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Thread: Fantasy Laws
Posted: 11/20/2010 8:54:44 PM
Here's a simple one.
Hit and run should come with the same punishment as drunk driving. It's a cruel joke that someone can get wasted, kill someone with their car, run until they're sober, then receiving a slap on the wrist, since it can't be proven that the driver was drunk.
And legalize weed.
Any computer solitaire experts on here?
Posted: 10/28/2010 7:45:51 PM
No matter which solitaire rules you use certain games are unwinable. I have even had a few games where not one move was permitted besides running through the deck.
But every game of Freecell can be won, even #11,982 (did it on first try, without any undos).
Less government can make you sick
Posted: 9/26/2010 2:38:15 AM
How Does Salmonella Get Inside Chicken Eggs?
Salmonella enteritidis is a bacterium that causes flu-like symptoms in humans. It usually enters the human body through undercooked food that we eat, such as chicken eggs. Symptoms develop 12-24 hours after the infected food has been eaten and last anywhere from 4 to 7 days. The bacterium actually lives inside infected chicken eggs and how it got there was once a mystery.
Salmonella enteritidis lives in the feces of many animals, including chickens. Because chickens sit on their eggs, even before they are collected for consumer purchases, the eggs may be subjected to the bacterium. It was found that S. enteritidis could actually penetrate the hard outer shell of the egg and live inside the yolk, where it can reproduce. After further research, it was also established that the bacterium could infect hens' ovaries, and contaminate the egg before it even developed a shell. Also, egg collectors clothing could pick up S. enteritidis from chicken feces, contaminating other chicken houses. So what are the egg producers doing to prevent human illness from the bacterium?
The egg industry has tried to eliminate S. enteritidis from its chicken houses by practicing new sanitation procedures. Also, they are testing hens for the ovarian bacterium and eliminating chicken houses infested with S. enteritidis. To ensure that you never become ill due to this bacterium, make sure to cook eggs fully before you eat them. Not all eggs contain Salmonella enteritidis, but who would want to take the chance?
Seems pretty clear that it is caused by lack regulation and filthy conditions.
The Stewart/Colbert rally 10/30/10
Posted: 9/20/2010 1:02:23 AM
Does anyone know ... do we need tickets for this ... or is it just a "show up" type of thing?
It's at the National Mall DC, so no tickets, just show up if you can make it.
Just for fun, I went to the FixNews website to see if they had a story on this event. Well they did have a story, and were trying to make it seem like permits were going to be an issue (it won't be). But what was really interesting were the comments to the story. I think they did a very good job of showing the need for the Rally to Restore Sanity. They're losing it over this event, some are even saying such an event is unconstitutional. What a bunch of nuts.
Ines Sainz -- Offended Female Reporter
Posted: 9/15/2010 11:28:16 PM
Everyone seems to be attacking this woman based on rumours of what she was wearing.
Well apparently she was wearing blue jeans and a white blouse. Not exactly over the top. I would say it is even classier then what several of the women in the stands of a game wear.
As for women in the locker rooms.
The way how it works, is that the press is allowed in the locker rooms during certain hours, and not allowed during other times. The players are well aware what these times are.
And not only will they allow female reporters in, they also allow television cameras.
The Jets acted like little boys who just discovered their weewees, and there is no excuse for their behaviour.
I support Palestine
Posted: 9/14/2010 4:44:52 PM
Absolutely pathetic what some people will write.
I don't really care if some trolls believe I have Jewish friends or not.
The only reason I mentioned it, was to show that I seperate the Jewish people from certain Isreali policy.
Just like I seperate the Palistinian people from the actions of Hamas.
But they both fail to even look at the video I posted, and what it has to do with this debate.
And I do hold Isreal to a higher standard then Palistine. They are a much wealthier and advanced nation.
I support Palestine
Posted: 9/12/2010 8:46:34 AM
I have nothing against jewish people, in fact I have quite a few friends who are jewish. But the nation of Isreal and the culture they are promoting is what I have a serious problem with. They are intentionally breeding hate, and are indoctrinating their children into the hate.
A jewish filmaker from Isreal did a very good documentary on the subject. You can watch part 1 with french subtitles here (it's in english):
Is Fox News Evil or Stupid?
Posted: 8/24/2010 3:33:47 PM
So are they that stupid or are they that evil?
Why not both?
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 8/23/2010 2:03:22 PM
If the definition has loose boundaries, one should be able to earn their musician badge by hanging some wind chimes on the front porch.
In this case wouldn't the wind be the musician?
Given a more holistic criteria set, ...one should be able to play a musical instrument beyond just the basics, resolve complex chord progressions, re-harmonize, improvise over a wide range of progressions, ...play any genre (this last one separates the stylist from the musician).
I think you are asking way too much to qualify someone as a musician. There are some very famous and respected musicians that can't even read music.
And I would venture a guess to say that the vast majority of musicians can't play every genre.
What you are describing is a master musician.
As for what a musical instrument is, see: Sachs-Hornbostel classification.
...no turntable (tape deck, or optical drives) listed.
I don't think anyone has even tried to mix with a tape deck since Mix Master Mike was a kid.
As for the Hornbostel-Sachs classification, it has never fully included every instrument, it is simply a way to classify every instument.
As for the equipment a DJ would use, the Hornbostel-Sachs would list it as class 53 - Radioelectric instruments.
Here's a sugestion, instead of just declaring DJs are not musicians, why not find out how far DJs are stretching the bounds of music.
Your thoughts on Elena Kagan?
Posted: 8/8/2010 3:33:02 PM
Let's be honest, it was a loaded question.
Had she said she would strike down the hypothetical law, she would have been labled an activist judge by the right.
There was no way for her to answer the question without the right attacking her.
So congratulations to all of those who fell for this old political trick from the right. You make a good argument for testing people before they vote.
Canadian Marc Emery is going to US jail.
Posted: 6/25/2010 2:26:07 PM
I tried to stay away from this thread, but there is just so many myths lies and half-truths that I now feel the need to participate.
First, the real reason that the DEA went after Emery is not because he was causing harm to Americans (there already was marijuana in America decades before Emery went into business, and the majority of his customers were the smaller growers not the mass pushers), Emery was declared the most wanted Canadian because of the amount of time and money he has invested in repealing marijuana prohibition.
Marc Emery is a political prisoner.
1. Marijuana is in fact one of the more popular gateway drugs for teens today.
This is a myth, with no scientific support.
The majority of people who abuse hard drugs start with alcohol and tobbacco.
The closest you can come to finding a cause and effect to hard drug use, is that because of the prohibition, people who enjoy marijuana need to seek criminal sources, who often will expose the marijuan user to the harder drugs. Sometimes in an unscroupolous pusher method.
So two realities can be viewed an the "gateway" theory.
1. People who are likely to becaome hard drug users, will use alcohol and tobbacco before moving on to marijuana, and will use the hard drugs even if they are not introduced to marijuana first.
2. It is the prohibition itself that causes the most common patterns to hard drug use. There is a good chance that if marijuana were legal, users would not be exposed to harder drugs.
2. A fair amount of teens who smoke pot move on to harder, more dangerous controlled substances such as meth, coke, heroine, oxy, percs and so on.
Well that is the gateway theory.
But I would like to point out that in the Bible Belt, where marijuana prohibition is highly enforced, has America's worst rates for meth and oxy abuse.
3. The controlled substances they move on to do in fact "kill" children through overdoses. This is a fairly direct item and only 1 step removed from doing pot.
And two steps from alcohol.
It also shows that prohibition is a failed policy.
Now that education is starting to kill the meth epidemic, oxy is becoming one of the most problamatic drug on the market. And oxy is being provided by the pharmaceutical industry.
4. Some who are purchasing the seeds are using them for medicinal purposes.
This should not bother anyone.
Some very sick people gain relief from some very bad symptoms using marijuana. In my opinion it is highly immoral to deny them this relief.
5. Some who are purchasing the seeds are using them for their own "private stash" so to say.
Shouldn't a free society allow this.
Someone getting high in their basement should not bother anyone. Marijuana users rarely cause problems to society that require law enforcement or medical care. Alcohol on the other hand can be blamed for many crimes and injuries, including alcohol poisoning.
6. Some who are purchasing the seeds are using them to cultivate a crop for re-sale. Now, this is where it gets fun.
So end prohibition and the fun ends. Allow it to become a regulated industry.
7. Those who re-sell pot have in the past and currently are known to carry firearms and to use those firearms in indiscriminate manners to control their territory and protect their inventory and liquid (cash) assets.
There is some truth to this, but it is not the standard for the marijuana market. For the most part, marijuana is sold by small time peaceful dealers, it's only when the criminal organizations (street gangs, cartels, ect.) that violence gets involved.
So way not take away the number one source of income away from these criminal organizations.
8. Children have been shot while playing in their yards, sleeping in their beds and even in their mother's arms while sleeping. Nice thought, run up to mommy for a hug and love and get shot by a drug dealer driving by.
Excellent reason to end prohibition. This was the exact same scenario when alcohol was outlawed.
End prohibition and the gangs won't have any revenue to fight over.
9. If the seeds did not exist the plant would not exist. If the plant did not exist then the dealer would not exist. (Hmmm... Nice theory isn't it. Remove the seed and the dealer withers away into dust...)
True, but good luck getting rid of all the seeds and clonable plants.
Marc Emery is a small patato in the marijuana industry. Marc Emery's seeds are very high quality and very expensive (some over $500 for 10 seeds), this is not what the Mexican cartels are using for their production. Marc Emery's seeds were being purchased by the marijuana connoisseur, and grown for a small group of people.
10. Marc Emery knows full well what the laws in the United States and Canada are, he knows full well that these seeds at the price they are sold and the small quantity sold will be used to cultivate marijuana plants, some of them by dealers.
Yes, he was well aware. And he also took the majority of his profits (from both the seed business and magazine) to end prohibition. He also paid taxes on his income from the business, decalring on his tax forms that he sod marijuana seeds.
Emery's biggest mistake was doing the seed business while also running for a seat in the BC provincial government. The DEA wanted him because he was making headway in legalizing marijuana in Canada.
11. Marc Emery knowing the laws, the risks and the potential for being arrested chose to deal in these seeds and then chose to market in the United States the sale of these seeds.
He knew the risks from the Canadian government, but few would have believed that a Canadian would be extradicted for commiting crimes inside of Canada. He never set foot in America.
12. Marc Emery is now sitting in a jail, with both the Canadian & US Gov'ts having reviewed the case and arrived at this decision unanimously.
Not really. The Canadian government tried to distance themselves from this as much as possible. There is no legislation specific to this case, it was one judge who allowed the DEA to force their will on Canadians. The Canadian government has ignored Emery's business for over a decade, even though he freely advertised and declare his business on his tax returns.
What's really amazing to me here, is how those who are so strongly for marijuana see it as completely harmless and a "good" thing. In fact, like any other item it has it's benefits (I'll concede those) and it has it's drawbacks.
If it's both harmful and beneficial, why not allow consenting adults the choice of if they want to partake in an activity that does very little harm to society.
Alcohol has far less bebefits and is way more destructive, but we have a very clear concensus that adults in a free society should have the choice if they want to partake in alcohol consumption.
It carries with it basically the same exact risks of lung/heart disease as cigarrettes,
The jury is still out on that one, but there could be some truth to that one. I have read (but can't find right now) a study that suggest because of the particl size of marijuana smoke, it may actually help clear the lungs of the harmful toxins from tobbacco smoke.
But either way, we know that cigarettes do cause lung cancer, and they are fully allowed to be enjoyed by consenting adults.
it does in fact alter how the mind see things (similiar to alcohol as both are a depressant)
It does alter the mind, that's why we get high, but it is far from the effects of alcohol.
I have seen lots of people high, and sure they will do some silly things, I have never seen someone who is high an marijuana commit dangerous acts they would not have commited while not on marijuana.
Alcohol on the other hand, makes people violent, and willing to partake in very risky behaviour.
When people are high on marijuana they maintain a high level of control over their actions. Even when someone gets really stoned, they just melt on the couch and pass out. People who are really drunk stumble around, crashing into things and cause a general nuisance.
And I will just mention that there is no marijuana equivalent to "beer goggles".
it's an expensive habit that sucks the financial resources out of a home and community,
Then let's ban golf.
As long as they are using legal means, people should have the freedom to spend their income (after tax) as they wish.
When I was a kid, I knew a kid who had to move out of a nice home into a crappy little apartment because his dad wanted to buy a Ferrarri. As much as I think it was a stupid decision, in a free society people should be free to spent their money as they wish.
it enables people to do things (make decisions) that they normally would not do without it (as does alcohol)
I have seen drunks make some really bad decisions, but what kind of bad decisions are pot heads making?
and again I only see 1 or 2 potentially positive uses for it, being prescribed medicinal and potentially hemp rope. Beyond that, I've never seen anything else positive come out of it.
First, hemp and marijuana are not the same plant. Hemp has such a low THC content, that getting high from hemp is completely impossible.
For some other benefits, marijuana has been used to fight depression, eliminate anger problems, kick other much more harmful addictions, help with anxiety and I could go on and on.
One benefit that would end with prohibition, is that some people are feeding their families by growing weed. For whatever reason they are not able to earn an income legally, have turned to growing weed as a way of supporting their children. I know a group of growers known as "the Mamas", they are all single mothers that would be on welfare if it were not for growing marijuana. They are very peaceful ladies, who provide everything their growing children need to become strong adults.
To attempt to declare what Emery did as harmless, is completely wrong.
He did nothing to change the marijuana market. If people could not buy seeds off of Emery, they would have found other sources.
By arresting Emery the DEA has temporarily cut the head off of may pot dealers
Not at all. There are tons of other seed sellers. Some are right out in the open, some are more underground.
Marc Emery's arrest did nothing to slow or stop the production or sale of marijuana.
I know, they have their own plants now and thus their own seeds
Just a quick lesson how Emery's seeds were used by growers.
Growers, mostly mom and pops, buy receive the seeds, they will grow a few mothers from those seeds, they will then choose the best plants and begin cloning from those plants, keeping the mothers alive for several years. They will never intentionally send their plants to seed, since a plant in seed mode has no viable bud (what people smoke) and the plant will die at the end of the seeding process.
It is only the female of the species that produces a smokable product.
who we're looking to grow and develop into new areas of pot trafficing.
Access to seeds does not create a market. Whether or not high quality seeds are available, people are going to buy weed if they want to get high.
And yes, I do see drug dealers as being equal to and deserving of the same punishment as child killers and pedophiles.
That's just idiotic.
I notice you have daughters, and I guarentee, given the choice, you would rather have a dealer try and sell them weed, then have them raped or murdered.
Now some dealers, known as pushers, are evil **stards. But for the most part, marijuana dealers are peaceful people who beleive they are not harming society and are simply fighting an unjust law.
I am against people breaking the law to make a profit, since it puts them to an advantage over the people who follow the law, but I put them on the same level as tax cheats and other white collar criminals.
Now, did it have the potential to affect the liberty (freedom) of someone? Yes, every person who transported those packages had the risk of going to jail.
Not true at all. There's a thing in the law called intent. And for the postman just transporting a package, there is no intent.
I can even back this up with an example from my own life.
I used to work for Air Canada Cargo. One day I was checking in a shipment from Jamaica, while putting the shipment onto the shelf (with a forklift), four customs agents aproached me and instructed me to move the shipment to a corner of the building for inspection. Sure enough they foung several kgs of cocaine. So the customs agents fully witnessed me in possession of the cocaine. Was I arrested for this? Heck no, they didn't even question me, it was actually me who asked them what they found.
What Marc Emery did was stupid,
I agree, he should not have been so visable in the fight to end marijuana prohibition while also selling the seeds. He was kind of asking for a fight. Most of the growers I know agree with this, most of them think he is kind of an idiot.
he did it because of greed,
Not really, he lived a fairly simple life and gave the majority of his profits to fighting marijuana prohibition. He might be a bit of a fame whore, but greedy I don't think so.
You may think the sentence is ridiculous, but here it seems to be not strong enough in the minds of many of us. How about 5 years for every single order he sold in the US. Now that would be justice in my book.
I wonder how you feel about white collar criminals, and the slap on the wrists they recieve when caught.
By the way, white collar crime causes more death and property loss then all other crimes combined.
Okay, fine. Let's ignore what he did on the Canadian side of the border and just look at the things he did on the United States border.
He never did anything on the American side, everything he did he did in Canada.
If you want to talk about an injustice, how about all the guns that make their way into Canada to be used in crimes. Over 90% of guns used in crimes in Canada come from the US. This is because your country has rediculous gun laws.
He employed the United States Postal Service, as a sub-contractor of the Canadian Postal Service (not sure what it's called in Canada), to distribute and deliver a magazine that contained within it the means in which to order via the United States Postal Service and consequently utilizing the Canadian Postal Service to receive the funds for this transaction.
This means he was a customer. And these two organizations took on zero risk by transporting his seeds. Only if it could be proven that they were aware of the nature of the shipment could they be charged with a crime, instead they simply took payment for providing a legal service.
And it's called Canada Post.
In addition, he then, without full and complete disclosure, shipped these seeds (we can assume this because the US never would have knowingly accepted them otherwise) to addresses in the United States.
So maybe he could have been charged with postal fraud. But he did not put either organization at risk of prosecution.
I say screw Marc Emery and I personally hope the guys in the US prison he's in teach him one heck of a lesson. Can we say... Marc, meet your new wife.
Wow, supporting rape, not that surprised. But a civilized society should never support vigilante justice, no matter what the crime is.
Seems to me, that in Canada, being a drug lord (which is what Emery is)
Not even close. Drug lords use violence to control their markets, Emery sold seeds out of a magazine.
Not only that, but Emery was not even that big of a player in the marijuana market.
He sold some seeds, and that was it. People still had to actually grow the plants, harvest and trim, then distribute, none of whick Emery had any involvement.
Where does Emery get the seeds?
Moslty from Amsterdam and some from local seed producers. He was smart enough to know that growing himself would be too high of a risk.
It would only be a natural conclusion that he is cultivating the plants and at least harvesting their seeds,
That's not a conclusion, it's a false assumption.
United States chose to enforce it when he began distribution in the United States
No they went after him after he ran for a seat in the provincial government. Emery had been selling seeds for well over a decade.
The really nice thing now, would be to see the Canadian Government step in, seize his house, cars, furnishings, bank accounts, store, inventory and magazine, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and anything else the guy has.
We get it, you want Emery completely destroyed as a person. Curious what should happen to the BP executive that made the decision that a $300,000 valve was not cost effective for the Deepwater Horizon well?
He got 5 years for his crap, that's nothing in comparison to what he has done.
And how did he actually cause harm to society.
If he wasn't selling seeds, other sources would have been found. He never forced his seeds on anyone, and ther is zero evidence he ever sold to a minor.
1. The United States and Canada do in fact have extradition treaties. It happens all the time. Canada will simply refuse to deport if it's a capital punishment offense until the US agrees to NOT execute the offender. Okay, the US puts up with this. In reality, we could save money by not trying to extradite them and just wait for Canada to deport them on a Visa violation and pick 'em up at the border. Saves us the money of housing, prosecuting and executing them. I like this plan.
Actually it is automatic. If a criminal manages to flee to Canada, the US government immediately agrees to not execute. It's really a non-issue.
But again, Emery was never in the states and should not have been forced out of his home country. Even when Canadians commit crimes in the US, if they can mike it back to Canada they are usually allowed to serve their sentence in Canada.
And by the way, there was no trial, emery took a plea deal to stop his wife and friend from being prosecuted as well.
2. Marc Emery did a little more than accept orders for seeds. He publishes a magazine that offers these seeds for sale, in which he himself is the advertiser and distributor, he distributed this magazine with it's add for an illegal and controlled substance in the United States. The readers did NOT come to Canada to get the magazine.
That's freedom of speech, and both countries have it.
Steal this Book and The Amarchists Cookbook are good example of publications that encourage very dangerous and highly illegal activities. Both are protected under freedom of speech.
The US regularly does extradite individuals who commit crimes in other countries to those countries or prosecutes them here.
Yes, but it is always people who commited crimes while in those countries they were extradicted to.
A good example is right now Pakistan wants to extradict the CEO of Facebook for having a page on his site called "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day". I don't think any sane person thinks he should be sent to Pakistan for execution.
he snubbed his nose at the DEA
And that is why they made him their most wanted Canadian "criminal". They didn't make it a meth cook, they didn't make it a cocaine smuggler. Nope, they went after the guy who gave millions to fight marijuana prohibition.
I'm going to ignore post 47, since it is purely narcessistic bs.
check photos of Marc Emery at 50 years of age ..to me he look s at least 60, maybe 65 +
He looks a thousand times better then an alcoholic his age. Marc Emery has always looked like a scrawny little weakling. Weed had nothing to do with it.
Marijuana prohibition needs to end. The laws themselves cause far more harm to society then the plant itself.
If you look at all the violent criminal organizations in Canada, US, and Mexico, they are earning the vast majority of their funding through marijuana. They then use that money to open up markets for more harmful things like meth, crack and prostitution.
Ending marijuana prohibition would do more harm to the gangs and cartels, then executing the top 1000 leaders.
I also find it an attack on my freedoms, that because I don't like to drink, but still like a bit of an escape from the drudge of life, some would call me a criminal and I am forced to deal with a black market to buy my intoxicant of choice. I pay my taxes, I don't drive intoxicated, and I am constantly helping my fellow man, I should be allowed to smoke a joint in my living room without fear of prosecution, or putting myself at risk by dealing with the black market (although I have never felt fear from the people I buy my weed from).
Legalize it, tax it, and get over it. It is far less harmful then alcohol, which is promoted by society.
Al Franken Makes Another Great Speech
Posted: 6/18/2010 12:55:57 PM
Addressing the American Constitution Society national convention, Senator Al Franken (D-Min) made the following speech:
Thank you, Judy, for that introduction, and for your work on behalf of working Americans.
Thank you to Caroline Fredrickson for your leadership and for inviting me to speak here tonight.
Thank you all for being here tonight, and for the good work you do to defend the Constitution and the American values it represents.
It is an honor to address this convention.
Speakers at past ACS gatherings have included Supreme Court Justices, Attorneys General, other cabinet secretaries, federal judges, and distinguished legal scholars.
So tonight I guess we'll finally get an answer to the question: "What do Stephen Breyer, Laurence Tribe, and Al Franken have in common?"
Other than: "They were all in the front row when the Dead played the Garden back in '71."
Tonight, we celebrate the rise of a new generation of progressive legal scholars and jurists.
Look to your left. Look to your right.
Odds are, at least one of the three of you will someday be filibustered by Senate Republicans.
Speaking of which, I'd like to give a special shout-out to all the filibustered nominees we have here with us tonight.
The Republican obstruction that is standing between you and the work you've agreed to do for your country is unacceptable. And we will continue to fight it.
In particular, I want to recognize Dawn Johnsen, who should be the head of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. What Republicans have done to keep you from doing that important job is flat out wrong.
And I want to recognize Goodwin Liu, who should be sitting on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals right now, and who deserves an up-or-down vote.
When I joined the Senate, I was thrown right into the fire as a member of the Judiciary Committee, where, by the way, I enthusiastically voted for Goodwin.
On my fifth day in office, I found myself taking part in the confirmation hearings for now-Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Just like I am tonight, I was one of the few non-lawyers in the room, but I didn't mind.
You see, I did some research, and it turns out that most Minnesotans aren't lawyers, either.
But that doesn't mean they aren't directly affected every day by what happens on the Supreme Court, and in our legal system.
I don't think you need to be a lawyer to recognize that the Roberts Court has, consistently and intentionally, protected and promoted the interests of the powerful over those of individual Americans.
And you certainly don't need to be a lawyer to understand what that means for the working people who are losing their rights, one 5-4 decision at a time.
Tonight, I'd like to talk about how we got to this sad moment in American legal history - because it didn't happen by accident.
Conservative activists - led by the Federalist Society - have waged a remarkably successful battle to re-shape our legal discourse, and thus our legal system.
And they're not done yet.
I should acknowledge up front that this story is kind of a downer.
But there's good news: the ending has not yet been written. And I really believe that, if we pay attention to how things got so bad, we'll learn how to make them better.
Federalist Society members have long believed that, if you change the way you talk about the law, you can change the law.
They are right.
If you listen to the U.S. Senate talk about judicial nominees, you'd be forgiven for thinking that originalism was a time-honored American value, one of the things we fought the British to protect.
But ironically enough, originalism - like the designated hitter - only dates back a few decades.
Indeed, as Cass Sunstein has pointed out, it was Robert Bork who first popularized the notion that the Constitution should be interpreted according to what we believe was the "original understanding" of its authors.
Just to clarify: That's not Robert Bork the Founding Father. That's Robert Bork the 20th century conservative legal activist.
Originalism isn't a pillar of our Constitutional history. It's a talking point.
During his confirmation hearing, John Roberts broke out another conservative talking point. He said: "Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them." And he promised: "I will remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat."
How ridiculous. Judges are nothing like umpires.
You know who agrees that judges are nothing like umpires? The guy who came up with the umpire analogy in the first place.
In 1886, in State v. Crittenden, a Louisiana Supreme Court Justice ruled that "a trial is not a mere lutte" - lutte is a French term for a wrestling match, as this analogy dates back to when baseball was a just a cult phenomenon - "a trial is not a mere lutte between counsel, in which the judge sits merely as an umpire to decide disputes which may arise between them."
So, when it comes to this analogy, I guess I'm an originalist.
But this kind of bamboozlement is effective. You hear Senators of both parties rush to condemn judges who might "legislate from the bench."
The end result is that people like Goodwin Liu - a brilliant, thoughtful, passionate young legal mind with a terrific life story and character references from the likes of Ken Starr - get tagged as dangerous radicals.
Look, say what you will about Ken Starr, but he's not the sort of guy who pals around with dangerous radicals.
Well. Not left-wing radicals.
The Federalist Society has changed the way we talk about judges - and the way we talk about justice.
Justice Souter once said: "The first lesson, simple as it is, is that whatever court we're in, whatever we are doing, at the end of our task some human being is going to be affected."
Conservatives would like us to forget this lesson.
They've distorted our constitutional discourse to make it sound like the Court's rulings don't matter to ordinary people, but only to the undeserving riff-raff at the margins of society.
So unless you want to get a late-term abortion, burn a flag in the town square, or get federal funding for your pornographic artwork, you really don't need to worry about what the Supreme Court is up to.
The ACLU has a long and proud history of defending the First Amendment, and while I haven't seen polling on this, I'd bet that most Americans are fairly pro-First Amendment. But, thanks to a generation of conservative activism, the ACLU is now best known as "those guys who hate Christmas."
By defining the terms of constitutional debate such that it doesn't involve the lives of ordinary people, conservatives have disconnected Americans from their legal system. And that leaves room for lots of shenanigans.
By controlling the conversation, the Federalist Society has moved the Supreme Court sharply to the right.
"Including myself," Justice Stevens said in an interview with the New York Times, "every judge who's been appointed to the court since Lewis Powell has been more conservative than his or her predecessor. Except maybe Justice Ginsburg. That's bound to have an effect on the court."
And, indeed, the Roberts Court has overturned two principles I believe are deeply ingrained in our Constitution, in our legal tradition, and in our American values.
First: Judicial restraint.
As I have noted repeatedly - and in an increasingly exasperated tone of voice - over the last few years, Justice Thomas has voted to overturn federal laws more often than Justice Stevens and Justice Breyer combined.
They haven't just been activists in their decisions, but also in their process.
In both Citizens United and Gross, the Court answered questions it wasn't asked, reaching beyond the scope of what they accepted for appeal to overturn federal laws the conservative wing didn't like.
I mean, I don't speak Latin. But unless stare decisis means "overturn stuff," then maybe it's time for conservatives to stop calling other people "dangerous radicals."
Second, and more importantly: They've overturned the principle that the law should be a place where ordinary people can turn for relief when wronged by the powerful.
At the front entrance to the Supreme Court building here in Washington, beneath the words "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW," there's a set of 1,300-pound bronze doors.
Countless Americans have flowed through those doors to see the place where that principle is protected.
Now those doors have been locked to the public. Things have changed.
Supreme Court jurisprudence involves weighing competing interests.
Most Americans are familiar with cases in which the Court has had to balance individual rights against some compelling state interest.
It's easy to feel disconnected from these cases. Even though the government has awesome power - enough to take away your freedom, or even your life - the degree to which that power is deemed to supersede your individual rights doesn't really enter into the daily lives of most Americans.
But there's more than one kind of power.
If you have a credit card, if you watch TV, if you file insurance claims, if you work - in other words, if you participate in American daily life at all - then you interact with corporations that are more powerful than you are.
The degree to which those corporations' rights are protected over yours, well, that's extremely relevant to your life.
And in case after case after case, the Roberts Court has put not just a thumb, but a fist, on the scale in favor of those corporations.
A fist with brass knuckles. Which weigh a lot. Because they're brass.
It's important to recognize that, for some conservative legal activists, this is the whole point. Do they want to undercut abortion and immigration and Miranda rights? Sure. But those are just cherries on the sundae.
What conservative legal activists are really interested in is this question: What individual rights are so basic and so important that they should be protected above a corporation's right to profit?
And their preferred answer is: None of them. Zero.
More than a century ago, in Lochner, the Court held that a state cannot intervene to protect the interests of an individual entering into a work relationship with an employer.
In other words, the Court held that employees should have to fend for themselves against the same powerful corporations they rely on for a paycheck.
Last month, Rand Paul, the Republican Senate candidate down in Kentucky, got into some hot water for suggesting that we really shouldn't have used the law to force private businesses to stop discriminating against African-Americans, that the market would have eventually handled it.
My question was: In what year would the market have gotten around to doing that? 1965? 1967? 1987? 1997?
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act deals with the workplace, because your rights at work are civil rights.
And without legal protection, workers would have no leverage to secure those basic rights: the right to organize and bargain for better wages, the right to a safe work environment, the right not to get fired because of who you are.
It's a nightmare for progressives, but a dream for powerful economic elites and their legal activist allies: a return to Lochner, to a system of corporate authoritarianism where business giants hold all the cards and workers have to hope that the market will someday provide them with basic rights.
Those elites are well on their way.
The Roberts Court has systematically dismantled the legal protections that help ordinary people find justice when wronged by the economically powerful.
In Stoneridge, it stripped shareholders of their ability to get their money back from the firms that helped defraud them.
In Conkright, it gave employers more leeway to deny workers their pension benefits.
In Leegin, it made it harder for small business owners to stop price fixing under the Sherman Act. Now, the burden is on them--small business owners--to show that price fixing will hurt competition.
In Iqbal, it made it harder for everybody to get their day in court.
In Exxon, it capped punitive damages resulting from the Exxon Valdez oil spill because, get this, having to own up to your mistakes creates "unpredictability" for corporations. Which, by the way, means that BP's liability may be capped because the Court doesn't want to cause an unpredictable impact on its future profitability.
In Rapanos, it cut huge swaths of wetlands out of the Clean Water Act. Wetlands that had been covered for 30 years.
You know what has a lot of wetlands? Minnesota. No, really. You know what else has a lot of wetlands? The Gulf Coast.
I could spend a long time talking about how these cases were wrongly decided. But I'm not an academic - and these aren't academic issues.
These decisions affect real people. They hurt real people.
Jamie Leigh Jones is a real person who went to work for KBR, then a Halliburton subsidiary. When she arrived in Iraq in July of 2005, she immediately complained to her supervisors about sexual harassment in her barracks, which housed over 400 men and only a handful of women.
KBR just mocked her. Then, four days after she got to Iraq, she was drugged and gang-raped by several of her co-workers. When she woke up, she struggled to the infirmary and had a doctor administer a rape kit, which KBR promptly lost.
Then, Jamie was locked in a shipping container under armed guard and prohibited from any contact with the outside world.
Because of the Court's decision in Circuit City, KBR had been able to force new employees like Jamie to sign a contract requiring that any future disputes be arbitrated in secret and not in open court.
So Jamie Leigh Jones spent four years fighting for her right just to get her day in court after her employer put her in a dangerous situation, ignored her concerns, and kept her hostage in a shipping container after she was gang-raped.
Lilly Ledbetter is a real person who worked as a manager at a Goodyear tire plant in Gadsden, Alabama. Towards the end of 20 years of service there, she noticed that her male co-workers had gotten more and better raises. By 1998, when she took early retirement, she was earning several hundred dollars less per month than her male counterparts. So she sued.
But the Court decided to give Goodyear maximum leeway to avoid responsibility for pay discrimination, thanks to the most unbelievable loophole you can imagine. The law requires that discrimination claims be brought within 180 days. The Court decided that this meant within 180 days - from the time Goodyear started discriminating against Lilly, not the most recent discriminatory check.
And Lilly lost out on a chance to recoup years of wage increases that were illegally withheld just because she's a woman.
Now, the judiciary is just one branch of our system. I was proud to pass legislation giving victims like Jamie Leigh Jones their day in court. And I was thrilled to see that the very first bill President Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
But even as it has closed the door on ordinary Americans looking for justice in the legal system, this Court has made it harder for the political system to address these injustices.
In Citizens United, the Roberts Court overstepped its procedural bounds so that it could graciously provide corporations with First Amendment rights and, by the way, open the door to foreign entities deciding our elections.
But, again, as bad a piece of jurisprudence as that decision was, even worse could be the ramifications it will have on the lives of real people.
Well into the 1960s, oil companies didn't want to stop putting lead in gasoline despite the fact that they knew how dangerous it was.
But Congress passed the Clean Air Act anyway. And the percentage of children with elevated levels of lead in their blood dropped 84 per cent over the next quarter century.
And around that same time, our car companies still didn't want to put seat belts in cars, even though they knew it would save lives.
But Congress passed the Motor Vehicle Safety Act anyway. And by the year 2000, the fatality rate from car accidents had dropped 71 per cent.
Both laws passed just a couple of months before midterm elections.
Does anybody think either would have stood a chance if Standard Oil and GM had been able to spend millions of dollars in those campaigns?
In Citizens United, the Court didn't just abdicate its duty to subject efforts to impair our political process to strict scrutiny. It served as an accomplice to such an effort.
Not satisfied with giving corporations a leg up on individuals under the law, the Roberts Court is trying to prevent the American people from fighting back.
Bummed out yet? Well, we're finally in a good position to fight back.
It took the conservative legal movement decades to produce this activist Supreme Court. We're still in our first decade. But already the American Constitution Society has established itself as a major force in our legal system.
And while we often continue to struggle to get our nominees confirmed and our message heard, we have a President who understands that our legal system is broken when it favors the powerful over the powerless, and I know for a fact that I'm not the only Senator ready to take action.
So let's talk about what we can do.
Right now, I'm co-sponsoring legislation called the DISCLOSE Act that would force the heads of corporate-sponsored advocacy groups to appear in their ads, require corporations to tell their shareholders what they're spending political dollars on, prohibit corporations from who receive taxpayer dollars from telling taxpayers how to vote, and keep foreign-controlled corporations out of our elections.
It's a start.
But it's important to recognize that Citizens United is really the first major shot fired in a coming battle over information, a battle that extends beyond paid political advertising.
For instance, I'm very concerned about media consolidation. If we care about public debate, then it matters who runs our media companies.
The trend is towards vertical integration of the companies who produce the programs Americans rely on for information, and the companies who run the pipes through which Americans receive those programs.
Executives at both Comcast and NBC Universal swear that they're not interested in corporate control of programming. I used to work at NBC; I know better. And I'm very worried about this merger.
We should also be very worried about efforts to undermine the free flow of information on the Internet.
Right now, a blog loads just as quickly as a corporate webpage. An email from your mother comes through just as smoothly as a bill notification from your bank. An independent bookstore can process your order as quickly as Barnes and Noble.
But top telecommunications companies have declared their interest in offering "prioritized" Internet service for companies who can pay for it. This could lead to the creation of a high-speed lane for wealthy corporations and transform the Internet from an open playing field into yet another place where powerful economic elites have a bigger megaphone than the rest of us.
Some of the same people who were instrumental in the Federalist Society's effort to change our legal system are now working to help corporations increase their control over the flow of information.
If you control the flow of information, you can control the conversation around important issues. If you can control the conversation, you can change this country.
But we can't be satisfied with stopping conservatives and their corporate clients from controlling the narrative when it comes to our legal system.
We have to fight back with our own.
In our narrative, the legal system doesn't exist to help the powerful grow more powerful - it exists to guarantee that every American is entitled to justice.
In our narrative, we defend our individual rights and liberties against corporate encroachment just as fiercely as we defend them against government overreach.
In our narrative, judicial restraint actually means something - for starters, how about ruling only on the case you're presented?
In our narrative, even if those big bronze doors have to remain closed for security reasons, the door to our legal system should be open to everyone, because what happens in our legal system matters to everyone.
If you followed my career before I got to the Senate, you know that I'm a big believer in speaking truth to power, and in the power of telling the truth.
To legal scholars and lovers of our constitution, the truth about what's happened over the last 30 years is at the heart of our struggle to restore balance to our courts and wisdom to our laws.
But I gotta be honest with you: That's not why I'm here tonight. And I think you know that, or you would have invited a lawyer.
I'm here tonight because, for the people I represent in Minnesota and for regular working people all over the country, that truth is at the heart of their struggle, too.
Their struggle to earn a fair wage at a job that treats them well. Their struggle to live their lives free of corporate intrusions into their privacy. Their struggle to breathe clean air and drink clean water. Their struggle to find justice when they're wronged.
I know how important it is that our legal system support individuals in that struggle. And so do you. But most people don't. And we have to change that.
The American Constitution Society has a role to play in the national conversation around our Constitution and our laws. And not just within the walls of a debating society.
Ordinary Americans have to understand what's at stake for them in all this. And that means someone has to bring them into the debate.
It is my hope that you will. And it is my great honor to stand with you in that fight.
Did BP get a Chicago-style shakedown AND do we owe BP an apology OR ...
Posted: 6/17/2010 3:06:17 PM
For fun let's see what other republicans are saying about Barton's comments from this morning.
"Congressman Barton's statements this morning were wrong," House GOP leaders John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mike Pence said in a written statement. "BP itself has acknowledged that responsibility for the economic damages lies with them and has offered an initial pledge of $20 billion dollars for that purpose."
Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said he was "shocked" by Barton's "reprehensible comments that the government should apologize for the 'shakedown' of BP."
"I condemn Mr. Barton's statement," Miller said in a written statement. "Mr. Barton's remarks are out of touch with this tragedy and I feel his comments call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership position on the Energy and Commerce Committee. He should step down as ranking member of the committee."
Did BP get a Chicago-style shakedown AND do we owe BP an apology OR ...
Posted: 6/17/2010 2:13:44 PM
Hey what do you know, Barton has done a 180 on his statements.
"I want the record to be absolutely clear that I think BP is responsible for this accident, should be held responsible, and should in every way do everything possible to make good on the consequences that have resulted from this accident," Barton said later in the day during the committee hearing. "And if anything I said this morning has been misconstrued in an opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstruction."
Later in the day, Barton issued a statement in which the Texas Republican apologized "for using the term 'shakedown' with regard to yesterday's actions at the White House" and retracted his "apology to BP."
Let's see how swamp spins his previous statements now.
Did BP get a Chicago-style shakedown AND do we owe BP an apology OR ...
Posted: 6/17/2010 1:54:37 PM
There is now a CAP of 75 MILLION on damages for oil spills.
The cap does not apply to claims that could be fought in state court (where most of the victims could seek compensation). And the cap does not apply at all if federal safety regulations were violated.
So BP will be on the hook for much much more then the $75 million cap.
Setting up this escrow amounts to EXTORTION.
No it doesn't. Bp made the decision on their own free will.
Had they not agreed to it, Obama would have villified them to the point of their stock being WORTHLESS.
Both are happening anyways. So since their is no extra punishment if they decided not to set up the account, their is no extortion.
Yea - totally a Chicago Style shakedown.
Ah, one of the righties favourites "Chicago style". Care to elaborate exactly what makes this situation specific to Chicago.
How can you scream for due process for terrorists and NOT give due process to BP?
Everyone should be afforded due process. But how is BP being denied due process? BP made the decision to set up the account, they could have said no and fought it in the courts. The fact that the market may have punished BP if they said no does not mean they were denied due process, it's just the facts of a free market.
Who exactly is going to decide who gets the money?
As stated before, from a FoxNews article, Kenneth Feinberg will be in charge of the fund. This is the same guy that the Bush II administration put in charge of the 9/11 victims fund.
Does this sound ANYTHING like the government our founding fathers set up?
Does your car look like a horse? Do you spend winters only eating food that was salted or pickled?
The founding fathers had no clue about the problems that currently plague the US goverment. The founding fathers were a group of men from various backgrounds who had some good ideas, but were not infalible or controlled by devine intervention.
Believing that all decisions made by the US government should follow the founding fathers ideas, is about as smart as telling your doctor to only use medical treatments that were used by Hippocrates.
What choice did BP have BUT to agree?
They could have said no, and suffered the wrath of the free market.
If they fought the President on this the PR problem would have caused their share price to fall to almost nothing...
So they made a smart business decision. Not extortion, not even "Chicago style" extortion.
That is what the COURT system is for!
Actually the courts are the very last venue for dispute resolution.
Straight out of business school, the prefered order for dispute resolution is: negotiation, mediation, arbitration and finally litigation in front of a court.
In this case BP and President Obama went for negotiation. The courts were not needed, yet.
Does no one respect the Constitution anymore???
How was the Constitution not respected?
President Obama made a request, and BP agreed to the request. There was no force, and nothing against the Constitution.
Well if YOU get sued, do YOU want YOUR case decided by a jury of YOUR peers, or by a bureaucrat?
If I can get the desired outcome, I would much prefer to save the time and money and avoid the courts.
BP had the option of saying no, and going through the courts. But they must have felt this outcome was more beneficial to their corporation.
We either live by the rule of LAW, or we DON'T...
Are you trying to say that BP should not be held accountable?
BP is legally liable for the mess they created. For many different reasons companies decide to settle outside of courts, this does not mean the laws are not being respected.
I've never said BP shouldn't pay. I said they are entitled to DUE PROCESS.
They are not being denied due process. They simply chose the much simple negotiations route for the escrow account.
The facts, the liability, who gets paid, and WHEN, is not for you and I, or President Obama to decide.
It is for a COURT to decide.
No it is only for the courts to decide if the parties can not come to a mutual agreement.
Could you imagine if every dispute had to go through the courts? The courts would have a century plus long log jam.
Until the majority of Americans (especially politicians) realize that it is not a game pitting the repubs aganist the dems, but the one team is America, the US will continue its downward spiral to third world status.
This story is a perfect example of how some fringe nuts will turn a negotiation into a fake cry of extortion.
I didn't say this belongs in criminal court.
Well that's where it might belong. If there is criminal negligence, then I would hope someone needs to face a judge.
It obviously belongs in a civil court, or can I not safely assume liberals understand even THAT?
Only if there is a fight. Right now nobody is fighting, so no need yet for the courts.
What I want to know is who is going to decide who gets the escrow money they were forced to cough up in advance?
I'll repeat myself and state that BP was not forced, and Kenneth Feinberg, the guy Bush II put in charge of the 9/11 fund, will be in charge of the account.
What if BP doesn't agree to settle a PARTICULAR claim because they deny liability? Then what?
They can go through the usual steps of conflict resolution that ends in the courts.
Do the people who own rental homes on the coast get a check for lost revenue?
Yes because that is a loss of income caused by the BP spill.
Do I get a check because the cost of my seafood went up?
No, because that is not a loss. You have a choice if you want to buy seafood at a higher price, the people who lost income from their rental properties have no choice.
Who is going to decide who gets that money, for what claims, and when?
One more time, and with feeling, KENNETH FEINBERG.
What happens if BP says we are not going to pay for anything at all?
Then it goes through the courts, but right now BP is offering to pay.
Also if the 20 billion is paid, one would think that it would be place directly in the hands of the gulf coast victims by BP officials.
I doubt BP has the proper staff to take on such a project. Even if it were fought in court as a class action lawsuit, BP would not be making the individual payments to the victims.
No need for the government to get their hands on it, it should go directly to the gulf coast residents.
So just load up a plane with $20 billion in $100 bills and dump it over the effected area.
Someone needs to take the responsibility of doleing out the cash, and I would much rather see the government do it then a large multi-national corporation.
and infringing upon corporate sovereignty
There's no such thing as "corporate sovereignty". Corporations are held to the laws of the countries they operate in.
Did BP get a Chicago-style shakedown AND do we owe BP an apology OR ...
Posted: 6/17/2010 11:23:48 AM
It doesn't seem like all the republicans are on the same page with this one.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he disagreed with Barton's statement.
And from the same FoxNews story:
The use of the BP escrow fund is intended to avoid a repeat of the painful aftermath of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil disaster in Alaska, when the fight over money dragged out in courts for roughly two decades.
Campaign for Fair Elections, a nonpartisan campaign reform advocacy group, blasted Barton for his comments, noting that he has received $27,000 from BP in campaign contributions since 1989 and $1.4 million from the oil & gas industry.
"It's amazing that Rep. Barton would stand up for a multinational corporation that has wrecked the livelihoods of so many people along the Gulf Coast," said David Donnelly, campaign manager for the group. "Comments like this make all Americans question whether Congress represents them or the special interests funding their campaign."
On Wednesday, President Obama announced that BP had agreed to set up a $20 billion relief fund that will be led by the administration's "pay czar," Kenneth Feinberg, who oversaw the $7 billion government fund for families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
This escrow account is a great idea. We all know BP is responsible for this mess, and will need to compensate several victims. This account prevents BP from using the courts and super star legal teams to starve out the victims, like so many corporations have done in the past.
This also prevents BP from using bankruptcy as an excuse for not paying for any of the damages.
Until this deal was reached, BP was planning on giving out dividends, which have now been canceled.
I am utterly amazed what some republicans (and POF posters) will say just to attack the current administration. BP agreed to this escrow account because even they know it is the right thing to do, and they are going to be paying out at least $20 billion anyways.
Posted: 6/12/2010 5:20:40 PM
Google is your friend.
From very little research I found that in the State of Missouri, they can force workdays up to 20 hours and work weeks up to 70 hours, anything over 40 hours a week must be paid time and a half (unless you work at an amusement park).
This is quite different from Canada where work days can only go to 16 hours and the work week can only be forced to 44 hours (you can work more if you want).
Police Kill Dog Over Bong
Posted: 5/17/2010 6:11:11 AM
You also make a lot of assumptions about the quality of that (those) informant(s).
I never stated what these CIs actually were, I only stated that for the most part CIs are people who were themselves busted.
The article you linked to reported that two informants were involved.
I wasn't trying to hide an informant or dilute the story, I only forgot a few s's.
I have not seen that any issue was taken with the validity of the warrant
I never stated that the warrant was not valid. It was obviously signed by a judge.
My issue is that the police did not have near the proper information to obtain a search warrant since the man was found to not be possessing large amounts of marijuana.
People should feel protected in their homes, and having the police force their way, for little reason, is an attack on everyone's freedom.
Police Kill Dog Over Bong
Posted: 5/17/2010 5:25:09 AM
Are you absolutely sure that this is all that is needed to obtain a warrant to search a house? Seems pretty flimsy to me...
I'm not sure, but the article linked in the OP states that two CIs were the raeason for obtaining the warrant.
And according to the local TV news, Deputy Chief Tom Dresner admitted that the intelligence was incomplete.
NBC also states: " It was clear however that Whitworth was not a distributor as prior intelligence had indicated."
In several states (possibly all), search warrants can be obtained solely on hearsay evidence. There is a stipulation about the "veracity" of the informent. But that veracity is attested to by the officer applying for the warrant. In other words the cops can bust someone, take their word that someone else is commiting a crime, and never tell the judge that the informent had any legal issues, since no official arrest was made.
Since the informants are "confidential", I'm not even sure if the judge is even given their names.
Little Girls Dance Routine To Single Ladies Contraversy
Posted: 5/17/2010 4:18:40 AM
I have to agree that it just seemed wrong.
In-fact, the first thing I thought of when I saw the video was the episode of South Park when Ike (while being possesed by Micheal Jackson) entered a toddler beauty pagent, and two of the three judges were masterbating to the contestents.
These little girls do have talent, and I'm sure most of the parents had good intentions. But why do we need to sexualize 8 year olds for a dance compitition.
It's bad enough that pop culture is trying as hard as possible to value women on their sexuality alone, we really don't need to be doing it with small children.
Police Kill Dog Over Bong
Posted: 5/17/2010 4:09:17 AM
I found this story absolutely disgusting and felt it should be shared with as many people (especially Americans) as possible.
Warning disturbing video:
Columbia, Missouri police shot one corgi in the paw, and shot and killed one pitbull while executing a search warrant.
The warrant was executed late at night while a man, woman and their 7 year old child were sleeping. They used a SWAT team to break down the door, and when the dogs barked at the police, they shot both. The police are not claiming any officer was bitten.
The warrant stated that the man was suspected of dealing large quantities of marijuana. Their reason for beliving this was from the word of a confidential informant.
The search only yielded a very small (misdemeanor amount) of marijuana as well as one pipe and one grinder. No weapons were found. And none of the occupants resisted in any way.
Besides the gross injustice that the American War on Drugs is, I have two major problems with how the police and the judge handled this case.
The first is how the warrant was obtained. All the police needed to do was tell a judge that a confidential informant stated that drugs were being sold out of the house.
For the most part, confidential informants are people who were busted themselves, and were offered a "get out of jail free" card if they rat on someone else. Never would someone take the word of a criminal as a reliable source of information, especially when it is being offered in exchange for something else.
What happened to the days when police did actual police work and investigated crimes? Why would they take the word of some idiot, who was stupid enough to get busted, as a reason to invade someones home? It seems to me that the actions of the police was an unlawful search and seizure.
My second problem is that they shot two dogs for barking in their own home.
Dogs will naturally protect their home from intruders, they have no way of knowing who or what a police officer is.
The police were well aware of the dogs before executing the warrant, and should have some sort of training on how to deal with dogs when invading someones home. The dogs did nothing wrong, in fact they acted exactly how dogs are suppose to behave.
If the police want to execute search warrants on homes where they know dogs live, maybe they should carry some pepper spray. That's what mailmen carry, and it will always stop a dog, heck it even works on bears.
The War on Drugs is a sad joke, and is used as an excuse for the police to terrorize families. It needs to end now. This is not the only case of dogs being shot over nothing, and there are several cases of people being shot when they had nothing to even do with drugs or any other crimes.
Confidential informants should never be used as a reason to arrest someone or search their homes. What happened to the Fourth Amendment?
Russell Crowe's doing Robin Hood. I know it's a great story, classic literature.
Posted: 5/15/2010 7:53:03 PM
The legend of Robin Hood is such a great story that will, and should, be told for eons to come. Just because you like the Costner version (which was good but had a shitty soundtrack), is no reason to not make another one.
I'm actually looking forward to seeing this version as it has a different take on the "stealing from the rich, to give to the poor". Unlike all other versions I have ever seen, this version makes the stealing from the rich about the Magna Carta and how the peasants were finally given rights the were only offered to the rulling class before.
I did get slightly annoyed when the King was killed on the battlefield in the though... slight historical inaccuracy, as he was actually poisoned.
I don't know where you are getting your information, but King Richard I was killed by an arrow to the shoulder, causing gangreen. He did live long enough to forgive the boy who shot him, and rewarded him with 100 shillings and his freedom.
Maybe you are thinking of Hamlet's father?
As for the people who think this will be a box office bomb and be on DVD by July.
I seriously doubt it. It's Robin Hood, people love that story and will flock to the theater to see, regardless of what the critics think. And because it is Robin Hood the critics will be harsher on it, since they have tons of movies for direct comparison.
I expect this will be the number 2 movie for the summer behind Iron Man II.
Remember, most people don't go to the movies to critique the acting or directing. They go to be told a story and be distracted from their own lives.
And just for you Halftime:
Have you seen any good movies lately?
Posted: 5/14/2010 11:21:54 AM
I feel like I need to give a bit of a lesson on 3-D, and how it works. There is basically three types, with a forth coming out in the future.
The first type was the old red/blue lenses. They can be used with a regular projector or a regular TV. They work by adding blue and red shadows to the image. One eye sees the blue and one eye sees the red. The blue and the red only add shadows to the image giving the illusion of 3-D.
Next came the polarized 3-D films. This is what all the new movies are using in the theater. It requires two special projectors to work, and does not work with any television. With this system, the glasses have one lens that is polarized up/down and one lens that is polarized left/right. The projectors are shot through the same lenses, one projector through a up/down polarized filter and one through a left/right polarized filter. When the movie is played, one eye can only see what is coming from one projector and the other eye can only see what is coming from the other projector. The 3-D illusion comes from the image of each projector being at a slightly different angle then the other projector, the same way as your eyes see the world from a slightly different angle then the other eye. The glasses from these films will not work with the new 3-D TVs.
The most recent release in the LCD shutter glasses. These were originally designed for the theater, because of the high cost of the glasses they never caught on for the theater. They did have one advantage over polarized, and that was that they could be projected from a single double speed projector. This is the technology of the new 3-D TVs. The glasses for this technology features on LCD shutter in each lens and a radio reciever, some even have stereo headphones. The two lenses alternate between being transparent and being opaque, with only one eye being able to see out at a time. The TV or projector will also alternate from showing a left eye image and a right eye image, the radio reciever is used to sync up the glasses with the TV or projector, so that the right lens is opaque while the left image is shown and the left lens is opaque when the right image is shown.
The newest kind, and the one I know the least about, is called Autostereoscopic Displays. It has not yet been released and does not require any glasses. This is television technology and will not be used in the theater. The way how I understand it (I might be wrong), is that the TV will be broken up into a series of vertical lines, each line being a single pixle wide, and will alternate between a left image line and a right image line. Now if you have ever viewed an LCD monitor or TV from a bad angle, you should be aware that the image turns black if the angle is too severe, this is the concept that will make this technology work. All of the left image lines will be at one angle and all the right image lines will be at another. This will cause the left image lines to appear black to the right eye, and the right image lines to appear black to the left eye. Because this will result in the 3-D image only being viewable from a certain sweet spot, which means it is only suitable for one person (unless you want to stack on top of each other). This means it is not likely that it will be used for the big screen TVs, it will more likely be used for computer monitors and cell phones. That's right, 3-D cellphones without the need for special glasses.
Now you might be asking which is the best technology. Obviously the red/blue glasses is the worst, and I can't really give an opinion on Autostereoscopic Displays, since they have not been perfected yet. So that leaves the polarized and the LCD shutters, both achieve near identical illusions of 3-D, with one being very well suited for the theater and the other well suited for the home television set. The real quality issue comes from how the film was made.
There are basically three ways to make a 3-D film.
Going full CGI. This method uses computers to create all images.
Filming with a special two lens camera. One lens records a right eye image and the other lens recording a left eye image.
The third type is a hybrid. This method they film with a regular single image camera, and digitally altering the image to create a second slightly altered image.
And then there is also different qualities of films. Most films are shot in 35mm, this includes the majority of the new 3-D films, but IMAX uses a 70mm film for their projects (not nessesarily the films showing at the IMAX theater).
By far the best 3-D I have seen is the true IMAX 3-D. This technology can make it appear like a fish is 12 inches in front of your nose.
I believe it was IMAX that invented both the polarized method and the LCD shutter method.
work ethics- what is normal at the office?
Posted: 5/12/2010 6:53:51 PM
As far as the employee with the flu. I believe most juristictions require that employees with airborne viruses are to be sent home, as it adds an unneeded risk to fellow workers.
As far as your other complaints. If you don't like how the owners run THEIR business, quit and seek employment elsewhere or start your own business where you can be a hardass.
And the coffee complaint is weak. If they made the rule that only coffee drinkers have to clean up the coffee room, everyone would claim they are not a coffee drinker. Plus I would imagine that customers also drink coffee, I don't think you would expect them to clean up the area. Just consider the cleaning a minor function of your job.
You will find your life easier and more enjoyable if you worry more about yourself and less about others.
When one makes a loan, who has ownership of the loan: the lender or the borrower? How and why?
Posted: 4/23/2010 7:33:43 AM
super_ryan isn't getting it either, obviously.
Ha ha ha.
You are the one who has absolutely no clue what you are talking about.
Everything you have said sounds like it came straight out of the movie Zeitgeist.
Quit believing idiotic film students and learn the very basics of accounting, aka double entry bookkeeping.
To prove you have no idea about economics, here is a simple questions from any first year macroeconomics course.
Let's say you are running an economy. Inflation is spiralling out of control, and the only tool at your disposal is to change the tax rate. what would you do with the tax rate to bring down inflation, and why? You can't change production, you can't change government spending, and you can't change the supply of money, only the tax rate.
And by the way, it doesn't really matter if money is paper, electronic, or knots of string.
Money is a medium of exchange and has value from scarcity and our collective faith in the economy.
But back to the shoe store.
no, "human capital" is the only real value of modern "money"...
Ok, so I buy the shoes with a credit card for $100. At the end of the day the credit card transfers the $100 to the store, and at the end of the week the store takes the $100 and pays the wages of the shoe salesmen.
There's your human capital, and a transfer of wealth.
When one makes a loan, who has ownership of the loan: the lender or the borrower? How and why?
Posted: 4/22/2010 10:26:41 PM
According to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), Debits always go on the left side and credits go on the right.
For accounting purposes on the balance sheet debits ( assets) on the left, credits (liabilities) on the right. On the profit and loss sheet where revenue and expenses are listed, revenues are credit and the expenses are debits.
I can't believe I screwed that one up.
In my head I was seeing things on the proper sides, I just forgot which side is left and which was right.
The accounts receivable would increase for they are looking forward to their mortgage being repaid. Accounts payable would be money the bank has to pay to another.
Yup I messed that one up too. But if you look at my previous posts I was listing payables and recievables correctly.
I wrote it after studying for like 14 hours, so my brain was a bit fried.
We almost never grant mortgages in the U.S. We now most often use deeds of trust.
We don't really do that in Canada.
If a bank needs to forclose, they need to go through the courts and give proper notice.
If not why does the home owner have to carry: mortgage insurance (if below a certain down payment, equity in the home)
Because it is part of the contract to get the loan.
For Hollywood movies, to get funding, all the actors must be insured. This does not mean the banks own the actors, in any part.
when I say that a contract "obligates" a party to have a security available, i mean just that -- the security must be available or the contract terms have not been met
Bit of a miscommunication. I thought you were saying that the company issueing the option must own the stock, which they don't. But yes it must be possible to aquire the stock or the option is invalid.
Super, taking an accounting class or two doesn't make anyone an expert.
I believe I specifically stated I am not an expert. But I have taken a lot more then a class or two in accounting.
I'm already qualified to take the CGA, but I'm going for my CA instead.
that the question of ownership is superseded by the terms of the contract
The contract would define the ownership.
I'm starting to think we aren't disagreeing so much, as we are simply using different terms for what we mean.
When one makes a loan, who has ownership of the loan: the lender or the borrower? How and why?
Posted: 4/22/2010 7:10:29 PM
Contracts muddle the accounting grounds.
No they don't.
For example, put and calls, derivatives contracts, gives you the option of buying or selling securities within a specified time period.
Yes, a call option is the right to buy a stock at a specified price within a certain time frame, and a put option is the right to sell a stock at a specific price within a certain time period.
These are in fact assets and have ownership.
The contract puts the question of "ownership" in "limbo," so to speak.
No it doesn't. The options have clear ownership as well as a liability to the issueing party.
The owner of the securities, having agreed to either buy or sell within a given time frame, is now obligated to have the securities available should be "option" be activated.
They are not required to own the underlying security. A company is allowed to sell options for stocks they do not own. However if a put option is excersized they must buy the stock, they can immediately sell it if they wish, usually for a loss. When a call option is excersized the company that issued the option must purchase a stock and give it to the owner of the option.
The securities are now placed under conditions specified in the contract.
Not true at all. Companies issueing options are not required to even own the stock, let alone be forced into holding conditions.
To prove this concept look at executive compensation in call options.
A company will record the expense as the options are earned, but they will not even create the stocks until the options are exercised.
And options are the right to buy or sell, they do not give ownership of the stock. Only the right to purchase (which would be the transfer of ownership), the stocks.
Part of the reason why the derivitives market is in such shambles, is because there is no rules about owning underlying asset. Entities are free to create and trade dirivitives without owning any of the underlying assets.
When one makes a loan, who has ownership of the loan: the lender or the borrower? How and why?
Posted: 4/22/2010 5:02:41 PM
I'm not an expert,
Neither am I, but I am studying the topic. In fact I wrote a 3 hour exam on Tuesday for ACC2220-Accounting Equities. So I am well versed on the subject of liabilities and transfer of ownership.
And I can tell you for an absolute fact that the home owners are the leagal owners of a mortgaged home, hence the name "home owner". The banks own the mortgage, but not the home.
A mortgage is a contract to pay back a loan, with a home securing the loan. As long as the payments are being made, the bank will never own the home. A default is a breach of the mortgage contract. And only under the breach can the bank make a move to take the house. And as long as the payments are made, the bank can never sell the home to someone else, they can only sell the mortgage contract.
To further prove ownership.
If I owned a home with a mortgage, I can paint all the walls pink and purple, and there is nothing the bank can do to stop me. It would be my home, and I would have the freedom redecorate the home however I want.
But in my rented apartment, I'm not allowed to paint my walls a slightly different white, heck I'm not even allowed to change my window treatments without the permission of the property owners.
Or let's look at it from the perspective of a truck.
If a get a loan to buy the truck, I can jack up the suspension and put on massive mudders, or any other alteration to the truck.
If I leased the truck, I am limited to only alterations the leasor approves.
And if I rent the truck, I'm not allowed to make any changes to the truck.
And finally let's look how a bank would record a mortgage on their books.
The bank would record a decrease in their cash account for the amount of the mortgage, and they would see an increase in their accounts payable-mortgages account. Nowhere does a bank record ownership of the home that they have granted a mortgage on.
This is not only accounting practices, it is also the law. In Canada, the United States, and most of the world that follows IFRS.
When one makes a loan, who has ownership of the loan: the lender or the borrower? How and why?
Posted: 4/22/2010 8:13:36 AM
here's another important point. the ONLY difference between a credit and a debt is time. credit is deferred payment, whereas debt is a due payment. now,
This is fundamentally and completely wrong.
Debt is a liability, something owed, and it does not need to be due.
Credit, or creditor, means right side. And debit, or debitor, means left side.
On the balance sheet the assets are kept on the right side and the liabilities and equity are kept on the left side.
Assets and expenses are credit accounts. Liabilitites, equity and revenues are debit accounts.
when you get a loan from a bank -- whether it's a mortgage or just a line of credit -- do you imagine they are actually giving you money? nope. they are merely making a bookkeeping entry into your account. there is no real exchange taking place.
Wrong again, there is usually a transfer of wealth.
With a mortgage, the seller recieves the money in exchange for the house. Both the cash and the house are transfered.
With a line of credit, assuming the money is used, cash is transfered to whatever needs the borrower has, whether it is to pay for staff or inventory or anything else.
And lines of credit can be secured.
this means that every time you, as a consumer, get a loan from a bank, or use your credit card to buy anything, you are creating out of thin air the PRINCIPAL
No the money used for whatever purpose is the principal. Do you really think if I go to the mall and buy some shoes with my credit card, the shoe store doesn't recieve money from the bank for the shoes.
and then the bank charges you INTEREST on the assets that YOU just created FOR THEM
No they are charging you interest on the cash assets they just loaned to you.
the bank gets to collect on both!
Are you suggesting that because I used a credit card I should get my shoes for free?
And again there is a time value to money. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow.
do you realize how much damage could be un-done merely by forgiving interest?
Sure the home owners would be laughing, but the banks would go under. Remember the banks need to get the money they loan out from somewhere, either by having people deposit money, selling off assets or having people invest in the bank. If it's money deposited, the depositors will want interest, and if it's from investments, the investors will want a return on the investment. And let's not forget the banks have overhead that needs to be paid.
if you are in the U.S., look at your dollar bill, a.k.a. "federal reserve note". and what is a "note"? it's a debt, of course. now who can tell me... how can you ever pay a debt, with a debt?
I think you might have the exact opposite understanding of what a federal reserve note is.
If you have a dollar bill in your pocket, that is a promise that the central bank owes you $1. So if you owe the governement $1, you can give them the dollar bill and both debts are wiped out.
Let's go back to the balance sheet.
If the central bank wants to increase to money supply by $1000 dollars by depositing it into a commercial bank.
The central bank will record an increase to their accounts recievable, the loan to the commercial bank, and they will record on increase to the outstanding currency account, which is a liability. Accounts recievable is a credit account and the outstanding currency is a debit account.
The commercial bank will record an increase in their cash account and an increase in their accounts payable to the central bank.
So if the commercial bank wants to eliminate their accounts payable to the central bank, they just need to give back the $1000.
In Canada the central bank is the Bank of Canada and in the States it is the Federal Reserve. They are the only entities allowed to create money.
Commercial banks are where us regular folks do our banking. They are never allowed to create money, EVER. And their books are audited every single night, well 5 nights a week less bank holidays.
does anyone really get this? the implications are actually rather mind-boggling.
take the red pill, people.
It's not really that mind-boggling. You just need to learn the basics and everything else starts to fall into place. And quit taking pills.
I get the feeling some people on this thread have watch one or more of the Zeitgeist movies.
If you are one of those people, please forget everything you have "learned" from those movies. And if you have not seen any of them, really don't bother.
They are so full of sh1t, it's not even funny. They over exagerate simple concepts, and just seem to make up crap when ever they feel like it.
I'm pretty sure they were made by a film student (they are slick looking), who took one course on macroeconomics and did not grasp the concepts at all.
When one makes a loan, who has ownership of the loan: the lender or the borrower? How and why?
Posted: 4/22/2010 6:52:23 AM
Let's look at it from the perspective of the balance sheet.
Every business has a balance sheet, it is divided into three sections. The asset side, these are things the company owns, it could be cash, equipment, inventory, or a whole bunch of other things that a company can own. The other side has two parts. Liabilities, which are things the company owes, like a loan. And the third part, on the same side as liabilities, is the equity section, this is the amount of the company the owners own, it could be listed as owners equity or in the form of shares/stocks plus any retained earnings.
Both sides of the balance sheet will always be equal, the assets equal the liabilities plus the equity.
Now let's say we have two companies, company A and company B, and A will make a loan to B for $1000.
Company A will record the loan as an asset and company B will record it as a liability. So the ownership of the loan would be company A, since assets are things owned and liabilities are things owed.
To show how the balance sheet will always balance let's look at how the whole transaction would look like.
Company A will reduce their cash account by $1000, and they will increase their accounts recievable (where small short term loans are usually kept, as the lender) by $1000. Since both accounts are assets, the asset side of the balance sheet will stay the same.
Company B will see a $1000 increase to their cash account and a $1000 increase in their accounts payable (where small short term loans are kept, as the borrowers). This will cause the asset side to increase by $1000 and the liability side to increase by $1000.
Now to prove ownership a bit further. If company A finds itself in need of cash, they can sell the loan to a third party, only something owned can be sold.
But if company B no longer wants the loan with A, they must buy back the loan.
As far as loans go, there are two basic types secured and unsecured.
Unsecured loans have nothing backing them, but a promise to pay. If a burrower defaults on unsecured loan, the lender must go to court to try and get their money back.
A secured loan has an underlying asset backing up the loan. These are your mortgages and car loans, as well as any other loan that has an asset backing it. With a secured loan, if the borrower defaults, the lender can take the underlying asset, like a house or a car. But as long as the borrower is paying back the loan, the asset (house or car) is owned by the borrower.
Now back to company A and B.
If company A grants a $1000 loan to company B so they can buy a new computer, and it is a secured loan backed up by the computer as the underlying asset.
Company A would again see their cash account reduced by $1000 and their accounts recievable go up by $1000.
Company B will again record the $1000 as an increase to their accounts payable and the computer equipment account will go up by $1000.
For interest we need to bring in another financial statement, the income statement.
The income statement records revenues, things that bring money to the company like sales revenue, rent revenue, interest revenue and any other thing that brings income to the company. And the income statement also records expenses, this can be wages, interest expense, rent, utilities, taxes, cost of goods sold, and anything else that a company would spend, without retaining an asset, in the course of business. And at the bottom of the income statement is net income.
With the balance sheet all the accounts are perpetual, the only way to get them to zero, is to get rid of the asset or pay off the liabilities. But the accounts on the income statement get reset to zero at the end of each accounting cycle. The revenues and expenses are sent to the net income, and the net income is then transfered to the retained earnings account, where it can be distributed to the owners.
Back to companies A and B. Let's say $100 of interest has built up on the loan.
First we'll say company B pays the $100 interest to company A.
Company A will record an increase in their cash account by $100 and an increase of $100 to their interest revenue account. This might appear to screw up the balance sheet, but once the $100 is tranfered to the income statement and then to the retained earnings, it will result in an asset account (cash) going up by $100, and the retained earnings, part of equity, will go up by $100.
Company B will record a decrease of $100 to their cash account and a $100 increase to their interest expense account. Once the expense is cycled through the income statement, they will see a $100 decrease to their cash account and a $100 decrease in their retained earnings.
And finally we'll say that company B does not pay the $100 interest and just allows it to be added to the loan.
Company A will record a $100 increase to the acoounts recievable and a $100 increase to their interest income account. This will result in the asset, accounts recievable, going up by $100 and the equity side will again see the $100 increase.
Company B will record an increase to their accounts payable by $100 and an increase of $100 to their interest expense. Once cycled throught the income statement, it will be a $100 increase to the liabilities, accounts recievable, and a $100 decrease to retained earnings.
I hope that helps people understand that it is the lender that owns the loan.
As for why interest is charged on loans, it is for very good reason. Money has a time value to it.
Most companies will try to keep as little money idle as possible, since idle money earns zero income. If a company loans out their money, that is money they can't use for anything else so they would expect some sort of return on the loaned out money.
As an example, let's say a restaurant manages to build up $500,000. If they just hid the money in the fridge for a year, it would be the same $500,000 a year later. But they could take the money and buy another restaurant, that in one year the new restaurant would still be worth $500,000, but has also earned income. So it makes sense that if they loaned out the $500,000 they would want to earn interest revenue around the same amount as the restaurant would make in that year.
And if a company burrows $500,000 they should be using it to increase their income so they can pay the interest expense.
Money has a time value, and that is why interest is charged.
Before anyone jumps down my throat. I intentionally left out tax implications, risk vs rewards, and the effects of inflation on interest rates. I did this as to not confuse people further.
Everything above is basic accounting, and is accepted by Canadian GAAP standards, American accounting practices, and International Financial Reporting Standards.
HELP!!! Top 10 most aggressive dogs?????
Posted: 4/22/2010 3:56:58 AM
looks like a mini doberman (can't think of the breed name)
Probably a miniture pinscher.
Arizona's New Illegal Immigration, right or wrong?
Posted: 4/20/2010 8:46:24 AM
but you don't hear about the ones lost to foriegners HERE in America.
Americans don't want those jobs.
We're talking about jobs with horrible conditions, ultra low pay, and a total disregard for labour laws.
And that's how the employers want it. You never hear the right wingers go after the employers who hire all these illegals. They don't care that these employers use their employees legal status as a way to keep them as a virtual indentured servent. Nope all they care about is blaming people who just want a better life for their families by working hard for little money. And many are hear because of what American policy and American companies have done to their home country.
I hope this causes all immigrants, legal and illegal, to leave the state. Then the people of Arizona can see what life is like when all jobs can only be staffed by pricey Americans.
No more agriculture, goodbye half the service jobs, and watch your housing market crash further.
I signed a generic lease, but landlord left the terms blank...
Posted: 4/16/2010 1:00:01 PM
My landlord stopped me in the hall yesterday. He said that the rent wasn't working for him, and that he'd need more. Why even sign a lease if the landlord is going to break it 2 months after I sign it?
If you have a lease, he has zero right to increase your rent.
In-fact he could be accused of the old bait and switch, which is a form of consumer fraud.
Even without a lease, most juristictions have laws on how a landlord can increase rent.
To top it off, I'm letting him use my lawn mower for his lawn. Now he put a lock on the storage shed (Only he has the key) and wants me to give it to him.
Call the cops. If it is your property and he has locked it away from you, that is theft.
The race to define ‘last border of Canada'
Posted: 4/12/2010 6:37:42 AM
More evidence that when an American has nothing intelligent to say, they will say it as loud as they can.
With the US pulling jobs out of Canada and back inside the US Borders
Nope, American companies are closing up shop because of the recession, but they are still creating jobs in Canada because we don't have rediculous costs of labour. And let's not forget, Canadian companies have been buying up cheap American assets for the last few years.
Leave the poles alone, they are frozen and for the most part uninhabitable.
The North Pole is melting, that is one of the issues at hand. If the ice melts enough, the Northwest Passage will become a commercial shipping lane.
Using the Continental Shelf as a way to extend your borders is not how the 200 mile rule was intended, especially for the sake of a land grab, it's underwater and should not count.
It's actually very important to protect a countries continental shelf. Without the ruling on continental shelves, countries would not be able to manage or protect their fish stocks.
How about if the United States deems the continental shelf off the cost of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California to be the limits of our international border
That's how it already is.
Guess that means it's a long sail to the east coast of Canada just to head south doesn't it.
Canada and the US share many of our resources and allow passage for each others ships in our controlled territories.
And it would not be hard for a ship to just go west of the continental shelf and then sail south, no need to go east, and America has an east coast as well.
Wonder how Canada will then get to it's own West Coast if the US shuts down the Bering Straits?
We do have railroads and highways.
And one more time, the Northwest Passage is seldome used for commercial shipping.
Our boys and girls could sit in deck chairs on the battleships and play XBox while they did their jobs.
Apparentally they are already doing that, and crashing subs into ships.
As far as Canada staying out of Iraq goes, don't fool yourselves, there are Canadian forces in Iraq
The Canadian military is not in Iraq, we are in the Persian Gulf, but not in Iraq.
and Afghanistan at this time.
We've been there since the start of the current war.
However, they are merely token forces there so if there are victories Canada can claim part of them.
We are actually in some of the nastiest regions of the country.
Where several nations refuse to go into any hot spots, Canada is only in hotspots.
In all honesty I found Toronto to be a beautiful city but I found all the other parts of Canada to be truly filthy at best.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Where the heck did you go, Hamilton?
Southern Ontario is the dirtiest part of the country. There are huge tracts of land in Canada that no modern human has ever set foot on. BC is considered by many to be the most beautiful region of the planet.
And have you ever been to some of the toxic waste dumps that is an American city. Come on, the Detroit River caught on fire.
Let's not even talk about the police forces in Canada
Would you rather talk about the LAPD, or how about "Sheriff" Joe Arpaio?
the medical care and so many other things.
We're happy with it, I think we have well over an 80% approval of Canadian Health Care.
How do Americans feel about their current system?
I'd be thrilled if the US shut down our northern border and denied passage to all Canadians,
Ya that would be a great idea.
As others have pointed out, Canada is America's largest trading partner and we are also the largest supplier of energy to America.
So if you really want the border shut, I hope you like walking, the dark and being cold.
then let our oil companies start drilling and pumping like crazy along the borders of all northern states (Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho, Montana and Washington) and Alaska where they meet Canada.
With the exception of Alaska, there isn't much oil along the border.
But are you really suggesting that America should break international law and steal from Canada.
Canada has spent centuries leeching of the United States
What the heck are you talking about?
202 years ago was the War of 1812.
And having a strong relationship between the two countries does not mean one is leeching off the other.
it's time that Canada learns to stand and think on it's own and quit taking things from us
What do we take from you?
We are a strong country with the respect of almost the entire planet.
Yes, I consider a vehicle built in Canada to be foreign which is why I have never and will never own a Corvette, unless they start building those in the United States again.
Hate to break it to you, but all cars made in the US, use some Canadian parts.
And Corvette's are built in Kentucky.
People so ignorant as to think that Chevrolet was a Canadian Company and not a US owned company
Before it was purchased by GM, Chevrolet was a Canadian company.
I was literally subjected to people yelling at me for Canadian economic issues simply due to the fact that I'm an American and nothing else.
Considering what you have written in this one thread, I'm guessing Canadians were yelling at you because you were insulting and ignorant first.
Sorry, but unless you said something, nobody in Canada would even know that you are an American, we all look the same.
Posted: 4/4/2010 11:31:07 PM
Canada did not send any troops to fight in the Vietnam War.
Canada also banned sending war supplies directly to Vietnam for the Americans.
Canadian Peace Keepers were sent to Vietnam to help with the Paris Peace Accord (later replaced by Iranian Peace Keepers).
Canadian companies did sell goods directly to America that were sent to Vietnam.
Ann Coulter was completely wrong about her claims Canada sent troops to Vietnam, and later claiming that Canadians joined the US military to fight in Vietnam changes the argument.
The New Date Rape Drug ........ Ladies Please Be Careful
Posted: 4/3/2010 10:55:06 PM
This is some scary shit.
This is some fake shit.
Progesterex is a hoax, no such drug exists, and there have been no victims who have had their reproductive abilities taken through chemical means in the coarse of a date rape.
Do a little research before posting this kind of information, the first page of responses, on google, all say it is a hoax.
What movie sequel are you waiting for that they ain't making?
Posted: 4/3/2010 2:47:42 AM
Dr. Strangelove II or How I Learned to Stop Living and Love the Nothingness
Top Gun II: Attack of the Drones
Weekend at Bernie's III: If the Original Warranted One Sequel, Why Not Two?
Showgirls II: Let's Be Honest, They're Strippers
Saving Private Ryan II: Wondered Off From the Rest Home
Imagine II: Yoko's Revenge
Waterworld II: Throwing Good Money After Bad
American Beauty II: Who Killed the Pedophile?
Resevoir Dogs II: The Rise of Mr. Pink
Cool As Ice II: Rob Van Winkle Needs a Job
The Wizard of Oz II: This Time the Hallucination is Drug Induced
A League of Their Own II: War's Over, Now Back to the Kitchen
The Breakfast Club II: Yup. Bender Was Right, They Never Spoke to Each Other Again
Turning my back on a family member............
Posted: 3/24/2010 2:48:56 PM
I agree there is no point in bringing her into your life. From what you have written, your sister has severe mental health issues, and since you do not have a strong relationship with her or a background in medicine, there isn't much you can do for her.
I would however suggest you send her a card on her birthday and a small gift for Christmas. It would only cost you $20 a year and could do wonders for her outlook on life. Just don't include a return address, maybe get a P.O. box so she can write back.
Include a small note telling her you are thinking of her and hope she is doing well. Don't include details of your life, and don't harp on what she should be doing to get better (she has doctors for that).
Not only can this help your sister, it might also do wonders for your guilt.
She is your sister, but you do not owe her your happiness.
Somali Pirates blunder.....
Posted: 3/19/2010 1:43:50 PM
Did a tiny bit of research and found out the brig capacity on the USS Nimitz.
They have two individual cells and one general population cell that holds 15 prisoners, for a total brig capacity of 17 prisoners.
The USS Nimitz is the largest aircraft carrier currently in the US Navy. If they only have capacity for 17 prisoners, I doubt the Dutch ship would have more.
So I'm going to keep my opinion that it is way easier to sink a few boats, take their weapons and send them on their way.
Somali Pirates blunder.....
Posted: 3/18/2010 7:55:32 PM
It's just way easier to let the pirates go on their way in their own boat.
Putting them through some trial would be a waste of time, taking them to shore would also be a waste of time and I'm pretty sure you can't just kill them.
If you were running a ship, would you want to take on 30 men that would need to be secured? Even if it's just for a few hours to get them to the nearest port, it would still be a whole load of pain in the ass.
Taking their weapons and sinking a few of their boats does tons of damage to these poor ex-fishermen.
Alchemical Gold: Effects on Market?
Posted: 3/17/2010 9:06:52 PM
Slybandit has the right idea. And with his plan you have the option of killing the gold market, or just sneaking out a few million here and there.
But there is kind of two answers to the first question.
First the supply of gold on Earth is and throughout human history has always been very scarce. The current estimate for all gold extracted and predicted extractable gold would form a cube that would fit inside the doubles line of a tennis court, and when you think of the size of the Earth, this is an extremely small fraction of the entire planet. There is a lot more in the oceans, but it is in such a small dilution that extracting it is far from worthwhile.
So let's first say your machine has a cost of $500 per ounce of pure gold. Depending on production capabilities, and more than likely production will meet demand, then expect the price of gold to stabilize at a few dollars over $500. This would result in the closing of all gold mines that can't produce at under $500 per ounce.
Now let's say your machine is built out of a few common parts found at the local scrap yard, and it just spits out gold with zero costs. You could destroy the gold market. Expect every 1% increase to the gold supply to result in roughly a 1.5% decrease in the price of gold until you hit the price of transportation.
As far as I know there are no laws barring people from making gold, unless it is unsafe to the greater public like building a nuclear reactor in your basement. But I could see almost every government in the world banding together to stop you from taking over the gold market with your fancy machine.
If you ever succeed I will gladly offer my services to help you release gold onto the market for maximum profits, for only a small fee of 5%.
Who would be the ultimate zombie?
Posted: 3/16/2010 8:02:41 PM
First they'd have to remember what a gun is.
Totally agree. Zombies are near brain dead, they don't have skills to do anything but walk slowly, eat people and some times rip sh!t up.
That's why the ultimate zombie would be André Roussimoff, better known as Andre the Giant.
He could smash anything in his way, and eat a brain in one bite.
Worst zombie, Stephen Hawking.
Ok guys (and girls) I need help valuing a Jeep please :)
Posted: 3/16/2010 6:00:02 PM
What is a locker?
It's a type of differential that applies equal rotations to each wheel, when locked. This is good for getting out of the mud, but is bad for turning corners.
Two types, automatic lockers will lock up when there is an excessive difference between the two or four wheels spinning, otherwise they drive open like a normal differential; and a selectable locker that have a switch inside the vehicle that allows the driver to manually choose between open and locked.
Unless you plan to do some serious off-roading, you don't need it. And since this Jeep comes with a winch, you should be able to get out of most situations.
If you are planning to do some hardcore off-roading, look for a truck with a bigger engine.
Ok guys (and girls) I need help valuing a Jeep please :)
Posted: 3/15/2010 10:26:52 PM
Depending on shape, I would guess $4000 - $6000. In really bad shape $500, and if it is near showroom condition maybe $7500 - $8500. .
You should have the Jeep put up on a hoist before you make any offers. Have the entire suspension properly checked (Jeeps are known for being abused), check the engine, check the frame and body, and make sure all of the electrical works (one thing not working usually means 10 things won't work in a month).
Don't bother with Carfax, it's a complete rip-off with the sole purpose of helping dealerships sell cars. Carfax can only report repairs that are reported to Carfax, they have no links to repair shops, tow companies or the police. And most dealerships will print out the Carfax report as soon as the car hits the lot, just in case a repair gets reported while the car is on the lot.
The Real reason people lose their homes
Posted: 3/15/2010 10:07:31 PM
in 2000 the Derivative market was zero.... 2008 .....$900 TRILLION dollars traded.... That is a bubble.
Sorry but this is completely wrong.
There is evidence of derivitives existing before Jesus, and an existing contract from around 1650 Japan details a commodoties futures (a type of derivitive).
The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the largest derivative exchange in the world, was established in 1848 . They standardized certain derivitives in 1865.
Most derivitives have a very long and successful past. Certain others are newer and can be much more volitial.
Credit Default Swaps (CDS) are one of the newest forms of derivitives. CDS first entered the market in 1991. At first they were small in the market and offered a form of hedging when investing in risky ventures. But of course they grew, and without proper regulation, in reality next to no regulation, entities started issueing CDS on their own, or heavily invested in, financial instruments.
CDS can be tied to almost any financial instrument, heck you could probably have a CDS on another CDS. So I'll give a quick rundown on how they work with a bond as the underlying asset.
Let's say I have $1000 in bonds with company A. Since there is a chance of company A going bankrupt and not being able to pay back the bond, I purchase a CDS covering the entire bond for $100. Now what happens is if company A pays back the bond, the CDS becomes worthless and company B gets to keep my $100. But if company A goes bankrupt, company B will pay me the money owed on the bond.
So on the surface they seemed like a good idea. But of course people started to abuse them. People started buying CDS for underlying assets they did not own, they weren't just betting that a company would suffer a loss, like a short sale, they were betting on companies going insolvent. This in itself did not cause the financial collapse, but it was still a bad idea for the market, since it would encourage the big players to sink the little guys even faster.
The real problem with CDS, and part of the reason for the collapse, was that nobody was properly checking that CDS issuers held the neccessary assets to pay off the CDS that they issued. This was heightened by the fact that issuers were trading CDS with each other.
So let's go back to my example above. Again I have a bond with company A and a CDS with company B. But what if B was only a holding company and the only asset they held was ownership of company A. So now if company A can pay back the bond, then company B gets my $100. But if company A goes bankrupt, so does company B, now nobody will pay me my $1000 back and the extra $100 for the CDS is gone as well. So now I have given up the reward of my bond investment by buying the CDS, but I still held the same risk, and the two companies were able to release a risky investment without paying for the additional risk to the buyer.
Now try to imagine 10,000 plus companies offering these derivitives with millions of "traders" all trying to make the fast buck and hardly any regulation. It was a recipe for disaster.
Some derivitives are really bad, like a CDS, and some are quite good like futures and call options (although I have a major issue with executives paid in call options). The important thing is to properly regulate all derivitive transactions, and not allow the people with the most to gain to write all the rules.
The American housing crisis had many different issues that caused the bubble to expand and burst. Allowing banks to bundle mortgages into high yield bonds was probably the biggest cause of the meltdown. It made the banks not care about the credit ratings of the homeowners, since they were just carting the risk out to the bond market, and it also allowed them to offer more and more mortgages then ever before. Add to it mortgage brokers parterning up with real estate agents, and you now have an industry that just wants to make the quick sale with no care in the world if the homeowner can ever pay off the mortgage, this gave rise to the NINJA loans everyone likes to talk about.
Then it went even worse when mortgage brokers started offering sub-prime loans with introductory rates and/or balloon payments and equity loans. And not only were these being offered to people who did not understand them or have the resources to pay the full price, the brokers were telling them that once the introductory rate was over or the ballon payment was due, that the home would increase in value enough that they would be eligible for a prime loan and they could get a new mortgage at a rate they could afford. But once the housing market stopped going up, none of the sub prime hoemowners qualified for the promised prime loans, and they did not have the ability to pay the much higher rates.
So people should be responsible for their actions, and I don't care a whole lot that some people are losing their homes. But blaming them for the housing crisis is kind of dumb. We are talking about millions of people with an average IQ of 100 or less, they're also average people who might not have a clear understanding on investing or preparing for the future. It should be expected that when faced with bad mortgages, several of them took them without knowing the consequences, while being manipulated by real estate agents and mortgage brokers who have little care if the mortgage is ever paid off, as long as they get their commissions on sales.
Blaming the NINJAs, the sub primers and other homeowners for the crisis, is like opening a bank with no walls or a safe and blaming the theives for the all the money stollen every night. The banks had the responsibility to make sure mortgages were being given to people who could pay them off, instead they passed on the risk in the form of bundled high yield bonds.
Sarah Palin used Canadian Healthcare!
Posted: 3/9/2010 12:21:28 PM
Real weak. Hell, I could probably make a better case against her in 20 minutes, should I try.
Please do, I would love to hear why YOU think Palin is a liar.
I have plenty of reasons for thinking she is a liar, like claiming an ethics panel found her doing nothing wrong when the panel very specifically ruled that she had violated state ethics requirements. But of course her biggest lie was claiming she is qualified to be president.
Now back to the topic.
I think these early visits to a Canadian healthcare provider may explain Palin's out-to-lunch beliefs about Canadian healthcare.
In her mind, Canadian healthcare equals a 1960's Yellowknife hospital. It explains why she thinks there are no MRIs or modern equipment in Canada. Maybe her next complaint about Canadian healthcare will be all the tacky furniture.
I was hoping Palin would win the republican nomination in 2012, then suffer the biggest defeat in American history. But I think her behaviour in the past few months have made the majority of republicans realize she is not a viable candidate.
Oh well, I'm sure I will still have plenty of opportunities to laugh at her in the future.
And Sarah, when most people use the word "retard", we are not speaking about people with developmental disabilities like your son Trig, we are talking about idiots like you.
When I call Sarah Palin a retard, I'm not doing it becuse I believe she has a diminished mental capacity, I call her a retard becuse she has the mental capacity but chooses to not use it for common sense or learning about the world around her.
Congratulations to the US Olympic Hockey team on it's victory
Posted: 3/9/2010 11:38:59 AM
well, if Bettman(a yank) is an idiot (and i believe he is one)...
I don't care where he comes from. He could have been sent here from heaven and I would still think he is an idiot d-bag.
then what can be said of the NHL(canadian)board of govs who decided to hire him?....and then keep him for 20 yrs!!!
The board is made up of people from each team. This means the board is 20% Canadian and 80% American.
i remember there being some talk a few yrs ago about the NHL, doing away with the off-side rules.......and Bettman supposedly was a proponent of this!
I think everyone was against eliminating off-side. I don't think it ever went before Bettman or the board.
But it was Bettman who forced the two-line pass rule that was a dismal failure. It slowed the game to a near halt and gave rise to the super boring neutral zone trap.
Congratulations to the US Olympic Hockey team on it's victory
Posted: 3/7/2010 7:48:45 PM
I wouldn't worry too much, Bettman makes the threat after every Olympics. He's just trying to get something out of the NHLPA or the IOC.
Bettman doesn't get to decide if the NHL players play in the Olympics, the CBA decides. And since almost every player wants the NHL in the Olympics, they will stand united in demanding the Olympic break be included for 2014, in the next CBA.
Bettman is an idiot who has tried, for the last 20 years, to turn the NHL into the NBA.
It's time to put someone in charge that actually knows how to play hockey, and not an NBA reject.
Congratulations to the US Olympic Hockey team on it's victory
Posted: 3/7/2010 10:42:30 AM
That's what I thought. You have no evidence for your claims, you just have a case of sour grapes.
It's called a self fulfilling prophecy, and they are 100% bull sh!t.
It goes something like this: "The only way the US could lose at anything is if there is a fix. The US lost at hockey, therefore there must be a fix."
And they are even more rediculous when made after the fact.
But in reality there was never a fix to help Canada win hockey gold. The reffing was fair, in fact I thought the US got away with a few penalties. I can't see any player on the US folding, Miller played some of the best hockey I have ever seen from a goaltender, several US players have a direct connection to the Miracle on Ice so no way will they fold, and I really doubt a bunch of early 20 somethings could possibly keep a secret this big.
There was no fix, and let's be honest, Canada far outplayed the US for 5 of the 6 periods they played each other (got to give the 3rd period of the gold medal game to the US, and I'm not counting the OT).
I told you this was fixed, Canada was gonna win, it's pre planned, both mens and women, figure it out
Please provide any evidence that does not come down to grossly false logic.
Enjoy your fake win
Enjoy your fake intelligence. You are obviously one of those people who makes shit up, tells anyone who will listen, and thinks this makes you intelligent. But most people see you for what you are, lacking the intelligence to form a proper argument.
do I have to teach you everything?
I don't think you have the brains to teach me anything.
Go back to watching football, you obviously don't have the ability to follow the faster pace of hockey.
Congratulations to the US Olympic Hockey team on it's victory
Posted: 3/3/2010 10:01:17 PM
We invented ski-doos, jet-skis, Velcro, zippers, insulin, penicillin, zambonis and the telephone. Also short wave radios that save countless lives each year.
Snow mobiles (ski-doos), insulin and the telephone yes, the rest no.
Personal Water Crafts were invented by an American, Jet-ski is a registered trademark of Kawasaki.
Zippers final design Swedish, but based on earlier American fasteners.
Velcro invented by a Swiss man.
Short wave radio was invented by Italian Marconi. He did transmit his first cross ocean signal from Newfoundland.
And the ice resurfacing machine was invented by Californian Frank Zamboni. Zamboni is the company name of the world's largest maufacturer of ice surfacing machines out of California.
But here are some other Canadian inventions:
Radio-active cancer treatment
Ardox spiral nails
Instant mashed patatoes
The slap shot
Making fun of Americans
Clapper speed skates
Legalized gay marriage
UN Peace Keepers
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