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Posts by supercat

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  • Online poll: Do you support the Indiana bill allowing business owners to reject LGBT customers?

    03/31/2015 4:27:38 PM PDT · 49 of 50
    supercat to ifinnegan
    IMHO, the big reason that "gay marriage" proponents have been as successful as they have been is that they have baited many conservatives into treating marriage as a "religious issue", thus allowing leftists to paint those who don't acknowledge it as "foisting their religion on others". The proper rebuttal would be to suggest that any two (or more) individuals who want to consider themselves "married" are free to do so, but that does obligate anyone else to recognize them as such. It is common for people, including business owners, to voluntarily extend certain benefits and privileges to some people that they do not wish to extend to others. In a free country, such behavior is their right as individuals.

    To declare by fiat that X is required to provide a service to Y which X has not voluntarily agreed to provide and does not wish to, is to make X a slave of either Y or the entity that is mandating such service. The issue isn't merely one of religion. It's about whether people should be compelled to serve others against their will.

  • Court denies one same-sex marriage case (USSC refuses appeal of LA Gay marriage ban!)

    01/15/2015 5:20:36 PM PST · 25 of 26
    supercat to NKP_Vet
    Will be interesting to see how Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore will handle it when some crackpot liberal federal judge says the people of good state of Alabama have to accept sodomite “marriage” after the people have resoundingly voted it down time and time again

    A more interesting question IMHO is what would happen if a state passed a law which used the state's authority to define the effects of such "marriages" in other states such that people claiming such marriages could request, in exchange for a $50,000 fee, a document from the secretary of state documenting the fact that the other state regards them as married, but that such marriages performed in other state would impose no obligations on either the state or its citizenry beyond the issuance of such document, and such document itself would not compel anyone to do anything.

  • Supreme Court Rules 8-1 Citizens Have No Protection Against 4th Amendment Violations by Police

    01/15/2015 5:15:46 PM PST · 88 of 91
    supercat to Mr Rogers
    Once you have been pulled over, if you then give the police permission to search your car, the search is not illegal or unconstitutional. Why? Because you gave permission.

    I wish (though it will never happen) that legislators would make clear that in many circumstances involving police, any "consent" should be presumed coerced and any police who wish to claim they had permission to do something would be required to prove that it was genuinely voluntarily.

    I would suggest that the vast majority of people who "consent" to searches really don't want to police to search, and don't believe that the police would be able to find a legal basis to search without consent, but believe (perhaps correctly) that the police will use their discretionary authority to make their lives more unpleasant if they refuse the search than if they "consent". I would not call consent given in such cases voluntary.

  • Papa John's Pizza stands by employee who shot armed robber in self defense

    01/15/2015 5:08:01 PM PST · 62 of 86
    supercat to eyeamok
    After reviewing this case, we have decided to Abolish the policy of Not Utilizing Firearms during the course of their duties and instead, We at Papa Johns are encouraging ALL OF OUR EMPLOYEES to get Training and Concealed Weapons Permits. We will begin offering FREE Firearm Safety courses to all Franchisees and openly encourage our Stores to use their GOD GIVEN RIGHT to Defend themselves against these cockroaches.

    Unfortunately, any person or business with deep pockets that gets involved in a self-defense shooting, no matter how clearly justifiable, is apt to get sued and risk having a jury sympathize with the victim. The most reliable way in today's legal climate for a company to avoid such a thing is for it to make clear that a employee who does anything with a firearm does so in violation of company policy, and thus cannot be construed in any way as having done so on the company's behalf.

    The proper remedy would be to have a states amend their tort laws to shield companies from liability when their employees use firearms for personal defense during the course of their duties, while making companies which forbid weapons liable for the safety of their customers and employees while on the premises, or while en route to or from the nearest practical place where weapons can be stored. If e.g. a jewelry store wishes to require that customers check weapons and accept liability in the event that its guards are unable to protect customers from robbers, that should be its prerogative, but companies should be encouraged to minimize liability by simply allowing employees and customers to protect themselves.

  • Boom Goes The Dynamite: Oil's Price Crash Is Going To Rip The Global Economy To Shreds

    01/15/2015 4:33:16 PM PST · 213 of 299
    supercat to Pelham
    One big reason that the entire investment industry blundered into this extremely risky world is because they were all relying on a risk formula that few of them appeared to understand

    A person who is allowed to place bets which he might not be able to cover will, as a result of such ability, be able to achieve a higher payoff expectation than someone without that ability. In some cases, a such person may be able to combine multiple negative-expectation bets in such a way as to have a net positive outcome for the person placing them (and a huge negative outcome for someone else who will be left holding the bag).

    I don't think companies that issued credit default swaps far in excess of their net worth failed to understand the dangers of correlated risks. More likely, they understood that the optimal way to monetize their ability to place bets they couldn't cover is to concentrate all the risk into one negative outcome, so all other outcomes would be positive. If the most one would stand to actually lose would be $10M, having a 1/1000 chance of being "obligated" (but unable) to pay $1B dollars is less "risky" than a 1/100 chance of having to pay $10M even though the former "expectation" is $1M and the latter expectation is only $100K. Accepting the latter risk in exchange for $80K cash would be a losing proposition, but "accepting" the former for $50K would be a winning proposition (since it really represents a 1/1000 chance of losing not $1B, but only $10M).

    If one couldn't avoid one's obligations to pay, accepting $50K for a promise to make a 1B payment for a 1/1000 event would be a grossly losing proposition. On the other hand, if one isn't going to be paying anyhow, any premium one gets beyond what would be required to justify one's actual risk exposure is pure gravy.

  • Once Again, the Establishment Cries Foul Over a Stand for Principle

    12/29/2014 3:07:21 PM PST · 14 of 15
    supercat to Repeal The 17th
    How would you word that; Maybe something like this?

    How about "No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States", followed by a clarification that rules which grant government employees immunity to certain laws shall only be effective when those employees are making a good faith effort to carry out their legitimate duties, and when such protection is necessary to the carrying out of those duties. It should further note that illegitimate actions form no part of a person's legitimate duties, and it should further recognize that even if people who exhibit a certain standard of comment may be presumed to be acting in good faith, agents wanting to ensure legal protection for themselves must strive to attain a higher standard. An affirmative showing that someone deliberately failed to act according to that higher standard, even if their actions would otherwise have been presumed legitimate, should be considered a demonstration of bad faith.

    One of the major mechanisms for the erosion of freedom is a presumption that if courts find some standard of overt conduct acceptable, that entitles agents to protection if they make a good faith effort to aim for that standard of conduct. If the conduct of those who fall short is held acceptable, then that will in turn become the new standard. Having separate thresholds for "agents whose conduct falls below level X should expect to be punished" and "agents wishing not to be punished must maintain their conduct above level Y" could help avoid such erosion if those who were shown to have deliberately acted below Y were considered eligible for punishment even if their conduct was not below X.

  • Sowell: Tortured Reasoning

    12/15/2014 5:10:38 PM PST · 21 of 27
    supercat to adorno
    Liberals argue that, “we have to be better than the enemy”.

    Those who wish to discourage evil should endeavor to treat others *slightly* better than those others treat them. Letting others know that both good and bad actions will be reciprocated will encourage those others to engage in good actions, so they can receive a favorable response and avoid an unfavorable one. Conversely, letting others know that no action by them will net a negative response will encourage them to engage in bad actions, since they will lose nothing by doing so.

  • Carson: Cops Could Be Trained to Shoot For The Legs

    12/05/2014 3:39:47 PM PST · 203 of 204
    supercat to zipper
    Sure, but ricochets are notoriosly unpredicable.

    Almost by definition, any shot which doesn't hit the shooter's intended target is guaranteed to behave in a manner the shooter didn't intend. Further, because the bullet won't be traveling along the shooter's line of sight, it will commonly end up going someplace the shooter can't see (since his view will be obstructed by the intended target). Is there any particular reason to believe that a bullet fired at a slight downward angle would be more likely to harm someone other than the intended target than would one fired horizontally or at a slight upward angle?

  • Carson: Cops Could Be Trained to Shoot For The Legs

    12/01/2014 4:29:41 PM PST · 190 of 204
    supercat to zipper
    Besides the fact that you’re much more likely to miss, it guarantees a ricochet every time you miss.

    I would think that a shot at a slight downward angle would tend to be lethal for a shorter distance beyond the intended point of aim than one which is fired horizontally or upward. A typical self-defense shooting isn't going to allow the shooter much chance to look 100 yards or more behind the target to make sure there aren't any innocents in the line of fire.

  • The Return of Mormon Polygamy?

    11/25/2014 4:29:05 PM PST · 30 of 34
    supercat to ReformationFan
    Of course, such a common-sense view of reality is probably considered a “hate-crime” nowadays.

    I would expect that in almost any tribe throughout history, females could be classified into the following categories:

    1. Those who would have sexual relations with exactly one specific man, who would respond very unfavorably if anyone else sought to have sexual relations with her.
    2. Those who were not having sexual relations with anyone, but whose exclusive sexual services might be acquired by a man who was favored by the woman and/or her father.
    3. Those who would make sexual services available on a non-exclusive basis.
    I would further expect that just about everyone in most tribes would know, or could readily find out, which women had established exclusive sexual relationships, and with whom.

    The principles that many females would have a sexually-exclusive bond to exactly one male, many others would aspire to do so, and everyone would know who was bound to whom, are almost universal and can be observed even in tribes which have never heard of Western religions. As such, they cannot be reasonably described as a product of Western religious bigotry. On the other hand, vocal religious people who focus on the religious issues and ignore the secular basis for marriage make it easier for homosexual activists to dodge the fundamental secular issue which is that the term "marriage" was introduced to describe the union of a female to exactly one male, and thus a homosexual union simply isn't a marriage.

  • The Return of Mormon Polygamy?

    11/25/2014 4:11:10 PM PST · 29 of 34
    supercat to LS
    Once the definition of marriage changed from “man and woman” it is inevitable that the next thing to change is “one”.

    Actually, I would posit that the most universal aspects of marriage is that every union must involve *exactly one male* and *at least one female*. Typically it involves exactly one female, but that's not quite so universal. A relationship with two females and zero males violates the "exactly one male" requirement, and one with zero females and two males violates both requirements. Unlike those, a relationship involving two females and one male would abide by both required criteria for marriage, and would be closer to abiding by the requirements for a monogamous marriage.

  • In defense of marriage and the rule of law—the importance of making the right argument

    11/12/2014 4:25:26 PM PST · 13 of 14
    supercat to dware
    The definition of marriage as between a man and a woman were defined very clearly by God LOOOOOOOOOONG before Governments were instituted among men.

    Such arguments are irrelevant to those who would deny the existence of God. A better argument would be that marriage as a secular institution predates both governments and religions.

  • How To Stop Being Poor

    11/11/2014 9:14:41 AM PST · 42 of 47
    supercat to A_perfect_lady
    I tell you what, I have said to my liberal co-workers, "The way out of poverty is simple: get an education, work hard, don't have kids while in poverty, and don't do drugs. We could eradicate poverty in one generation if the poor would simply do that."

    Another key aspect is to spend *less* than you earn. Even if one tries never to spend more than one earns, it's impossible to spend exactly what one earns on a sustained basis because spending requirements and earnings are not completely predictable. If one doesn't spend less than one earns during the times one is fortunate enough not to have any unexpected expenditures or temporary loss of earnings, one may be unable to avoid spending more than one earns during times of even mild misfortune.

    Still, I think it might be interesting to have a class where students were invited to imagine that they were evil overlords who wanted to keep their subjects in a state of mollified dependency. Suggest that subjects be supported if they get too poor, but withdraw such support from any subject who seems to be working toward self-sufficiency. I think a lot of students would see how such behavior on the part on an overlord could be effective at keeping his subjects under control. One wouldn't have to mention, at first, that the kinds of things an evil overlord would do coincide very closely to the way many real-world welfare policies actually work; let students draw their own inferences.

  • APPEALS COURT: States can define marriage as 1 man, 1 woman

    11/09/2014 8:06:13 PM PST · 56 of 56
    supercat to Rainier1789
    I’d like a national poll on: “Do you think a homosexual male couple should have the same right as a straight couple to adopt a little boy?” Isn’t this what gay “marriage” leads to in the courts?

    I would ask it differently: does a mother who is considering voluntarily placing her child for adoption have the right to refuse any prospective adoptive couple for any reason whatsoever she chooses--even if solely for membership in what would otherwise be a "protected class" (e.g. race, religion, sexuality, etc.)? If she seeks assistance in finding prospective adoptive parents, does she have the right to ask them to apply any criteria she sees fit?

    I would rather affirm the right of a mother to determine who will raise her offspring, even if some might choose to place their children with gay couples, than suggest that someone other than the mother should have more say.

  • APPEALS COURT: States can define marriage as 1 man, 1 woman

    11/08/2014 11:37:16 AM PST · 54 of 56
    supercat to bunkerhill7
    Actually it`s intrinsic to the root source of the word “MARI-iage”, for the first recorded marriage occurred in the City of MARI in 5,000 BC.

    I'm pretty sure the concept goes back long before that. Even before there was any form of writing to record such things, I would expect that a typical man could do a pretty good job of making everyone know that a particular woman was his alone, and woe be unto anyone else trying to mate with her. Certainly such behavior is common in animal species.

  • Monster Win for Natural Marriage [Great Analysis]

    11/08/2014 11:11:23 AM PST · 32 of 49
    supercat to rollo tomasi
    In some cases these laws have been around since the time of the Articles of Confederation.

    More importantly, secular evidence strongly suggests that the fundamental concept of natural marriage(*) has been around long before any form of recognizable religion; a marriage requires a male and a female not because some religious people say so, but because the most important aspect of marriage (allowing a husband to know that he is the father of his wife's children) is only relevant to such couples.

    (*) Fundamentally, a marriage is a public declaration by a man that a particular woman is going to mate with him exclusively, he will be the father of any children she bears, and that anyone else who tries to mate with her will face his wrath. Note that while marriage often implies reciprocal exclusivity, it would be meaningful even if only the woman was exclusively bound. For a man to know that his wife's children are his, the wife must mate exclusively with him. A woman, however, does not need a marriage to know that any children she bears to anyone will be hers.

  • Monster Win for Natural Marriage [Great Analysis]

    11/08/2014 10:49:20 AM PST · 31 of 49
    supercat to theBuckwheat
    Therefore, for the sake of marriage as God defines it, it is time to remove from government the power to define who is married and who is not. Then people could form whatever relationships they please but they could not force those who disagree to be enablers for those relationships.

    People have the general right to form such relationships as they see fit, and to decide as individuals what forms of relationship they will recognize. For certain purposes such as taxation and probate it is necessary that the government recognize certain relationships; the fact that the government recognizes certain relationships, however, should not impart upon anyone else an obligation to recognize such relationships except to the extent necessary to carry out legitimate government functions (e.g. if probate law says that a certain relationship entitles someone to some part of an estate, the executor of the estate should be bound by that regardless of his personal feelings about the relationship).

    IMHO, what Republicans need to do (and should have been doing from the get-go) is focus on the question of whether individuals have the right to force other individuals to recognize their relationship. On the question of "should people have the right to recognize between themselves whatever kinds of relationships between they see fit", a majority of people would probably say yes. On the question of "should a same-sex couple have the power to compel every other individual to recognize their relationship as being equivalent to a natural marriage", however, I would expect in most places a strong supermajority "no". If supporters of natural marriage focus on the latter issue, they'll win. If they get distracted by the former, they'll lose.

  • Deion Sanders on Michael Sam: Gay ‘Could Be’ a Choice – ‘The God I Know Don’t Make Mistakes’

    11/08/2014 10:34:30 AM PST · 28 of 34
    supercat to Rusty0604
    Human being have free will; many also have genetic dispositions toward various behaviors, some of which are good and some of which are bad. A natural consequence of God having given the human race free will is that things on a human scale won't always happen according to God's macroscopic plan.

    Since even a willingness by God to force the human race to conform to his plan would completely negate the entire concept of free will, I see no reason to believe that everything that happens in the world does so because God wills it. Rather, things are as they are because God gave people the free will to make them that way. God can and does call upon people from time to time to be instruments of his will, but some people don't always answer the call, and even those that answer it don't always succeed in their efforts.

  • Since when was health care reform authored in the House?

    11/08/2014 10:23:22 AM PST · 39 of 45
    supercat to Talisker
    It's taken two full years for someone to point this out since my analysis of the Roberts decision.

    I'm not sure what can be done to undo all the rot, but I think it would help if people could realize that although:

    1. The Supreme Court's job involves determining what laws mean;
    2. If the Supreme Court does its job legitimately, the laws will mean what the Court says they mean;
    3. the Constitution would provide no remedy for someone who was wronged by an illegitimate Supreme Court ruling.
    those factors together do not imply that Supreme Court rulings are legitimate--merely that they are binding whether or not they are legitimate because illegitimate decisions would admit no remedy. The notion that precedent should generally be the first thing considered when examining a case is backward. The only times precedent should be considered would be when:
    1. The precedent supports a ruling that could be justified without precedent, but serves as a basis for favoring that ruling over other possible ones which would also be justifiable under law.
    2. The precedent is expressly recognized as illegitimate, but failing to consider it would magnify the harm caused thereby. For example, if a court wrongfully allows one party in a case to do something and that other party files suit for the right to do likewise, the court should award the same privilege to the other party. Even if the court shouldn't have awarded the privilege to either party, awarding it to both would be less harmful than awarding it to one but not the other.
    If the Court could recognize the simple principle that its rulings are not always sound, but that they would bind the parties to the case whether they are sound or not, then it would be possible for the Court to actually base rulings on the Constitution and statutes, rather than trying to trying figure out a twisted and contorted version of what the Constitution and statutes would have to mean in order for the Court's earlier rulings to have been consistent with them. If everyone in government always abided by the Constitution, there would be no legitimate reason for the Court to ever do likewise. On the other hand, sometimes illegitimate actions not anticipated by the Constitution may necessitate a remedy which was likewise not anticipated. That the Court has power to effect such remedies upon parties to cases before it, however, does not imply that such remedies should be considered "law" for anyone other than the actual parties to cases that are decided in such fashion.
  • Since when was health care reform authored in the House?

    11/05/2014 4:51:54 PM PST · 34 of 45
    supercat to Talisker
    They do not exist in the case law, because if they've ever been used the government dropped the case to avoid a ruling.

    One of the major causes of tyranny is the Court's continuing failure to distinguish between things which are legitimate, and things that cannot be shown to be illegitimate. This distinction is important, since the benefits of the doubt, which should be afforded to those who endeavor in good faith to act legitimately, should not be extended to those who deliberately act in ways whose legitimacy is at best murky.

  • Alabama Amendment 3 Passes with 72 Percent of the Vote

    11/05/2014 4:27:05 PM PST · 6 of 10
    supercat to marktwain
    The problem is that the courts have not been upholding the plain existing wording, by following decades of "progressive" precedent.

    Indeed so. I wish that state constitutions would make explicit some things which shouldn't need saying, including the principle that activities which are unlawful or unconstitutional can by definition form no part of a government agent's legitimate duties, and that any protections which would extend to government agents in the furtherance of legitimate duties cannot apply when the agents in question are acting unlawfully.

    Government agents who enforce statutes which are later shown to be illegitimate should have no more protection than ordinary citizens who do something which they reasonably believe to to be lawful, but which turns out not to be (citizens generally have less protection in such cases than they should; requiring those in government to extend such protections to the citizenry if they want them for themselves would likely cause citizens to be better protected).

  • 2014 Election Results: Democrat Voter Fraud Caught in Arizona, Maryland, And Illinois? [VIDEO]

    11/05/2014 6:37:44 AM PST · 17 of 17
    supercat to ArtDodger
    They merely want to go to their offices and collect their salaries and perks, then retire.

    RINO politicians are more reliant upon Democrat vote fraud than even the Democrats themselves. If Democrats didn't pick up any votes through fraud, they could still win by moderating their positions. On the other hand, without Democrats picking up votes through fraud, RINOs would not be able to claim conservatives are "unelectable", and would thus get primaried out.

  • Another Reason Why Decent and Moral People Are Libertarians

    10/27/2014 3:35:39 PM PDT · 58 of 68
    supercat to Westbrook
    Libertarians gave us gay marriage and abortion on demand.

    Republicans citing religious arguments against "gay marriage" were a much bigger cause. If Republicans had properly framed the issue, libertarians would have realized that "gay marriage" is in fact anti-libertarian. Even without laws "legalizing" so-called "gay marriage" homosexuals were free to have whatever sort of relationships they wished. What they couldn't do was use the power of government to compel other people to honor their relationships.

    If Republicans had framed the issue as one of "Should homosexuals be allowed to force other people to honor their relationship in the same way they would a heterosexual marriage", very few people would have sided with the leftists. But the way the leftists framed the issue, the gay activists were able to portray the Republicans as promoting religious oppression, and the Republicans who kept citing Biblical arguments played right into the leftists hands.

  • Cruz: Supreme Court 'abdicating its duty'

    10/07/2014 4:32:43 PM PDT · 56 of 61
    supercat to EternalVigilance
    Only liberals scream “theocracy” every time God’s Name is invoked.

    Any argument which relies upon the Bible or any other religious text will only be meaningful for those who regard that text as authoritative, and may be perfectly legitimately disregarded by anyone who does not. Further, the insistence of some people to cite such arguments is often taken by undecided voters as a sign that secular arguments do not exist.

    Conservatives should have won the marriage issue by focusing on a few key points:

    1. Even before the development of organized religion or organized government, many tribes recognized the human tendency toward heterosexual pair-bonding, and recognized that any attempt by an outside male to mate with a paired-off woman would be considered an act of war against that woman's mate. Different societies have differed greatly in how they recognize pair-bonding, but the one consistent aspect is that 99.9999% have recognized that a male-female mating pair bond is fundamentally different from any other kind of pair bond which does not involve exactly one man and at least one woman. The fact that societies consistently recognize a concept of "marriage" which requires one man and at least one woman, even when they've never heard of any sort of Judeo-Christian religion, implies that the requirement that marriage involve exactly one man cannot be reasonably regarded as an effort to impose Judeo-Christian mores.

    2. A mother who is considering voluntarily giving up her child for an adoption should have an absolute 100% unconditional right to refuse any prospective adoptive parents for any reason whatsoever, based upon any criteria whatsoever she wishes, subject only to the constraint that being overly selective may result in her not finding anyone acceptable. Further, she has the right to instruct any agencies whom she hires to seek suitable adoptive parents about whatever criteria she would choose to apply, subject again only to the constraint that if her criteria are unreasonable the agencies may be unable to find anyone suitable (and might regard the task as too hopeless to even attempt).
    I don't think conservatives can win the issue of whether a mother should be allowed to give her child to people other than one-man-one-woman married couples. On the other hand, if conservatives were to focus on the authority of a mother to determine, either directly or by proxy, who she thinks will raise her child as she should wish, I would expect the reaction of gay activist groups would steer undecided voters toward the conservative side.
  • IRS Tech Said Lerner's Hard Drive WASN'T Damaged

    08/17/2014 11:03:50 AM PDT · 59 of 62
    supercat to jonascord
    Your observation is why crimes committed by public officials should be automatically raised to a capital offence.

    A bigger requirement would be a recognition that a government agent's duties require that the person make a bona fide effort to abide by the Constitution and laws thereunder, and that an agent who does not make such a bona fide effort is not acting in performance of their duties. Because not all actions which are illegitimate have a remedy, merely trying to ensure that one's actions are unworthy of censure is insufficient to ensure legitimacy. A finding that a government agent deliberately seeks to skirt the law as much as possible should be taken as a finding that the person is not acting in good faith, and thus is not legitimately acting in the line of duty.

  • Petition to Reform the National Firearms Act

    07/14/2014 3:54:49 PM PDT · 35 of 39
    supercat to Pollster1
    The ONLY gun laws we should have are felony laws against the use of a firearm in a violent crime.

    Certain regulations requiring that e.g. ammunition bearing certain headstamps and no markings that would contradict them must have certain characteristics would IMHO be a perfectly reasonable and appropriate use of the interstate commerce powers, provided that

    1. The plausible intention of such regulations was to allow people to arm themselves more effectively than would be possible otherwise, and
    2. The government could convince a jury that somebody who violated the regulations that allowing the defendant's actions would materially impede a bona fide effort to achieve legitimate aims (a defendant would likewise be entitled to convince the jury that the real purpose of the regulation was to discourage effective armament, or that his actions were in no way impeded any legitimate government interest).
    One major problem with the idea that judges should be solely responsible for "judging the law" is that judges are generally required to act under a presumption that laws are passed by people acting in good faith, and defendants are generally afforded little opportunity to challenge such a presumption. While having defendants' fates hinge on the luck of what jurors they get would be far from ideal, a recognition bad faith is a basis for illegitimacy would help undo the kinds of incremental encroachments politicians have been pushing for decades.
  • America's new war: Patriots vs. termites

    07/09/2014 3:53:11 PM PDT · 14 of 15
    supercat to ClearCase_guy
    Until we rightly recognize that the states are the bastion of our freedom and the federal government is the great threat to our freedom, this country can neither be preserved nor restored.

    I think it might be better to recognize that as a more general principle, which is that the more easily people would be able to flee the control of a tyrannical government, the less likely it is that the government will make that necessary.

    Another important principle that needs to be recognized is that although what the Court says and what the law is will coincide when the court is legitimately doing its job, such coincidence would be a result of the court following the law, not the law conforming to the court's rulings. In cases where laws are sufficiently ambiguous or contradictory that either party to a case could legitimately prevail, it is right and proper for a court to write its own rules for how such cases should be handled until such time as the law is changed to remove such ambiguity, but the court's role should be recognized as subservient to that of the legislature. In drafting such rules, the Court would basically be seen as saying "We believe the legislature meant to say X"; as long as such belief is reasonable, it is proper for courts to entertain it. On the other hand, if the legislature says "We did not mean X--we meant Y", then courts should regard their previous beliefs as having been mistaken.

    Given the number of court decisions which split 5-4 along predictable lines, it is not reasonable to believe that all nine justices are consistently and legitimately doing their jobs. In cases where genuine ambiguities exist, there could be good reasons why justices may disagree about how to solve them, but the fact that decisions are so consistently split strongly suggests that at least some justices are more interested in serving their political master than carrying out their legitimate job. When justices don't do their legitimate job, the relationship that should exist between what they say, and what the law actually is, may cease to exist.

  • Prof Fired (from think tank) For Calling Global Warming ‘Unproved Science’ Stands Firm

    06/18/2014 4:02:13 PM PDT · 34 of 38
    supercat to Techster
    Yes, the Scientific Method will disprove AGW arguments each time.

    A proper scientific theory will not merely make predictions, but rather will present a *means of predicting* what will happen based upon what has happened. For example, given the temperature and pressure of a gas in a sealed container, Charles's Law will allow one to predict how the pressure will change if the temperature rises but the container does not expand. I don't think most AGW arguments even rise to the point of being well-formed scientific theories, much less ones that are backed by evidence.

  • Republican EPA chiefs to Congress: Act on climate

    06/18/2014 3:51:44 PM PDT · 26 of 34
    supercat to free from tyranny
    It is well past time for the people to begin public tribunals that prosecute the heretics who continue the drive for the US to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, especially coal.

    I think there needs to be a recognition that there's a difference between making a good-faith effort to obey the law, versus trying to avoid violating the law so egregiously as to be punished. Those who make a good faith effort to obey the law should generally not be punished if their judgment differs from that of someone else in deciding what is reasonable, but those who try to figure out how much they can get away with should not be entitled to such protection.

  • Supreme Court: Law-Abiding Citizen Cannot Buy A Gun For Another Law-Abiding Citizen

    06/17/2014 4:35:43 PM PDT · 99 of 103
    supercat to ZULU
    Maybe there needs to be a definition of wht constitutes a “straw purchase” added to the original statute to clarify that one individual buying a firearm who transfer that firearm after a purchase to another individual who is legally able to own firearm, is not engaging in the practise of a “straw purchase”.

    What's really needed is a law that makes clear that anyone who attempts to enforce any statute in a manner that, by intention and effect, makes it more difficult for free persons to arm themselves on their own property, does so illegitimately, and any claim of authority made by such person is void and no free person has any obligation to honor such claim. Of course, that's what the Second Amendment already says, but being more blunt about it probably wouldn't hurt.

  • Talkeetna's feline mayor contemplates retirement

    06/14/2014 9:18:35 AM PDT · 21 of 23
    supercat to lostboy61
    In my years of being a general contractor I have meet a number of counter cats and shop cats.

    I remember a gift shop which had a cat bed on a shelf near some merchandise which was generally occupied but had a sign to the effect of "Yes I am a real cat. Please do not disturb me. Occasionally I'd see the bed vacant and once or twice actually noticed the feline wandering around. No longer walking around this world, alas, but at least I was lucky enough to be there when the cat was.

  • Supreme Court Unanimously Overturns Illinois Court On Fifth Amendment Rights

    06/09/2014 3:55:50 PM PDT · 60 of 60
    supercat to usconservative
    The fact is in this case the state wanted a second attempt (avoiding double-jeopardy) using a specious argument claiming the first trial 'was a sham' ..... due to the conditions the state itself caused.

    In general, the actions of an employee are considered to be actions of the employer, but there are exceptions. If Joe bribes an employee of a company to do something that supposedly "harms" Joe, for the purpose of facilitating a lawsuit against the company, the fact that Joe bribed the employee to harm him would mean Joe, rather than the company, bore the responsibility for the employee's actions.

    With regard to the issue of double jeopardy, suppose that Mr. Big, who had a prosecutor and a judge in his pocket (whether through bribery or blackmail), knew that he was under investigation for a crime, and that it was only a matter of time before the prosecutor would find enough evidence to convict. To alleviate this danger, Mr. Big, the judge, and prosecutor conspired one afternoon to have the friendly prosecutor bring the case to trial immediately, whereupon the prosecutor failed to present any sort of meaningful case and the judge ordered a directed verdict of acquittal.

    If things transpired as described, would you say that the double-jeopardy rule should protect Mr. Big, or would you say that the fact that the prosecutor was deliberately acting in the interests of Mr. Big rather than the state would deny Mr. Big the normal remedy against the state [i.e. double-jeopardy protection] for having brought him to trial?

    I would posit that double-jeopardy rules should not be applicable if it could be shown that things transpired as stated. In order to overcome double jeopardy protections, the state should have to demonstrate to both a grand jury and a petit jury that the prosecutor in the original trial was seeking an acquittal for the purpose of preventing Mr. Big from having to face legitimate charges before Mr. Big could be re-indicted; Mr. Big should have the right to produce counter-evidence at the petit jury stage [but if the grand jury wasn't convinced, Mr. Big wouldn't even have to spend any legal expenses responding to the claims]. Only if the petit jury found that the the purpose and effect of the prosecutor's bringing the case to trial were to benefit the defendant would Mr. Big be subject to reindictment.

    Honest incompetence on the part of a prosecutor, no matter how severe, should not be grounds for declaring that a defendant's first trial was a "sham". On the other hand, if a prosecutor's actions cannot plausibly be attributed to anything other than a deliberate effort to sabotage the state's legitimate case, a defendant should not be entitled to benefit from such action.

  • Justified Homicide in California not Considered Justified by FBI

    06/08/2014 12:41:38 PM PDT · 18 of 18
    supercat to dirtboy
    And that doesn’t even begin to address the vast number of defensive uses of arms that don’t involve firing the weapon.

    Or those, where a crook decides against a crime because someone is observed to have a weapon, or because the crook correctly believes someone has a weapon, or because a crook decides it's likely that someone has a weapon. In many such cases, the person with the weapon (or who was believed to have had one) might be entirely unaware of the crooks' aborted intentions.

  • BREAKING: Dianne Feinstein Introduces Federal Bill to Confiscate Guns

    06/08/2014 12:37:04 PM PDT · 93 of 96
    supercat to cripplecreek
    I don’t have any problem with family members having more influence in having a family member involuntarily hospitalized but the idea that a restraining order will stop someone from getting a gun is pure stupidity.

    If the areas a woman goes don't overlap the places an estranged man would have a particular right to go, a judge could issue a restraining order which didn't trample the man's rights but protected the woman quite well, if it simply said: "You are hereby informed that you are to refrain from visiting the following places at the times indicated, unless you seek and receive from this court or certain specified officials specific authorization to the contrary. In the event that you are in such a place and XXX kills you there, the killing will be presumed to have been in self-defense. Even if you are invited to one of the indicated places by XXX, you should refuse to go unless you have followed procedures described below to authorize such visit."

    Such an order would restrict the estranged man's rights much less than, protect the woman much better than, an order which would seek to disarm the man in question.

  • Supreme Court Unanimously Overturns Illinois Court On Fifth Amendment Rights

    06/08/2014 12:30:09 PM PDT · 57 of 60
    supercat to usconservative
    How many bites at the apple does our judicial system get when a charge is made against you?

    Only until a person was given a trial which might plausibly have had some purpose other than to grant double-jeopardy protection. I would suggest that if a person is brought to trial, then before the person could be tried again the state would have to show clear and compelling evidence that the state (or agents there conducted the first trial in bad faith for the purpose of rendering the defendant immune from prosecution.

    Just as it is mathematically impossible for any non-trivial system of logic to be fully contained and yet free of contradictions, so too in law. Any fixed system of law must operate on the assumption that there are certain specific individuals who act in good faith. No fixed system can possibly be immune to the possibility of individuals conspiring in bad faith. The only way to provide immunity against certain combinations of individuals acting in bad faith will be to apply the long-standing fundamental principles that persons acting in bad faith should not be allowed to profit thereby, while those acting in good faith should not be harmed thereby. Judges who use such principles to overrule explicitly-written law should be very explicit about what they are doing and why they are doing it, so that the public may know what is happening and whether they should praise the judge or clamor for impeachment.

    To use a rough analogy, suppose a crooked home plate umpire decides to call strike" on every pitch by the home team, even if it rolls across the plate, and "ball" on every pitch thrown by the visiting team, no matter how perfect; once the home team has built up a 20-0 lead, the umpire has a heart attack and is replaced. If the new umpire had seen what happened, he might decide that equity could best be achieved by either:

    1. announcing that he would call nine strikes by the visitor's pitcher, 92 balls and nine strikes by the home pitcher, and another nine strikes by the visitors, and then playing the remaining seven innings using fair calls.
    2. letting the managers of both teams and scorekeeper either stipulate that the above pitches had been thrown with the indicated results (moving to the top of the third), or pretending that none of the preceding action had taken place (restarting the first).
    Note that nothing like either of the above courses of action would be legal under the rules of baseball, which would instead require that the new umpire start calling balls and strikes fairly, with the bases loaded and the home team holding a 20-0 lead, and offering no compensation to the team that was harmed by the grossly unreasonable calls. On the other hand, if the game was either restarted or was tied at the end of the third inning, the balance of play could be considered a real and legitimate ballgame. By contrast, if the new umpire performed as the rules required, the game would by any reasonable standard have to be considered a farce.

    Note that the kind of extralegal judicial action I describe should not be taken lightly, nor should it be frequently invoked. On the other hand, I would posit that recognition of its necessity and legitimacy would go a long way toward reducing the frequency with which it would be necessary. Further, it would help even the balance between dishonest judges who feel free to make up the law as they go along, without need for justification, and honest judges who cannot find in the law any available remedies for people harmed by the activist judges. Among other things, the less soundly argued an activist decision was, the less justification an honest judge would need to prescribe a remedy undoing its effect.

  • Opposing Gay Marriage Is a Waste of Your Time

    05/15/2014 4:57:12 PM PDT · 47 of 86
    supercat to theBuckwheat
    God designated marriage, not as a contractual agreement, but as a covenant.

    The idea that a woman should only breed with one man, who will then assist in the protection and care of resulting offspring, predates both government and religion (even if one accepts Genesis, I don't think it claims the continuous existence of religion between the time of Adam and Moses; if a proper religious tradition already existed, it would not have been necessary for God to instruct Moses in writing the Torah).

    Religious arguments against marriage are counterproductive in talking with anyone who does not accept the religion in question. The secular argument is much stronger: 99.99999% of all people who have ever lived, lived in a society which recognized a concept of marriage involving exactly one male as different from any kind relationship involving any other number. The requirement that marriage involve exactly one male is not imposed by government, nor by religion, and the only way it can be viewed as "bigoted" is if the vast majority of people who have ever lived are bigots.

    Further, even if gays have the right to call themselves whatever they want, that does not imply that anyone else has any obligation to honor such declarations. The right of free association implies the right to honor the kind of marriages that has essentially always been nearly universally recognized, without incurring any obligation to recognize so-called "marriages" which fail to meet one of the most basic and universal requirements of marriage (that it must involve exactly one male)

  • Wimping Out on Repeal

    04/29/2014 4:06:59 PM PDT · 20 of 21
    supercat to AU72
    Certainly shouldn't call it here to stay now.

    The goal of Obama et al. is to ensure that by the time the system collapses, which it will, there won't be an old system to go back to and the only alternative will be single-payer. Giving Obama et al. another two years to destroy the existing health-care system doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

  • Florida Critical Alert: Sheriffs Still Attacking Second Amendment Rights

    04/29/2014 4:02:34 PM PDT · 16 of 18
    supercat to William Tell
    If the bill passes, you can be sure that there will be law enforcement who will violate it anyway.

    What's needed is a law that makes clear that those who would disarm law-abiding citizens should be recognized as robbers and treated as such. Such a law would make everyone safer, including those who might otherwise be inclined to ignore a statute which merely affirms people's right to keep and bear arms, since it would make clear to the latter people the costs of lawlessness.

  • What Are Justice Stevens’s Proposed Six Amendments?

    04/22/2014 6:24:05 AM PDT · 26 of 33
    supercat to Bogey78O

    How about for “Sovereign Immunity”, say “Illegitimate actions can by definition form no part of any government agent’s legitimate duties. Federal government personnel may be exempted from state laws only when they are making a good faith effort to act legitimately; efforts to abide by the Constitution “just enough” to avoid censure shall not be considered “good faith”.

  • Could Connecticut Gun Laws Spark Another Waco?

    04/03/2014 4:36:42 PM PDT · 80 of 90
    supercat to Resolute Conservative
    Davidians fired first through the wall of the building at ATF agents outside

    A BATF agent testifying before Congress said that when a shot came through a wall near them, he fired blindly back through the wall; there was no mention of any consideration of where in the building any other BATF personnel might be. Other agents testifying with him related similar experiences.

    Given that agents inside the building shot at a wall through which bullets came, those outside the building did likewise, what reason is there to believe that the agents inside the building were being "shot at" by anyone other than the agents inside, or vice versa?

  • Did Michigan trigger a constitutional convention?

    04/02/2014 5:04:11 PM PDT · 28 of 59
    supercat to Carry_Okie
    I'm not sure how best to word them, but I think a few general legal principles need to be stated:
    1. Presumptions of legitimacy are only applicable to acts done in good faith. An attempt to infringe someone's rights to the maximum allowable degree while remaining "legal" would represent a deliberate attempt to infringe their rights, and should thus be viewed as an action performed in bad faith;
    2. Assessments of whether or not an action is performed in good faith require assessments of witness credibility, and are thus matters of fact rather than law;
    3. A finding that an action was not so egregious as to merit a remedy does not imply a finding that the action was legitimate, and may not be used as justification for others to proceed likewise in good faith.
    4. Someone who breaks into another person's dwelling without a good-faith belief in the legitimacy of his actions is a burglar or, if he confronts or intends to confront the occupant, a robber. If anyone gets killed during such action, the person who illegitimately broke in is a murderer. These definitions apply to government personnel just as well as anyone else, and citizens have a right and duty to defend themselves against burglars, robbers, and murderers.
    An embezzler who limits his activities to amounts small enough to escape notice is a thief. Likewise government personnel who try to infringe on people's rights as much as they can. I would consider a broad recognition of that principle to be as important as anything else.
  • Restaurants Would Have to Handle Customers with Food Allergies Under Md. Proposal

    03/25/2014 4:11:52 PM PDT · 112 of 112
    supercat to Tolerance Sucks Rocks
    Is there anything being done to cure this stuff, and what the heck is causing it?

    Fair question. I have a suspicion that some of the conditions may have been killing people for ages, but such deaths were attributed to "causes unknown". If 99% of the children with a certain allergy die of unknown causes before reaching the age of 3, the percentage of three-year-olds with that allergy won't be very high. Preventing 10% of those deaths would cause an apparent tenfold increase in the number of three-year-olds with the allergy. Further, the number of people with such allergies would quickly become greater the number who used to die each year (since most people who manage to avoid dying in a given year will be included not just in the next year's population, but also the year after that, and the year after that, etc.).

    I don't particularly doubt that there are other factors at work also, but I think it's important to note that statistical factors may cause things to appear to be getting worse even when they're improving.

  • Canada, the Rahn Curve, and the Size of Government

    03/25/2014 3:54:02 PM PDT · 9 of 13
    supercat to GeronL
    If that we’re true we need a 100% tax rate, but they know it’s hogwash

    I would expect that while the Laffer curve reaches its maximum at a relatively low tax rate, I don't think it's monotonically decreasing to the right. If you go far enough to the right that people have no choice but to work 14 hours days to avoid starvation, many people will work 14 hour days. Increasing the marginal tax rates from one where people have to work 12 hour days, to one where they must work 14, may increase total production slightly, and thus increase tax revenue a little bit. Revenue won't be nearly as high as it would with a much lower tax rate, but revenue will go up with increased tax rates. I would posit that portion of the Laffer curve is where communists think a country should be, since their economic models "work" there.

  • Responsible gun owners should welcome sensible gun laws

    03/03/2014 4:45:00 PM PST · 77 of 77
    supercat to backwoods-engineer
    Enactment of law preferring a FEDERAL felony for any and all attempts at the federal, state or territory or city level to confiscate arms, including ammunition and accessories, without judicial due process.

    Better yet, a law making it clear that people attempting such confiscations are robbers, and that citizens have a right and duty to do everything in their power to resist them, up to and including the use of deadly force.

  • Put America’s First Principle Back Into Practice

    02/04/2014 4:31:17 PM PST · 63 of 66
    supercat to Las Vegas Ron
    My problem with it is that even it was a sound conservative out come it would be adhered to anymore than the constitution we already have.

    What's needed are some more explicit statements:

    1. Actions contrary to the Constitution are illegitimate.
    2. Illegitimately breaking into a dwelling is burglary.
    3. Illegitimately accosting someone therein is robbery.
    4. Illegitimately killing someone is murder.
    5. Persons who instruct others to commit burglary, robbery, or murder are conspirators.
    6. Citizens have a right and duty to protect themselves and society from burglars, robbers, murderers, and their conspirators, by any such means as the criminals make necessary.
    Such statements would make things safer for legitimate government personnel and citizens alike. Government agents couldn't safely carry on as they do now, but those who want honest governance shouldn't want them to be able to safely carry on as they do now, and should thus view that as a good thing.
  • The right side of history

    02/04/2014 4:14:48 PM PST · 14 of 14
    supercat to ReformationFan
    ...especially, to so-called gay marriage.

    I'm irked at how many conservatives totally miss the real issue: the tendency to form lifetime mating pairs predates religion and governments. As languages developed, they included terms to describe such mating pairs because of their extreme importance in every society that developed language. The institution of marriages is not a creation of religion nor government, but is simply a recognition of something much more important that predates both.

    Whether government should recognize a union of two males or of two females as having any significance is a political question, but whether such a union is the same as the union of a male and a female is not. Pretending that it is the same will not and cannot make it so.

  • Time for smartcards

    02/04/2014 4:03:28 PM PST · 35 of 36
    supercat to CutePuppy
    As can be seen, the US companies are not alone in being attacked by this method, because vulnerability has nothing to do with magnetic strips or other physical cards' properties.

    In a properly-designed smartcard-based system, the merchant's computer should request from the card issuer a random security token, and should never--even for a microsecond--hold enough information to perform a transaction not associated with that token. The card issuer would know that the token was issued to the merchant, and could require that any money taken from the card using it must go to an account associated with the merchant.

    Ideally, credit-card-entry terminals would be constructed in such a way that a plugged-in smart card would get first "dibs" at keyboard data, nothing else could see it unless the smart card passed it along, and no change to such behavior would be possible without physically compromising the card entry terminal. In such a design, no remotely-programmable machine would ever see a customer's PIN, and thus even attack code with full access to ram-scrape all reprogrammable devices would not gain access to it.

    Given the extent to which financial institutions have failed to achieve the level of security which would be possible even with simple magnetic stripe cards, and checks, I wouldn't expect them to implement the best possible smart-card system; nonetheless, a well-designed smart-card system could be made much more secure than would be possible without smart cards.

  • Pelosi to Reporter: It’s Not Obamacare, It’s The Affordable Care Act

    01/09/2014 4:28:38 PM PST · 57 of 74
    supercat to smoothsailing
    First of all, it’s called the “Affordable Care Act.”

    Perhaps she should be asked, to list some times when legislation passed for the supposed purpose of making something "affordable" has actually accomplished that purpose.

    The only ways to make anything affordable to those who would otherwise not be able to afford it are to either make it unaffordable to some people who would otherwise have been able to afford it, or increase the amount of it which is produced; the latter course of action will generally require a continuous injection of revenue. The Affordable Care Prevention Act does nothing to accomplish the latter; therefore, to the extent that it does anything it can only do the former (make care unaffordable to people who otherwise have been able to afford it).

  • Five Myths About Inequality

    01/09/2014 4:21:21 PM PST · 21 of 21
    supercat to marron
    He uses them to create more wealth which he then distributes to the world. He doesn't sit on any of it.

    A common rhetorical question asked by leftists is "why does XXX need more than $YYY; he could buy everything anyone could ever want with half that". The proper response was "So he can build more companies, and employ more people, than he would be able to do with a lesser amount".

  • 5 Ways the Liberal Obsession With Income Inequality Hurts the Poor

    01/09/2014 4:18:23 PM PST · 22 of 22
    supercat to steelhead_trout
    But never in 100 years have we had so much income concentrated into so few hands.

    I would posit that what is harmful is not a large ratio between the 99th percentile and 1st percentile, but rather the existence of an excessively large ratio between any two consecutive percentiles or fractions thereof. I would consider a distribution in which the top person's has 1,000 times as much as someone at the bottom of the 99th percentile (who is still better than 99% of the population), who in turns has only twice as much as the bottom, to be regarded as far more dangerously skewed than one in which each percentile has 1.2 times the wealth of the one below, even though the latter would have an 82,000,000:1 ratio between the top and bottom percentiles while the former would only have a 2,000:1 ratio.

    Obama and other leftists would prefer the former distribution (with themselves and their cronies being in the wealthy-elite group); conservatives would prefer the latter.