Wednesday, April 27, 2016

2016 NFL Mock Draft

1 – Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, California

2 – Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

3 – San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

4 – Dallas Cowboys: Joey Bosa, DE/OLB, Ohio State

5 – Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

6 – Baltimore Ravens: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

7 – San Francisco 49ers: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

8 – Cleveland Browns: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

9 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

10 – New York Giants: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

11 – Chicago Bears: Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia

12 – New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

13 – Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State

14 – Oakland Raiders: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama

15 – Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

16 – Detroit Lions: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson

17 – Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State

18 – Indianapolis Colts: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

19 – Buffalo Bills: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

20 – New York Jets: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

21 – Washington Redskins: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama

22 – Houston Texans: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

23 – Minnesota Vikings: LaQuon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

24 – Cincinnati Bengals: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

25 – Pittsburgh Steelers: Artie Burns, CB, Miami

26 – Seattle Seahawks: Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M

27 – Green Bay Packers: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

28 – Kansas City Chiefs: William Jackson III, CB, Houston

29 – Arizona Cardinals: TJ Green, S, Clemson

30 – Carolina Panthers: Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State

31 – Denver Broncos: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

Sunday, April 24, 2016

HBO's Boring Political Movies

HBO cannot find anything to make a film about so 25 years after the fact they did one on Clarence Thomas’s confirmation to the Supreme Court – Entitled “Confirmation”. HBO is notorious for doing liberally biased films such as the outing of CIA desk jockey Valarie Plame during the Bush administration. Firstly, nothing new was brought to the surface in the Thomas versus Anita Hill saga. It is still a he said, she said scenario and without any evidence of the contrary, a different outcome is still not possible. Essentially 25 years later we learned nothing new from the liberally slanted movie “Confirmation”.

Secondly, I find it troubling that HBO can find time to make boring movies about sexual harassment or the outing of a CIA agent who was no longer in the field. Sure, these are troubling topics and no one is condoning any wrongdoing. But how come HBO and the media are quiet when it comes to Democrat scandals? And these scandals are much worse than those of the GOP.

Why doesn’t HBO do a film on Obama blunders or scandals? There are many to choose from:

How about the Fast and Furious debacle where the ATF lost track of weapons that the drug cartel used to kill an American Border Agent and hundreds of innocent Mexican civilians. What’s worse is that Obama threatens to ban the same guns and weapons that his administration failed to properly track. Still, HBO and the media think the big story is about sexual harassment.

What about the Obama administration’s targeting conservative media outlets and non-profit organizations via the DOJ or IRS?

How about the administration and state department covering up the truth about Benghazi or putting our security at risk by using non-secure servers to discuss national security issues? This story could also include how Obama went to war in Libya unilaterally that led to a safe haven for terrorists.

How about a story about the administration tactics that have made race relations in the U.S. lower than any point in the past two decades?

How about a story about how the administration botched the Arab spring; failed to keep stability in Iraq and Afghanistan; and failed in the Syrian revolution?

How about a story about how the administration moved unilaterally to create a treaty with Iran which includes providing them with billions of dollars that will be used to sponsor terrorism around the globe?

And I am just scratching the surface on mega scandals and head scratching decisions that have violated the rights of citizens around the globe including death. Yet, HBO and media find the leak of the identity of a CIA agent and sexual harassment to be the biggest stories of the past two decades. This is truly mind boggling on any level.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Why Roe v. Wade was a Terrible Decision (Part I)

There are many issues with the use of privacy to defend abortion. The use of “privacy” is “broad, abstract and ambiguous” stated by Justice Hugo Black (a liberal) in his dissent of Griswold. In the 1967 case Katz v. United States it was decided that the Fourth Amendment protects Americans privacy from government intrusions, but that cannot be translated into a general constitutional right to privacy. In many of the Court cases cited in its decision of Roe “privacy” is not even mentioned. Besides, the Court admits that the Roe case is “inherently different” from other “privacy” cases before the court, including Griswold. Many of these cases cited in the Roe decision were decided on the grounds of one of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights. However, the Roe decision mentions the liberty language in the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause for its reasoning to apply right to privacy in the case. In the Griswold decision, just a few years earlier, the Court refused to use the Fourteenth Amendment in its right privacy decision. Despite its focus on process, the Due Process Clause, at various times in our history, has been given substantive content, resulting in the invalidation of state laws thought to be inconsistent with prevailing understandings of “liberty” – judicial activism through personal bias. However, to apply substantive due process, the “liberty” of interest, must be “Deep Rooted in American History”. Abortion fails this test. In fact, before the Fourteenth Amendment is passed, abortion at any stage of a pregnancy was illegal throughout the United States. This was done to protect the unborn and not to protect women from dangerous medical procedures. This is much different than what the Roe decision suggests about American history. On the other hand, the first substantive due process decision was in 1905: Lochner v. New York. It was decided that the Liberty of Contract was deeply entrenched in American history to rule against a minimum wage hike for bakers. This is much easier to defend than the substantive due process ruling in Roe.

Seventhly, many believe the right argument taken by the pro-abortion movement should have been a Civil Rights one. However, it is easy to justify Brown v. School Board using the Fourteenth Amendment since that was the intent of the law, to protect the rights of African-Americans. It is certainly not as easy to conjure up some intended purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment to protect abortion. Besides, Civil Rights means treating different ethnicities and genders equally. Women certainly got the favorable ruling in Roe v. Wade. After all, it can be interpreted that women received more rights from the Roe decision than spouses and unborn persons – is that fair?

Eighthly, statistics of Roe v. Wade since its passage proved the law was flawed. Over 90% of legal abortions were done as a means of birth control and not to abort a child from a crime or to protect the health of the mother. Abortions increased in dramatic fashion over the decades, yet poverty and child abuse increased. The law overruled varying abortion laws in all 50 states (many of which were very liberal). Also, it was later proved that abortions put mothers at more risk than child birth. For many liberals, abortion was acceptable simply as a means of population control.

Even most liberals cannot justify the Roe v. Wade decision. Ruth Bader Ginsberg called the decision “heavy-handed judicial intervention”. A former Blackmun clerk, Edward Lazarus, called the decision “indefensible”. There are hundreds of such comments, yet the decision has never been overruled. This is the dangers of the Court when they legislate from the bench instead of ruling on state statutes in terms of their Constitutionality. This is the dangers of the Court when they rule based on bias and responsibility instead of merely clarifying if state statutes are being applied fairly to the people.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Why Roe v. Wade was a Terrible Decision (Part I)

The 1973 Supreme Court decision for Roe v. Wade was one of the worst decisions in the history of the court. It ranks just behind other awful decisions: Korematsu, Plessy, and Dred Scott. Let’s outline why this was a bad decision.

First, the Court decision is new legislation from the bench. The Court generates and outlines new laws and policies for future abortions. Instead, the Court’s function should be to merely rule on the Constitutionality of the Texas abortion statute in question.

Secondly, the Court, once again, used the Fourteenth Amendment to trump the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment says any power not enumerated to the federal government is reserved for the states. In fact, this is how many social and moral issues are decided. For instance, Nevada has legalized prostitution while other states do not. Washington, Alaska, and Colorado have legalized marijuana while other states do not. The infrequently used Tenth Amendment allows the will of the people to generate the law of the states. The Roe decision whipped out abortion laws in all 50 states. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives any federal jurisdiction to birth laws so these type of decisions should be decided by the states. Unfortunately, years of bad precedent yielded great power to the Fourteenth Amendment and rendered the Tenth Amendment moot in these type of cases.

Thirdly, Jane Roe was an alias provided to Norma McCorvey. McCorvey, was provided an alias because she originally lied and said she had been raped. Even as the truth became known, the case still proceeded under the alias. All previous privacy cases never protected the names of the people involved in the cases. This was unique and unprecedented. In fact, McCorvey never appeared in court. It was strange how a falsified case without a witness hiding behind an alias could ever make it to the Supreme Court. By the time the Court heard the case McCorvey had the child and put it up for adoption. McCorvey would later become a born again Christian and join the pro-life movement.

Fourthly, there was no scientific evidence submitted or mentioned in the decision as regards to the development of the fetus and if it could count as a “person”. The Court subsequently ruled the fetus has no constitutional rights since the Constitution only refers to “persons” – they did so without any scientific evidence. After all, if the fetus is a person, then its right to life would protect it from abortion. However, the Court had in the past, given rights to “unborn” persons such as the 1884 case: McArthur v. Scott. The Court would also latter rule in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey case that fathers have no rights when it comes to abortions because they do not have to be notified by their wife or girlfriend when they are having an abortion.

Fifthly, Justice Blackmun, writes in the majority decision citing an English Parliament law: the Abortion Act of 1967 as part of his justification. However, foreign laws do not pertain to the Constitution.

Sixthly, Justice Blackmun writes that abortion is covered by the Fourteenth Amendment or the Ninth Amendment – people’s right to privacy. Although privacy is not actually mentioned in the Constitution, the Court decided in the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut that “Privacy” could be inferred from the Ninth Amendment setting some precedent. In his dissent to Roe, Justice Rehnquist argues that medical procedures are not private, they are public transactions protected by state regulatory statutes. However, in Griswold, the Court merely struck down a statute, it did not generate new law by legislating from the bench as it did in Roe.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Flaws with Miranda

In 1966, the court decided another landmark case: Miranda v. Arizona. The outcome of the case was the police had to read “Miranda” rights to every suspect taken into custody across the country: Therefore, a defendant must be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires.

The Miranda majority decision written by Chief Justice Earl Warren was over 60 pages long. It read more like congressional legislation than it did like a judge’s decision. This was the first decision where the Court truly acted as an extension of Congress in the political realm and is the reason why Court appointees are so hotly contested in modern politics since the Court now has the power to create new laws.

One reason for the Miranda decision was to protect disenfranchised minorities, who were undereducated, from being coerced into confessions through long interrogations. Ernesto Miranda was arrested and confessed to rape. However, the confession was not coerced and he was notified of his Fifth Amendment rights (was not informed of the right to a lawyer since that is not in the Constitution for police station questioning). In fact, Miranda’s written and signed confession was done so with impeccable penmanship and spelling. Miranda was not disenfranchised by any stretch of the imagination.

Although most claim that the Miranda decision was done to protect all Americans, this is far from the truth. It was done to protect criminals. However, it is glaringly obvious that the Miranda decisions does not care about the rights of victims, nor does it care about the right of citizens who are endangered when guilty criminals are placed back into the general population because confessions are not obtained or ruled inadmissible. In fact, it is believed that Miranda has led to 10% more criminals walking the streets.

The Courts ruling was clearly an imagined interpretation of the sixth amendment which clearly states that suspects need to have lawyer representation when in court, not in the police station.

The federal government has been opposed to the Miranda decision since its inception. In 2000, the Court decided in Dickerson v. United States that Miranda cannot be overruled by a federal statute. The Court decided that Miranda has been entrenched in law enforcement and has become a way of society or our culture. However, changes in technology should lead to some changes in Miranda that would be beneficial to both the police and criminals such as videotaping interrogations, body cams for law enforcement, etc. But the law is rigid and there is no flexibility to make changes to modernize the law.

The Miranda decision basically overruled 50% of all convictions in American history up to 1966. That cannot be done without reading more into the Constitution than what is actually there. To overcome this problem the Court set a date for the Miranda era to start and all prior cases were grandfathered in to the previous law system. In other words, people were imprisoned legally, based on two completely different standards according to the Court.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Trouble with the One Person One Vote Concept

In 1962 the Supreme Court took up a landmark case in Baker v. Carr. The Court decided that states had to determine district boundaries based solely on population to elect state senate and house representatives. The decision was based on an issue to overcome an imbalance of state representation between urban and rural areas. Some states did not adjust house representation as urban areas grew at a much faster pace than rural areas. In subsequent cases the rulings became known as “one person one vote”. On the surface, this ruling seems logical and makes sense. It made sure that everyone’s vote counted the same. The decision was justified through the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment. Today, this ruling is coming under a bit of scrutiny in a recent Supreme Court case: Evenwel v. Abbott. In this case, Texas is proposing setting district boundaries based on “one voter one vote” and not count persons who cannot vote (people under 18, felons, etc.) within districts. A decision will be rendered next summer.

There are however a few issues with the “one person one vote” concept. First, in the federal government, the constitution allows equal state representation in the Senate (each state gets 2 Senators) and the Electoral College is used for determining presidents. Neither of these concepts represents one person one vote. Thus, it seems hypocritical that the federal courts should dictate how states should decide its districting rules. Secondly, “one person one vote” is never going to be equal no matter how you decide to write district rules. People is just one variable, albeit a very important one. However, a majority of the representation coming from urban areas causes many problems for people living in rural areas. For instance, tax money is appropriated unequally among the populations with rural areas receiving much less monies per capita for infrastructure, schools, welfare, etc. And rural issues take a back seat to urban problems in the state capital.

Since I lived in both rural and urban areas I can see some of the differences first hand. A farmers vote counts for basically nothing in the “one person one vote” system. For instance, this is illustrated in CA where farmers’ livelihood is sacrificed at the expense of an endangered fish and they cannot get water to irrigate crops. My neighbors in Colorado are ranchers / farmers. The state is responsible for maintaining fences along state roads that boarder the farms. When the fence breaks and the cattle get on the roads and cause accidents, my neighbor still cannot fix the fence – he has to wait for the state to fix it (and that can take months). In fact, they can only move their cattle across roads to other fields one day out of the year. If the food dries up in one field, farmers got to move the food from other fields to feed the cattle even though it would be easier to move the cattle to the food. Ranchers and farmers are at the mercy of an urban run government, who incidentally uses eminent domain to take their property, to build roads. Also, roads are not as well maintained in rural areas, many are dirt and there is no snow removal unless there is at least 4 inches of snow. These are just a few examples that illustrate how urban dominated governments do not understand rural issues.

By 1964, the Reynolds v. Sims decision by the Supreme Court essentially made it unlawful for a state government to emulate the government structure of the United States. Under the ruling, both houses of a state legislature have to be determined by population and not by geographic areas. The decision obviously used Baker v. Carr as precedent but remember, the US Senate is determined by geographic regions – states – and not populous. If it is unconstitutional for states to emulate the structure of Congress in the federal government, then there is something wrong with these string of decisions. And because of this, rural areas suffer at the expense of urban areas in most states.

The Court was rash in its decision because they saw state legislature design as being another way to disenfranchise African-American voters in urban areas – especially in the South. Really, the Court had two possible ways to decide Baker v Carr: First, the Supreme Court had little jurisdiction in these cases and could have abstained from the case completely and secondly; they could have compromised by suggesting the house of the state legislature be decided by equally sized districts based on population, but suggesting the senate of the state legislature being designed as determined by the individual states. Instead, the court chose a third option that basically overruled the clever design of Congress in the federal government by our founding fathers that balanced urban and rural issues.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Liberal Activism Versus Conservative Activism

The 1961 Mapp v. Ohio decision by the Supreme Court was an interesting case that illustrates the modern era of judicial activism in this country. The Mapp decision became known as the “exclusionary rule” to the fourth amendment. That is any evidence seized in criminal cases could be “excluded” from trial if a valid warrant is not served by State law enforcement authorities (Federal authorities were already bound by the fourth amendment to issue warrants). Five liberal justices used judicial activism in their majority decision on Mapp v. Ohio because 1. They overturned precedent in Wolf v. Colorado; 2. Extended the fourth amendment to the States magically through the fourteenth amendment; and 3. Mapp v. Ohio was a first amendment case dealing with obscenity and had nothing to do with the fourth amendment – the liberal judges surprised everyone by turning it into a fourth amendment case on search and seizures even though no arguments were heard regarding that aspect of the case.

Liberals hailed the decision as being a win for the rights of every American, especially for African-Americans (since the left claims that warrantless searches and seizures mostly affect low income citizens). If this is true, then there is no reason to come to these decisions by using deceitful methods, it would happen naturally over time. But truth be told, any law abiding citizen has nothing to fear from any illegal searches since there is nothing to seize. So the Mapp decision definitely favors criminals much more so than law abiding citizens.

Over the course of the next 50 years the Conservative Courts began to use its own activism to roll back the broad nature of the Mapp decision. In different decisions the Court has ruled that there are three exceptions to the exclusionary rule: 1. If an independent source supplied the evidence; 2. If discovery of the evidence was inevitable and 3. If the authorities used good faith when conducting searches. It should come as no surprise these decision infuriated liberals – calling them activist rulings. Hence, in the liberal view, it is okay to use activism if and only if liberals agree with the decision.

If liberals are going to use activism to interpret the Constitution, you better believe that conservatives will counter their activism to lessen the damage created by liberals. Remember, the key to conservative exceptions to the exclusion law from the Mapp decision are designed specifically to lock up criminals – not innocent persons. After all, innocent citizens will have no “evidence” to be confiscated. Liberals also claim that the number of criminals acquitted due to illegal search and seizures is small. Well, one guilty criminal released from custody due to an illegal search is one too many. Besides, statistics indicate that over 70% of the criminals released from prison commit a more serious crime within a few years. Liberals claim they are protecting the rights of all citizens, but is that true when their laws are putting more dangerous criminals back on the streets to terrorize innocent civilians? In fact, Dollree Mapp, who liberals hail as the Rosa Parks of the fourth amendment, was later convicted of narcotics and sentenced to prison.

It should come as no surprise that 7 of 8 convicted persons affiliate with the Democratic Party. It should also come as no surprise that liberals try very hard to protect the rights of criminals over honest hard working American citizens – to get their vote. Today, liberals are even trying to remove the law which makes it illegal for felons to vote. This is also why they favor lenient sentences and the early release of criminals. The Mapp decision was the start of this nonsense of protecting the rights of criminals over every day citizens.

Conservative states and people alike are called out for activism to try to curb things such as illegal immigration, Muslim immigration, the rights of terrorists at Guantanamo, ObamaCare, gun control, climate change, lenient drug laws, and abortion. But they are mostly trying to curb the overreach of the President, who has been an activist using executive orders, or activist judges.

Liberals can dish it out, but cannot stand it when they get a taste of their own medicine. But keep in mind, conservative activism is mostly being used to overcome liberal activism mistakes to ensure honest civilians are protected from criminals.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Color of the Constitution (Part II)

Even many blacks argued that Brown is not constitutional, because it says, in effect, that blacks are not equal to whites. By claiming the only way blacks could be equal to whites was to be in their schools was in fact insinuating that blacks are not equal. Others also argued that the probability was much higher that blacks were going to be inconvenienced more by the ruling than whites by spending more time traveling to schools to meet integration requirements (which was true – even though it was argued that Linda Brown had to travel many more miles to go to an all-black school when an all-white school was just down the street).

The most logical explanation to rule in favor of Brown was the 14th amendment’s definition of citizenship: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” In probably one of the most famous of dissents of all time, Justice John Harlan in Plessy wrote: “Our Constitution in color-blind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved....” (Remember, Brown overturned Plessy so Harlan’s dissent is now actually the winning argument and still cited in cases today). This argument was much more justifiable than the use of “due process”, especially since due process did not apply to the District of Columbia (DC) integration cases. Today, liberals hail the Harlan dissent in Plessy but, in future cases, these same liberals will view the constitution in terms of black and white – in their view the constitution is not colorblind. This may explain why the Court did not go this route in its ruling. Since the Brown ruling and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Supreme Court heard numerous cases on racial issues. The court ruled that affirmative action is Constitutional (hence, the constitution is not color-blind) so long as it does not include quotas. But how can anyone truly apply affirmative action and claim that it is NOT part of a quota system at schools or corporations. The court was deeply dedicated to integration that in Green v. County School Board it decided that freedom of choice in school systems was not an effective policy to integrate school systems. This, in effect, outlawed the freedom of allowing parents a choice in school systems for their children. In Swann v. Charlotte School Board the Court ruled that busing students was an appropriate means to integrate schools. Of course, many blacks were inconvenienced by spending several hours each day traveling to distant schools (as pointed out earlier, the opposite argument was used in the Brown case where Linda Brown claimed to be inconvenienced by having to travel a long distance to an all-black school). Lower courts even desegregated teachers. In other words, the Court was doing anything including violating people’s right to choice, making it acceptable to have rules and regulations favoring blacks over whites, and making hypocritical decisions, to integrate schools. The Court was using social justice to compensate for prior atrocities against blacks, but it was doing it in a matter that discriminated against whites and even inconveniencing blacks.

The bottom line, the Court discriminated by violating “equal protection” (citizen) rights of whites in an attempt to find social justice for blacks from 1954 to the present. Today, protestors do not know all the sacrifices made by Warren court and the Court since the Brown decision to provide social justice for blacks. Our history is far from perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but blacks and liberal whites want to eliminate or stifle free speech as well as showing prejudice towards whites and the police. In fact, these same people’s ignorance of history and their inability to take advantage of the Courts activism, which is now skewed in favor of black citizens, is not the fault of whites or the police in general, but the fault of failed liberal policies since the passage of Civil Rights Act in 1964. For instance, welfare has worked to keep blacks oppressed. And the way these protesters are acting would bring shame to Martin Luther King and all the Supreme Court Justices in the Brown case who would want nothing to do with their lawlessness. They would certainly be disappointed as to how far the race issue has digressed under Obama presidency. Maybe knowing what we know today, the Court would have rethought some of their activist rulings to acquire social justice.

There is no question that the Constitution protected whites and kept blacks as slaves until the Civil War. One could say the Constitution was white the first 75 years of its existence. The addition of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments protected blacks by giving them their freedom, but Jim Crow laws still treated blacks unfairly. The next 75 years added a bit more color to the Constitution. It wasn’t until after the Brown decision that the Constitution has gradually turned black over the last 75 years.

The Constitution should be colorblind as proposed by John Harlan, but to some degree I can understand why the Courts became more activist to incorporate social justice. It is not so much the fault of the Courts as it was the fault of humanity to accept blacks in society. Unfortunately, all of this activism set some bad precedents allowing the Court to intervene in cases beyond race. Courts should not be influenced by external factors, but it is hard to look the other way when there is hate.

It pains me to see the Black Lives Matter movement pushing for prejudice and other protests trying to silence the first amendment. How is this behavior any different than the prejudice that blacks faced the past century? There is no difference, hate is hate. It is sad. It seems the Courts efforts to bring justice and peace by adding color to the Constitution has only worked to create more prejudice, hate and lawlessness within the black race.