Thursday, March 29, 2007

Why It's Easier to be a Liberal (part 1)

I recently had someone pose me the question, “Why would anyone want to be a liberal? There’re wrong on nearly everything, and they’re always so miserable.”

The answer: it is easier to be liberal than conservative. You can almost hear the voices now; “it…is…not…. It’s hard to… be concerned... about the bunnies.” Well, sorry to burst your bubbles, but it isn’t hard. In fact, there’s nothing hard about being a liberal – excepting the occasional hair pulling every time a conservative makes a fool of you in front of others. I know that you liberals feel bad when that happens, and this leads me to my first point.

To be a liberal, one feels instead of thinks. The basis for liberal arguments is rooted in emotion, not logic. Logic requires the application of rational thought, hard evidence, and critical attention to detail. Feeling requires whatever base emotion that touches one. Logic requires that to find a solution, one must prove what the cause is; feeling needs only correlating evidence. Logic requires one to train the mind, and be versed in the area of discussion. Emotion is instinctive, acquired at birth, and requires no extensive training.

If you don’t believe liberals use emotion instead of logic, watch how many times they start their arguments with “I feel.” If you “think” a particular way about a subject, you open yourself to questions on the data that backs your thoughts up. But, the way you “feel” cannot be challenged. Ever wonder why self-esteem is more important than math in your local school? Liberals want feelers, not thinkers.

Being a liberal also requires little intelligence and wisdom. This is not to say that there aren’t so intelligent liberals – college campuses are full of book-smart liberals. One must temper intelligence with wisdom, however. Wisdom comes from experience – something many professors lack (they’ve lived their entire life in the ivory tower, protected from the “real world.”) Wisdom shows that results are most often dependant on more than one variable, and that variables are only isolated in the lab, particularly when human beings are concerned. Take taxes: if one only considers the tax rate variable, tax dollars go up when the rates are raised. Yet, wisdom (gained through experience) shows that people change their behavior, finding more tax shelters, etc; and taxes go down.

The act of the personal attack is also sign one lacks intelligence, or the facts gained through observation, to back up one’s position. Try to discuss racial preferences with a liberal; get labeled a racist. Take a stand against gay marriage, you’re a homophobe. The fact that these responses to a position on issues resonate with libs indicates we’re dealing with the product of a dumbed-down educational system.

Next time: Liberal consistency.


-Sepp said...

LOL but, when a cop "feels" that some clown is up to no good and pulls him over and finds a trunkload of heroine, liberals like to call it unfair. All feelings are not created equal!

It's also easier to ditch common sense because "feeeelings" have no root in responsibility. Logic always seems to.

In addition, heartstrings are easier to manipulate than a brain ever will be.

Maggie Thurber said...

Having spent 4 years with someone who governed based upon feelings, I can really identify with this...

I think it's also one of the reasons there is such anger by liberals toward conservatives. They can't support their feelings with facts and when faced with facts, they resort to a personal attack against the messenger rather than deal with the message.

As you say, it's much easier this way...the term we always used was "smoke and mirrors." It looks good and sounds good, but there is no substance...

Hooda Thunkit said...

-Sepp and Magggie you've said it all!

And thanks RWT for the liberalism 101, I can't wait for the 300 level courses to begin ;-)

I can already hear the squirming, off in the darkness...

Right Wing Toledo said...

Maggie - well put. I'll get into more of Liberal's juvenile behavior in the next installment.

Lisa Renee said...

Wow...It should come as no suprise that I don't agree with the assessment that only Liberals concentrate on "feelings" rather than fact. Realistically emotions and pulling on heart strings is what both sides do. Let's take a very emotional topic like abortion as an example. Those that are traditionally considered more conservative on that issue concentrate on the issue of the killing of babies. To the point that photographs of small babies held in the palm of a hand or for those more aggressive, pictures of aborted baby body parts, designed to create an emotional response.

Religion is another topic where in theory Liberals supposedly don't believe in God and those that are more Conservative do, creating numerous situations where emotion is used to try to "save" our country from these "godless" liberals.

We could again continue using examples such as the Terri Schiavo case where it was portrayed that Liberals agreed it was okay to "kill her" and conservatives wanted to "save her life". I could also continue on many other topics but I think I've made my point...

So...Sepp is very right, it is easier to manipulate heartstrings rather than the brain and both sides do make use of this type of behavior....Not all Liberals do this nor do all Conservatives yet to claim one side has the market on focusing on emotion rather than fact? I disagree with...

Barb said...

Loved your post.

Right Wing Toledo said...


I suppose we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I'm not saying that conservatives use sole logic and reasoned learning all of the time - but the vast majority of thwe liberal leadership does. Using hate, jealously, and fear are the major staples in th eliberal arsenal. They hate the President, not disagree with him, promote envy with hopes of punishing the successful, and we're all supposed to fear climate change - regardless of if, how, or why it is happening.

As to the issue of life and religion, I'll be covering this in my next post.

liberal_dem said...

Well, well, the ignorant and 'feely' liberals eh. Ann Coulter would be proud.

The nation and I are surely fortunate that the radical right are all pure as the driven snow. Yes, no hate, jealously, and fear from these good patriotic Americans.


Bless you all for taking the high road in political discourse. I'll look forward to coming over here to this blog to get refreshed and uplifted.

Thanks for creating this pure and beautiful blog for all of us to enjoy.

Beautiful sunny day today, eh?

Chris said...

Wow, there are still "right wingers" around??

microdot said...

sepp, it's heroin, not heroine.
Just brainless blather to start tossing loony charges that a "liberal" would object to a cop busting someone with a trunk
load of heroin.
I could rewrite your entire response to Lisa by changing Liberal to Conservative and vice versa and it would make as much sense as it does now.
Well, you've always got Barb on your side! Good Luck!

Barb said...

My grandfather was a professor/minister/school administrator. I remember him saying that emotions are a God-given aspect of humanity --and appropriately used to move us to action. He preached with a volume range, slow, deliberate choice of words --and was often moved to tears as he preached. Powerful preaching DID make people want to confess their sins and get right with their maker. And the experience can be life-changing for good.

AS for Lisa's comment on abortion. The tiny fetus, the little hand wrapped around the doctor's finger, as it reached from the womb in a fetal surgery case, the pictures of aborted fetuses --they are pictures from reality --that pack an emotional wallop. It's a fact --the fetus is a helpless tiny person.

Re: abortion --the Left appeals to emotion about the FACT of a young innocent rape victim who gets impregnated. But the liberals' sad fact is much less frequent than death by abortion and there is no jusification for abortion on demand for all ages, for all circumstances, for convenience sake --or because a man doesn't want to support a child he made.

The fact of the pictures used by pro-lifers, should be the more compelling argument.

We should ALL agree that since birth control is available, since abortion kills life, there is NO excuse for abortion for convenience sake. We should be arguing only the issue of a possibility of abortion for rape, incest, life of mother. Convenience abortion is indefensible by any fact-based or common sense reasoning.

And the FACT is that partial birth, 3rd trimester abortion, is never necessary. If the woman can't carry to term, she should deliver --if she doesn't want the child --adopt out. There is NO justification for crushing a skull and suctioning out the brain in a 3rd trimester abortion. It's grisly murder --and that's a FACT --not emotion. But no wonder that many ARE emotional about it --and rightly so. These are babies who could survive with today's technology. We usually want to save life --what about this third trimester procedure? Doesn't matter, a knee-jerk liberal HAS to support abortion without reservation.

the local blog, LD's Politics in Mudville, follows in the pattern of Belief net, the Oprah forums, Christian Alliance for Progress, --all of these forums
censor for any opinions that homosexuality is not genetic and that it is a moral choice --they censor out any speculation as to how one might find himself attracted to the same sex without choosing. They do not want to hear any alternative theories for prevention and treatment of this orientation. They censor out any logical comparisons of homosex to other aberrant sexual fixations like adultery or pedophilia. On a liberal forum, if you don't celebrate homosexuality, you will be insulted first and ultimately censored on that topic.

The Oprah shows and forums on sexuality and transgendering advocate that children should be treated as the opposite sex if they desire --and encouraged in their pursuit of surgery some day --which surgery is essentially mutilation of their perfectly healthy functioning bodies --to make them NOT function normally --so they can live out a charade as something they were never designed to be: the opposite sex--and probably at tax-payers' expense eventually. I think that's true in San Francisco already.

The issues are emotional on both sides --but common sense and facts do not support the liberal agenda.

Good example here is LD's post on this thread which gives us sarcasm, but no rebuttal of any substance. he can't even say he doesn' fit your description because he does --the cranky liberal --with the disposition of the cartoon Crankshaft.

Barb said...

If Sepp doesn't say it, I'm betting he's right about the liberals defending the guy with a trunkload of heroin. The court/legal system says we can only search for "just cause" and if they can't come up with a reason for opening a guy's trunk, defense will say (and prevail with a liberal judge) that the dealer's "rights" were violated and throw the case out.

At least, that's the kind of thing that we've seen on Law and Order. Judges tossing out obvious evidence of guilt because it was "obtained illegally." That's a liberal's idea of justice. Just as liberals are more defensive of privacy in security issues where we need to do some snooping and eavesdropping to catch the bad guys. I always say, they can listen in on me, if they want, because I'm not plotting any terrorism. And I don't care what judicial technicalities are at stake when law enforcement or anyone stumbles across evidence of crime --USE THE EVIDENCE! Double jeopardy is a bad one too. If later evidence proves guilt, the guy should not get away with it.

Besides, isn't Sepp into security, etc.? He oughtta know something about liberals and law.

liberal_dem said...

Thanks barb, we can always count on your wisdom to move the dialogue along.

microdot said...

Judges tossing out obvious evidence of guilt because it was "obtained illegally."
Something you complain about until it's your bank records, credit reports,.....etc.
There are rules about evidence and what is acceptable and how it is obtained to protect you! Monica Goodling can claim protection under the Fifth Amendment to protect her from incriminating herself because we have a Fifth amendment in our constitution.
I cannot believe what a bunch of whiners I've stumbled onto here!
Freedom and Liberty demand we be vigilant and constantly fight the attempts to subvert it.
A lame statement like "I always say, they can listen in on me, if they want, because I'm not plotting any terrorism." is opening the door to what ever abuse the party in power wishes to use to define terrorism. I thought I was going to get some cutting edge Right Wing Toledo thought here and all I hear is my brother in law after one too many 6 packs of Rolling Rocks....

Barb said...

Thank you, LD. Always cordial in debate. And where is your rebuttal--and if you could agree with me about issues of privacy re: security --and about double jeopardy being bad law when later evidence is undeniable Proof of guilt --then it wouldn't kill you to agree to dispel the myth? that all liberals think alike about everything.

Granted, we don't want law enforcement to be egregiously snoopy or harrassing in their actions on us regular citizens for no reason --but sometimes their gut instincts may be justified --when they ask you to open your trunk. The evidence/proof of wrong-doing should justify the action used to get it.

The irony is how often even liberals watch (and make) tv/movies and enjoy detectives taking big risks, snooping where they technically ought not --and we're all happy to see the bad guys found out. But then here comes liberal judge backed by liberal law to toss out the evidence...even though prosecutors make a case to keep it in.

It makes you think that all liberals fear they will probably have something to hide... when they get all worked up about Patriot Act, etc. Justified paranoia?

-Sepp said...

Microdot, heroin or, heroine...either is a bad thing to have in the trunk!

To add to liberal feeling driven crap. I understand that the boy scouts are being branded as a hate group by some liberal groups now.
Why? Because the boy scouts run counter to liberal ideals at every turn. I think that anyone calling themselves a liberal nowadays should take a good look at who's also a "liberal" and take measure. It seems that EVERY fringe nutcase group out there call themselves "liberals". A liberal will always defend liberalism when a conservative speaks of it but, liberals NEVER defend liberalism when a nutcase or, sicko group claims to be a part of it. When you rub elboes with wierdos and nutcases, the rest of the planet rightfully can deduce that you're one too!

Right Wing Toledo said...

To all - let's keep the discussion limited to what's on hand here. Including abortion, Barb. I may well tackle that in another post, but we're discussing emotion here - and you're proving my point that emotion has little place in policy.

Microdot - I challange you to find privacy anywhere in the Constitution. The Fifth Amendment is an important part of our legal process, but it does require the defandant to stand mute. There is a difference between not indicting one's self directly to police and not allowing the prosecuting authority to use one's statements to other persons not explicitly prohibscribed by law (i.e. doctors & lawyers). Let's have a little consistency here - if your side wants to monitor what goes over the public airways, why not monitor what goes over the public phone lines? (After all, the overseas lines in question were either placed by the government, or by a publically owned company, and the smoking ban on public companies indicates that the government can exercise control over said property...)

microdot said...

Who wants to monitor what goes out on the public airways?

And speak about emotional crap statements:"It makes you think that all liberals fear they will probably have something to hide... when they get all worked up about Patriot Act, etc. Justified paranoia?"

Crimeny, Barb! What do you think I'm hiding? Camembert Cheese?
The Patriot Act is in itself an example of how we have to be on guard against the tendency of governments to take as much as they can get away with. Nobody who voted on it read the entire thing. They were all on the 911 bandwagon of emotional patriotism and would have voted to attack Liechtenstein if it had been brought up for a vote...
If it had been able to actually sanely read it and discuss what what was in it, I am certain that a much different version of it would have passed.
Okay, the Liechtenstein part was a joke, but you get my point?

Right Wing Toledo said...

The liberals have been pushing for a re-institution of the so called "Fairness Doctrine" - which would regulate political speech on the airways. The only way to determine what speech is political is, of course, to monitor it.

You've made your point without emotion (humor is OK). Do you think that the Patriot Act should be discussed, without emotional rants concerning the "right to privacy" as well as without emotional outbursts concerning those who want to kill us and destroy our way of life? I have no problem with that, but understand that we have to deal with the facts, not what is inferred or read into documents.

Chris said...

Sepp--"It seems that EVERY fringe nutcase group out there call themselves "liberals".

Like the KKK and the God Hates Fags group?

RWT, you should look into the Fairness Doctrine. The only "monitoring" of the airwaves would be done by the listeners, not the gov't.

Right Wing Toledo said...


The basis of the "Fairness Doctrine" requires that radio stations (note, not television) provide programming espousing the opposing position (regardless of the marketability). This is required by law - and only members of the government can enforce it. Therefore, in order to determine that the appropriate programming and counter-programming is available, programs will need to be monitored for content.

And yes, the KKK and GHF groups are nutcases. And true conservatives don't vote for former members of either group, as opposed to liberals in West Virginia.

liberal_dem said...

So, RightWing Toledo, did yo bite off more than you can chew with this post of yours?

I wonder how this will affect Part ll?

Don said...


I feel for you, my friend. You want to make the argument that conservatives always base their positions on experience, evidence, and reasoning, and here come Barb and Sepp making life difficult for you. This happens to liberals, too, you know. Not every member of the group puts a good public face on the whole. Perhaps you can empathize?

"Besides, isn't Sepp into security, etc.? He oughtta know something about liberals and law."

Right, Barb. Because -Sepp is "into security", he must therefore be an authority on constitutional law. Let's listen to all of -Sepp's wild speculations as to how the law works, and how liberals seek to apply the law. But really, it doesn't matter what Sepp does or does not know, or how correct or incorrect he is, so long as what he says sounds good to your ears. And frankly, Barb, I’m willing to bet you’ve never read a Supreme Court opinion in your entire life.

The procedural and substantive protections embodied in Amendments 4-8 reflect the Framer’s vision of a society where free people have a robust regime of rights against the coercive power of the state. In a free society, perhaps the worst thing that can happen to a person is deprivation of life or liberty by the government. While you may consider the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to be inconvenient “technicalities”, the Framers believed a strong regime of defendant’s rights is the cornerstone of a free society. That’s not because the Framers liked criminals, or because the Framers wanted to unduly hamper law enforcement. Rather, the Framers understood how the judicial system could be abused, and used as a weapon by powerful parties with political ends. Yes, these rights create inconvenience for law enforcement. But, apparently, that is a price the Framers were willing to pay for the sake of greater liberty.

And, I might add, liberal judges hardly have a monopoly on decisions heavily favoring defendant’s rights. For example, look at Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004). This decision was written by Antonin Scalia, arguably the most conservative member of the Court (at least in 2004). In Crawford, the Supreme Court held that the testimonial statements of a witness who did not appear at trial are not admissible as evidence unless the witness is unavailable to testify, and the defendant has an opportunity for cross-examination: “Where testimonial standards are at issue, the only indicium of reliability sufficient to satisfy constitutional demands is the one the Constitution actually prescribes: confrontation.” Reviewing the historical purposes and application of the Confrontation Clause, Justice Scalia concluded that although the purpose of the Clause is to ensure the reliability of evidence, “it is a procedural rather than a substantive guarantee. It commands, not that evidence be reliable, but that reliability be assessed in a particular manner: by testing in the crucible of cross-examination.”

Justice Scalia’s opinion in Crawford received heated criticism from law enforcement, prosecutors, and advocates of sexually abused children. Why? Because Crawford essentially invalidated child hearsay statutes. In sex crimes involving small children, there is often no forensic evidence linking a defendant with the crime. As a result, prosecutors must often depend on the testimony of the child, which is often unreliable. Under Crawford, statements regarding abuse made by a child to a teacher, parent, or other person are inadmissible unless the child takes the stand in a courtroom with the alleged abuser present, and is subject to cross-examination by defense counsel. Thus, prosecutors face the uncomfortable choice of creating further emotional trauma to a child victim, or settling for some unsatisfactory plea bargain.

So, should we interpret Justice Scalia’s defense of the 6th Amendment in Crawford as an endorsement of child molestation? Applying Barb's reasoning, the answer would no doubt be “yes”.

"Double jeopardy is a bad one too. If later evidence proves guilt, the guy should not get away with it."

"Double jeopardy" is a doctrine embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution: "...nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb..." As such, it's more than a bit difficult to argue that double jeopardy is some creation of "liberal judges". Again, the Framers drafted the Fifth Amendment not to protect criminals, but to prevent people in positions of power from abusing the judicial system by using criminal prosecutions as a means to punish political adversaries.

Barb’s argument against the Fifth Amendment’s “double jeopardy” clause is wholly without merit. First, 95% of felony convictions result from plea bargaining. In those cases, there is no need to retry based on new evidence, because the defendant has accepted blame for the crime. Further, a competent prosecutor does not take a case to trial unless they reasonably believe that all elements of a crime can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. By the time a trial comes around, the prosecution has quite a bit of time to gather evidence. So, the nightmare scenario of key evidence surfacing after acquittal is rather remote, and on my view, insufficient reason to empower the government to repeatedly retry a case on the same set of circumstances.

"The evidence/proof of wrong-doing should justify the action used to get it."

OK, Barb. Let's apply your proposed "ends justifies the means" rule. What are the outer limits of this principle? Should police be able to beat confessions out of a suspect? Should police be able to hold a gun to the head of a suspect's wife or child to gain a confession?

I'm sorry, I don't buy your assertion that the government can employ any means it sees fit to carry out law enforcement functions. Reading Crawford v. Washington, I doubt Justice Scalia would agree with your position, either. The Framers of the Constitution did not buy that argument either, hence Amendments 4-8. If you'd like to do away with some or all of these protections our Founding Fathers saw fit to put into place, the Constitution provides an amendment process. Good luck with that.

Chris said...

Rwt, the only time the gov't would be involved with the Fairness Doctrine, is if a complaint was filed with the FCC. Otherwise, only the listeners of the station "monitor" the content. It was the law of the law for 50 years before Reagan killed it.

Barb said...

Lisa brought up abortion, RTW. And used it as an example of Right wing emotion--

I merely agree with her on one point-- that conservatives ALSO use emotion

and abortion IS an example of such emotion as she said --

The FACTS about abortion are such that pro-life emotion is appropriate --and inevitable --or should be. We should care that abortion is killing tiny human lives.

Without emotion, people can kill more readily, as in "cold-blooded murder."

Emotion--can be for good. And can rightly influence public policy also. but the emotions should be and can be fact-based.

I dare say you are passionate in your views about liberals. And your passion is "fact-based."

Barb said...

Microdot, I doubt anyone wants to look in your trunk even for cheese!

But if you look like a junkie or a drug pusher, act like one, drive like one --maybe someone will look in your trunk. But, ah, of course, we can't do any profiling!

It happens that I don't really care if someone wants to look in MY trunk because I don't have any cheese in there --or drugs --either.

And I wouldn't mind if they looked in my financial records in search of terrorist donations, since I don't make any.

I don't care if they eavesdrop on my phone conversations, because they would be bored --or maybe entertained --but they wouldn't find anything to jail me on --

UNLESS, WE START TO CRIMINALIZE Christians, RELIGIOUS or political SPEECH, biblical view of homosexual actions, BIBLE QUOTATIONS, OR IN THE CASE OF THE BANK records, charitable or political donations.

I just want law enforcement to have the tools and rights they need to find terrorist bombers and their supporters or dangerous, child-hurting criminals. That's more important to me than an absolute right to complete privacy.

I'll tell you what i don't like, however --is the fishing for child predators by posing as sexually willing kids. I wish the program To Catch a Predator could deter the behavior, but these men being caught more recently have seen the program. I think they get to fantasizing about themselves in such a taboo situation with a real teen and think they can get away with it. but would they have found such an explicit, seductive kid if Perverted Justice weren't providing a decoy to tempt them and lure them in?

I hope we do get the XXX rating for all porn and sex sites so we can lock it out of our computers effectively, but I expect liberals won't like the idea because porn makers/pushers are liberal about porn. Porn addicts, however, come from all walks of life, right and left.

Right Wing Toledo said...

LD - The only thing affecting Par 2 is my difficulty in typing right now.

Don - I appriciate your sentiments, but I try not to use "all" or "always" - I'm talking generalities here.

Chris - once a "citizen's complaint" was issued, the government would begin monitoring. Shall we apply the same principle to phone taps? What I find amazing is the same people that complain about "doing nothing" prior to the 9-11 attacks are the same people complaining about what is being done, without offering an alternative (outside of "doing nothing".)

Don said...

"I just want law enforcement to have the tools and rights they need to find terrorist bombers and their supporters or dangerous, child-hurting criminals. That's more important to me than an absolute right to complete privacy.


For pity's sake, woman...

There has never been an "absolute right to complete privacy". The Fourth Amendment protects against "unreasonable" seizures. In the law enforcement context, the Supreme Court has consistently interpreted the Fourth Amendment to mean that law enforcement officials must have a "reasonable and articulable" suspicion to detain a suspect for questioning. If the officer has reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing, a search may be conducted so long as the search is reasonable in light of the facts available to the officer at the time of the stop. This is a fact-sensitive analysis. For example, if you are pulled over for speeding, a police officer is probably not justified in looking in your trunk, or tearing your car apart to look for drugs unless there is some reasonable basis for doing so. In your appalling over-eagerness to submit completely to authority figures, you might not like this standard. Nevertheless, under the Fourth Amendment, a mere guess is not good enough reason for law enforcement to stop and search a citizen.

Interesting that the topic of this post is the merits of reason and evidence as opposed to mere "feelings" as a basis for policy, and the first thing several of these "conservatives" do is complain that law enforcement can't detain and search a citizen on the basis of mere "feelings". Fiddlesticks!!!

I have never heard a liberal or anyone else argue that some "absolute right of privacy" exists. That would be completely unworkable. But, that's the game you play, isn't it, Barb? Invent some preposterous position that no one is arguing for, and attribute it to "liberals".

You know what, how about providing some case cites the next time you want to make some outrageous claim about liberal jurisprudence? Surely this is not too much to ask, given how conservatives never draw conclusions in absence of adequate evidence.

Chris said...

Rwt, I think it's importent to use the law to break up potential terrorist rings rather than bypass the law. This however often requires the diplomacy to work with many other countries--something that this administration lacks the skills to do. I think this is the wish of most Americans--hardly tantamount to "doing nothing".

Maggie Thurber said...

In general, liberals appeal to emotion more than to facts. In general, conservatives are thought to be heartless because they aren't ruled by emotion.

Each side can and does use emotion and reason for their own purposes.

Being ruled solely by emotion is a bad thing. Rejecting logical arguments for or against a position because of the emotional appeal is also a bad thing.

Being ruled solely by reason/logic is a bad thing. Rejecting any and all emotional implications of a position because of the presence of the reason/logic is also a bad thing.

When you have decisions made that 'sound' good or 'feel' good without having facts or logic to support it means that those who must live with such decisions will suffer in one way or another.

Having the two perspectives - logic/reason and emotion - provides a balance. Being ruled by one without consideration of the other is where the problems arise.

Example: I believe that government should not take tax dollars and give them to charity. I'm a limited government person and I believe that people are better off making the decisions about what charities they want to support than government is.

I was accused of not wanting to support social service organizations because I don't like them. This was a personal attack on me - driven by an appeal to emotion...these are good organizations doing good things.

The emotional appeal was valid. These are good organizations doing good things. The rationale of government support, however, shouldn't have been based (in this instance) on the emotion.

The question shouldn't have been about the organizations. Rather, the question should have been is this the proper role of government.

There was no disagreement among us that the organizations were deserving of support. My position is that they were deserving of my individual support from my own bank account. My collegues thought that they were deserving of tax support - even though some members of the community might have objected to certain of these organizations for their own reasons.

In this instance, I lost the argument about the public spending...but the argument was framed on the 'emotion' rather than on the 'logical.'

Now I'm sure that someone more capable could have made an argument for such expenditures on a logical basis, but that didn't occur.

However, not wanting the hurt the feelings of the people involved within these organizations when explaining the logic was necessary. Just because you're logical in a decision, you do not have to be unkind to your fellow man.

And when making the argument of logic over emotion, it is best not to make an emotional appeal...

Barb said...

Don--have I read an entire opinion of the supreme court's? Probably not! depends on how much of it the Blade,Newsweek or Time magazine published. I did read the Lewinsky/Clinton affair transcripts, however, when they were in the Blade. See? I read! : D

I doubt you read any court opinions, either, before pre-law or law school. Do you suppose those who disrespect and repudiate the Bible have ever read to the point of studying much of it under those who believe it and can explain it? (some, yes, but many , no.)

How does one distinguish between a "reasonable and articulable suspicion" for detaining someone vs. "a guess" based on profiling (unconscious or otherwise) or based on just guilty-looking, furtive, nervous demeanor--when, in fact, the guess or hunch proves to be valid? What constitutes reasonable suspicion, in other words, when you find there WAS a dead (or live) heroine in the trunk?

I would guess that a policeman's "guess" WOULD be based on "real suspicion and articulable reason" if he, in fact, finds the goods, but if it weren't, slap his wrist for the risk he took, but I do think the findings justify the search. If there is no evidence, I guess the innocent party can claim harrassment and sue the city --which is what a ACLU liberal might do more than a conservative. Most of us would open the trunk --officer would be polite --we'd go on our way. As an officer, I'd figure there was reason for suspicion if someone said, "NO, you can not look in my trunk." It's just a trunk! What do you think? you'll be prosecuted for Microdot's rotten cheese you forgot about in there? Open your trunk! They must be looking for something and think I look suspicious.

I DO UNDERSTAND, DON, THAT THE constitutional LAW and its derivatives are CRAFTED TO PREVENT THE KIND OF BULLYING AND HARRASSMENT THAT CAN OCCUR WHEN ONE HAS A BADGE OR A LICENSE TO DETAIN OTHERS. I once taught in a rural area in the early 70's where it was said the local sheriff detained some long-haired guys for some real? or trumped-up? offense and they got to go free with a jailhouse punishment of haircuts. doubt that was legal. And don't say I approved of it. It was abuse of power--I guess it was a sort of informal plea bargaining: we'll let you off with a warning if we can cut off your hair. I think they DID have a choice and got off easy without a record, come to think about it..

I believe Sepp's profile says he is a "counter -threat specialist." He could be someone who watches shoppers at the k-mart --or working for the FBI --or both --who knows? All security guys are supposed to know what to look for and we owe them our respect. And they are certainly, at any level of security work, trained enough in the law to know that the tables can be turned against THEM if they can't prove probable cause for what they did in an investigation or in detaining someone, searching them or their cars.

Is the TV show, "Law and Order," so fictionalized as to be wrong about the frustrating laws which enable judges to throw out good evidence because of how it was obtained? even though the prosecutors give legal reasons for leaving it in? Is the Right Wing coming from nowhere regarding the common perception that our criminals sometimes DO seem to have more rights than the victims?
Isn't that one reason that Victims' Impact statements became part of the sentencing process? so our compassion wouldn't let us forget the victims' and their families?

We saw how OJ Simpson's defense team got him off when he was surely the killer by the evidence, his actions, his motive, and I believe his history of abuse. that glove bit --leather gloves shrink and stiffen and get hard to put on if they get wet. But the lawyer's jingle was just too cute. "If it doesn' fit, you've got to acquit."

As in OJ trial, also on television's fictional trials, defense lawyers work hard to free guilty men--just to WIN the case.

A good defense should not circumvent justice for the guilty by taking advantage of technicalities in the law and throwing out the good evidence that convinces even the defense att'y that his client is guilty. Plea bargaining is better than trying to get a guilty guy off, but the inability to use hard evidence is one unfortunate reason for plea bargaining.

Worst of all in a double jeapardy situation is when DNA or photo or other evidence proving guilt are found after a jury verdict that exonerated a really bad guy --just saw a story like that recently --photos of this horrible torture and death of a woman were found under a carpet after a trial and I believe the guy got away with it --not sure --lots of interruptions when I follow a story.

Barb said...

Don wrote, "So, should we interpret Justice Scalia’s defense of the 6th Amendment in Crawford as an endorsement of child molestation? Applying Barb's reasoning, the answer would no doubt be “yes”.

I understand Scalia perfectly well, having first hand knowledge of such a case now. I would normally think a teacher, parent,psychologist version of the child's complaints would be valid.

But I know of a situation right now where i think something may have happened --because of what the child said --but the child loves the parent she accuses --and uses language that makes her meaning unclear as to just what happened. She wouldn't make a good witness if cross-examined --and it would be traumatic because she misses and loves this parent if he were forced out of her life --as he has many positive aspects. (I realize that molesters often do.)

there is concern that someone can coach a child to make allegations against a parent when those parents are hostile toward one another --so in the absence of physical evidence of molestation, in the absence of cross examination of the child , the best thing may be counseling for all and vigilance on the part of the family members who want to put their family back together. My greatest concern would be a child who would not tell --could be intimidated to not tell --who would then be given visitation with the accused parent after a divorce --so the mother wouldn't be around to protect.

My hope is that this family becomes church-active, because there is no force for good like the Holy Spirit in a person's heart and an active, busy, loving church community, always challenging us to do no harm --to love and forgive --to protect and nurture children--reminding us we are accountable to God.

(I'm not guilty of divulging any confidentialities here --since I am not a professional involved --nor did I get the knowledge from a professional. I'm not related, either.)

I didn't know that the S. court had ruled on this sort of case this way, so that explains a lot to me. I understood that DA's tend to think a very young child isn't credible enough for proof, which is probably true in this case.

You said, "the Framers drafted the Fifth Amendment not to protect criminals, but to prevent people in positions of power from abusing the judicial system by using criminal prosecutions as a means to punish political adversaries."

Yes, that's the purpose: to keep DA's from torturing people over and over again with charges--NOT to protect criminals. Therefore, when the evidence clearly proves guilt in cases like murder or rape, kidnapping, etc. THEN we SHOULD be able to re-open a case. It's alsmost as bad to let such criminals go--as to put the innocent in jail.

You've explained the law well and clearly. As you said yourself, they never intended we would use this law to prevent justice when evidence is sure.

I said "The evidence/proof of wrong-doing should justify the action used to get it."

I wasn't thinking of beatings and intimidation and would agree with you on that for the most part. Threats and torture can just get one to say SOMEthing --not necessarily the truth.

But haven't you watched some dramas where the good guy nearly knocks somebody's block off to get him to talk before it's too late? and it worked?? and the victim was saved!

I certainly don't believe that the "ends justify ANY means" in any scenario a police state would devise --but there should be some latitude after the fact when really bad guys are caught and the evidence is clear.

Barb said...

I believe (feel) I had a similar experience in a well-off, suburban school district as a school board member --

It seemed that the county school board went around our local board and approached working mothers and set a meeting and got a group to support a latch key program to be run before and after schools by the schools --in a church in our district to start with.

Our board questioned school board involvement --since we'd be competing with local private daycare businesses and since many after-school activities were already available for older kids.

The parents were to pay something for this county daycare program in a church (I'm not sure if we had to put up some seed money)--but we wondered if the long range impact would be to create a demand --and a district-wide expectation that the local school budget should take on this service --thus making parents who don't want or need latchkey --pay for those who do --another social welfare program at tax payers' expense that we wouldn't all want or use.

Some of us did also FEEL that we shouldn't enable parents to have their kids in a daycare before and after school from something like 7 in the am to 7 or so at night --don't recall exact times -but it was a long day for kids to be institutionalized if their parents used all of it. Surely, we thought, in- home sitters and relatives would be a better option for parents who worked long hours.

We mothers on the board questioned if more and more mothers would 1. come to think that this was a good idea, a norm for child-rearing, enabling them to have the schools raise their children for all but a couple of their waking hours in a day. 2. come to expect the tax payers to pay for it or subsidize it. I would see the value of it, perhaps, in a neighborhood needing such a "mission" --with working moms who have no choice but to work long hours --certainly a welfare state would provide it.

I have no idea what has come of that idea in the last 15 years or so--I called but offices are closed for break, maybe?

Anyway, the other two women figured they had better shut up right away if they wanted to be re-elected, while I voiced the concern --and paid a political price for it. I had voiced other concerns we shared, as well.

Politics is vicious --people hate and lose all cordiality. there is no listening to reason. It's sad.
Oh --there I am --being emotional again --silly me!

Don said...


In all fairness, 95% plus of the opinions law students read in casebooks are edited. So, there's no shame in reading an edited version in a newspaper or magazine.

"Is the Right Wing coming from nowhere regarding the common perception that our criminals sometimes DO seem to have more rights than the victims?"

Yes and no. What's got me so fired up here is this idea that every suboptimal aspect of our judicial system is somehow the result of "liberal" sympathy for criminal behavior. Currently, close to 3/4 of federal appellate judges are Republican appointees. Plenty of decisions favorable to criminal defendants occur because that is what the law requires. I cited Crawford as an example of how conservative originalist jurisprudence can result in a very pro-defendant decision.

While I fully understand your frustration with cases where the system does not work as we'd like, I take serious issue with the notion that somehow liberals should shoulder all the blame for these problems. Sometimes constitutional protections end up helping a person who doesn't deserve the help. But, that is a negative externality of the system, rather than some desire on the part of liberals to let guilty parties go free.

Last on this point, I'll say that for every serious screw-up in the judicial system, hundreds of things go right. Unfortunately, the media tends to emphasize the screw-ups (man, I sound like Bush talking about Iraq), and report cases leaving out crucial details. In much the same way, I suppose liberals tend to mistrust corporations more than we ought to, because we're always reading about the crooked ones.

"A good defense should not circumvent justice for the guilty by taking advantage of technicalities in the law and throwing out the good evidence that convinces even the defense att'y that his client is guilty."

Defense lawyers defend their clients to the best of their ability because that is what they are paid to do, and because all lawyers are bound by an ethics code, pursuant to which a lawyer must provide zealous, competent advocacy on behalf of their clients.

Also, for better or for worse, ours is an adversarial system, where both prosecution and defense do the absolute best they can for their respective clients. The idea is, that the adversarial process gets us closest to the truth, most of the time. It does not work right all of the human contrivance does.

But, the fact of the matter is, 95% of what criminal defense lawyers do is guide clients through the process of accepting culpability for their acts, usually resulting in a plea bargain. The notion that there is a flood of criminals walking away on "technicalities" is largely a myth.

"Therefore, when the evidence clearly proves guilt in cases like murder or rape, kidnapping, etc. THEN we SHOULD be able to re-open a case."

The better approach is what we already have in place. A prosecutor should not bring a case to trial unless they reasonably believe there is enough evidence to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is not sufficient evidence, wait to bring charges.

If the state can have a second crack at a defendant for the same crime, the prosecution will almost always argue they can get it right the second time.

The circumstances you describe, where some fantastic evidence arises after acquittal, is at worst extremely rare. I'm not convinced that's enough to weaken or do away with the 5th Amendment's double jeopardy rule.

"But haven't you watched some dramas where the good guy nearly knocks somebody's block off to get him to talk before it's too late? and it worked?? and the victim was saved!"

On a gut level, I know exactly what you are talking about. As a kid, I loved comic books (graphic novels, right?) like The Punisher and Batman, and action films featuring vigilante heroes. I still feel that longing for a pure, relentless justice. A big part of me still cheers "yes!!" when Russell Crowe pounds the crap out of a wife-beater in "L.A. Confidential".

However, in these fictional settings, it is always a bonafide dirtbag getting the business end of the vigilante treatment. And, I don't need to tell you that's not how things work in real life. Without due process, vigilante-style behavior often harms the innocent.

Barb said...

OK --Don --good, reasoned, respectful,temperate rebuttal. I guess you can be a lawyer.

However, a proper defense and a good judge should REALLY want to see justice achieved first of all and it seems more that lawyers just want to win --in courtroom drama. And the defense should strive to get truth out, for fairness with mercy, for his client --not do his best to get a guilty guy off so prosecutors can get more good evidence properly the NEXT time he rapes or murders or kidnaps.

As for what the law says, we see how cases and evidence get defended, allowed or disallowed based on previous legal decisions in similar cases --so the argument before the judge to use or throw out evidence is only as good as the arguments you guys can make on either side pulling up old judgments. And the judge would seem to have some latitude. The ACLU-types split hairs over the technicalities of how the good evidence is found --forgetting that truth is more important than technicality. Truth is more important than mis-interpretation of law which was crafted to protect the innocent from overly aggressive police action--not created to harbor criminals.

Of course juries can be bad, too --as the OJ jury was in my opinion--as malpractice juries are, too, just wanting to enrich pitiful victims --not because malpractice truly occured. I know a doc who got sued because of a young diabetic who sued 3 docs for his self-neglect and self-abuse. They settled out of court for one doc because he was a Bush--the doc feared he could not be guaranteed eloquent on the stand in his own defense under pressure. And his lawyer was obnoxious and "playing the game." Yet the facts truly supported that no mal practice occured -but documentation of patient noncompliance could've been better for that doc. The other two cases were thrown out.Statute of limitations should have protected the first doc because the patient had left that practice and records had been transferred out --but the pt. sneaked back in one last time, begging for care because others had dismissed him for non-compliance -- and got an appointment through inept staffers, was told by doc he could not come back, but got a script from the merciful doc --and so it was considered by attorneys that the patient was still under the care of that doc though the doc hadn't seen this guy for years because he WAS non-compliant always and didn't come back in for his needed care and ultimately moved and took records with him. It was under $100,000 judgment (million had been asked) but totally unjust situation--and an example of why there is a high cost to healthcare and health insurance(lawyers! not malpractice and not justice )

DO think about your mention of Bush's charge that media is skewing Iraq's (and his administration's) details, doing the political left's bidding (because most of them do favor the left) to help the Dems in their quest for 08--not because Bush is so inept or that his adm.'s problems rise to the level of scandal or impeachment --as Clinton's did. yet they have the nerve to try to impeach Bush about the WMD. He just isn't eloquent on his feet, thus giving people a perception that he's not bright because he's not a facile public speaker. Which inclines him even more to the verbal blunder when the whole world is watching.

IN the Blade, a Dem senator from Fla. said Bush's A.G. had lost his credibility and we had to have credibility in that job. I phoned and asked his intern why it didn't matter if their slick Willie had credibility when he was impeached but retained with his party's favor after lying under oath, and all the other scandals in his past. And why is a man of such dubious character still a Dem. party treasure? Just confirms my low opinion of the liberal left's values if BC is their hero.

I think the liberal press makes mountains out of mole hills with Republicans just because problems exist--all problems are the GOP's fault like aftermath of storms for which no administration would have been prepared or could have prevented, poverty, businesses going under (partly due to regulation, taxation, litigation, outsourcing), and failing schools (due largely to liberal cultural mores, failed families and the never-married and incompetent parents) and uninsured folks who nonetheless get care somehow --who also mangage to eat out and go to expensive movies and buy the over-priced food there --when they do get cash (e.g. my usually unemployed single friend --who gets the best care in the world from several gov't sources --sees a raft of doctors to accomodate her depressions,aches and sedentary life-the gov't and private sector give her a fortune of freebies as she spends any money she has foolishly).That's why the world's indolent poor want to come here along with the working immigrants --you get electricity and gas and healthcare and food --no matter what. If you're chronically dysfunctional, you can eventually succeed at claiming disability.

Dems blame GOP for AbuGraib (low lifes gone wild raised on liberal, vulgar tv comedy influencing youth culture) -- war deaths--(in annual numbers lower than youthful deaths due to alcohol in this country)-- insurgencies --sectarian violence -- WMD's not being found in suspected quantity. It's all Bush's fault.

Another example is media and dem. persecution of the A.G., for example, as though the 8 firings were scandalously out of order --when I believe Reno got rid of 93 attorneys who were investigating Clinton problems --not to mention the way Hillary fired the career employees in the White House travel office, citing them for trumped-up accusations of ineptitude just so she could hire her friends from ARkansas.

Geo. Bush is extremely well-intentioned --and I don't think he has incompetent people around him either. (though the FEMA head was dense and slow to move and Bush should've known that --not enough tv watching in the white house I guess>)

Life just ain't perfect, and for that, we'll blame the Republicans since we can't get something more juicy on Bush --like adultery and lying. (WMD's weren't lies but a perception believed by the world. And it's still possible Sadam had them before he FINALLY let in the inspectors on a controlled tour --so they wouldn't hear about or find the bodies, I suspect--he DID have SOME WMD's, had used them on the Kurds--and he had a scientist who defected who was supposed to be working on nuclear weaponry--(according to some history channel report --says my hubby) --Sadam would be a harborer and financer of Osama for sure as they were ideological comrades in hate for the west.

Of course, you all know ALL this that I posted --it's how we use the evidence that determines perception and conclusion.

My conclusion is that Bush is OK --but the nation is screwed up no matter who is president --it helps however to have a good role model in the white house --and he deserves better treatment from the press and the dems. He reached out to Pelosi, was gentlemanly about her jet requests, and what does she do? Pretends she's SOMEBODY in going to Syria --to do something Bush and the rest of the free world would not. She reminds me of a dem school board member I knew who would take every perk she/he could get --(not me)--who had a lot of arrogance in the role.

I think the pres.'s life is in great danger on a diplomatic visit to any of those countries right now--because the radical Islamic terrorist fringe would LOVE to kill him. Pelosi took a risk, but it was really a pot shot at the boss, our pres. So she could count on being received well enough --though I'm sure the Muslims see her as a detestable evidence of a woman out of control --no head covering --just her bold brassy arrogance in a country that would not respect her as a female trying to rule over our male leadership. Condi, on the other hand is REALLY smart and educated for her role, and she has the president's "cover" --as his ambassador..and she doesn't try to upstage our pres. She serves at his discretion. She should run for president.

OK, this was a rant --and it was rambling --but it is neither incoherent nor without reason. One thing leads to another....

And I admit, i can't remember where I've posted what before.

Bear with me --democracy is messy --my mind IS orderly --it just doesn't remember what I've already said to whom about what and where. It's all pertinent to the issue --this was all about liberalness in various situations.

Remember Good Friday --there is a really special tenebrae service commemorating the Last Supper and the Crucifixion --with scripture, choir, candle, solos, chimes tonight at 7 pm at the Holland Free methodist church on Angola Road behind Spring Meadows.