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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-10-09 - 4:09 p.m.

40 More Years…(cont’d)

President Bush looked and sounded like a different man in Presidential Debate #2. It is said that he watched a video of the first debate in prepartion. He did make one reference to his demeanor when Senator Kerry chided him about something or other: "That almost made me want to scowl!" with a grin on his face and a wink at someone in the audience. A little humor! Ha-ha!

This might be funny if it weren’t so sad.

Is He a Dope?from a Los Angeles Times Editorial…

“Does this man think through his beliefs before they harden into unwavering principles? Is he open to countervailing evidence? Does he test his beliefs against new evidence and outside argument? Does his understanding of a subject go any deeper than the minimum amount needed for public display? Is he intellectually curious? Does he try to reconcile his beliefs on one subject with his beliefs on another?”

If this is true, it might explain President Bushes discombobulation in the first debate. Check it out. What do you think? Was Bush wired?

(Do you remember in one part, where he said apparently to Jim Lehrer, but when he still had time left on the clock, “Just let me finish…” There is speculation that he was speaking to the person who was feeding him responses in his earpiece. Could be. That would explain a lot of things, wouldn’t it?

Bush Court Nominations

"Too many of President Bush's appeals court nominees have had records of indifference or outright hostility to individuals' rights and their ability to protect their rights through the courts," said People For the American Way Foundation President Ralph G. Neas. "We now have more evidence that those who raised concerns about many of these nominees were right to do so." Opinions by Bush-nominated appeals court judges, often written in dissent, sought to:

  • overturn a California city's "living wage" ordinance
  • strike down as unconstitutional the application of an important provision of the Endangered Species Act
  • make it more difficult for victims of discrimination in employment to obtain punitive damages and for victims of sexual harassment or retaliation in the workplace to sue their employer
  • make it harder to bring claims of race discrimination in lending
  • deny fired workers in their 50s and 60s the opportunity to present claims of age discrimination, even though there was evidence in one case that the company president had directed that an employee be fired because of his age and in another case that the company had systematically removed employees in their fifties in order to replace them with much younger workers
  • deny protections to the disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act and to workers who had been fired in violation of federal law
  • prevent a polio victim from bringing a claim for wrongful denial of health insurance benefits
  • stop a professor from even having a chance to present her claim of unequal pay due to sex discrimination, despite evidence that supported her
  • deny the right of citizens harmed by corrupt police officers to sue police supervisors who likely knew about but failed to investigate the corruption
  • uphold a county sheriff's practice of broadcasting live video on the Internet of pre-trial detainees housed in the county jail

    "Federal judges have real power to affect peoples' lives and legal protections," said Neas. "That is why it is important for senators to continue to take seriously their constitutional obligation to scrutinize federal judicial nominees to ensure that they have demonstrated a commitment to upholding individuals rights, legal protections, and access to justice."

    The Right Wing Watch at People For the American Way Foundation

    The research department at People For the American Way Foundation diligently compiles a list of headlines and brief digest descriptions, regarding right-wing groups and their views on the issues of the day.

    Here’s an example of the conservative point of view from the Christian Examiner, except…pay attention…I agree that I don’t want activist judges, making laws - “Their own ideological will…” – therein lies the rub. I have a feeling that this POV simply means they want THEIR ideological will followed rather than the one written in the Constitution and in the laws written by our legislatures.

    U.S. Supreme Court Term Bleak For Conservatives

    Even one of the justices says the High Court is out of control

    By Keith Peters, Focus on the Family

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Conservatives can’t find much to smile about now that the Supreme Court has concluded its 2003-2004 session. Some are calling it “bleak.” Even Justice Antonin Scalia had harsh words for his colleagues on the court, saying they were incapable of admitting that some matters are none of the court’s business.

    Colby May, an attorney with the pro-family American Center for Law and Justice, said conservatives have a right to be concerned about the court’s increasing power over what’s intended to be “government by the people.”

    “This court seems willing to put itself in the business of the other branches and also seems willing to have a very strange view when it comes to religious liberties and religious rights,” May said.

    Pro-family advocates cite the recent decisions regarding online child pornography, the denial of state funding for a divinity student’s education, and the dodging of the Pledge of Allegiance case as examples. Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, said this term is just another example of activist judges making laws “changing the culture of our society.”

    “These judges have replaced the rule of law with the rule of their ideological will,” Thompson said.

    Thompson calls it a tyranny of the courts, but reminds us there are two other branches of government: the executive and the legislative.

    “Those branches of government must become courageous enough to stand and stop allowing the Supreme Court and other federal and state courts to take over what (are) their responsibilities,” Thompson said.

    He said another possible solution is very simple—appoint judges who will follow the law, not make it. Thompson said he longs for the days of judicial restraint, where judges leave certain issues to the legislative branch, where, he said, the Founding Fathers intended them to be.

    Vote Like Your Rights Depended On It – They Do!

    The Supreme Court plays a crucial role in deciding on free speech and other civil liberties under the Constitution and federal law. Right now, the Supreme Court is narrowly divided on crucial issues in this area. Just one or two new right-wing justices like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas – the justices who President Bush has called his models for Supreme Court appointments – would seriously threaten these rights. For example:

  • Two more votes with Scalia and Thomas would have reversed the Court’s 2004 decision that detainees at Guantanamo can present claims challenging their indefinite detention in federal court. Justice Thomas would even have upheld indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without any rights on American soil.
  • Just two more justices like Thomas and Scalia would allow government to significantly limit free speech by charging controversial speakers large permit and police protection fees.
  • One more vote with Scalia and Thomas would have reversed a decision invalidating restrictions on federally-funded legal aid attorneys helping clients challenge welfare laws that the clients feel are unfair.
  • Two more votes with Thomas and Scalia would have upheld a Chicago anti-loitering ordinance that other conservatives and moderates on the Court found unconstitutionally vague.
  • Justice Scalia has stated that most of our rights “go way beyond what the Constitution requires”, and has chillingly suggested that in wartime, it can be expected that rights will be “ratcheted right down to the constitutional minimum.” A Scalia-Thomas majority would also restrict artistic free expression.

  • The questions at last night's debate made it clear that voters may have different views on these specific issues, but it’s clear that the next President will help determine our free speech rights and other civil liberties for decades by his appointments to the Supreme Court. I hope you will urge your friends and neighbors to think carefully about the Supreme Court when they vote in November, regardless of how they feel about liberal or conservative social issues. Vote for the candidate who is most apt to nominate Justices who will not be activist judges - impartial and non-partisan

    As a letter I just received from Bill Clinton says so well: "Remember what this election is about. It is a contest between fundamentally different views of how we should meet our common challenges at home and how we should play our role in the world.
    "Democrats want to build an America of shared responsibility and opportunities and more global cooperation, acting alone only when we must. We think the role of government is to give people the tools and conditions to make the most of their lives.
    ..."The stakes are enormous and your personal involvement is absolutely crucial."

    I hope you'll stop by a special page at Funny the World and read The Unfeeling President. Well worth the time and effort.

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