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Antwn 
Posted: 14-Aug-2009, 03:48 PM
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QUOTE (SCShamrock @ 13-Aug-2009, 06:49 PM)
QUOTE (Antwn @ 13-Aug-2009, 03:37 PM)

What's the point then of worrying about whether Bush or Obama are right if the're equally culpable for the same dirty political tactics Shamrock? They have each been lambasted with the same extreme rhetoric, both sides accuse dissenters of being Un-American. Instead of taking sides and fueling the conflagration, why not unite against the tactic itself? That's what's truly Un-American.

Where have you seen me call protestors un-american on either side of the political aisle? My point in posting the story (did you even read it?) was to show the bias in the media reporting. Talk about a leap.

By the way, I don't think there is any "conflagration" concerning the town hall meetings and the protestors. People are exercising their constitutional right to speech, and for that the media and the Pelosi's of the nation accuse them of being Nazis. Where do you stand on that issue?

No, you weren't the one using the term Un-American. But you've been the most vociferous about the insult to your sense of fairness concerning verbal abuses of Bush and all but implied that Obama is treated with kid gloves. I'm just suggesting it might be better to resist the tactic itself as unproductive and backhanded rather than focus on the fact that Obama in his first 8 months has not suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous verbiage to equal measure as Bush during his 8 years.


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SCShamrock 
Posted: 14-Aug-2009, 06:36 PM
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QUOTE (Antwn @ 14-Aug-2009, 03:48 PM)
But you've been the most vociferous about the insult to your sense of fairness concerning verbal abuses of Bush and all but implied that Obama is treated with kid gloves. I'm just suggesting it might be better to resist the tactic itself as unproductive and backhanded rather than focus on the fact that Obama in his first 8 months has not suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous verbiage to equal measure as Bush during his 8 years.

I didn't mean to imply that. I meant to say it outright. He is treated with kid gloves (very good idiom in this case), and unjustifiably so. However, regardless of your opinions, I will never curtail my speech to make it more comfortable for those around me when the insidiousness of the biased propaganda arm of the liberal left, the media, continues to push a liberal/socialist agenda by damning every conservative person (private citizens included) while praising those whose ideology is counter to the moral and ethical standards of this country, which is often a direct attack on the Constitution, and which is by necessity heretical in nature. Of course Obama hasn't suffered in 8 months what Bush did in 8 years. He will never receive a proportionate amount of "slings and arrows" as did Bush, and would have to serve 20 terms to come close to receiving an equal amount. Do you agree or disagree that Obama is held aloft by CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, TNYT, TWP, just to name a few?


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Antwn 
Posted: 14-Aug-2009, 07:42 PM
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QUOTE (SCShamrock @ 14-Aug-2009, 06:36 PM)
I didn't mean to imply that. I meant to say it outright. He is treated with kid gloves (very good idiom in this case), and unjustifiably so. However, regardless of your opinions, I will never curtail my speech to make it more comfortable for those around me when the insidiousness of the biased propaganda arm of the liberal left, the media, continues to push a liberal/socialist agenda by damning every conservative person (private citizens included) while praising those whose ideology is counter to the moral and ethical standards of this country, which is often a direct attack on the Constitution, and which is by necessity heretical in nature. Of course Obama hasn't suffered in 8 months what Bush did in 8 years. He will never receive a proportionate amount of "slings and arrows" as did Bush, and would have to serve 20 terms to come close to receiving an equal amount. Do you agree or disagree that Obama is held aloft by CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, TNYT, TWP, just to name a few?

Stop whining! The media bias you refer to is more than countered by the Limbaughs, Savages and Laura Ingrams of talk radio! Limbaugh alone probably has more listeners than CNN and more loyal. You'll never hear of network TV viewers referred to affectionately as "dittoheads". They're not.

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Antwn 
Posted: 14-Aug-2009, 08:02 PM
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Yes, I know news stations report news and talk radio is commentary and entertainment, but we're talking about the nature of bias here, not information. Besides there's such blending of news and commentary on network/cable TV anyway that no one even attempts to make distinctions - its as if the anchor's opinions are news. Then when you add the yellers and screamers and gangs of interviewees and so called experts who talk over one another so much that you can't even hear any of their points, then the dysfunctionality meter heads to the red zone.
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 14-Aug-2009, 10:19 PM
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Now I'm a whiner. Oh boy, guess you'll say anything to keep the exposure of liberal media at a minimum. Nice try. thumbs_up.gif

Do you really think the looney left is countered by Limbaugh, Savage, and Ingram? You're more delusional that I thought. Those who go to the Looney Toons Left are not hearing anything Limbaugh and Co. says. That's what makes the lying bastards in liberal media so dangerous...they have indoctrinated their listeners and viewers to the point of automated responses; in other words they're brainwashed. That's why you find them [viewers/listeners] foaming at the mouth at the town hall meetings telling protestors to sit down and shut up, because they need health care. It's the moth to the flame effect, and they are completely oblivious.

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stevenpd 
Posted: 15-Aug-2009, 12:05 PM
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QUOTE (Antwn @ 14-Aug-2009, 01:40 PM)
what's your concern with this particular government aspiration? Are you afraid that they'll close down the internet entirely for reasons of censorship not legitimate security concerns? Are you concerned that their line in the sand will be drawn with different parameters? Are you just leary of them generally and want to limit their reach in any area of social commerce? All of the above? Do you think a closing down of the internet for other than legitimate security concerns would survive a Supreme Court speech challenge? We're not China.

Basically it is my line in the sand. The health care issue is the most emboldened attempt to date for governmental intrusion. To me it is nothing more than a power grab. The insidiousness of the health care debate is while our attention is focused on that issue what else are they doing? I would not put it past the current administration to attempt further intrusion as evidenced by the Cyber Security Act.

In my previous posts I think that I have made it clear that I do not believe that government should be involved. And yet it is this continuous march toward intrusion that must be stopped.

I'll repeat my contention that it would be extremely difficult for the government to control a decentralized internet. It could only occur through law. This law could be the blanket coverage which would require everyone to act in a particular way. i.e. shut down or restrict access. With the double-speak shown in the H.R. 3200 bill, a lack of interest shown by those who are supposed to vote on it by simply not reading it, and the speed with which the administration is trying to enact it, I am very dubious about our representatives' and the administration's reasoning behind it. I can only speak to the actions regardless of what is said. For I think them all liars.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Just look at the number of our representatives that have made a living out of being a politician. The most egregious that I can name off the top of my head are Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, John Murtha, Arlen Specter, and Dianne Feinstein.

Our current judicial system is not about interpreting laws but to distorting them to fit some sense of morality. This judicial activism creates law by caveat not law interpretation. Why do you think that the powers that be get so distressed over who gets appointed to the Supreme court rather than their impartiality? With relative morality being the guide anything goes. And therefore, the inmates are in charge of the asylum. And the common man suffers as a result.

Granted, we are not in China with a communist government, nor do we have the likes of Kim Jung Il, Pol Pot, Stalin, or Hitler in charge. But I see this creep in a direction away from individual responsibility and inherent freedom. America has not become the place where everyone desires to arrive at without cause. It has been this way since our inception and I have no desire to see America devolve into something our founding fathers worked so hard to get away from.


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stevenpd 
Posted: 15-Aug-2009, 12:48 PM
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QUOTE (Antwn @ 14-Aug-2009, 05:42 PM)
Stop whining! The media bias you refer to is more than countered by the Limbaughs, Savages and Laura Ingrams of talk radio! Limbaugh alone probably has more listeners than CNN and more loyal. You'll never hear of network TV viewers referred to affectionately as "dittoheads". They're not.

On this point I will have to disagree. I don't think it is whining to state a fact.

Media outlets are not limited to simply radio and television. There are newspapers, magazines, books, and even movies. When you take the "media" in totality I don't think that you can argue that the "media" is balanced.

Constant attacks against conservatives within media are constant. A Fair Media Act is nothing more than an attempt to stifle open discussion and control debate. A question here, if the general populace is willing to support/pay for a particular media outlet why go counter to that by law? Air America is such an attempt to provide an alternative viewpoint to conservative radio. Has it gained the level of popularity of even some of the lesser known conservative talk shows? I don't think so.

So we must ask ourselves why this is. Could it be that no one wants to listen to this point of view? If people, in a free market, choose not to listen/participate in such programming do you then force them to listen? Some will say, but they only listen to conservative talk radio. Then why? Is it because they find something similar to what they think and believe in? They are free to listen to anything they want voluntarily. They do not need to be forced into listening to something that they do not believe in or is contrary to what they want. Such is a free market system.

But the liberal mindset is different. They say we want people to hear our message and the only way for them to hear it is to force media outlets to present it. Unfortunately, the only way for this to happen is through law, i.e. Fair Media Act. Liberal media outlets are numerous and varied. Yet they still feel that they are the underdog and not being heard. So the only way for liberals to get their message out is to force all media outlets to be equal. Equality is the goal. With a majority of the media outlets leaning towards a liberal agenda one would assume that they give up some by having a conservative providing an opposing view. But they do not because they control what is broadcast. So a conservative comes on for the first ten minutes and then gets lambasted for the remainder of the allotted time with no opportunity to respond to anything, thereby giving the last word to a liberal. No interactive discussion, no debate. Time was allotted and used. It was the structure of the interaction that was controlled. This control is what they are after.
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Antwn 
Posted: 15-Aug-2009, 03:45 PM
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QUOTE (stevenpd @ 15-Aug-2009, 12:05 PM)
Our current judicial system is not about interpreting laws but to distorting them to fit some sense of morality. This judicial activism creates law by caveat not law interpretation. Why do you think that the powers that be get so distressed over who gets appointed to the Supreme court rather than their impartiality? With relative morality being the guide anything goes. And therefore, the inmates are in charge of the asylum. And the common man suffers as a result.


"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Boy, what does that say about God? Oops! Wrong thread. angel_not.gif

Thanks for your posts steven, interesting discussion and I think you've defined where your line is in the sand pretty clearly.

Could you give some examples please of laws which the SC has distorted "to fit some sense of morality"? Are you thinking of Sotomayor's infamous comment that white men can't judge, or actual rulings? Are you referring to rulings which fit a politically correct social reorganization ideology? Do you have specific rulings in mind which best exemplify "fit some sense of morality"?

As social ideologies change legal interpretations often correlate. One example is the SC ruling striking down sodomy laws a few years ago. In fact, comments in the majority opinion mentioned that an attempt to correspond to alterations in social mores about homosexual behavior was among the reasons for the decision. So in this case, one person's distortion is another's progress.

Could you please clarify?
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Antwn 
Posted: 15-Aug-2009, 05:38 PM
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QUOTE (stevenpd @ 15-Aug-2009, 12:05 PM)
Basically it is my line in the sand. The health care issue is the most emboldened attempt to date for governmental intrusion. To me it is nothing more than a power grab. The insidiousness of the health care debate is while our attention is focused on that issue what else are they doing? I would not put it past the current administration to attempt further intrusion as evidenced by the Cyber Security Act.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to resist any government health care program at all. Did you consider Medicaid/Care intrusion? If so, an acceptable one? Should the government refrain from assisting people who can't afford medical care or medication? If medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy, should the attitude simply be tough luck Charlie? Healthcare is a leading cause of debt, individual and by extension national. Do you just not want to pay for the health care of others who can't afford their own? Single people pay through property taxes for schools when they don't personally have children. Taxes cover Medicaid/care, programs for the poor, school lunch programs etc. Is health care a right or priveledge? Driving is considered a privilege though your taxes pay for road upkeep for all as well as public transportation for all. If government health care participation is optional, and you're able to keep a plan you have if you desire, where's the intrusion?

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SCShamrock 
Posted: 15-Aug-2009, 06:38 PM
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I have a few questions. What is wrong with our health care system that it warrants government control? Do we not have premier health care available in this nation? I think the answer to that is, yes, we do. However, the issue seems to be getting more and more sullied by including all points equal; i.e., access, cost, insurance, etc. In my estimation, the health care system as a whole does not require retooling. Access to quality care and affordable coverage does. So why is every facet of the system up for being overhauled?
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Antwn 
Posted: 15-Aug-2009, 07:10 PM
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QUOTE (SCShamrock @ 15-Aug-2009, 06:38 PM)
I have a few questions. What is wrong with our health care system that it warrants government control? Do we not have premier health care available in this nation? I think the answer to that is, yes, we do. However, the issue seems to be getting more and more sullied by including all points equal; i.e., access, cost, insurance, etc. In my estimation, the health care system as a whole does not require retooling. Access to quality care and affordable coverage does. So why is every facet of the system up for being overhauled?

I don't think the quality of care is what's under dispute either. Its access and availability. How will availability be increased, particularly among the millions who can't afford insurance. Also how do those who do have insurance and who face debilitating or long term care situations refrain from going bankrupt because of medical bills. How do seniors afford expensive medications and avoid situations where they must choose between food and meds. There is alot to revamp, and I agree that the focus should not be on care quality, but on care access. I think that's the major bone of contention. The methods by which that's improved.

Access has many facets. How do you define access to care when an HMO decides to eliminate payments for a critical procedure, or you're denied coverage for a pre-existing condition? That's why consideration is being given to revamping the entire system. Not for those reasons alone, just examples. What's fair? How are the millions of currently un/under insured given greater access? Et cetera.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 15-Aug-2009, 09:47 PM
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I think quality of care has to be evaluated on average, too, not just as the best possible whether it's widely available or not. We do have some of the best and most expert physicians in the world here, absolutely cutting edge, but not every hospital can afford to have many -- or any-- of them on staff. You may or may not have access to the best care on that basis. Keeping on training them, and then keeping them in the industry, is part of the tangle of costs and I believe it can't be separated from it. It's predicted to reach a crisis point in the next 10 to 15 years -- the number of doctors who stay in the industry for their whole working life is dropping more all the time.

It's a tripod of issues as I see it -- it keeps costing more to train them as the price of their long educational process rises; they keep saddling themselves with greater and greater loans to meet that cost; they keep expecting that they deserve as well as need to make enough to cover not only their loans but also the massive malpractice insurance fees that are also always rising; and so insurance costs that can reasonably cover doctors' financial needs and make it worthwhile for them to practice at all, have to keep a rising pace too (along with their own profit-making interests).

Now -- that calls for some shake-up reform in its own right. There need to be subsidized programs to keep making world-class doctors out of any kids that have the brains and the dedication, and it should be a priority; there needs to be serious malpractice tort reform and a cap on settlements; and there needs to be much stiffer regulation of the entire insurance industry. Everybody's assumptions about what's normal have to change -- what doctors expect to make yearly would be substantially lower, but so would their education and malpractice costs, hopefully an approximately fair offset if it were regulated intelligently; and what insurance companies expect as reasonable profit would be radically changed. When medicine and the peripheral industries of malpractice law and insurance are ALL essentially for profit, there's no way to assure continuity of the best, world-class care that we know we are capable of. If you can think of another way to downramp all these excesses, which have long since spiralled out of control, other than government regulation, I would be all for hearing about it.

I'd be very happy for any comments on this. I team-teach a class with a clinical psych person (for the record, it's "Psychopathology Represented in Literature and Film") -- we do our freshman composition classes here with a wide selection of specific content components along with the writing, and this one was designed for pre-med kids, a very hand-picked and motivated little group. I was thinking of setting this "tripod" topic as a diagnostic in-class writing assignment, to see where their writing skills are before we start, since the issues affect them all so much.

Sorry if this went a little off topic -- but the town hall things have been about health care in general. Maybe some of these issues need to be in a sister bill to the one up for approval now.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 15-Aug-2009, 09:59 PM
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QUOTE (SCShamrock @ 13-Aug-2009, 06:55 PM)
QUOTE (stoirmeil @ 13-Aug-2009, 06:08 PM)
We would like to think it's un-American to trade ignorant, ugly low blow for low blow -- we can agree on that, most likely.  I am disgusted myself when the liberal expression in protest takes that kind of turn. 

But in this case, it appears to me that it's more of an aggrieved, personal tit-for-tat position:  "How come they can do it and get away with it, and we/I can't?"  Shamrock has also spoken on various occasions of his dissatisfaction with minority cultural expressions that would be disapproved of, or squashed down, if they were being expressed by whites.  Seems to be of a piece.

I don't like the tit-for-tat either. I'll tell you as well, I was quoting the news piece only to show the bias in the media. Anyone who reads past the first line in many of my posts already knows how I feel about that. The media is the propaganda arm of the Liberal Left, and it's been that way for eons. I take pride in helping to expose that, so draw any unfounded conclusions you wish.

And draw any conclusions at all that you wish, only pull back on the right-wing talk-show style of flaming, name-calling, and guilt by analogous and inaccurate association with governmental evils from communism to nazism to anarchy. This style assumes that all you have to do is invoke those labels, and you have served a dual purpose of making the point beyond all argument, and stirring up the potful of fear and rage. No, let me modify that: Patch does the gloom and doom fear part -- you have the practical monopoly on rage.
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Antwn 
Posted: 16-Aug-2009, 03:13 PM
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QUOTE (stoirmeil @ 15-Aug-2009, 09:47 PM)
I think quality of care has to be evaluated on average, too, not just as the best possible whether it's widely available or not. We do have some of the best and most expert physicians in the world here, absolutely cutting edge, but not every hospital can afford to have many -- or any-- of them on staff. You may or may not have access to the best care on that basis. Keeping on training them, and then keeping them in the industry, is part of the tangle of costs and I believe it can't be separated from it. It's predicted to reach a crisis point in the next 10 to 15 years -- the number of doctors who stay in the industry for their whole working life is dropping more all the time.

You make some good points here, not just about maintaining the attractiveness of medicine as a profession, but I think similar points can be made for the insurance industry. That's why I don't believe we'll have a complete government take-over of health care where the insurance companies are eliminated or subjugated to government authority and regulation to such an extent that profitability becomes inviable. Care needs to be taken in this. That's why an options bill is far more likely than the government power takes all idea fearmongers rant about.

Boy I'd like to take that course you mentioned. There are numerous examples in both literature and film. Fascinating ones too from Poe to Stanley Kubrick.
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stevenpd 
Posted: 18-Aug-2009, 01:49 PM
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QUOTE
Gee, where have we seen this tactic used before? Who popularized it?


Although I think a lot of people like to think Nixon started I think it was going on much earlier. No one has either uncovered it before or through disbelief, disclosed such activity. It really does not matter. It is currently being done and disclosed.

The situation reminds me of a child that covers his eyes and says, "You can't see me" and ignores the fact of being seen.

QUOTE
Could you give some examples please of laws which the SC has distorted "to fit some sense of morality"? Are you thinking of Sotomayor's infamous comment that white men can't judge, or actual rulings? Are you referring to rulings which fit a politically correct social reorganization ideology? Do you have specific rulings in mind which best exemplify "fit some sense of morality"?

As social ideologies change legal interpretations often correlate. One example is the SC ruling striking down sodomy laws a few years ago. In fact, comments in the majority opinion mentioned that an attempt to correspond to alterations in social mores about homosexual behavior was among the reasons for the decision. So in this case, one person's distortion is another's progress.

Could you please clarify?


To help clarify I will define the term, “judicial activism,” as I intend it to be used.

judicial activism: The making of new public policies through the decisions of judges. This may take the form of a reversal or modification of a prior court decision, the nullification of a law passed by the legislature, or the overturning of some action of the executive branch. The concept of judicial activism is most associated with the Supreme Court, which from time to time has found new laws when none were there before. However, judges at any level can engage in judicial activism when their judicial positions are used to promote what they consider to be desirable social goals. The main argument against judicial activism is that it usurps the power of the legislature, which is elected by the people.

Judicial Activism Reference Cite

Please note that with this definition and my application of it, judicial activism is not restricted to just the U.S. Supreme Court. Here in California we have, not only our own courts, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as well.

A good example for this type of activism is in our California Supreme Court by Chief Justice Rose Bird in 1986. Our death penalty was overturned by the court to the consternation of many. This was found to be unacceptable which led to her removal and Associate Justices Grodin and Reynoso as well.

Rose Bird and the Death Penalty

In 1977, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown appointed Rose Bird as chief justice of California. Bird was the first woman chief justice and, in fact, the first woman ever appointed to the court. Bird had no judicial experience. She had worked as a public defender and had impressed Brown as head of California’s Department of Agriculture. Although he considered her highly qualified, she barely squeaked by her retention election in 1978, gaining just 51.7 percent of the vote.
That same year, voters overwhelmingly passed a death-penalty initiative. In subsequent years, 59 defendants sentenced under this death-penalty law appealed their cases to the Supreme Court. In each case, Bird voted to overturn the sentence. A majority of the court sided with Bird in all but three of these cases. These decisions drew heavy criticism. Many accused the court of thwarting the will of the people. In 1986, six justices of the Supreme Court, including Bird, faced a retention election. Supporters of the death penalty campaigned to remove three justices—Bird, Joseph Grodin (a former professor of labor law), and Cruz Reynoso (the first Latino on the court). All three had been appointed by Brown. Grodin and Reynoso had only voted to uphold death sentences in three cases.

No justice in California had ever lost a retention election, but this campaign caught fire. A crime victims organization enlisted people across the state to ring doorbells. The California District Attorneys Association opposed the justices. Anti-Bird literature flooded voters’ mailboxes. The campaign gained the support of many in the business community who did not like the justices because of what they considered a pro-consumer bias. Republican Governor George Deukmejian, running for re-election, constantly attacked Bird and the two other justices as “liberals” lacking “impartiality and objectivity.” His Democratic opponent, Tom Bradley, refused to take sides. Bird aired a series of commercials, but refrained from getting involved in a discussion about the death penalty. Her commercials focused on the importance of an independent judiciary. She stated: “Judges with a backbone are a California tradition worth keeping.” Although the three justices had support within the legal community, anti-Bird forces vastly outspent their supporters. All three justices lost, and the newly re-elected Governor Deukmejian appointed three justices in their place.


Bird Reference Cite

Here the citizens of the State of California voted overwhelmingly to institute the death penalty only to be thwarted by the State Supreme Court. Even after the death penalty was overturned, it was reinstated overwhelmingly. Regardless of your position on the death penalty issue one would have at least begin to see that the will of the people was not carried out.

Trend of public opinion

Between 1956 and 1971 proportions ranging between 49% and 58% of state residents favored the death penalty for capital crimes. However, beginning in the 1970.s those in favor increased to more than seven in ten Californians. In the 1980.s support for the death penalty grew even more and peaked in 1985 and 1986, when 83% of Californians favored it.

A 1997 Field Poll found support moderating somewhat to 74%, and in 2000 it declined further to 63%, its lowest level in thirty years. However, voter sentiment for capital punishment increased again in 2002 to 72%, and support in the current survey now stands at 68%.


Field Poll, March 5, 2004

Now we come to Sotomayor, just one person in a large system. The following is part of a speech from Rep. Mike Crapo (R-ID) made on the house floor August 8, 2009.

On July 27, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the second amendment to the Constitution protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms unconnected with service in a militia, and to use those arms for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

This ruling affirmed what common sense has told us all for a long time: that the second amendment was intended to ensure access to all law-abiding citizens for self-defense and recreation. Unfortunately, despite this ruling in Heller, Judge Sotomayor ruled in the Maloney case that the second amendment does not apply to the States.

Even the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over my home State of Idaho and is often considered one of the most liberal courts in the land, has ruled the opposite way in a similar case, making it clear that second amendment rights are binding on the States.

In Nordyke v. King, the Ninth Circuit held that the right to bear arms is ``deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition.'' Additionally, the court found that the ``crucial role this deeply rooted right has played in our birth and history compels us to recognize that it is indeed [a] fundamental [right].''

Furthermore, and again even after the Supreme Court's ruling in Heller, Judge Sotomayor held that the second amendment does not protect a fundamental right.


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There are other examples available but I think you get the idea. One of the books that I have read deals with legal logic. (Logic for Lawyers: A Guide to Clear Legal Thinking by Hon. Ruggero J. Aldisert) In this book the author shows how legal cases are used to support a particular outcome. This is where the technical glitches are interpreted to either modify or get a case dismissed altogether. It is this interpretation that is used to interject personal ideas into law. This is the essence of judicial activism.

As society evolves it is natural to expect things to change. And the law along with it. The problem as I see it is when the citizens vote a particular way and the courts overturn a law that was approved. In the case of California’s death penalty it has been fairly consistently voted in favor of. Even our Proposition 8 about gay marriage was accepted by the majority of Californians. What many do not realize is that gay partnerships have the same legal rights as married couples. The battle is about a word. In which case, the courts are dragged into the melee about rights that did not exist before but was decided by a vote of the citizens. So long as the legal rights are the same on both sides, tradition should be maintained. No harm, no foul.

In your example of the sodomy laws’ being struck down is a little bit different than judicial activism. There was a law that was reviewed, not generated where one did not exist before. Here, I would agree with the decision. It is one more step for getting government out of an issue that it does not belong in. The government has no business being in any one’s bedroom, one way or another. But, you say, what is the difference between a sodomy law and the death penalty? It is one of inclusion in a public arena and common sense. The death penalty has a serious conclusion whereas the sodomy law does not.

What is the difference between a civil service exam and the Second Amendment? Both have public impact. One deals with the quality and ability of people to do a job and the other, a fundamental right as outlined in the Constitution. The courts are there for interpretation of law. But in the case of the civil service exam, common sense was not used. How can there be discrimination in an exam that is applied equally to everyone? Just because you don’t like the results, a claim of discrimination is made. But who is has to live with the results? The public.

The exam was given to determine who is qualified to be promoted. It contained specific questions about fire fighting. Answers to such an exam can determine if someone lives or dies. What does race have to do with such an exam? Either you know the information or you don’t. Either you know how to fight a fire or you don’t. To negate an exam because you don’t like the outcome is ridiculous. To negate an exam because you don’t like the racial make-up of the scores of those who took it is insulting. Do we really need to lower the bar in the name of diversity? Do we really need to lower the bar and receive sub-par services because someone does not know what they are doing? If my house is on fire I expect the firefighters to know what they are doing. I could care less of the color of their skin or sex for that matter. The only requirements are that they can do the job safely with minimal loss of property and no loss of life.
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