• Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-16-2017, 03:49 PM
    Moore came in first in the primary and will face Strange in a September runoff. He's apparently the favorite to win. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/16/opinion/roy-moore-alabama-senate.html?mcubz=0 If he gets to the Senate he'll likely have a stroke the first time a Muslim or Hindu gives the invocation as Guest Chaplain.
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-13-2017, 05:31 PM
    SCOTUS doesn't have unlimited power. It cannot enforce its own decisions but must rely on the Executive Branch to do so. It has no control over its budget, which has to come from Congress. And its decisions can be overturned by the legislature (if the issue is one of statutory interpretation) or by an amendment to the Constitution (if the issue is a constitutional one). And it's not that I like SCOTUS -- in fact I disagree with many of its decisions, including Kelo and the upholding of Obamacare's individual mandate -- but I recognize that there has to be some institution that ultimately decides legal matters involving the Constitution and SCOTUS just happens to be that institution.
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-11-2017, 05:28 PM
    The Ten Commandments were part of the Mosaic law. So if you're gonna toss Deuteronomy, you'll have to toss the Ten (which, btw, are part of Deuteronomy as well as Exodus).
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-11-2017, 12:43 PM
    The Constitution is a secular document, and the First Amendment in particular contravenes Christian doctrine. After all, it denies the government the authority to prohibit someone from being a Buddhist, Muslim, atheist, polytheist (contrary to the First Commandment), or any other non-Christian adherent, any one of which should result in death under Biblical doctrine (see Deuteronomy 13:6-11).
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-11-2017, 12:20 PM
    No, school segregation violated the Equal Protection Clause, and the Ten Commandments monument violated the Due Process Clause. While a Privileges and Immunity analysis might have been better suited to address things the states were prohibited from doing under the 14th Amendment, SCOTUS declined to adopt that analysis in the Slaughterhouse Cases in 1873. The P&I clause has been somewhat of a dead letter ever since. It might be better if you read the caselaw and learn what the law really is, rather than what you would like it to be.
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-11-2017, 09:38 AM
    LOL! You would sooner flap your arms and fly to the moon.
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-11-2017, 07:18 AM
    Strawman. Just because the schools don't teach the brand of Christianity that some folks want them to doesn't mean they're teaching secular humanism. The antithesis of liberty is allowing the government, backed by force and financed by taxpayers' money, to promote a particular religious belief. Do you really want governmental bureaucrats making theological decisions about which particular belief is to be the government's favorite?
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-11-2017, 07:11 AM
    The point is that someone has to make the determination of what's constitutional and have that determination have the force of law. And that someone isn't you or Roy Moore -- it's SCOTUS. Moore's antics are similar to George Wallace's standing in the doorway at the University of Alabama, refusing to let a black man enroll. in defiance of a federal court order. It might have pleased his bigoted followers, but it violated the law.
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-10-2017, 05:23 PM
    The Establishment Clause means much more than that. As much as you may not like it, the real law regarding the Clause that will be applied by the courts (except, of course, by courts in Moore's theocratic fantasyland) is determined by the Supreme Court, subject to the Court's reversing itself or the Constitution's being amended. And a long line of SCOTUS decisions leads to the inescapable conclusion that no government, whether federal, state, or local, can promote a particular religions belief. As the Court of Appeals noted in affirming the ruling against Moore: If you really want to know the applicable law in this area, please read the appellate court's opinion here: https://web.archive.org/web/20040112235506/http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/ops/200216708.pdf
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-10-2017, 03:24 PM
    What you call a stretch has been the law for quite some time. Most of the Bill of Rights has been made applicable to the States via the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_the_Bill_of_Rights It never ceases to amaze me how some believers see no problem with government officials promoting a particular religious belief (as long as it's theirs, of course).
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-10-2017, 09:06 AM
    It does when you place the display in a government building with the explicit purpose (as Moore admitted) of acknowledging the supremacy of the Judeo-Christian deity. No, he's pro Roy Moore and thinks that his opinions are superior, as a legal matter, than those of the United States Supreme Court.
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-09-2017, 03:01 PM
    Spin it however you want, but the fact remains that Moore was removed for violating the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics, which are state rules, not federal ones. As the Alabama Court of the Judiciary noted in its decision: Moore could have disagreed with and fought against the adverse decisions in both the Ten Commandments and gay marriage cases, but he couldn't do so in a manner that violated his oath of office, and that's exactly what he did.
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-09-2017, 02:21 PM
    He's also in favor of unconstitutional religious displays and ignoring court orders he doesn't agree with, both of which got him removed as from the Alabama Supreme Court in 2004. After he was subsequently reelected to the court he was charged with six ethical violations, all stemming from his effectively telling Alabama probate judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell decision and to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses. The charges included: 1.Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for disregarding a federal injunction. 2.Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for demonstrated unwillingness to follow clear law. 3.Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for abuse of administrative authority. 4.Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for substituting his judgment for the judgment of the entire Alabama Supreme Court, including failure to abstain from public comment about a pending proceeding in his own court. 5.Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for interference with legal process and remedies in the United States District Court and/or Alabama Supreme Court related to proceedings in which Alabama probate judges were involved. 6.Violation of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, for failure to recuse himself from pending proceedings in the Alabama Supreme Court after making public comment and placing his impartiality into question. On April 20, 2017 a special Alabama Supreme Court affirmed Moore's removal from the court.
    106 replies | 1874 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-03-2017, 12:37 PM
    B.S. I've said that I don't think restricting access to guns is an appropriate solution, and the game playing I see is knee-jerk suggestions that someone must be anti-gun simply because he makes the observation that one of the factors in high crime rates may be the relative accessibility of guns, regardless of the fact that he also happens to think that's a small price to pay for the freedom to defend oneself and one's family and property.
    58 replies | 889 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-03-2017, 06:37 AM
    But did Christ ever suggest that His views on social justice be enforced through the power of the State?
    76 replies | 1212 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-03-2017, 06:32 AM
    You're incredibly naive if you believe that mediating disputes and preserving liberty can be accomplished without armed enforcers.
    58 replies | 889 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-03-2017, 06:29 AM
    That's ironic coming from someone who compared a branch of local government to prostitutes.
    58 replies | 889 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-02-2017, 02:00 PM
    Of course it is. Nothing I've posted remotely suggests that I think less access to guns is an appropriate solution (and I don't).
    58 replies | 889 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-02-2017, 09:22 AM
    Not obvious at all, except to knee-jerk idiots who demonize anyone who doesn't want total anarchy or who doesn't think that every cop is some kind of Nazi thug.
    58 replies | 889 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-02-2017, 08:30 AM
    Non sequitur.
    58 replies | 889 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-02-2017, 06:55 AM
    Not really, although I suspect the War on Drugs and access to guns have something to do with it.
    58 replies | 889 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-02-2017, 06:52 AM
    I doubt if they get any more tribal and vicious than those Christians who consign to eternal damnation anyone who doesn't share their view.
    4 replies | 365 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-01-2017, 10:35 AM
    That's pretty cynical. There are bad people in the world who don't think twice about doing bad things to other people, whether or not you view it as violating statutory law, man's law, natural law, God's law, the Golden Rule, or whatever. There's nothing inherently wrong with getting paid for doing the thankless and dangerous job of trying to stop murderers, rapists, robbers, and the other bad guys from hurting other people, because even if you lived in what you think is an anarchistic utopia you'd still need to pay someone to do it, because not all men are saints and not all men would be willing to do such a job for free.
    58 replies | 889 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-31-2017, 04:46 PM
    If you were starting from scratch and everything stayed the same as it was in 1789, the "founders' plan" might work for a few decades, but it's unrealistic to expect that the voters of today would stand for a 90% cut in federal programs, especially Social Security, the payroll taxes for which account for about a third of federal revenues. Would you like to be a member of the congressional delegation that had to explain to the Governor and State legislature why their citizens wouldn't be getting Social Security benefits or why you voted to eliminate 50,000 federal jobs in the state? Or why a Toyota Prius and other foreign-made products cost five times as much as they once did and why local farmers and manufacturers can't sell their goods in Japan because you voted to increase tariffs on foreign products, thereby setting off a trade war? If a congressional delegation were encouraged to cut federal spending by 90%, I guarantee you that the voters would be encouraged to replace them.
    9 replies | 258 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-31-2017, 01:50 PM
    Since taxes “calculated from profits, gains, interest, salaries, wages, tips, inheritances or any other lawfully realized money” account for over 90% of federal revenues, it’s a certainty that excises, imposts, and duties will be insufficient, and that huge borrowings (and therefore direct taxes) would be necessary each year. The Founders’ “Original Tax Plan” never anticipated all of the things the government currently spends money on, and it’s nave to assume that the people who would be voting on the ratification of the amendment would be willing to eliminate federal programs to the extent required in order not to have to resort to direct taxes. Section 4 doesn't take into account the political reality that there will need to be certain exemptions from such an assessment on land (e.g., land owned by the federal and state governments, churches, charities, and educational institutions). Who gets to make that determination – Congress or the States? The States vary in population density, so that an assessment based on land will result in huge differences in the tax rate. For example, in 2015 New Jersey had a population density of 1,215 people per square mile, while Maine’s was only 43. Assuming that only privately-owned land is to be taxed, and assuming the percentage of such land in each state is the same, the tax rate in New Jersey will be 28 times that of Maine. While it's true that unlike imposts, duties, and excises, direct taxes needn’t be geographically uniform. But such a disparity in tax rates is grossly unfair, and I would lay odds that a constitutional amendment proposing such a result would have a hard time getting ratified. Even if the States paid their shares on time and Section 4 never came into play, the States would in all likelihood have to increase their current income taxes (or if a State doesn’t have an income tax, it’d have to impose one), so the oppression of America‘s economic engine and theft of the bread that working people have earned when selling their labor will simply be shifted from the federal government to the States.
    9 replies | 258 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-30-2017, 04:36 PM
    Seems to me there's an irreconcilable conflict between that justification for the 2nd Amendment and the fact that treason (which includes making war against the United States) is punishable. The Framers apparently wanted to permit the people to have the means to revolt while at the same time reserving to the government the authority to punish them in the event they were unsuccessful.
    6 replies | 940 view(s)
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We have long had death and taxes as the two standards of inevitability. But there are those who believe that death is the preferable of the two. "At least," as one man said, "there's one advantage about death; it doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
Erwin N. Griswold

Taxes: Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get an automatic extension.
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