The Thought Refuse

A Virtual Repository for the Mind

About My Brain

with 22 comments

Simply a dump off for various opinions and thoughts on the world around me.  I make every attempt to apply critical thinking to the topics my brain decides to grab on to.  I encourage anyone who visits to leave a comment to a post with your own opinion on the subject matter.

The world would be a mighty boring place if we didn’t disclose our most random musings, and it would be equally bland without divergence of thought.

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Written by huxbux

August 23, 2008 at 5:36 pm

22 Responses

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  1. You do have an interesting perspective on some things, but little to point to why. You appear to support the Obama ticket. Why?

    1superdave

    October 30, 2008 at 9:09 pm

  2. I make every attempt to apply critical thinking and supply evidence to support whatever point I’m trying to make. I’d be interested to know what particular points you find lacking.

    As to why I support Obama, precisely because I feel he approaches issues and analysis’ them with a critical mindset, and he strikes me as someone who leans more towards pragmatism rather then ideology. Some of his policies I agree with. Others I don’t. I’m not a die hard Obama supporter, but given the chose between A and B, my options are limited.

    huxbux

    October 30, 2008 at 11:29 pm

  3. Are you not concerned with our court system, the constitution and original intent.

    1superdave

    October 31, 2008 at 7:28 am

  4. In what specific capacity should I be concerned? I assume your implying Obama will attack the court system and the Constitution, but it’s difficult to have a conversation on that without knowing what specifically you perceive the points he’ll attack.

    huxbux

    October 31, 2008 at 12:22 pm

  5. He said today that if a judge said he’d looked for original intent in making decissions that he would not apoint him. I heard him say this. I think it was charles Gibson that was interveiwing him.

    1superdave

    October 31, 2008 at 7:07 pm

  6. Today he also was praiseing China’s train systems and ports. What about the enviromental impact?

    1superdave

    October 31, 2008 at 7:09 pm

  7. I know a Gibson interview was supposed to be aired today, but I haven’t seen it. I do know Brian Williams asked Obama, in an interview earlier this week, how he would how he would evaluate potential Supreme Court nominees in light of the fact that he can’t apply a “litmus test” i.e. he can’t ask what a nominee’s political views are. Obama responded by saying you can ask about a judge’s judicial philosophy i.e. judicial activism/restraint in legal terms when interpreting the Constitution. As an example, Obama uses the right to privacy which isn’t specifically spelled out in the Constitution, but Obama believes is there. He goes on to explain that the vast majority of legal cases decided from clear enumeration within the Constitution, while a fraction minority are not as clear and require the interpretation of the Constitution.

    This sort of criteria is nothing new when President’s submit a nominee to the Supreme Court. Conservatives nominate judges who interpret the Constitution to the strict letter(judicial restraint), and liberals nominate judges who interpret the Constitution to hold rights not explicitly spelled out(judicial activism). This is how President’s evaluate nominees. It’s nothing earth shattering. It’s standard operating procedure.

    The Constitution does not restrict the President as to how he must evaluate a Supreme Court nominee.

    [The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

    The “litmus test” is more a unsaid understanding as the Senate must approve the nomination. Nominating judges based on their ideology will meet with harsh opposition from the opposing party and more then likely be shot down in the Senate. So, it’s implicitly understood Presidents must evaluate their nominee’s based on their legal philosophy. But there is no standing law that lays out the criteria a President must apply to his nominee.

    When you hear the term conservative, moderate, liberal judge that is not referencing their political ideology. It’s a reference to their legal outlook.

    The only time I’m aware that Obama spoke about China’s train system and port was in August during the Olympics when he said:

    “Everybody’s watching what’s going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics , Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a corporation deciding where to do business, you’re starting to think, ‘Beijing looks like a pretty good option.”

    Many people took this as some head nod to China’s poor labor laws, lax pollution rules, outdated infrastructure in other areas, unregulated manufacturing practices, and building codes. Again, people love to find meaning in what Obama didn’t say. If you can find where he said he wants to abuse child laborers, relax pollution standards, let other areas of the US infrastructure degrade, repeal manufacturing safety standards, and pass unsafe building code let me know.

    The point Obama was trying to make was that the United States needs to invest in our own infrastructure to attract more business. I’m not sure how upgrading our infrastructure with modern technology is going to create an enviromental problem. In anything, bringing our infrastructure up-to-date with the latest technology is going to alleviate enviromental concerns.

    huxbux

    October 31, 2008 at 11:26 pm

  8. The point is that he wants what china has. He said the china comment yeaterday. The republican are and have been very pasive on suppreme count nominees. They say elections mean something. Ginsburg (Former head of the aclu) a self profeessed ultra-leftist was approved almost unanamusly. With a super majority the dems will be free to stack the courts with leftist for years to come. It scares the daylights out of me. Obama thinks America is third world and China is first class. I don’t know how old you are. I hope you aren’t sqandering your birth right.

    1superdave

    November 1, 2008 at 10:18 am

  9. The only comments I’ve seen that Obama made concerning China recently was on October 30th urging China to stop manipulating it’s currency and rely less on exports, more on domestic growth(which if your familiar with the Chinese economy, you’ll know China has had to articificially control the exchange rate against the dollar because of it’s massive trade surplus with the US).

    http://www.reuters.com/article/vcCandidateFeed7/idUSN2949036520081030

    If you can produce a recent comment in which Obama says he wants whats China has then please do.

    I specifically stated that Conservatives Supreme Court nominees fall on the side of judicial restraint, and Liberal Supreme Court nominees fall on the side of judicial activism. Being a Conservative yourself, you would obviously prefer a judge who airs on the side of restraint. But you seem to think that judicial activism implies a disregard for the Constitution.

    Liberal judges aren’t or haven’t taken away my rights in the past. No amount of judicial activism is going to take away my “birth rights”. Those are protected by the Constitution, and no judge, whichever side of the aisle he sites on, can remove those rights from the Constitution. I don’t quite understand where you get the idea that it’s either – follow the Constitution or tear it down. You make everything so black and white, good and evil.

    As for stacking the court. Yes, conservatives stack the court with their own same as liberals do with their nominations. Sometimes a Republican or Democrat president might nominate a moderate judge, but it’s the same for both sides.

    As a conservative, of course you want don’t want to see judges practicing judicial restraint on the Supreme Court and vice versa. Does this make me or you or the judges intent on destroying the Constitution of the United States? No.

    You don’t have much to worry about with Obama stacking the Supreme Court. Tenures are quite long for Supreme Court justices. The oldest tenured judge(who happens to be a liberal)is Stevens whose been on the court for 33 years. The longest tenured conservative judge is Scalia who has served for 22 years. There’s a high chance Obama won’t even get to nominate a Supreme Court judge and if he does it will be replacing Stevens, so a liberal for a liberal.

    I do have a question for you. Given the history of the Supreme Court and it’s shifts from judicial activism to restraint, what historical indicators make you think that the Constitution is going to be ruined or our rights taken away? Are there particular rulings from past activist tilted Supreme Courts that you can cite where the Constitution or individual rights were harmed?

    huxbux

    November 1, 2008 at 12:26 pm

  10. Laws not passed by the legeslature are the problem.When the democrats can’t get a law passed that they want they circumvent separation of powers and have the court inact want they want. Abortion is the most notable but there are numerous rulings affecting state laws. Homosexal mariage . sodomy laws, education consent decrees, Eviromental regulation and on and on. The reversal of dc handgun ban was an instance where most believe the court ruled rightly. There are many 4to 5 decesions that only one justice made the difference. Those who watch such thing say the Stevens ,Briar, and ginsburg all may step down due to health and age. The most troubling recent decision had to do with imminate domain, Where a city condemmed private property so they could give it to a private developer, because the tax base would expand due to his development.The right to private property is a fundamental birth right.

    1superdave

    November 1, 2008 at 8:19 pm

  11. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/sep2008/obam-s10.shtml

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/31/154614/54

    These are several links to the train comments, The last one is from the daily kos.

    1superdave

    November 1, 2008 at 8:51 pm

  12. We fundamentally agree that there is a difference between judicial restraint and judicial activism. My only contention is that judicial activism is not going to ruin our Constitution which is the impression I get you’ve been conveying here and on pacer’s blog. I would also disagree with you that judicial activism is legislating from the bench.

    The real issue is judcial originalism – should the Constitution be interpreted on a strictly textual basis and on the original intent of the framers 200 years ago or interpreted through the a Living Constitution with the idea that the Constitution should be dynamic and evolve with changing social and world conditions.

    I read an interesting article awhile back concerning judicial originalism versus the Living Constitution. I couldn’t find the paper online but I did find the abstract.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=925558#

    It’s basic premise is that originalist’s like Scalia attempt to interpret intentions of the founding fathers while those like Ginsberg who adhere to the Living Constitution legal philosophy attempt to interpret the intentions of the founding father in the context of modern problems which they could not forsee 200 years ago. Either way, both schools of thought are attempting to interpret intent.

    One misnomer in conservative circles as well as liberal ones, is that strict constructionism actually exists. Making decisions soley based on the written words of the Constitution. This is more a political term that gets thrown about because in legal practice, a judge who followed strict constructionism would almost never be able to render a decision in a case. The Constitution is, for all it’s greatness, silent on a wide range of issues nor is it specific on some of the rights and non-rights listed in it’s text.

    I absolutely disagree that any party can effectively legislate from the bench. They are, ultimately, bound by the guiding principles of the Constitution, it’s only a question of which intent they are interpreting. Where you find the Court finding a law unconstitutional as passing legislation, I see that as them doing there job. Ruling a law unconstitutional by default implies the converse is constitutional. The same goes for ruling a law is constitutional. They are also saying the opposite is unconstitutional. Not all matters are quite so concise, but abortion(and all laws not enumerated within the Constitution textually)certainly is. If the court is to say state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional, then that implies abortion is constitutional. That just seems like a logical step in the process. I don’t put political implications on it though as you seem to.(As a byline, Roe v Wade saw Rehnquist as the only “conservative” judge rule in dissent alongside the “liberal” White).

    I just don’t look at as a political apparatus like you do. It’s my personal opinion that judges need to interpret the Constitution as a flexible, evolving document that can address our modern problems. I believe in a Living Constitution.

    The emminent domain case is a curious one a good illustration to show that judicial restraint/activism and originalism/Living Constitution philosophies aren’t always consistent in how a judge exhibits each ergo you can’t always say judge A is liberal so he’s going to rule this way but judge B is conservative and he’s going to rule the other way.

    The Fifth Amendment reads:

    “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”

    The Bill of Rights reads:

    “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”

    It doesn’t specify what “just compensation” is nor does it define “public use”. On the face of it, it would seem the Fifth Amendment and the Bill of Rights are in direct conflict with each other. If your advocating a strict reading of the Constitution(because you have said elsewhere Obama will nominate judges who rule based on intent), how can a ruling be made without judging the intent of the Constitution? Each judge in the case has to frame the intent of the Constitution, and in this case as in past precedents, the courts “liberal” judges followed judicial restraint/originalism and the “conservative” judges followed judicial activism/Living Constitution as the foundation for their rulings. The “liberals” stuck to a more strict interpretation of the Fifth Amendment, while the “conservatives” attempted to broaden the intent of the Fifth Amendment.

    The salient point being that the kind of judges you advocate frame the Constitution around the moral intent of the founding fathers, while the judges you oppose frame the Constitution around the moral intent of modern society. Both find their foundation in the Constitution, and that’s why I’m not concerned that either originalists or Living Constitution proponents will ever violate the basic tenants established in the Constitution.

    It might be of some comfort to you that Stevens, Breyer, and Ginsburg all share a judicial activist and Living Constitution legal philosophy, so in the event Obama does replace them, he’ll be replacing “apples for apples”.

    huxbux

    November 2, 2008 at 12:34 pm

  13. Again, Obama, in the articles you cite, is primarily interested in keeping America’s infrastructure modern. Infrastructure is a fairly critical role the economic health of our country as it facilitates the efficient and timely distribution of goods and services. There’s no better example of that then the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 where the federal government backed the construction of railway and telegraph lines from Missouri to the Pacific Coast. The US government didn’t do this through spending tax dollars, but rather through land grants and insuring government bonds(which were repaid by the railroad companies)to the railroad industry. Your not going to find many economists who disagree that infrastructure is essential to economic growth.

    Obama cited China as an example, and in none of those articles or anywhere else that I’ve seen does Obama say he wants what China has outside of infrastructure investment.

    I did go searching for the Brokaw/Rose transcript and found it prior to you posting, but thanks for the links. As far as not knowing who Obama’s advisors are, his foreign policy, his worldviews, ect. I’ve done my own research and I feel comfortable in getting a feel for who Obama is. I k now how his advisors are, their history, and political views. Likewise, I’ve gotten a good sense of Obama’s worldview and foreign policy based on what he’s said and published. I don’t know really who his heroes are or the books he’s read(I’m guessing alot of legal documents), but I also don’t see this as some litmus test.

    A lot of people “really didn’t know” JFK or Lincoln prior to them being elected. I think their presidencies were a benefit to our country despite that fact. What I do know about Obama – he’s pragmatic and analytic in approaching issues, he’s a good manager based on his campaign, alongside the policies he’s laid out during his campaign – I am confident he is capable to hold the highest office in the land. All I can say to Brokaw and Rose is that some of the things the “asked” can be answered with a little research.

    And in the Limbaugh transcript, he intentionally misleads.

    Limbaugh: “Well, we know one of his heroes is a member of the Communist Party, Frank Davis. He mentored him in Hawaii.”

    Davis visited Obama’s mother in Hawaii on several occasions. Obama was 10 years old at the time. The only time Obama has ever mentioned Davis was in “Dreams” when Davis once told Obama that “education was training.” If someone who you know through your mother and someone you’ve never had associations with as an adult or make mention of is a mentor, then I suppose Limbaugh is right.

    Obama: “Their ports are better than us.”

    Limbaugh: “You just heard Obama say after you’re wondering where he is on China, he thinks they’re better than us!”

    That’s a clever, yet simple omission on Limbaugh’s part. Remove the word port and you have “China is better then us.”

    It would be like you saying “Huxbux has a better hairstyle then superdave,” and me taking that to say “Huxbux is better then superdave.” When you remove a predicating noun from a sentence, it can have an entirely new meaning.

    huxbux

    November 2, 2008 at 1:15 pm

  14. If you want to know other comments Obama made on China go here:

    http://transpacifica.net/2007/04/27/obama-on-china-neither-our-enemy-nor-our-friend/

    huxbux

    November 2, 2008 at 1:17 pm

  15. I want to complement you on the tone of your response. Most liberals can’t have an exchange of ideas without personal attacks. Thankyou. On china I thought it was short sighted of obama to lavish praise on them without consideing the cost in humanity and envirometal harm that goes on in china as they use slave labor . they have no osha or epa to deal with. I think America is am exceptional country and I take offence that he always lowrates us. The whole point of the Brokaw / rose interveiw is that they have questions themselves about Obama and simply haven’t done their jobs.

    1superdave

    November 2, 2008 at 5:25 pm

  16. Thanks for the compliment superdave. Likewise. All too often disagreements end up in insults.

    I think Obama is just trying to bring to light the fact that China is a rising superpower and at it’s current pace will suprass the US in economic power and influence unless we keep pace. I think, ultimately, he wants to keep us on top judging by a comment he made before.

    “China is rising, and it’s not going away. They’re neither our enemy nor our friend. They’re competitors.”

    I tend to see the mainstream media as more of a business and entertainment spot. It’s not my preferred place for information, and you are quite right that they haven’t done their job.

    huxbux

    November 2, 2008 at 8:46 pm

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