heard the term before President Obama ran for office.  Shortly after that, a friend of mine announced proudly she was a progressive.  I asked what is that and she said it was someone who believed in the Hope and Change Obama promised.  

Well, since then I have been researching it because more and more people out there are claiming to be progressive but there wasn't much available that easily stated what being a Progressive means.  It is still quite vague. Even if you listen to Progressive radio, it is difficult to discern what being a Progressive is because they spend most of the time simply bashing Republicans.       

So if you feel there is some Humpty-Dumptyism going on, it is not suprising.  You can go to 20 different websites on Progressivism and get 20 different views.  

However, there seemed to be some themes beginning to develop as I began researching the history of Progressivism and looking at what is being done today and in recent history.  There is a change that occurred in Progressivism during the 60s for some reason, and I think you may have touched on the reason for it when you mentioned a  realignment of the parties following the Civil Rights movement, which I was unaware had happened.  

These themes include progressing beyond the confines layed out in the Constitution, the thought that the Constitution is a living, organic, and or evolving document, rather than a fixed one for all time that is amendable, a rejection of the founding principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the Constitution (the spirit of these two documents as we discussed previously) of natural rights, limited government, the separation of powers, representation and federalism. and there was a desire to separate representation with administration. There is a lot of talk about social justice and government being able to fix everything in the world.  

There are a great number of people who are much smarter that I who have written books on the subject in the past and recently who can explain Progressivism in America much better than I can.  It is difficult for me to be able to simply say definitely who or what a Progressive is, because as you said above,  nothing is ever simple in politics, or life, and there is so much that is supported by both conservatives and liberals.  It is much easier for a conservative to blatantly just call whatever they consider being  liberal as being progressive, but even that video series on Progressivism by Glen Beck I linked to you before says that description would be inaccurate. 

Regarding my support you mentioned above for the part of "Obamacare" that prevents exclusions for pre-existing conditions , I personally have what Mr. Compton calls cognitive dissonance .  I oppose the government telling any company with whom they can and cannot choose to do business.*  However, I am thankful for that provision of Obamacare for obvious reasons. I am sure Roy would consider that progressive, and based on only that information, I would agree.  But if this provision was negotiated with big pharma behind closed doors when Obama made the deal with them for their support of the legislation, then the provision changes from being mandatory to voluntary and no longer appears to be such an overreach of power. Still and all, when the White House wants something from someone and goes in flexing its muscles, it could certainly be coercive, and voluntary can change to "voluntary".  

Regarding my support you mentioned above for gay marriages, I reject that it is progressive and I even reject that it is liberal.  I believe I made my case to Roy in a previous comment that it is actually a failure of the government to secure the liberty, property rights, and the persuit of happiness for gay couples, as it has done for heterosexual couples.    

So yes, many concepts have indeed been supported by both Democrats and Republicans. All Progressive concepts are not exclusive only to Progressives.  All Progressives (like all Tea Party Patriots) do not belong to any particular political party either.  Matter of fact, there are many concepts that are even supported by both the Progressive Caucus and the Tea Party.  One concept they both share is the desire to create jobs.  The methodology however is different. 

I don't understand what you mean when you say you don't agree with the term Progressive when your own President is a self-proclaimed Progressive. Do you just think he is a liberal?  Did you think Teddy Roosevelt was just a liberal or just a modified conservative?  Do you believe it is Democratic or Republican to ask Congress for broad executive power during time of peace to fix the ills of the country?  I believe the Judicial branch found that it was too much.  In his autobiography, he wrote :I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power. In other words, I acted for the public welfare, I acted for the common well-being of all our people, whenever and in whatever manner was necessary, unless prevented by direct constitutional or legislative prohibition.  

Now let's skip forward to last week with President Obama saying he has a pen and a phone.  This idea that government can do anything it wants to unless proven otherwise may very well be a progressive concept.  

I too don't believe we can "make significant improvements in almost every area".  And I certainly don't believe the government can or should try to. But Progressives do!  Mayor Blumberg's soda cup ban is a perfect example of American Progressivism in my opinion.  It is not the government's job to "fix" us.  But Blumberg felt it was in our best interest.  

Just because the government can, legally get away with something doesn't mean that it should. 

After the ruling of Citizens United, Nancy Pelosi wanted to change the First Amendment to the Constitution to invalidate the ruling. Hmmm...progressive much?

And what about this business we had that George Bush felt we could tap phones first and then get a warrant later for it? Could that have been a progressive idea?

I think you misunderstood the whole religious thing I brought up.  I'll have to touch on that again at a later date. 

There is so much more to all this than I can fit in one letter tonight, it is certainly not complete nor all inclusive.  But it is late.  I will leave you with a few excerpts that may interest you.

 

“The American Conception of Liberty” - Frank Goodnow (1859-1939)

Progressive political science was based on the assumption that society could be organized in such a way that social ills would disappear. Goodnow, president of Johns Hopkins University and the first president of the American Political Science Association, helped pioneer the idea that separating politics from administration was the key to progress. In this speech, given at Brown University, he addresses the need to move beyond the ideas of the Founders.

The end of the eighteenth century was marked by the formulation and general acceptance by thinking men in Europe of a political philosophy which laid great emphasis on individual private rights. Man was by this philosophy conceived of as endowed at the time of his birth with certain inalienable rights. Thus, Rousseau in his "Social Contract" treated man as primarily an individual and only secondarily as a member of human society. Society itself was regarded 
 

only secondarily as a member of human society. Society itself was regarded as based upon a contract made between the individuals by whose union it was formed. At the time of making this contract these individuals were deemed to have reserved certain rights spoken of as "natural" rights. These rights could neither be taken away nor be limited without the consent of the individual affected.

Such a theory, of course, had no historical justification. There was no record of the making of any such contract as was postulated. It was impossible to assert, as a matter of fact even, that man existed first as an individual and that later he became, as the result of any act of volition on his part, a member of human society. But at a time when truth was sought usually through speculation rather than observation, the absence of proof of the facts which lay at the basis of the theory did not seriously trouble those by whom it was formulated or accepted.

While there was no justification in fact for this social contract theory and this doctrine of natural rights, their acceptance by thinking men did nevertheless have an important influence upon the development of thought and in that way upon the actual conditions of human life. For these theories were not only a philosophical explanation of the organization of society; they were at the same time the result of the then existing social conditions, and like most such theories were also an attempt to justify a course of conduct which was believed to be expedient.

.................................................................................................................................................................

In a word, man is regarded now throughout Europe, contrary to the view expressed by Rousseau, as primarily a member of society and secondarily as an individual. The rights which he possesses are, it is believed, conferred uponhim, not by his Creator, but rather by the society to which he belongs. What they are is to be determined by the legislative authority in view of the needs of that society. Social expediency, rather than natural right, is thus to determine the sphere of individual freedom of action.
 

Frank Goodnow, The American Conception of Liberty (Providence, RI: Standard Printing Company, 1916), 9-13, 19-21, 29-31.

 

 

“What is Progress” - Woodrow Wilson

The laws of this country have not kept up with the change of economic circumstances in this country; they have not kept up with the change of political circumstances; and therefore we are not even where we were when we started. We shall have to run, not until we are out of breath, but until we have caught up with our own conditions, before we shall be where we were when we started; when we started this great experiment which has been the hope and the beacon of the world. And we should have to run twice as fast as any rational program I have seen in order to get anywhere else.

I am, therefore, forced to be a progressive, if for no other reason, because we have not kept up with our changes of conditions, either in the economic field or in the political field. We have not kept up as well as other nations have. Wehave not kept our practices adjusted to the facts of the case, and until we do, and unless we do, the facts of the case will always have the better of the argument; because if you do not adjust your laws to the facts, so much the worse for the laws, not for the facts, because law trails along after the facts.
................................................................................................................................................................

Progress! Did you ever reflect that that word is almost a new one? No word comes more often or more naturally to the lips of modern man, as if the thing it stands for were almost synonymous with life itself, and yet men through many thousand years never talked or thought of progress. They thought in the other direction. Their stories of heroisms and glory were tales of the past. The ancestor wore the heavier armor and carried the larger spear. "There were giants in those days." Now all that has altered. We think of the future, not the past, as the more glorious time in comparison with which the present is nothing. 

Progress, development,—those are modern words. The modern idea is to leave the past and press onward to something new.

...............................................................................................................................................................

Now, it came to me, as this interesting man talked, that the Constitution of the United States had been made under the dominion of the Newtonian Theory. You have only to read the papers of The Federalist to see that fact written on every page. They speak of the "checks and balances" of the Constitution, and every page. They speak of the "checks and balances" of the Constitution, and use to express their idea the simile of the organization of the universe, and particularly of the solar system,—how by the attraction of gravitation the various parts are held in their orbits; and then they proceed to represent Congress, the Judiciary, and the President as a sort of imitation of the solar system.

They were only following the English Whigs, who gave Great Britain its modern constitution. Not that those Englishmen analyzed the matter, or had any theory about it; Englishmen care little for theories. It was a Frenchman, Montesquieu, who pointed out to them how faithfully they had copied Newton's description of the mechanism of the heavens.

The makers of our Federal Constitution read Montesquieu with true scientific enthusiasm. They were scientists in their way,—the best way of their age,—those fathers of the nation. Jefferson wrote of "the laws of Nature,"—and then by way of afterthought,—"and of Nature's God." And they constructed a government as they would have constructed an orrery,—to display the laws of nature. Politics in their thought was a variety of mechanics. The Constitution was founded on the law of gravitation. The government was to exist and move by virtue of the efficacy of "checks and balances."

The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other, as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent upon their quick cooperation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. Government is not a body of blind forces; it is a body of men, with highly differentiated functions, no doubt, in our modern day, of specialization, with a common task and purpose. Their cooperation is indispensable, their warfare fatal. There can be no successful government without the intimate, instinctive coordination of the organs of life and action. This is not theory, but fact, and displays its force as fact, whatever theories may be thrown across its track. Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop.

All that progressives ask or desire is permission—in an era when "development," "evolution," is the scientific word—to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine.

Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence, signed in Philadelphia, July 4th, 1776. Their bosoms swell against George III, but they have no consciousness of the war for freedom that is going on today.

The Declaration of Independence did not mention the questions of our day. It is of no consequence to us unless we can translate its general terms into examples of the present day and substitute them in some vital way for the examples it itself gives, so concrete, so intimately involved in the circumstances of the day in which it was conceived and written. It is an eminently practical document, meant for the use of practical men; not a thesis for philosophers, but a whip for tyrants; not a theory of government, but a program of action. Unless we can translate it into the questions of our own day, we are not worthy of it, we are not the sons of the sires who acted in response to its challenge.

What form does the contest between tyranny and freedom take today? What is the special form of tyranny we now fight? How does it endanger the rights of the people, and what do we mean to do in order to make our contest against it effectual? What are to be the items of our new declaration of independence?

FDR Annual Message to Congress

January 11, 1944

...It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad; The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

One of the great American industrialists of our day—a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis—recently emphasized the grave dangers of "rightist reaction" in this Nation. All clear-thinking businessmen share his concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop—if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called "normalcy" of the 1920's—then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.

I ask the Congress to explore the means for implementing this economic bill of rights—for it is definitely the responsibility of the Congress so to do. Many of these problems are already before committees of the Congress in the form of proposed legislation. I shall from time to time communicate with the Congress with respect to these and further proposals. In the event that no adequate program of progress is evolved, I am certain that the Nation will be conscious of the fact.

Our fighting men abroad—and their families at home—expect such a program and have the right to insist upon it. It is to their demands that this Government should pay heed rather than to the whining demands of selfish pressure groups who seek to feather their nests while young Americans are dying.

The foreign policy that we have been following—the policy that guided us at Moscow, Cairo, and Teheran—is based on the common sense principle which was best expressed by Benjamin Franklin on July 4, 1776: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

I have often said that there are no two fronts for America in this war. There is only one front. There is one line of unity which extends from the hearts of the people at home to the men of our attacking forces in our farthest outposts. When we speak of our total effort, we speak of the factory and the field, and the mine as well as of the battleground—we speak of the soldier and the civilian, the citizen and his Government.

Each and every one of us has a solemn obligation under God to serve this Nation in its most critical hour—to keep this Nation great—to make this Nation greater in a better world.


  1. Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Message on the State of the Union," 1944, in Samuel Irving Rosenman, ed., The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Vol. 13 (New York: Harper, 1950), 40-42

 

* within reason - there are obvious exceptions such as the government CAN tell firearm salesmen they cannot sell guns to criminals, etc.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   Sorry for the delay in responding and for the limited nature of this response.  The fact is: I haven't read either last Friday's or Tuesday's paper.  (All appearances to the contrary, I do have a life, and it's kept me busy since the weekend.)  Thus I can't fully respond either to Roy's letter, or your Comments.  But I promise to get back to you once I "catch up".

   However, let me explain something about the word "Progressive".  I dislike it for a number of reasons:

   First, the term was adopted recently (and by "recently" I mean a couple of decades ago - long before Obama ran for office) by liberals who, having been successfully demonized by "conservatives", thought they could escape it with a bit of "badge engineering".  Of course, as anyone with an understanding of human nature could have told them, it didn't work.  The same "conservatives" simply began demonizing the new label.  As I've told Roy countless times when he tries to put that label on me: I'm not a mealy-mouth "Progressive", I'm a proud liberal!

   Second, as part of that demonization process "conservatives" have turned the term into a general epithet hurled at anything or anyone they dislike.  (Just as they do with the terms "Socialism" or "Communism".)  It's the equivalent of what "my side" of the political spectrum engages in: hurling the words "Fascist" or "Racist" at anyone or anything they dislike.  The result?  All the words lose whatever meaning they once had.

   Third, for all of the above reasons I dislike labels in general.  As I've also explained before, it's part of why I usually put words like "conservative" or "liberal" in quotes - to indicate that skepticiism is called for when using those phrases.  Another reason for this is that the political spectrum shifts over time.  What was radical and liberal in 1776, is today considered commonplace and is embraced by "conservatives".

   Even back in the 18th Century this process took place.  Jefferson, of course, was one of our great "liberals", yet the call for American Indendence he wrote so eloquently about was championed in Britain by Edmund Burke, a conservative member of Parliament, and one of the "fore-fathers" of modern political Conservatism.  (In this case, by "modern" I don't mean the contemporary version of the "conservative" movement, but rather the fundamental principles that existed from the 18th to the late 20th centuries.  I think such groups as the Tea Party Movement actually are a mutation of Burke's form of Conservatism - and a harmful one at that!)

   Thus, during America's struggle for independence, Jefferson and Burke were on the same side (as were Jefferson and Adams).  But when the French Revolution broke out, even though it was based on the same principles as ours, and was inspired by ours, Jefferson parted company with Adams and Burke.  He was an enthusiastic supporter of that Revolution, they were more skeptical about it.  (To put it mildly.)  So, who were the "conservatives" in our Revolution, and who were the "conservatives" in the French Revolution?  (Personally, I think the more important question is: who was correct about each one?)

   Finally, as I've told both you and Roy, there are many things "Progressives" have produced that both of you approve of.  If I remember correctly, in one of our exchanges Roy admitted he liked such innovations as the 40 hour work week, Unemployment Insurance, the National Parks, the Pure Food and Drug Acts, and the vigorous enforcement of our Anti-Trust laws - all the result of "Progressive" politics.  (As was the State of Arizona, and its provisions for direct democracy, which I'm sure Roy made use of to vote against gay marriage.)  You have indicated similar approval, in addition to declaring support for at least one part of "Obamacare" (the ban on denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions).

   The point here is that if one truly believes in the rhetoric of small and limited government today's "conservatives" employ (especially with regard to the Federal government) than you should oppose almost all of those things!  Certainly, if you subscribe to the idea that the Federal government only has a few, circumscribed, enumerated powers, then your support for any part of "Obamacare" is a violation of "conservative" principles.

   This is the point behind my repeated challenge to "conservatives" about the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.  Where did Congress get the power to pass that?  From the same part of the Constitution which gives it the power to regulate what insurance companies can and can't do, and what policies they can and can't sell.  So, either "Obamacare" is constitutional, or the Abortion ban isn't.  You can't void the one and uphold the other - at least as far as Constitutional Law is concerned.

   Putting this altogether, these are briefly (well, briefly for me) the reasons why I object to, deny, and even mock Roy's tirades against his "dreaded Progressives" (as I term it).  He's merely throwing a label around, like a clay pigeon for target practice.  That's not the way to have a serious discussion on the issues facing our nation.

P.S. - As for the rest of what you wrote, I promise to get back to you on it another time.  (Though, hopefully, not as long as it's taken me to respond to Judy about those "Death Panels".  I'm really embarrased about that, but I keep getting side-tracked.)

porr000's picture

But if this provision was negotiated LIKE with big pharma 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Roy:

   Really?  Only "Progressives" want their opponents to be silenced?  Well, then, given the multiple time you've tried to urge silence upon me, I can only respond by saying:  "How progressive of you!"

   You are a fascinating case study in what Freud called projection or transference.  You falsely discern in others the "evil" you demonstrate yourself!

   I have no problem with you spewing nonsense.  In fact, I enjoy refuting it.  But you, on the other hand, clearly have a problem when anyone stands up to your verbal bullying and slander - especially since you never engage them in any kind of rational discussion, but simply hurl invectives (as this Comment of yours demonstrates).

   Lucky for me.  If you ever actually responded with something approaching a rational and informed argument, the shock would probably kill me!

P.S. - And since you object to people venturing "legal arguments", and "showing off" their knowledge (or, alleged knowledge), may we expect a Comment or Letter chastising Mr. Peabody for his submissions (complete with proper citation form for the cases he's invoked)?  Or do your rules against such conduct not apply to the "conservatively correct"?

  Joke's on you, sir.

Do you even read what you write??  You wrote that he should move back to New York and quit polluting our newspaper. Sure sounds like you want to shut him up. As far as me being weak? Be careful what you wish for.

It is incredible that you write things then immediately deny that you wrote it!

You are correct about one thing though. YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTE JOKE!!!

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Dennis:

   No, it's not.  Such conduct is typical for brain-dead ideologues (whether "left" or "right").  I can't tell you how often I've encountered it, and how often I have to "go to the videotape" (quote their own words against them, complete with links to the original).

   It makes no difference to them since they all regard facts as useless things, totally unnecessary for what they spew.  And they have to be that way, since if they ever tested their ideology against fact and reason the whole thing would fall apart!  So they literally exist in a perpetual state of denial.

   This is one of the hallmarks of a mindless ideologue, along with other things I've mentioned over the years.  Whenever I see someone behaving that way, I know their opinions will probably be worthless.  And sure enough, I'm rarely disappointed in that expectation (though I often wish I was).

   What Roy doesn't grasp is that I'd welcome a rational and informed argument from a thoughtful conservative, instead of what masquerades as "conservatism" these days: the legion of aptly self-named "dittoheads" who think parotting whatever Limbaugh says is the height of wisdom.  Or the people, like Roy, who think Glenn Beck is a prophet and leader for our time.  In earlier ages such people blindly followed the rantings of Father Charles Coughlin or George Lincoln Rockwell (on the "right"), or the ravings of the Communist Party (on the "left").  They are incapable of independent thought, and only know how to "toe the party line".

   A pity, with "supporters" like Roy, Conservatism needs no enemies!

Gordon

I have one very simple question for you, which I expect you will try to wiggle your way out of. My question is that since you are an attorney why don't you go back to New York and practice your trade in a court of law instead of poluting the pages of the WVV as you attemp to practice law in this newspaper? Nobody who reads your comments is able to relate to them anyway unless that person happens to be an attorney. All of your words although feeding your ego change nobodys opinion except to make people realize that you are getting farther out into left field every day.

So now you are calling all the readers of this paper stupid huh. I understand what Gordon writes, he is very clear on all subjects. But then I guess you really are hoping we are as stupid as you want because that is the only way you could get your inane rants taken seriously.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mikie:

   Actually, he's been calling the readers of this paper stupid for quite awhile.  At least those who aren't "conservatively correct"!

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Roy:

   Looking in the mirror again, are we?  Since when have you ever answered any questions put to you (simple or otherwise)?  If you have I must have blinked and missed it.

   In contrast, I almost always attempt to answer questions put to me.  (You may not like the answer, but that's your problem.)  Evasion and avoidance is your game (as it tends to be with most mindless ideologues - whether of the "left" or the "right".)  So, once again, we see you exercising your "virtue" of bald hypocrisy!

   As for the answer to your question, well we've done this dance before.  It's really simple.  What part of the term retired is too difficult for you to understand?  How I chose to enjoy my retirement (and where) is my business, not yours!

P.S. - And the rest of your blather, as usual, fits you far more than me.  I'm well aware that brain-dead people like yourself are unpursuadable, and I'm under no illusion that I'm having an impact on such as you.  Apparently, though, you labor under the fantasy that the readers of the View all consider you to be a source of wisdom - despite the many letters proving the opposite!  Instead of wasting your time and energy trying to silence me, why not actually try to make an intelligent, rational, and informed response?  (Of course, that assumes your capable of it.  So far all evidence is to the contrary.)

Gordon writes based on facts. I hope he continues to discredit your rants. btw, I love that you want him to go away and stop writing, but many, many times you have pronounced your RIGHT to speak your mind. I guess that RIGHT only applies to you?

Dennis

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Dennis:

   Now, now, don't go about implying Roy is a hypocrite.  That's my line!

;-)

   Thanks, all the same.

yesyes  Two thumbs up Gordon!!!!!  laugh

Dennis

 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   Just to let you know, I responded to your Comment about Taft's veto:

http://www.westvalleyview.com/comment/897#comment-897

porr000's picture

There have been many discussions over the past few years about the Ballot Initiative in Arizona, discussing whether or not it is a good thing.  

On one hand, if the people want something bad enough, and our legialture (which is the best that money can buy, in my opinion) does not act in accordance to the will of the people, we have the ability to put the issue up for a vote ourselves directly.

On the other hand, the will of the people has resulted in a lot of madatory funding, which comes right off the top of Arizona's budget.  A couple years ago when Arizona was having a budget crisis, there was talk about how X number of dollars in revenue that is brought into the state must be used for certain ballot initiatives that were passed, which lowered the amount of funds the state could use toward other things.  

It is also possible, and probably a reality, that out-of-state funding or lobbiests created or pumped money into some ballot initiatives and sold it to the people in this state.  I do take issue with that. 

Another problem, which is not exclusive to the ballot initiative, is the will of the people in the state may come in direct conflict with federal law, such as legalizing marijuana.  The legal liability for such initiatives could end up costing our state a ton of money (probably already has).

There is talk now about a ballot initiative to ban all distractions in moving vehicles, not just cell phone usage.  They want to eliminate anything that can distract a person from the road - but the devil will be in the details of course, if it ever makes it.  We already have laws in place for loosing control of a vehicle while driving and have a non-texting-while-driving law.  Further laws banning "anything" that would distract a driver is an overreach in my opinion.

Unless I am shown more support for the ballot initiative that truly makes sense to me, I prefer the representative method of passing laws in this state over the direct method of ballot initiative.  I think if the legislature doesn't adhere to the will of the people in this state, the people need to vote them out and replace them with someone who will represent their wishes, rather than simply bypass them with a ballot initiative.  

   

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   You won't find one here.  I agree with almost everything you wrote, and my few "disagreements" are merely matters of style, or a desire to more fully discuss the points  you raised.  (Don't worry, for once I'm going to be brief and resist the temptation!)

   Let me just say that when it comes to ballot initiatives, I start with a great prejudice against them.  I have to be fully convinced of both the soundness of the basic idea and of the proposed legislation before I'll vote for it.  Needless to say, I frequently vote No!

   Of course, given the "caliber" of our Legislature, an argument could be made for scrapping that body entirely, and putting everything up to popular vote!  I'm almost sure the voters would never propose, much less approve, a "show your papers to pee" initiative!

;-)

porr000's picture

We seriously need an initiative however that restricts our legislature from initiating and voting on legislation that will line their own pocketbooks.

I was shocked that we don't have such an ethics law in this state or in the federal government.

Within the past couple years Congress passed an ethics rule or law unanimously for this and AZ should have followed suit.

A ballot initiative for this restriction would probably be something I could support depending on how it is written.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   There.  Who says I can't be succinct?

porr000's picture

The comment I posted written by Taft in his veto, 

"No honest, clear-headed man, however great a lover of the popular government, can deny that the unbridled expression of the majority of a community converted hastily into law or action would sometimes make a government tyrannical and cruel."

was not Taft  "objecting to the progressive proposal to have laws passed in Arizona by popular Initiative and Petition", as you stated.  

As I understand it, Taft was in opposition to the recall of justices, because he felt in order for the justices to be able to remain impartial, they should not have to worry about being recalled if the popular majority doesn't care for their decisions.   

I have always wondered why we have judges on our ballots with the questions whether or not they should keep their jobs.  I mean, how much does a common lay man know about the different judges?  Now I know why it is there.  

However, Taft's statement rang true to me with regards to Obamacare, because it too is a law that thrust a community (in this case the entire country) hastily into a law which, (as it was passed), was tyrranical and cruel to businesses.  

In a bipartisan success story, Congress (after reading it once the law was rushed through and passed), lifted the requirement on businesses to file a form called a 1099 for a variety of business expenses.

There area also something like 18 or 19 other changes to Obamacare since it's passage that has been deemed to be tyrranical and cruel or unfair, or difficult to implement, or unsustainable or whatever...you get the idea.  

 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   You may be correct.  I might have confused the two issues (judicial recall and direct legislation by petitions).  My bad.

   Taft opposed both of them.  (As do I.)  But my remarks about how he was hoodwinked remain valid.  Whichever provision it was that prompted his veto (and it might have been both), Arizonans removed it from their proposed Constitution, and then once Statehood was granted put it back in!  So the Progressives won after all.  (And my original Comment to Roy about this stands.)

   As for judicial recall itself (or even the election of judges in the first place), it's not only "a common lay man" who lacks sufficient knowledge to make such a decision, lawyers really don't either!

   I've practiced before innumerable judges, but I've mostly only appeared before them in connection with one case each.  That hardly provides a basis on which to "judge" their fitness.  I distinctly remember one judge who made a real bonehead ruling about a point of law.  He was absolutely wrong (and I had to scramble to correct the error he was making).  Based on that one incident I could decide he was unfit, and vote against him if I had the chance.  (Since New York elects its trial judges, I could have had such an opportunity.)  But for all I know, that was simply a one-time event, and otherwise he was a sound and able jurist.

   The only way to really have any knowledge would be to review every case, and every decision, a judge ever made.  Obviously no one has the time to do that!  (At least here in Arizona we're given a booklet with some evaluation of the judges.  It's a help, but hardly sufficient.)  Then, too, there are the undefinable and subjective questions of judicial demeanor.  How judges conduct themselves in court, how they treat the attorneys and witnesses.  Again, without a day-by-day review it's impossible to make an informed decision.

   Then there's the fact that most judges change over time.  I well recall my reaction to one of the first decisions Justice John Paul Stevens rendered.  It was in a case weighing the First Amendment rights of "adult businesses".  I was appalled when he gave this reason for restricing the rights of such forms of "entertainment":

few of us would march our sons and daughters off to war to preserve the citizen's right to see 'Specified Sexual Activities'

- Young v. American Mini Theatres, 427 U.S. 50 at 71 (1976).

   I'm sorry, but our free speech rights shouldn't depend on how popular a particular form of speech is (lowering constitutional protection for speech thus considered "unworthy").  I believe in Justice Black's observation that where the Amendent says there shall be no law, it means NO law!

   So, based on that case, I would have been happy to vote against Justice Stevens in 1976.  But, of course, his views changed, and he became one of the Court's staunchest defenders of free speech.  He also became (perhaps) its leading "liberal".  When he retired in 2010 I was sorry to see him go.  Thus even an attorney, familiar with what this Justice had written about the First Amendment, would have cast a different vote in 1976 from the one he'd cast 34 years later.  How can any of us truly "judge" the judges?

   (I put the word "liberal" in quotes because it really only has meaning in a comparative sense.  Like "conservative", the term today has no real absolute meaning.  Indeed, many long-time "conservatives" have been denounced and primaried by members of the Tea Party Movement as being "Progressives" because they're only 90% "conservative", instead of 110%!)

   As for "Obamacare", not only do I disagree with your employment of Taft's quote in connection with it, but (obviously) I disagree with your characterization of the law itself.

   Taft was referring to a political or legal process.  (Whether about the election of judges, or petition and referendum.)  He was not talking about a specfic outcome of the process.  Do you think the successful recall of California's Supreme Court Justices (or its Governor) was "tyrannical and cruel"?  What about the recall (in Iowa) of the judges who voted for gay marriage?  Like someone's approval or disapproval of Supreme Court decision, such a "judgment" often depends on whose "ox was gored".

   And "Obamacare" certainly wasn't the product of a government policy "converted hastily into law or action".  The legislative process which produced it took over a year!  There were multiple versions introduced, debated, revised.  Some proposed bills were scrapped completely, others were merged into the final product.  And the public was fully informed about the whole thing.  (Or in some cases misinformed.  "Death Panels" anyone?)  That's not what Taft was afraid of.

   But judicial recall elections (and ballot initiatives) are hasty processes, usually lasting less than a year.  There is no sober reflection (such as should take place in the normal legislative process).  No chance for revision or compromise.  It's simply a straight up or down vote, with the side whose members are the most passionate (and therefore most likely to vote) winning.

   Indeed, often such elections are actually decided by a minority of the voters (turnout being what it is).  For example, recently North Carolina voted to ban gay marriages by a "wide margin" - 60% of the vote if I remember corrrectly.  But only a minority of the registered voters bothered to vote!  The result?  The State's Constitution was amended by a vote of about one-third of its citizens.  Imagine what the U.S. Constitution would look like if only a one-third vote of members of Congress and the States were required!  (Instead of the two-thirds and three-quarters actually required.)  Our "constitutional rights" would literally not be worth the paper they're printed on!

   Nor do I think "Obamacare" is "cruel or tyrannical" to anyone (individuals or businesses).  It's far from perfect, but show me any law which is!

   No, if you want a perfect example of "the unbridled expression of the majority of a community converted hastily into law or action [making] a government tyrannical and cruel" look no further than the Patriot Act.  It was introduced into Congress on October 23, 2001, passed the House a day later and the Senate the next day.  President Bush signed it three days after it had been introduced!  I wonder how many denouncers of "Obamacare" opposed that?  (There were only 66 nays in the House, and one in the Senate.  Plus, I don't recall "conservatives" rallying against it.  Certainly not Fox, Limbaugh, or Beck.)

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Act

   By the way, among the "Yea" votes by Senators were such prominent critics of "Obamacare" as McCain and McConnell.  I wonder what their votes on "Obamacare" were, or what we'd find if we continued the comparison with other Senators?

See: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm...

   Clearly, "bipartisanship" ain't all it's cracked up to be!  And if you want to create a requirement of bipartisanship for future legislation, feel free to propose one for your Congressional representative to sponsor.  Just remember, such a requirement violates Majority Rule, “that fundamental maxim of republican government” (The Federalist Papers, Number 22, page 142 of the Signet Classic Edition).  Indeed, I hope your proposal would include a provision voiding all existing laws that weren't sufficiently "bi-partisan".

   As for what has been "deemed" improper, I really don't care.  To go back to an earlier point I made (months ago) even if you (or anyone else) "deems" the Moon to be made of green cheese, it's still not a dairy product!

porr000's picture

I see your point and have to agree enough to withdraw my statement. The Patriot Act example was excellent.

The bipartisan support it received however was an exception, and not sufficient enough to make the claim that bipartisanship is not all it is cracked up to be.

I still contend that if a piece of legislation is good and just, and in the best interest of the people, it will garner bipartisan support. Generally speaking, the bipartisan support a piece of legislation receives is an indicator or measurement of how good it is, or how much cooperation or compromise there was.

I would like it if every piece of legislation put forth would have this in mind when it is being created, but I'd never propose it to be a requirement.

How much time was wasted in the House with all the legislation put forth to repeal Obamacare, knowing full well it would not get sufficient bipartisan support to be taken seriously?

Good legislation requires compromise sometimes to garner bipartisan support. That is viewed by most as congress working together. The results are not always the best ever, whether there is or is not cooperation. However they are overall better with compromise and or cooperation than without.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   Oh No, we're agreeing again!  We must be having a honeymoon.  (And I thought gay marriage was banned in Arizona.)

;-)

   Perhaps I can further your agreement by explaining that when I said bipartisanship isn't all it's cracked up to be, I merely meant it's not necessarily a good thing in itself.  To use an example you provided, I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover that the Japanese Internment program had broad bipartisan support!  (I'm not going to bother researching the actual vote.)  If true, that's clearly a case of bipartisanship gone wrong.

   On the other hand, passage of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts in the 1960's was only possible because of bipartisanship.  That was due to the fact that neither Party was as ideologically "pure" as they've become.  There were plenty of "conservative" Democrats back then (mostly in the South), and plenty of moderate to "liberal" Republicans (mostly in the North and West).  Thus geography, and position on the political spectrum, had a lot more to do with the outcome than party label.  It's true the majority of the votes for those laws came from Democrats, but it's also true that there weren't enough votes for passage without the help of Republicans.  (And, of course, it was a Democratic President who pushed for and signed both laws.)

   Today, alas, such kind of bipartisanship almost requires a miracle.  (More on that in response to your next Comment.)

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