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Everything posted by birdwing7

  1. Thomas Dempsey, April 2006, COUNTERTERRORISM IN AFRICAN FAILED STATES: CHALLENGES AND POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS, Strategic Studies Institute, http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub649.pdf Failed states—states in which government authority has collapsed, violence has become endemic, and functional governance has ceased—have emerged in the period since the end of the Cold War as one of the most difficult challenges confronting the international community, especially in the region of Sub-Saharan Africa. Transnational terrorist groups use the chaos of failed states to shield themselves from effective counterterrorism efforts by the international community. The potential nexus of failed state-based terrorism and terrorists’ access to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), especially nuclear WMD, escalates the risk that such groups pose to the United States and to its allies in the Global War on Terror.
  2. “Who are you?” “I am Death.”
  3. I don't see why "monolithic doctrine" would be evidence that a religion is a cult. Is "monolithic" anything other than a value-laden synonym for "well-established"? And I still don't see why denominating (pun intended) an organization as a cult rather than a religion is useful.
  4. I went to my doctor last week. I do not know her religion or political affiliation. I've never heard it said that I should choose a doctor, or plumber, or mechanic based on religion. Of course, I've only been a Mormon for 53 years.
  5. Thanks. Technically, it would be Joseph Smith, not Brigham Young who was his successor.
  6. Illich's de-schooling arguments are very good.
  7. I enjoyed judging a few rounds at Speech Arts, today, and saw some very good debaters. Well done.
  8. Big weekend for Utah debaters. Congratulations.
  9. 1. I don't see how disadvantage turns would impact the T flow very often. 2. I can think of a couple of times you may want to consider a new disadvantage in 2NC: A. You're getting killed on the stuff you put out in 1NC. I mean seriously killed. B. The link to the disadvantage arises from evidence read in 2AC and you're willing to have it become the round. Suppose 2AC, for the first time, claims they will uniquely garner a space militarization advantage. You may want to spend several minutes saying space militarization bad. It doesn't matter if 1AR straight turns; you have your offense on the flow anyway. Of course, I wouldn't call it a disadvantage anyway, it would just be turning their impact.
  10. I agree an argument on substance is better than one on theory. I don't think there is an advocate for a Supreme Court mechanism that works. I agree that the Supreme Court is a legitimate actor, so long as there is a test case where the Supreme Court could feasibly rule on the issue. (I think the case you cited above probably would have met that standard. The Supreme Court was faced with a Fifth Amendment question and decided it. There was an issue about whether it was dicta or not, but it was at least a Fifth Amendment question. That is wholly different from the Court deciding a Fifth Amendment question in a patent case, for example). I have no interest in writing a shell on this. Ian, there may be literature about the Court stepping outside the issues raised at bar (though I've never seen it). I presume it would speak to the Court deciding on issues it feels are important, even if not raised by the parties. I would be surprised if there is literature supporting the idea of the Supreme Court making policy on issues not before it.
  11. Here is the nub of my disagreement with you. There is no literature that I know of saying the Supreme Court should be able to rule on cases not before it, or to create "binding dicta". I'm not saying teams can't legitimately run Supreme Court cases, but the predictable argument would have to assume use of the courts either as in the status quo or as supported by some literature. You would have the affirmative say, "we need to change the system." That's fine; if the affirmative has evidence saying "the Supreme Court should act without a case before it or using binding dicta", I'll be happy to buy it.
  12. The Supreme Court cannot create "binding dicta" even intentionally.
  13. Beating John "Bomb bomb Iran" McCain may have been a significant contribution to world peace.
  14. Even in a debate sense, it seems abusive to me to say "we're going to have the Supreme Court do something it is precluded from doing." You may be right that in the end it is the Constitution that prevents the court from issuing binding dicta. But do we really want to take the position that debate arguments can torture the process like that?
  15. I'll admit this conversation has reached angels on the head of a pin status, but I can't let go. Black's defines dicta: "Opinions of a judge which do not embody the resolution or determination of the specific case before the court. Expressions in court's opinion which go beyond the facts before court and therefore are individual views of author of opinion and not binding in subsequent cases as legal precedent. State ex rel. Foster v. Naftalin, 246 Minn. 181, 74 N.W.2d 249. See also Dictum." The definition of dictum says, in part: "Statements and comments in an opinion concerning some rule of law or legal proposition not necessarily involved nor essential to determination of the case in hand are obiter dicta, and lack the force of an adjudication." Banning capital punishment in a free speech case would be obiter dictum, and not binding on lower courts. Saying dicta is binding does not make it so.
  16. Such a ruling would be the definition of dicta, don't you think? Not necessary to the decision, found in a footnote. I don't think many lower courts would have a problem ignoring it, and unless fiat means the Supreme Court would also reverse cases that ignored the ruling, I don't think there would be much reversal risk. But let me shift my argument a little here. I might be persuaded by an argument that an affirmative that so egregiously misunderstands civics, and tries to convince others of their position, should lose on the ground that it is bad for education. Which is not to say that I wouldn't also run a disadvantage or two.
  17. Do you really think that would have binding effect? Of course, we'll never know, since I don't think it's happened.
  18. I think the slavery issue is different. Re-instituting slavery would be unconstitutional, but there is a mechanism by which Congress passes laws (sometimes even unconstitutional laws). There is simply no mechanism by which the Supreme Court could rule without a case before it. It seems like an abuse of fiat to essentially say "we are going to create a mechanism and power for the Supreme Court to take an action." If you can do that, why not just have the Department of Transportation issue a ruling on a case? Which isn't to say there aren't lots of other good arguments against the plan.
  19. I've posted about this before. It seems pretty abusive to me to have the Supreme Court rule without a test case. The Supreme Court has no authority or mechanism to do so.
  20. "probability is zero" seems like a pretty powerful tag for that Kagan card.
  21. A judge is not bound by plea agreements, if memory serves. If he has a point, I think he needs to make it to the courts here. Aside from the nature of his crime, I'm put off by the notion that the rich and famous can avoid the justice system.
  22. What alternative is there to bringing him back to face the judicial system? I don't see how we could just say "never mind." If he has arguments still available to him (not time-barred and not already decided against him), he should make them.
  23. Not to mention surveillance. If we get to the point where government is willing to use weapons against American citizens, my guess is they could take you before you even knew what was happening. The check on government isn't guns; it's the shared belief that we are all "great Americans" (despite what Hannity might say).
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