Anyone care to take over AACalc?

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    A) Frood, awesome! 
    B) One thing I miss about calculators is it telling me what to expect to have left if I win. (So annoying to find out I should only have a bomber left just to kill an errant tank or something silly like that.)
    C)  re: Signatures.  I tend to only use quotes now.  And anyway, those all refer to the courts, an allegedly non-political entity of government…right?  Right??

  • 2007 AAR League

    Denny Crane is not a judge.

    However, in the states, you have elected judges. That means that, for good or ill, judicial decisions are shaped by what judges think the electorate will approve of.

    In Canada our judges are appointed by the government, not elected. This is less democratic, but it also gives judges greater freedom to apply the law rather than the political will of the people.


  • @frood:

    Denny Crane is not a judge.

    However, in the states, you have elected judges. That means that, for good or ill, judicial decisions are shaped by what judges think the electorate will approve of.

    In Canada our judges are appointed by the government, not elected. This is less democratic, but it also gives judges greater freedom to apply the law rather than the political will of the people.

    Actually, the judges on the Supreme Court are appointed by the President, but must be approved by the Senate, which can filibuster

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    And actually, in the United States judges are also appointed. However, at the extreme lowest end of the spectrum, we get to vote their lousy asses off the bench.  (Which rarely happens, generally peeps don’t know who they are so they figure they must be okay and vote to retain them.)

    Anyway, I did eliminate all but Denny’s (Character on Boston Legal) quote recently.  All the rest were about judicial activism, which is very anti-Constitution. (Judges, by law, are meant to enforce the law, not interpret the law.  The Supreme Court got to state whether or not a law was Constitutional, not interpret the law either!)

    But now we are bordering on politics.  I claim we are discussing Civics not politics, however, since we are only referring to legal parameters and not political ethics or morals.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Cmdr:

    And actually, in the United States judges are also appointed. However, at the extreme lowest end of the spectrum, we get to vote their lousy asses off the bench.  (Which rarely happens, generally peeps don’t know who they are so they figure they must be okay and vote to retain them.)

    Here in Iowa we just voted 3 out of 3 Supreme Court judges up for vote off the bench.  They legalized gay marriage in our State even though we had no law legalizing it.  They legislated from the bench, which is the reason I voted them off.

    Back to frood’s assertion: yes, judges are too political in the USA.  Way too political.

  • 2007 AAR League

    I agree, this is civics, as long as we keep it from straying into a debate about specific political issues.

    Jennifer: your comment re judges not being there to interpret the law.

    Nobody who has ever gone to law school would agree with this statement. In fact, if your statement were true and the law could be enforced without interpretation there would be no need for law school.

    You’re just going to have to trust me on this. Laws have to be interpreted because it is impossible to write laws that expressly address every conceivable situation. Further, the ONLY issues that end up in court are ones where there are arguments to be made for different interpretations of the law. When the law is clear, people settle quickly because there’s no point spending thousands of dollars to litigate an issue where the outcome is already clear.

    As soon as you try to apply the law to any situation, you are interpreting it. Sometimes the interpretation is obvious, but often it is not and that’s when you end up in court.

    2ndly, in terms of legislating from the bench: if you want your constitution to have any strength, you have to give judges the power to enforce it. That means they have to have the power to strike down unconstitutional laws, and to do that of course they have to interpret what the constitution says.

    This does mean that judges will have a lot of power. It may be that you prefer they didn’t, that this check on government should be eliminated. It is a check on both liberal and conservative administrations, but unfortunately because your appointment process is so political you end up with Supreme Court judges who have strong ideological commitments. The result is that the US Supreme Court does often end up interpreting the law according to political ideology rather than according to the best legal reasoning.

    The Canadian Supreme Court is appointed in a much less political way (though our current Conservative government has started to politicize the appointment process) and the fortunate result is that I think it makes better legal decisions. If the government does not like the results, they can change the constitution and thus change the law that the judges have to apply.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    (Judges, by law, are meant to enforce the law, not interpret the law.  The Supreme Court got to state whether or not a law was Constitutional, not interpret the law either!)

    What the??  Jenn, one of the main purposes of the Judicial Branch is to interpret the law.  The Executive Branch is in charge of (executing) enforcing the law.  And Frood, you didn’t have to go to law school to know that - they teach the general public that very clearly in required high school classes.

    Only the legislature can make laws.  Our courts have been making laws that weren’t there.  They have gone way beyond interpreting the law - they are making up laws for us, and there is no check or balance against that, when they act unconstitutionally.

    So we have judges who are legislating from the bench, and these judges are supposed to say whether things are constitutional or not??  I didn’t go to law school, but that just ain’t right.


  • Gamer, declaring a law unconstitutional is not legislating from the bench. The Iowa judges said that the law prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    Gamer, declaring a law unconstitutional is not legislating from the bench. The Iowa judges said that the law prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

    I know that declaring a law unconstitutional is not legislating from the bench.

    But tell me this:  How does striking down a law prohibiting same-sex marriage make it mandatory for everyone in the State to recognize same-sex marriage as a legal right?  Is same-sex marriage the default right if there is no law?

    Our State had to come out with special income tax rules and forms to give same-sex couples the same tax treatment as husband and wife couples.  This caused major tax prep compatibility issues with the Federal tax system, where that marriage is not recognized (just a side note, to demonstrate that by “striking down a law”, somehow they made a new one).

    Calvin, before the 1998 or whatever year it was law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman, same-sex couples were not recognized as married by the law.  So when the Supreme Court strikes down that law as unconstitutional, would you please explain to me how the law is different now than before 1998?

    They legislated from the bench, and that is extremely offensive to me because it’s unconstitutional, making them hypocrites and breaking their sworn oaths.  Of course, it’s also extremely offensive to me that they gave homos the same rights as legitimately married people, but that’s beside the point.

    We voted their hind ends off the bench, and we’ve got 4 more to go, when they’re up for election.  We’ll teach judges not to make new laws that go against the will of the people.


  • Well, if the court declared that it’s unconstitutional to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying, then it does imply they should be allowed to marry. Did the judges make the new tax laws or did the legislature?
    @gamerman01:

    Of course, it’s also extremely offensive to me that they gave homos the same rights as legitimately married people.

    Of course it is.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    Well, if the court declared that it’s unconstitutional to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying, then it does imply they should be allowed to marry. Did the judges make the new tax laws or did the legislature?

    Explain to me how gay couples were not recognized when I was a kid in the 80’s, then in the 90’s congress made a defense of marriage act that specifically defined marriage as between a man and a woman (basically accomplishing nothing except to keep courts from going against the will of the people), and now presumably it’s that act that’s being struck down by the courts as unconstitutional and so we would be back where we were before the 90 something act, right?  But instead we suddenly have gay couples with 100% of the rights of married couples, whereas striking down that law (which was wrong because it’s NOT unconstitutional) is not legalizing marriage, it’s simply stating that it’s unconstitutional to have a law that “strictly” defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

    By your logic, a cow should be able to marry a dog and get health insurance at the married rate.

    This is all beside the point.  The reason smart people like judges are ruling the way they are is that they are controlled by the forces of darkness, and they do not follow the forces of light.  We are quite simply living in a world that is a battlezone between the forces of good and evil.  For decades now, people have tried to go to moral relativism (your good is not my good) (and I expect to see posts from these people if they read this stuff).  All of these people (moral relativists) are denying the truth that all that is Good comes from God, and that God defines what is Good and what is not.  It’s really quite simple, but people make it complicated because they’re denying God and trying to feel OK about it.

    Let’s see how many minutes this lasts until the mods delete it.  🙂

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    No, the purpose of the Judicial branch is to enforce the law.  They should not be interpreting things into the law that are not expressly stated in the law.

    For instance, let’s say a law was passed that only red apples could be sprayed with pesticides in the country of Ik.

    A judge should not be then premitted to say that Squirrels located in a zoo should be sprayed with perfume because the law is not fair and squirrels were not mentioned so the law must be unbiased.

    This is an example of what, on a routine basis, happens in our courts today.  Albeit, I will agree that maybe not to that insane extent.  I exaggerated to make the point.

    I do, however, agree that the written, voted on and legally legislated laws of a country should be maleable enough for that same judge to have said that if the squirrel happened to be on the tree at the moment the insectiside was sprayed on the apples, that the action was still legal.  The squirrel, after all, choose, no matter how willingly or not, to be on the tree at that time.

    An “energetic” executive is there to veto laws that are passed legislatively. (the president, for instance, could not over turn said judge’s proclamation from the bench because he does not have over sight of the judicial branch.)

    The justices (only on the Supreme Court) can declare a law unconstitutional.  All other justices are there to enforce the law by proclaiming someone’s guilt and dictating an appropriate punishment.  Not to “interpret” the law.  Laws are “interpreted” by the legislative branch.  Heck, even in the name of the branch it says “Legislate”.  Only the legislative branch may write, interpret and pass laws.  Only the executive can investigate and veto laws.  Only the judicial branch enforce laws.

    In all events, the will of the people (The Constitution of the People, primarily) should be enforced by the bench, investigated by the executive and legilstated by the legislature.


    In regards to same-sex marriage, this is a highly polarizing issue.  Historically, I would have said it’s akin to allowing NAMBLA (National American Man Boy Love Alliance or similar) to allow to marry since both are sexually deviant behaviors in my mind.  But again, that is also highly polarizing.

    I, honestly, feel it is more appropriate, and much easier to shy away from politics, if we use a nonsensical example, such as the one above.

    A case of a non-nonsensical examble would be a judge determining it is illegal to murder someone because of the color of their skin.  The civil rights movement is not valid to use as a nonsensicle situation for two reasons:

    1. It actually happened, thus is plausible, not nonsensicle.

    2. Murder is already and always has been illegal in this country.


    The issue is not so much judges legislating from the bench so much as judges who do so are generally the ones that are protected by state constitutions (and extention of the federal constitution) from being removed from power and can only be kept from gaining more power.

    If the people were allowed to remove any justice who did not enforce the law in a manner that the people wanted, then this would be a non-issue.  Since they are protected from the will of the people, ostensibly so they can rule “fairly” and “without bias”, they they need to endeavor, doubly so, to make sure that their rulings are fair AND (inclusive and) in line with the will of the people.

    If the people of a district wanted to rule that women must shave their armpits before going to the beach, and since it is common practice in this country to shave their armpits anyway, then a judge would be violating the trust of his position if he declared that women must not ever shave any parts of their body. (This is akin to gamer’s analogy of same-sex marriage.)


    For the record, I am all in favor of getting government out of ALL marriages.  Let couples go to court and get a civil union agreement there and let established, endorsed, religious institutions - such as Islam, Judism, Christianity, Catholocism and (if applicable) Wiccanism handle the religious ceremony of marriage.

    In this way you will never have a homosexual couple sue a church because they would not perform a marriage ceremony.  Likewise, homosexual couples can have equal standing with married couples in the eyes of the government because both hetero and homo sexual couples will have to have a civil union in order to have said recognition by the government.

    Why do we need justices to upturn the apple cart for this?  It’s rather simple to solve and much more equitable.  After all, the side that wants homosexual marriage is also the side that routinely screams “seperation of church and state” (which for the record is taken WAY out of context).  So why not take government completely out of the church’s business in this regard?


  • How is separation of church and state taken out of context?

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    You need to read the letter from the Danbury Baptist Church and then read the entire letter from President Thomas Jefferson to really know what was going on.

    Thomas Jefferson was not saying that church should have no sway over the affairs of government in his letter.  What he was saying was that there was a firmly established law/precedent that the government could not sanction a religion, interfere with a religion or have any other significant impact on religion (which is why Church status means you do not pay taxes) etc.  You see, the Baptists were concerned that Jefferson’s religious views would impact them negatively and he was trying to reassure them that there was a wall of seperation preventing the government from interfering in religious affairs.

    This has been twisted and distroted into a meaning it did not really convey.  Today it is taken to mean that church is barred from government, but government can interfere with church (ie, one cannot pray in school because it is a government institution and there is a wall of seperation preventing any religious activity from being performed on government property.)  This is in direct and blatant violation of what Jefferson meant.  Let us remember, Jefferson was a highly religious person, it was just of Deism and not religion. (Switch would really enjoy Jefferson’s religious standings.)

    Here is a quote about Jefferson’s religion:

    Although Jefferson believed in a Creator, his concept of it resembled that of the god of deism (the term “Nature’s God” used by deists of the time). With his scientific bent, Jefferson sought to organize his thoughts on religion. He rejected the superstitions and mysticism of Christianity and even went so far as to edit the gospels, removing the miracles and mysticism of Jesus (see The Jefferson Bible) leaving only what he deemed the correct moral philosophy of Jesus.

    http://www.nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm

    Okay, yes, it’s from an anti-religious organization, ostensibly.  However, you can see why the Danbury Baptists were worried and why Jefferson wanted to reassure them of their religious freedoms.

    It’s also very plain to see, when the actual letters are read, that Jefferson, in no way, wanted to infer that religion should be prohibited from government, rather that government was prohibited from religion.


  • FYI, SOCAS does not mean that you can’t pray in public schools; only that the school can’t force someone to pray or lead in prayers. if a student want to pray, he or she must do so individually.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @Cmdr:

    Thomas Jefferson was not saying that church should have no sway over the affairs of government in his letter.  What he was saying was that there was a firmly established law/precedent that the government could not sanction a religion, interfere with a religion or have any other significant impact on religion (which is why Church status means you do not pay taxes) etc.  You see, the Baptists were concerned that Jefferson’s religious views would impact them negatively and he was trying to reassure them that there was a wall of seperation preventing the government from interfering in religious affairs.

    This has been twisted and distroted into a meaning it did not really convey.  Today it is taken to mean that church is barred from government, but government can interfere with church (ie, one cannot pray in school because it is a government institution and there is a wall of seperation preventing any religious activity from being performed on government property.)  This is in direct and blatant violation of what Jefferson meant.  Let us remember, Jefferson was a highly religious person, it was just of Deism and not religion. (Switch would really enjoy Jefferson’s religious standings.)

    Exactly.  Separation of church and state in the 1700’s never meant that the government should have nothing to do with religion.  Just look around in Washington D.C. at all the Biblical references etched in stone in many of our government buildings, including the Supreme Court.

    Yet it seems that an awful lot of people today think that the separation of Church and State means you can’t pray in school, can’t have a nativity scene in front of a courthouse, etc.  People also don’t understand what the freedom of speech, religion, the press, etc, means anymore.  It’s pathetic.

    Freedom of speech doesn’t mean you can say anything you want (don’t get caught talking about assassinating a government official).

    Anyway, in Iowa, it’s very simple.

    1. The government wouldn’t recognize a same-sex marriage (80’s and before), and neither would an insurance company.
    2. The legislature passed an act that said marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman (sometime in the 90’s) (which is like begging people to challenge it)
    3. Supreme Court of Iowa strikes down this law.  Somehow (don’t understand this part) that made same-sex marriages legally recognized in Iowa (legislature did not pass any laws to this effect, now or ever).

    My logical conclusion then is that our 7 Supreme Court judges somehow made it happen that same-sex marriages must be recognized in Iowa (right down to the Income tax law being changed).  This is not the function of the Judicial Branch, to effectively make new laws, especially laws that the majority of people in Iowa don’t want.

    54% of our voters voted to remove them from their jobs.  All 7 judges decided the same way, so we have 4 more to remove, when they come up for vote.  As someone said, this is extremely rare.  Well, our judges were extremely out of line, and they’re getting extreme treatment - fired directly by the voters.  This is a major victory for the people, and should be celebrated nationwide even by people who want legally protected same-sex marriages, because the people were actually able to directly influence their government - even the untouchable judicial branch.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    FYI, SOCAS does not mean that you can’t pray in public schools; only that the school can’t force someone to pray or lead in prayers. if a student want to pray, he or she must do so individually.

    Yes, I understand that, but I have students in my classrooms who felt forced out of public schools because people, including employees, pressured them not to pray in school.  So while the letter of the law says one thing, the effect has been to make people think that you shouldn’t pray in school at all.

    How long until they remove “In God we Trust” from all our money?  Who put it there in the first place?  Did they violate Sep of Church and State?  This just illustrates that these people are clueless as to what Sep of Church and State even means, and they are wreaking havoc on our society.  The vocal minority.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    As far as my understanding, separation of church and state, when set up in the 1770’s, meant that the government would not set up a State Church, as they had in England.  Nothing more.


  • @gamerman01:

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    FYI, SOCAS does not mean that you can’t pray in public schools; only that the school can’t force someone to pray or lead in prayers. if a student want to pray, he or she must do so individually.

    Yes, I understand that, but I have students in my classrooms who felt forced out of public schools because people, including employees, pressured them not to pray in school.  So while the letter of the law says one thing, the effect has been to make people think that you shouldn’t pray in school at all.

    How long until they remove “In God we Trust” from all our money?  Who put it there in the first place?  Did they violate Sep of Church and State?  This just illustrates that these people are clueless as to what Sep of Church and State even means, and they are wreaking havoc on our society.  The vocal minority.

    I believe it was put there in 1863, probably to assert that God was on the North’s side in the Civil War. I think that motto should not be there(1/6 of Americans are atheists) but I’m not sure if it qualifies as a violation since it’s not forcing anyone to practice any religion.


  • @gamerman01:

    As far as my understanding, separation of church and state, when set up in the 1770’s, meant that the government would not set up a State Church, as they had in England.  Nothing more.

    The problem is that if you allow churches to influence government, you’ll essentially have a state church. Even if all religions/sects were represented equally, this would still make the government’s official position be that the religious are superior to the nonreligious.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    @gamerman01:

    As far as my understanding, separation of church and state, when set up in the 1770’s, meant that the government would not set up a State Church, as they had in England.  Nothing more.

    The problem is that if you allow churches to influence government, you’ll essentially have a state church. Even if all religions/sects were represented equally, this would still make the government’s official position be that the religious are superior to the nonreligious.

    I never said churches should influence government.

    The Government’s official position in 1776 was that religious is superior to nonreligious.  Just read the Constitution and Declaration.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    I believe it was put there in 1863, probably to assert that God was on the North’s side in the Civil War. I think that motto should not be there(1/6 of Americans are atheists) but I’m not sure if it qualifies as a violation since it’s not forcing anyone to practice any religion.

    Wasn’t sure how long it has been there - that is interesting.

    However, majority rules in Democracies, so 1/6 is not enough to take it off the money.


  • @gamerman01:

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    I believe it was put there in 1863, probably to assert that God was on the North’s side in the Civil War. I think that motto should not be there(1/6 of Americans are atheists) but I’m not sure if it qualifies as a violation since it’s not forcing anyone to practice any religion.

    Wasn’t sure how long it has been there - that is interesting.

    However, majority rules in Democracies, so 1/6 is not enough to take it off the money.

    I know it’s probably not coming off for a LONG time. However, I do see it as a little discriminatory. It sort of implies that the nonreligious are not “real Americans.”

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    I know it’s probably not coming off for a LONG time. However, I do see it as a little discriminatory. It sort of implies that the nonreligious are not “real Americans.”

    :roll:

    Well maybe I think it’s discrimination that George and Abe get to be on TWO different pieces of money.  And why isn’t there a person of a minority race on money?  (Oh wait, actually, there is)

    And it’s not fair that FDR got 4 terms.  Life isn’t fair, Calvin.  And if someone doesn’t like how their money says “In God we trust” on it, I can help them with that.  Just give it all to me, and then you won’t be carrying it around any longer.

  • '15 Official Q&A '11 '10 Moderator

    And you’re changing the subject.

    Do you not see my point, that our Iowa Supreme Court Judges acted outside the “sacred” separation of powers foundation that our Country’s laws are laid upon?  How they singlehandedly made Iowa the 3rd nation in the land to legalize gay marriage?  A team of 7 people making law, and a law that flew in the face of what the majority of Iowans even wanted??  Can you not see this?

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