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Captain Nate

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Everything posted by Captain Nate

  1. Moose, you're misreading Lawrence. It was not decided on search & seizure grounds, rather, it was decided that substantive due process (the due process clause of the 14th amendment) protects private, consensual sexual acts.
  2. What had ALWAYS been done -- leave it up to the states to decide. I think that's a peculiar interpretation of the so-calle "right of privacy." I don't see how privacy rights would necesarilly be construed to extend to things that often occur in the public sphere, such as business exchanges. Now, the right to your own money, or free business exchanges, would be protected in the "right to contract", which the Supreme Court upheld in the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment during the Lockner Era (roughly the late 1800s to the New Deal), and was used to strike down onerous business regulations. The court's abandonment of that right, while now resurrecting its reasoning for its questionable abortion holdings, is very weak indeed. "The picking and choosing among various rights to be accorded 'substantive due process' protection is alone enough to arouse suspicion, but the categorical and inexplicable exclusion of so-called 'economic rights' (even though the Due Process Clause explicitly applies to 'property') unquestionably involves policymaking rather than neutral legal analysis." -- Justice Scalia
  3. You have to make your decision based on the Constitution, which you are sworn to uphold. It's the objective law of the land, and rewriting it with your own opinions is wrong and disasterous. Plus, your authority to adjudicate cases exists only because the Constitution grants it to you; if you pervert what the Constitution says, you're creating a contradiction because your perverting your own authority you're using justify your action.
  4. I carried out my own experiment in re-writing the Constitution a while ago, which I posted here: http://www.hulknews.com/constitution/Const...n-reworked.html
  5. They have the last word on the interpretation of the Constitution, not the discretion to eliminate parts of it not to their liking. The court gets their authority from the Constitution, they have an obligation to uphold it, by holding that they can strike the passages they dislike is a philosophical contradiction because their destroying their own legitimacy (from the perspective of philosophy of law). If both branches decide not to carry out their roles as dilineated in the Constitution then we truly have lost the rule of law and objective government. But it's no worse if Congress does it, than if the Court does it, which is what you're advocating. It's not merely form over substance. The United States represents a turning point in the history of governance, when man decided he would be ruled by laws, not by other men, and when laws would be objectively defined. This principle, which is at the heart of Objectivist philosophy on law and governance, is enshrined in the Constitution, which objectively defines the powers of the government as the supreme law of the land. Advocating judicial supremacy is a regression away from these ideals of objectively-prescribed government towards common law. That's not a solution, and such laws would be legally unenforceable without the Supreme Courts approval. If such a scenario happens (and it has happened in the past, where legislatures and executives defied the courts, and it hasn't always been pretty), it truly is the loss of liberty and the establishment of tyrannical rule based on personal whims of those in charge. The Court's decision in Dread Scott, declaring that Americans of African descent could not be citizens and therefore not afforded equal protection of the laws, was never overturned by the court until the 14th amendment following the civil war. And it took over 50 years for the Court to rectify its decision in Plessy vs. Furgeson which legalized segregation laws. Surely, the potential of the Congress to change the Constitution to overturn supreme court decisions has a clear value in correcting such wrongs. But in your scenario, what would stop a court, angry about having their decision overturned by an amendment even if such an act was morally just, from "throwing out" the amendment in question? Nothing. You're right and I sincerely apologize.
  6. I'm shocked by the lack of rationality approaching Constitutional interpretation here. First off, the Court cannot, Constitutionally speaking, rule an amendment unconstitutional. There are no classes of constitutionality and an amendment is as much a part of the Constitution as the one written in 1787. To grant the Supreme Court the authority to overturn the Constitution is far scarier to me than allowing a bad amendment to pass; a bad amendment could be repealed, but giving ultimate power of governance to 9 individuals who can make law based on personal and abritrary whim is so far from true Constitutional republican government. Let's not ignored that term: constitutional government. How can we claim to be a Constitutionally-limited government if our constitution is not supreme, our laws are flexible based on the decision of 9 individuals and unchangeable by any other means? Imagine, the Congress and States finally decided to pass an amendment repealing the 16th amendment and removing the government's power to tax; would you then stand up a praise a rogue Supreme Court for restoring the original provisions granting such authority? I would think not, and surely you can see the dangerous precedents for granting the court such authoirty. I am deeply relieved that this did not pass and thankful for the 3 Republicans who prevented it from doing so. But what if the Congress wanted to repeal the authority of government to take property, period? What if they wanted to clarify the meaning of the Second Amendment to expand gun ownership rights in the United States? What happens if the court interprets one of the first 10 amendments unfavorably; is there then no recourse to amend the Constitution so as to correct it? If you hold the first 10 amendments as sacrosanct, then no, the Supreme Courts decision, whether it expands liberty or contracts it, is ultimately final and unapproachable. What makes the 3rd amendment more important than the 13th, just by virtue of being passed among the first ten? What about the 27th amendment, which was part of the original 12 amendments submitted to the states (the dubbed "bill of rights"), is that so fundamental to our liberty that it cannot be repealed either? Now, I'm not attempting to diminish the value and importance of the first ten amendments, but this approach to Constitutional interpretation is troubling to me.
  7. If officers have a reasonable suspision that announcing would either a) endanger themselves or result in the destruction of evidence, they may enter without announcing themselves.
  8. As a big fan of comic book heroes, this is something I've thought about often, and have posted on here in the past. I think these threads would be of interest to you: On Spider-Man 2 - http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=1556 On Batman Begins - http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...ic=3803&hl=Hulk On the Hulk - http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=3785& Comics in General - http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...ic=3091&hl=Hulk
  9. Nope, it was fully operational last week. Part of EPCOT is a celebration of technology and innovation. Part of it is celebration of many different cultures. And some of it is sickening Earth-day nonsense. With the deal to buy Pixar, the managers of Pixar actually gained significant control over Disney (Jobs is now the largest Disney shareholder) and they exert a lot of creative control, rather than the other way around. There have been numerous stories of Pixar folks killing Disney projects, not the other way around.
  10. In my recent trip to Disney World, I encountered this: Walt Disney World's EPCOT has a world showcase featuring nations around the world, including one on America. Inside one of the building featuring a show on America, the walls have several quotes and I was shocked to see at the front of the room, above the Declaration of Independence, was a quote by Ayn Rand.
  11. You seem to have confused the functions of government with the structure of government. Broadly speaking, government has 3 functions/roles: police, military & courts. Its structure can take different forms. The police would not exist as an independent entity, they might be answerable to the executive branch as they are now. The U.S. government as it is structured now, in regards to its division of powers, could be used as a structure for an Objectivist LFC government if it limited its actions to the proper government functions. Objectivism itself lays out very few, if any, demands on how governments should be designed. All that is important is that it protects individual rights, and I think it ideally has some form of representation. See this thread: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...wtopic=6216&hl=
  12. Not quite. What you've identified are the 3 proper roles of the government - the police, the military and the courts. That does not mean the government is divided into, and consists of, only those things akin to the current "division of powers." The United States, as it is structured, can be an "Objectivist government" if it refined and limited its powers according to the principles Rand gave. These are my questions: Whichever person, or group of persons, the constitution gives this power to, idealy a civilian. Legislators are a distinct class from judges, at least in America and a divided-power system. Some positions will be appointed, some elected. Again, that depends on the Constitution in place. Objectivism doesn't address these precise points.
  13. My biggest problem with most athiests is that they don't have a good moral philosophy to fall back on, as many do turn out to be leftist moonbats who get off on attacking people of faith yet offer nothing substantive in return. I'd take a person who is rational in most aspect of their lives, yet believes in god, over a "godless socialist." My group of friends are a pretty diverse lot, some are conservative and some "libertarian"(for lack of a better term), some athiest, some Jewish, some catholic and some protestant. But we all respect each other, because despite our personal faiths (or lack thereof), we know each other to be rational, intelligent people in other aspects of life. Religion is not the defining quality that defines mostly-rational people.
  14. Ah, but if they were communists, why would the UN attack them?
  15. I was compelled to watch this film (at least some of it, it's supposed to be nearly 3 hours long) in a philosophy class yesterday and my mind is still trying to recover from the mental pillaging the evil in this movie performed on it. The entire premise of the film is that Corporations, as legal persons (the movie never draws the distinctions between corporate "persons" and real persons, so the audience assumes they share all the same legal rights) are psychotic violators of law and decency and pretty much evil towards their workers, the environment and the consumers. It's selective use of imagery, interviews and facts present a very consistant, effective propaganda to press this message. It provides for interviews, among others, with the former head of Royal Dutch Shell, except completely dismisses anything he has to say, and pretty much plays whatever the CEOs as a joke or some duplicitous lie. They went through the trouble to get interviews with economic geniuses such as Milton Friedman and give him about 20 seconds of air time, not actually presenting his point of view. If this is what our generation is being taught with, if their minds are vulnerable to it, we truly are doomed.
  16. Perhaps you fail to understand the distinction some of us are making. We are not proud of our country because it was where we were born. We are proud of it because of what it is, regardless of where were were born.
  17. I disagree, because one can just as easily reject America as they can accept it. By saying someone not born here can somehow achieve something special by coming here that a born-American cannot seems mind boggling to me. One of the great values of America is the fact that you can become American by both birth and choice, and you can also leave (or at the very least, denounce and reject) America by choice.
  18. Like pharmecutical companies, I'm sure a lot of nuclear plant operators like federal inspections, as they can use it as a means to gain legitimacy and trust of the public. If such inspection regimes disappeared (I doubt they would, just as the FDA was propped up by both interest groups AND drug companies) I can see an independent commission established by concerned city organizations as well as the plant owners themselves to assure the public of their continued safety.
  19. I saw it, but am not quite sure what to think of it. It's clearly a love story more than an action story. I think the description "Pocahantas on acid" is somewhat apt. It had a nice score from Horner, but it had some unusual cuts and some of the dialogue was inaudible, sometimes making certain scenes confusing. Even though some scenes were confusing, it still came together and made sense as the movie progressed.
  20. What gets to me the most are those Senators who keep pulling pocket-sized Constitutions from their pockets and wave them around for the television cameras. Talk about grandstanding. I bet the reason they carry those things around is they don't even know what the Constitution even does and need to look it up -- which they probably don't find time to do, anyway.
  21. I'm really saddened by this. I liked Sharon, and was really excited about the shake-up to Israeli politics he was about to cause in the coming elections. Now we can only hope Israel elects a strong leader and doesn't fall back on Labour and their socialist policies. My thoughts are with Sharon, his family and the state of Israel.
  22. I'm extremely angry with the TWU union in NYC. How can a modern nation like ours accepts a cabal of Union leaders to hold hostage a city of more than 8 million people? My solution for this would be to send the National Guard in, whoever would have the proper training, and take over the MTA. And within 6 months privatize it and sell it to the highest bidder. I can't imagine a private company permitting such behavior (unless government suppports the unions), or the Unions demanding such cushy benefits without the state treasury to back it up.
  23. At the moment I cannot, as my texts are not with me. But I can assure you, public defenders were established for a reason. I don't believe you have the right to force someone else to pay for your legal problems, but I think a system of public defenders would have to be established under an Objectivist court system, with some form of voluntary funding or pro-bono work. The same that means we have "publically funded judges." Some system has to be put in place to fund judges salaries, and I would argue public defenders are as much as part of the criminal justice system as the judges and both have a role to play in the defense of individual liberties from the prosecution of government. Actually, public defenders go back far further than that. That marked the beginning of the Supreme Court's mandating them in certain circumstances.
  24. I would love Condi, but don't see her as a realistic candidate (maybe as VP). Right now, I'm leaning towards Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. He has a successful business career and governed Democrat-controlled Massachusetts by streamlining government, creating a surplus from a 3-billion dollar deficit and all without raising taxes.
  25. I don't think I have ever heard of sediment layers being built vertically like bookshelves. I suppose non-horizontal layers can be created by uneven surfaces, such as water running down a mountain. When sediment layers are not found horizontally that is usually indicative of some kind of shift in the layers years later, usually due to an earthquake, which ripped up several sediment layers and tilted them over, which is not uncommon.
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