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Letters to the Editor - January 14, 2014

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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

Karl Nelson

 

Your letter is very disturbing indeed. If I were nieve I could only hope you are wrong. However, I know you are absolutely 100%  on the money. Keep up your letters in trying to give the public the information they need to combat those who would take away our freedom.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Roy:

   Except for the fact that Karl Nelson's track record with accuracy is as poor as yours.  However, unlike the two of  you, I prefer to know what I'm talking about before forming an opinion (much less stating one).  So I will "naively" wait until I've had a chance to review the NDAA (for 2014), and the history of the law, before venturing an opinion.

   I'd love to know, though, how Mr. Nelson jumps from a possible violation of the Fourth Amendment (the NSA scandal) to a violation of the First!   Last I checked it's no crime in this country "to discuss the political situation or defend liberty".  It is a crime to conspire to commit acts of terrorism (such as the Boston bombing).  I trust Mr. Nelson (and you) don't believe we have the right to "speak freely" in order to plan such attacks!

Gordon     Maybe you need a part time job to occupy yourself with as I have the feeling you are becoming more irrational with each passing day.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Roy:

   Said the pot to the brand new (and perfectly clean) kettle.  You seem to have plenty of time to spew your arrant nonsense, so forgive me if I choose to use my free time to respond to it.

   And given how frequently you protest when others attempt to "silence" you, these constant demonstrations of your contempt for my free speech rights only demonstrates that hypocrisy is another of your "virtues".

  Of course, since you've repeatedly stated your contempt for facts, it's not suprising you think it "irrational" for someone to refrain from stating an opinion until he's investigated them!

   Meantwhile, how about addressing the question I posed (which you've evaded and avoided): Since when did it become a crime "to discuss the political situation or defend liberty"?  Mr. Nelson appears to believe it has, care to provide some proof for such an inane view?

   (Oh, that's right, you don't need no stinkin' proof either!)

Dear Roy (and Gordon),

You are no longer sounding like two gentleman who claimed they'd like to meet for coffee some day.

Gordon, while you are looking up NDAA, you might want to look up CISPA as well. That is another one out there many people feel is an erosion to our rights.

As far as the question you asked Mr. Nelson and Roy, it currently is not.

Mr. Nelson's opinion is a conspiracy theory, promoted by those like Alex Jones who are of the mindset that IF the government CAN abuse it's power, it WILL, and probably already HAS.

That is the reason, not necessarily based on facts that you cannot argue about. The main mantra however, is that if you don't think it can happen HERE, think again! We are always in a state of loosing everything we have within only one or two generations. The stuff Mr. Nelson speaks of has already happened in other countries and to some extent, arguably, here.

The ideology is a bit extreme for my taste, but you cannot say it is wrong. There IS definitely room for abuse of power. For instance, can you tell me how many people have been or are currently being detained under NDAA? No, you cannot, nor will you ever, nor can anyone else. We simply may never know and that really bothers people. The more bothersome something is, the more outlandish the conspiracy becomes, it seems. But those conspiracies have happened and currently do happen all around the world.

Our government has been building a ton more FEMA camps (supposedly) since NDAA went into effect and our government won't state why or even acknowledge that claim. It wasn't too long ago in our own country that our government rounded up all the Japanese and tossed them into camps in the name of national security. People still alive remember this!

So try as you may to argue against these opinions, there is just no winning because they are not necessarily based on solid evidence, but on a fearful and cynical ideology derived from historical events.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

    Since gay marriage isn't legal in this State, what "honeymoon"?

;-)

   Thanks for the reference to CISPA.  I should explain that I am familiar with the controversies over it and the NDAA.  However, before subscribing to Mr. Nelson's latest exercise in "crying wolf", I'd like to look over more of the details, history, and background of those things.

   For example, the NDAA (or something like it) has been around for decades.  It isn't some new piece of legislation.  And while the more controversial parts he referred to are relatively recent, they go back to previous Administrations.  Plus, in all its versions, the legislation both originated in the House of Representatives, and ultimately had to be passed there.  So clearly this is a bi-partisan measure.  (Something I'm sure would shock Roy, who probably thinks it's just another part of his dreaded "Progressive agenda".)

   Don't get me wrong, there are serious issues to be considered and discussed.  I'm just not ready to accept the say-so of two people (Azzarello and Nelson) whose track record in "accuracy" is as poor as their's is!  (After all, the answer to my question demonstrates one part of Nelson's letter is a tad overblown.  It's no crime to discuss the things he mentioned.)  Maybe we are on the slow path to tyrrany, but maybe the sky isn't falling!

   The problem with Mr. Jones' theory (aside from being based on nothing but paranoia) is the fact that power can always be abused!  We see examples of it all the time.  (The recent events in Fort Lee are a perfect proof of this.)  But does that mean we have to prepare for the transformation of this country into a dictatorship merely because of all the sweeping powers our government is given?  Heck, we might as well shut down our Military, Police, Prisons, and Criminal Courts - just to be completely "safe".

   Frankly, he reminds me not only of Father Coughlin and George Lincoln Rockwell, but also of Adolf Hitler (who had his own conspiracy theory).

   The Founders recognized that power can always be abused.  That's why they set up a Constitution based on the principles of Delegation of Power, Separation of Power (with Checks and Balances), and Limitation of Power.  By dividing power between the State and Federal governments, and within the Federal government itself, and also imposing absolute limits on how that power can be used, they did the best they could to create a government with enough power to be effective (otherwise, why bother?), but with such restrictions on that power as to lower the odds of its abuse.  Lower the odds, but not eliminate them.  Under Mr. Jones' "theory", the only good goverment is no government.  (And Thomas Hobbes had a few things to say about that!  None of them flattering.)

   Eternal vigilance is the price we pay for freedom.  (We must always keep an eye on the government.)  But eternal paranoia will be the death of freedom.

   As for how many people have been detained under NDAA: trying to create a "boogeyman" out of lack of information crosses the line between vigilance and paranoia.  (Besides, most of those being detained are known, and most of its detainment provisions concern them, or people like them.  Ever heard of Guantanamo?)

   "FEMA camps" are a perfect example of such paranoia in action.  In the first place, they are the product of a law introduced (and passed) back in 2009 - long before the currrent version of NDAA, and long after the first NDAA was ever passed.  (There have been NDAA's passed every year for 53 years!)

See: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131220/DEFREG02/312200014/With-Just...

  Obviously, then, the only connection between FEMA and the NDAA is the fact that those "camps" are supposed to be located on military bases.  The following article mentions that, and the other reasons this particular "conspiracy theory" doesn't stand up to scrutiny.  (For a thorough review, also look at the sources it cites.  Don't just rely on the article itself.)

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/FEMA_concentration_camps#cite_note-7

   I'll just point out two facts the article mentions. 1) This "supersecret" conspiracy is being operated by the same bunch that did such a "heckuva job" during Katrina.  Makes you wonder how "effective' this program will be.  2) It's so "secret", there are Internet "Want Ads" for job applicants to staff the "camps".  Talk about transparency in government!

   And please note: there was absolutely no secrecy about the Japanese Internment Camps.  To the contrary, the general public supported the idea!

   (It's a shameful moment in our history I have personal acquaintance with.  My family knew two Japanese Americans whose families had been interred.  The wife was bitter about it all her life.  The husband?  Why he proved what a "danger" he was to America by joining the famous "Go For Broke" regiment in World War II, earning the Congressional Medal of Honor as a result!)

   Yes, I can't win an argument with the paranoid and the delusional.  I'd have as much chance trying, by rational debate, to stop the Unabomber, Jared Loughner (Tucson), or Adam Lanza (Newton).  But to repeat, I'm not really addressing such people.  I recognize Roy is beyond the reach of reason.  I merely want to provide a counter-argument for those who are still rational.

Dear Mr. Posner:

You hit the nail on the head with that one word.

I now want a bumper sticker that not only says PRAY FOR WHIRRLED PEAS, but also says REPLACE PARANOIA WITH VIGILANCE.

I know a few, as I am sure everyone does, who watch everything they can that goes on in our government as some sort of plot for some diabolical purpose.

For instance, I know one lady who is absolutely convinced if our next president is a republican, that when Ginsburg retires she'll be replaced with a conservative justice and then there goes Roe v.Wade.

And although there may be some truth contained within conspiracy theories, or possibilities, the chances are slim to none any of them will come true. In the mean time however, these people live in a constant state of fear.

Remember what Master Yoda said:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kFnFr-DOPf8

I hope this link works.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   I prefer the Muppet version of Yoda to the CGI version.  (Of course, he appeared in a better movie!)

   I agree with most of what you wrote, but with a couple of questions/comments:

   1) Is there actually a bumper sticker that reads: "PRAY FOR WHIRRLED PEAS"?  If not, I love the pun you made.

    2) You know places like Staples and OfficeMax sell magnetic and adhesive "bumber sticker" material that you can print messages on and then use.  I made one for my car that reads:

Tailgate,

I slow down!

   3) With all due respect, I don't think your lady friend is either paranoid, or engaging in a conspiracy theory.  Maybe as a retired attorney I focus too much on the Court, but I think it's current makeup (equal number of "conservative" and "liberal" justices, with Kennedy as the "swing vote") is really what's behind a lot of presidential politics, and has been for sometime.  I've often bemoaned the bad luck (in my view) that caused Katrina to strike in the Fall of 2015, instead of one year earlier.  It probably would have cost Bush re-election, and we wouldn't have Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Alito on the bench.  Instead, we'd have a solid 6 - 3 liberal to moderate Court.  So I think the future of the Court is what drives a lot of the political posturing going on; both sides of the political spectrum correctly see it's up for grabs.

   Now, of course, there's no guarantee how a Democratic or a Republican nominee will turn out.  John Paul Stevens and David Souter were both appointed by Republicans, as were Earl Warren and William Brennan.  They were expected to be good "conservatives" (and as I've previously written, Stevens certainly started out appearing to be one).  Things didn't turn out precisely as planned.

   Still, it's not such a leap to suppose that within the next seven years at least one vacancy will occur, and probably more than one.  So, if the Democrats retain the White House (by winning the next election) the recent "modifications" to Roe by the "conservative" Justices will be in danger.

   (Such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which allows restrictions so long as they don't constitute an "undue burden".  I wonder how the NRA would like a similar decision about restrictions on gun rights?)

   On the other hand, a Republican President (after 2016) could very well tip the balance the other way, and the overrule of Roe would be quite possible.

   (Or, just as bad, the ruling could be so modified as to be effectively overruled.  For example, Brown v. Board of Education didn't officially overrule Plessy v. Ferguson - the decision which allowed for Segregation.  It simply created an exception for public schools, which was then expanded to the point that about the only place "separate but equal" still applies is to public washrooms for men and women!)

   And there are plenty of other decisions that could be "up for grabs" too.  Many "conservatives" would love to see much of the Fourth Amendment rulings scrapped.  (The Burger, Rehnquist, and Roberts Courts have been poking so many holes in it, the thing resembles Swiss Cheese as it is.)  They'd also like to do away with Church/State Separation as much as possible.  On the other side, Citizens United (and the earlier case of Buckley v. Valeo it's in part based on) have big targets on their backs!

   So while there's certainly no guarantee that a Republican President would spell Roe's doom, or a Democratic one would not only insure its survival but also its reinvigoration, I'm confident neither side in the abortion debate would want to take any chances.  I'm reasonably certain Focus on the Family won't be endorsing a Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, and I doubt Planned Parenthood will endorse the Republican.  (Though, of course, miracles can happen.)

Yes, it is an actual bumper sticker.  There are tshirts and key chains too.  Other versions are: "Lettuce Prey Four Whirled Peas" and "Visualize Whirled Peas".  

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   Thanks for the info.  Very interesting, but I'm afraid I can't embrace the sentiment.  You see, in my house the only such prayers were by my mother, praying I'd eat my peas.  (As you know, not all prayers are answered, and that one never was.)

;-)

Mr Posner wrote: So, if the Democrats retain the White House... the recent "modifications" to Roe by the "conservative" Justices will be in danger.

I just want to make sure I understand this correctly.  

1) The modifications to Roe were the parental consent, informed consent, and waiting period laws?
2) These 3 modifications were upheld by Justices: O'Connor, Kennedy, Suiter, Rehnquist, Scalia, White and Thomas - 7 of the 9 justices?
3) If Ginsburg, who replaced O'Connor? was to step down and be replaced by a "Liberal" justice, and say Kennedy was to step down and be replaced by another "Liberal" justice, it will put what the other 5 justices upheld in danger?

 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   Don't take this as an insult, but once again you are making a mistake common among non-lawyers: focusing on the specific result of a case (what lawyer's call the judgment), instead of on the reasoning used to achieve that result.  It's sort of like how, earlier this year, many people wrongly assumed that because I criticized the reasoning in the Second Amendment case (D.C. v. Heller), I also disagreed with the result: Mr. Heller got to keep his handgun.  I was happy with that result, just not the reasoning used to achieve it.

   When I spoke of "modifications" to Roe v. Wade, I wasn't referring to specific outcomes (such as the ones you mentioned), but to more subtle matters having to do with Constitutional Law.  I'll try to explain it briefly, but remember I'm grossly oversimplifying.

   Usually when a law is challenged as violating the Constituiton one of two tests are applied: "Loose Scrutiny" and "Strict Scrutiny".  Under the former, the law will be upheld if it is "rationally related to a legitimate government interest".  As you can imagine, almost any law survives that test.  Under Strict Scrutiny, however, the law must be necessary to fulfill "a compelling government interest".  In practice, very few laws survive that one.

   Which test is applied depends on whether or not a specific constitutional right is involved (Free speech, Freedom of Religion, Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights, etc.), instead of just an allegation that the law doesn't comport with general notions of Due Process.  If such a right is involved, the strict scrutiny test is used.

   Since Row declared that the (previously established) right of personal privacy in matters of marriage and sex was involved, strict scrutiny was employed.  But, in the Planned Parenthood decision the Court changed this to a lesser standard, and declared restrictions on abortion would be valid if they placed no "undue burden" on women.  That's the modification I was referring to.

   (And that's why I made a side comment about the N.R.A.   How do you think they'd react if the Court decides a 24 hour waiting period to buy a gun didn't impose an "undue burden", and therefore was valid?  Indeed, none of us should like the idea of our rights depending on what 5 members of the Supreme Court consider "undue"!)

   To answer your final question: yes.  All it takes is a bare majority to overturn (or "modify") prior decisions.  It might be nice if we had a limiting principle that says an earlier Court's ruling can only be changed or eliminated by an equal or greater number of Justices, but we don't.

P.S. - Your math is off.  If Kennedy (or any of the other "conservatives") were to leave in the next 3 years, the odds are someone more "liberal" would replace them.  Thus, instead of being a 4 - 1 - 4 Court "balanced on a knife's edge", it would become a 5 - 4 "liberal" Court.  (Of course, I'd say it's more likely to be a "moderate" Court, since I consider it's current makeup too "conservative" as it is.)  If Ginzburg also left under Obama, it would still be 5 - 4.  But, if no one leaves until (say) 2017, and then Ginzburg (who most people think is the most likely to go) left, under a Republican President, I'd say Roe would be in serious trouble.  Similarly, even if Kennedy were to leave first (under Obama), if a Republican got the chance to replace Ginzburg, that would switch the balance back to the "conservatives".  (Unless, of course, the nominees proved to be big surprises, the way Earl Warren was.)

   Again, over the next seven years the odds are that as many as four Justices could leave (alphabeticallly: Ginzburg, Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas).  Depending who's President, that person could have a profound effect on our laws for several decades!  (The way Reagan and Bush the First have.)

I know relatively nothing about the NRA, but it seems to me that during my entire life I have constantly heard about the government putting restrictions on our gun rights.  The NRA was set up to communicate gun law legislation to its members, wasn't it?  I'd imagine, to answer your question - they would probably be on top of each restriction regardless of whether it constitutes an "undue burden" or not.  

Just the other day a district judge ruled Chicago's gun ban unconstitutional.  This is the first time I have ever heard our government upholding gun rights (although I am sure it has happened before).  

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/06/us/chicago-gun-ban/

and according to the NRA, "The case was brought against the City of Chicago and Mayor Rahm Emanuel by the Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers; Kenneth Pacholski; Kathryn Tyler; and Michael Hall, with the strong support of the National Rifle Association."

http://www.nraila.org/news-issues/news-from-nra-ila/2014/jan/us-district...

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   I trust I've explained why I made reference to the N.R.A. in my original Comment, and why it isn't just members of that organization who should be concerned about the "modification" I discussed.  The principles governing how Courts intepret and apply the Law, especially Constitutional Law, apply to more than just one specific case.  It might be fine for someone who opposes abortions to be able to restrict those rights by an "undue burden" standard, but how would they feel if it was a right they cherish?  Hence my reference to the N.R.A. and the Second Amendment.

   As for "being on top of" laws - that's true for everyone.  In a democratic republic (or a representative democracy) it's our duty to keep an eye on what's being legislated, and make our views known to our representatives.  (That, after all, is what the word "representative" means.  Members of Congress, and the government as a whole, are supposed to represent and work for us.)  So, the N.R.A. stays "on top" of proposed gun restrictions, and Planned Parenthood does the same for abortion restrictions, other groups have different areas of concern.  But I'm sure all such groups would like to think the Constitution protects them from more than just an "undue burden".  (Which, like beauty, exists in the eye of the beholder.)

   As for "the government" (more accurately the Courts) upholding gun rights.   What do you think D.C. v. Heller did?  The Supreme Court struck down that town's attempt to ban all handguns.  And that ruling was later extended to the State governments by the "follow-up" case of McDonald v. Chicago (rendered in 2010).

   Frankly the Chicago ordinance involved in the case you linked to either was an old one that hadn't been "officiallly" challenged or, if passed after the Heller and McDonald decisions, was a case of legislative malpractice!  I rarely try to predict the outcome of litigation, but on that one I'd have happily "bet the farm" that the ordinance would be voided.

   But suppose, instead of a complete ban on gun sales, it was only a ban on automatic or semi-automatic weapons, and on magazines holding more than 10 bullets, combined with a requirement of background checks, a 24 hour waiting period, and bans on sales to felons, the mentally ill, the emotionally unstable, drunks, drug addicts (complete with a requirement of a urine test), etc.?  How would the N.R.A. press release have read when the judge ruled these were valid restrictions since they didn't impose an "undue burden"?  I doubt they'd be happy with that outcome!

Mr. Posner wrote:

On the other hand, a Republican President (after 2016) could very well tip the balance the other way, and the overrule of Roe would be quite possible.

Like I said before, every conspiracy has some truth or possibility, but it is my prediction in this case that Roe will never be overturned or effectively overruled regardless of the makeup of the justices (unless further medical/scientific information we don't know about now is presented in the future).  

The idea that Roe, which is firmly rooted in individual rights and liberty for more than 40 years would be overturned based solely on "conservative" ideology is a mistake I seriously doubt the Justices would make.  I see no reason why they would even accept any cases which would put them in the position to do so.  They have upheld it 6 times already.  

I believe the "conservatives" that are wanting to overturn Roe are betting on the long-shot, and will have to step away from this social issue if they ever want to regain the white house (unless Hillary totally pisses off the public during her up and coming reign of progressivism...lol).  

I may be wrong...but I doubt it.  This is something I truly feel deep down and forgive me for relying on that alone rather than fact or reason, but when I feel something deep down with my entire being, I am rarely, if ever wrong.  But as I stated before, it is difficult to argue (at least for me) these types of conspiracy theories because there IS some truth or possibility that exists.  But then again, there are many other factors at play too, such as the possibility of an old "conservative" justice becoming "liberal" in his old age.  

If I am dead wrong however, and Roe does get overturned, can you just imagine the pandamonium that would ensue?   

 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   It was more than 58 years before the Supreme Court rejected "separate but equal", thus eviscerating its 1896 decision of Plessy v. Fergusson.  Even then it was a near thing.  (One major factor determining the outcome was the death of Chief Justice Vinson and his replacement by Earl Warren.  Indeed, at Vinson's grave Justice Frankfurter made the catty remark that Vinson's death, while the Court was considering the issue, was the surest sign he'd ever seen that there was a God!)

   Bowers v. Hardwick, which upheld State anti-sodomy laws, was decided in 1986.   It was overturned by Lawrence v. Texas a mere 17 years later!

   Rowe is older than Bowers, but way younger than Plessy.  Age alone provides no guaranty of a decision's survival.

   "Conservatives" have hated Roe from the moment it was rendered.  (Not to mention the decision it was based on: Griswold v. Connecticut.)  And their disapproval is over more than just whether or not they personally approve of abortion.  Contrary to your bland confidence, they don't regard either decision as "firmly rooted in individual rights and liberty".  To the contrary, they think the "right" applied in Roe came out of thin air!

   Thomas, of course, has repeatedly said he'd like to overturn it.  Scalia (especially with his version of "originalism") would do it too.  The willingness of Roberts and Alito to uphold restrictions on abortion rights indicates no great love for the decision either, and Kennedy - well, he's the swing vote who's probably keeping Roe alive.  Replace him with someone more conservative, and Roe could indeed by "up for grabs".  (And if Ginzburg were similarly replaced, almost all bets would be off!)

  Is there a guarantee of what will happen if either he or Ginzburg leaves (to be replaced by someone of the opposite pursuasion)?  Of course not.  Justices are not robots, and one can never truly predict what will  happen.  But I'd rather not gamble with a woman's rights, anymore than you'd prefer to gamble with some other rights you care about.  After all, a more "liberal" Court could well decide that the Individual Mandate imposed by "Obamacare" rests not only on Congress' Taxing Power, but also on its power over Interstate Commerce.  The repercussions of such a decision would probably set your hair on fire.  I'm sure it would make Roy's fall out!  (How do you "feel" about that?)

   The risk that "pandamonium that would ensue" is always a factor in deciding whether or not to overturn or modify a prior decision.  It's part of the principle of Stare Decisis ("the decision stands"), but it's not an absolute barrier to change.  Again, the perfect example is Brown v. Board of Education.  One of the reasons those Justices who were originally opposed to, or doubtful about, overturning segregation was precisely the pandamonium they (correctly) feared would ensue.  I'm sure you remember how "peacefully" Integretion was achieved!

   But if a Justice is convinced a prior ruling is flagrantly wrong, and that it is doing continuing harm to the nation, and individuals, then they have both the right and the duty to decide stare decisis no longer applies, and correct the error.  The suffering of millions of Blacks, and the poisoning of the soul of the nation, Segregation caused was sufficient reason to risk "pandamonium".  You don't think a "conservative" Justice, convinced that Roe was wrongly decided and that millions of babies are being murdered every year, won't decide saving those "innocent lives" is worth a little "pandamonium"?

   Like I said, I'm not willing to take that chance. 

Copied and pasted from the January 7 page...

Gordon,

I thought of you today, as I was scrolling through Facebook and found an interesting article.

Google: Vitoria de Cristo.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Judy:

   A very interesting article about Acrania, which (though it sometimes can be accompanied by it) is not the same thing as Anencephaly.  So, if you think this should change my opinions on abortion, think again.

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

   I'm very happy Vitoria' parent took it upon themselves to "roll the dice", and gamble that their daughter can have any kind of life (let alone survive).  I only hope they are fully prepared to deal with all the pain, suffering, heartache, and expense in store for them.  That was their choice!

   But it is not your choice, my choice, and should not be the government's choice.  Rest assured, for every "happy story" you can hunt for I can produce "horror stories" of what happens when women are denied the right to choose for themsevles.  For example, there's this "charming" story, which I hope you'll find equally "inspiring":

http://www.latintimes.com/abortion-denied-laws-el-salvador-court-denies-...

   You should also "enjoy" what the woman then had to go through, and the "happy" result of gambling with her life:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/04/beatriz-baby-dies-dead-el-salva...

   Gee, don't you just wish we had laws like that in this country, so that all women could experience the "joy" they produce?

Thank you, Mr. Peabody...now from your lips to God's ears!

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Judy:

   I'm afraid all Mr. Peabody did was prove he can operate a "wayback machine".  He's essentially regurgitated the same erroneous arguments he made the last time, which I've already dealt with sufficiently.  But in case you've forgotten, here are some links:

http://www.westvalleyview.com/comment/814#comment-814

http://www.westvalleyview.com/articles/2014/01/10/letters-january-10-2014

   I rather hope he will respond to my Letter.  (I only wish he'd read the Comments too, but I think that's a highly "selective" group of people who do.)  I can't decide whether to respond with another Letter of my own (right now my response to Mr. Moore is "in the queue".)  But let me make a few points here.

   1) His original argument was that "Obamacare's" dreaded Individual Mandate violated the Tenth Amendment, by exercising a power that wasn't delegated to the Federal government.  Sorry, but the Majority opinion found that part of "Obamacare" to be within the power of Congress to pass.  So that question is settled.  (And it doesn't matter what the "dissenting Justices" had to say about that.)

   2) Federal court rulings are law.  Where he gets the idea that they are not is beyond me.  (Why bother citing all the cases he's referred to if they're not?)  So, sorry "Justice Peabody", but under the principle of Stare Decisis ("the decision stands"), the ruling that Congress had the power to pass "Obamacare" is law, and must be followed by every court in the nation.  (Until either the Supreme Court changes its mind, or the Constitution is amended.)  Since he ended his earlier letter urging people to refuse to obey that law, I strongly advise you not to follow his opinion.  Our prisons are filled with people who thought they could just decide for themselves what laws to obey!  (And despite Supreme Court decisions upholding said laws.)

   3) While he is correct in stating that the first decision on "Obamacare" didn't resolve all possible issues, and that no court decision ever does, that doesn't make the malarkey he prevoiously spewed valid.  Indeed, some of it was so "offbase" that were he to seriously raise such arguments in court, he might be fined for engaging in "frivolous conduct".  (See my prior Comment to understand why.)

   4) What this Letter demonstrates is the fact that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing", and that it takes more to being a lawyer than merely parrotting "Legalese", and throwing case citations around.  It requires understanding what those terms and cases mean.  He doesn't.

   (For example, Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins has to do with what "rule of law" applies in civil lawsuits brought in Federal court under what's known as Diversity Jurisdiction.  It has absolutely nothing to do with "Obamacare".  Similarly, Clinton v. City of New York dealt with the attempt to give the President a line-item veto, and has nothing to do with how courts interpret and apply legislation.  In short, he's just throwing things around, willy-nilly, out-of-context, hoping it sounds impressive.  To a non-lawyer it might.  To anyone educated in the Law it doesnt'.)

   5) But I rather hope he will accept the challenge I posed regarding the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.  It will be fascinating to see how he "applies" the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to that one!  My guess is he'll duck the issue, but I'd love to be wrong about that.

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

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!

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.

Obamacare received No bipartisan support. None, nada, nicht, nyet, zero!

That alone is an indicator this legislation was purely partisan.

That alone is a measurement of how much cooperation there was in Congress.

That alone is an indicator that there was not enough compromise done in order to garner any bipartisan support.

I would have liked to have seen bipartisan support for such a landmark piece of legislation, rather than only partisan support. It would have made a lot of people more confident about the law if it had bipartisan support. Bipartisan support for Obamacare would have given the public more confidence not only in the legislation itself, but in Congress as well, that they are working together on our behalf or that they are even competent in what they are doing.

Without any bipartisan support, one could make the argument that there was not enough discussion, compromise, and cooperation prior to being put to a vote. Therefore, the legislation may have been rushed before being ready.

Even though Obamacare was being worked on for a while, it wasn't worked on enough. Why? Because the Democrats didn't have to. They had enough votes by themselves to pass it.

So, for all their whining about obstructionist Republicans, they obviously did not work enough on this law to turn even one of them around.

That is not what I consider good legislation.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   Ah, but where did the pure partisanship come from?  I know we won't agree on this (so I'm just stating my view here, you don't have to agree), but I think the evidence demonstrates it was on the Republican side.  They wouldn't have passed anything Obama and the Democrats proposed.  Consider the following:

  1. McConnell's statement (almost before the ink was dry on the 2008 ballots) that his party's number one priority was to make Obama a 'one-term wonder'.  Others on the "right" expressed similar sentiments.
  2. Much of "Obamacare" incorporated ideas from the "right", such as the infamous "Individual Mandate", first suggested by the Heritage Foundation.  There are other examples.
  3. "Obamacare" was in many ways plagarism of "Romneycare" - the Massachusettes program "Mitt" spent all of 2012 disowning or ignoring.
  4. The Republicans have demonstrated time and again that in the name of ideological purity, or in fear of "Tea Party" retaliation, they were willing to throw this nation under a train.  The debt ceiling debacle of 2011, the "fiscal cliff" of December 2012.  (They'd just lost the presidential election, and yet they still wanted to play games with the economy.)  And let's not forget the shutdown last October.  The G.O.P. should offer prayers of thanksgiving that the "Obamacare" website was such a "trainwreck".   Before that, as a direct result of the shutdown, Obama was high in the polls and Republicans were in the toilet.)
  5. At least one prominent Republican (sorry, I don't remember the name, and I'm not going to look for it) had declared that compromise constitutes capitulation.  No doubt that's why they refuse to "capitulate", and expect Democrats to "compromise".  (That is, capitulate to Republican demands.)

   And make no mistake, all of this has cost America much, and affected the final legislation.  Remember all those infamous "backroom deals" that were made to get the votes of Landrieu of Louisiana and Brown of Nebraska?  (Which were repudiated once the details came out.)  Why were they necessary?  Because the Democrats had to round up sixty votes to pass ordinary legislation.  (That is, "Obamacare" was not something like a treaty, where the Constitution requires a supermajority.)  And that was because not only were the Republicans filibustering "Obamacare" (and everything else in sight), but none of them would "break ranks" to provide the votes to reach 60.  (And I'm sure there were plenty of "backroom deals" to accomplish that!)  Who knows how many of the controversies now surrounding "Obamacare" might have been avoided otherwise?  (We'll never know, but I'd almost bet the Democrats would have given up the "birth control" mandate in exchange for some Republican votes.  But why make the offer when it's clear there's no "buyer"?)

   It takes two to tango.  There can be no compromise when one party won't dance!

Without any bipartisan support, one could make the argument that there was not enough discussion, compromise, and cooperation prior to being put to a vote. Therefore, the legislation may have been rushed before being ready.

   Sorry, but I see no logical connection between lack of bipartisanship and "rushing".   In fact, the unwillingness of the G.O.P. to compromise is why there could be no bipartisanship!

   And, as I've said before, this legislation was "in the hopper" for more than a year!  I'd hardly call that a "rush" job.  There was plenty of discussion before it was put to a vote: in Congress, in the Media, in Town Hall meetings, on Letters pages (just use the View's Archives), and on the Internet.  What there was not, was any hint of compromise or cooperation from the Republicans.

   Indeed, that more than anything else explains why the legislation "was being worked on for a while" (contradicting yourself a bit there, "awhile" hardly sounds "rushed").  Since they had to round up 60 votes (instead of just the usual 50% + 1), it took far longer than if they didn't have to overcome a filibuster.

   (And by the way, where was the Republican call for "bipartisanship" back when they needed Cheney as V.P. to break Senatorial ties.  Why didn't they tell Bush: "Sorry, we won't pass any legislation without Democratic support.  It's no go unless we can 'turn even one of them around'!")*

   As the Patriot Act and the Japanese Internment examples show, bipartisanship doesn't guarantee a good law.  Good legislating does.  Obviously we disagree as to how good or bad "Obamacare" is, but the lack of bipartisanship doesn't prove anything either way.

* P.S. - And on the subject of "bipartisanship" and Majority Rule, consider this question.  If the Founders didn't believe Majority Rule was a fundamental maxim of republican government, why give the V.P. the power to break ties?  If every legislation requires 60 votes (for example), then there can never be a tie!

You are right, I do not agree.  However I don't necessarily dissagree either.  There is way too much for me to have to look up and read to defend or conceed to all your arguments on this, but I know there were market based suggestions presented by the GOP side which went ignored.  As memory serves, something about being able to cross state lines for lower healthcare costs, the Empowering Patients First Act, allowing small businesses to form a co-op to qualify for better group pricing, allowing people who do not work for the federal government to sign up for the same healthcare plan as federal employees get, etc.  Even if those suggestions were taken seriously, the Dems were in control and were using their own bills for the legislation. 

In one of my letters to the WVV, I even mentioned a compromise or two that would possibly garner bipartisan support to reopen the government - making the birth control mandate apply only to policies purchased through the exchanges, giving people the choice to purchase private insurance that doesn't have that requirement.

So the partisanship you mention being entirely on the GOP side is something I cannot agree with and nothing is ever just one sided.  It doesn't matter who is in power, they always say the other side is to blame for the process being held up. Before it was the republicans, and now it is the democrats.  

 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   We shall have to agree to disagree, if only because this is really a debate about history.  What's done is done, and we can't "reset the clock".

   I'm sure it will come as no surprise to say some of the Republican proposals you mentioned had deep flaws of their own.  (At least to my mind.)  But neither of us should get dragged into researching and debating that.  (I do have some articles about it on my computer, I think, but I'm not going to go look for them - for the reasons stated in my prior paragraph.)

   But I hope you will note the difference between this discussion and our earlier ones about democracy vs. republic (etc.).  While I still disagree with much of what you wrote, here you are at least making better arguments, with some basis in both fact and reason.  That's all I've ever asked for, instead of being told that facts are unimportant, and (therefore) all opinions have worth.  They're not and they don't.

P.S. - And I never claimed partisanship was exclusively on the G.O.P. side, only that it was clear they were starting from a position of non-cooperation and no compromising.  In short, they were being purely partisan.  (After all, one proposal that got shot down was to lower the age for Medicare.  That was a bi-partisan effort - achieved by every Republican and Senator Lieberman filibustering it.)  To modify my earlier metaphor, it's hard to Tango when your dance partner will only Waltz.

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.)

I know you are not my type and visa versa, so let's just chalk all this agreement stuff up to a fleeting bromance, and let's say I have been heavily medicated the last few days.  That way you can tell Dennis "it didn't mean anything" if he gets jealous.  

cheeky

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   How did you know I have a boyfriend named "Dennis"?  Just not the one you're thinking of.  And don't worry, my "Dennis" hates politics, so he won't be jealous.

 

;-)

If you aren't kidding, then my psychic skills are getting better! I originally typed Roy instead of Dennis, but then changed my mind prior to hitting send. I should probably go get a lottery ticket today.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Patrick:

   Find another investment.  The presence of the "winking face" in my earlier Comment is meant to indicate that I am kidding.  Whenever you see it, recognize that you shouldn't take what came before it too seriously.

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!

;-)

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?

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.

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 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.)

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"!

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.

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 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.

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

 

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