Tuesday, April 29, 2014



If you watched the news conference of the NBA Commissioner what you just saw was a gutless lynching to appease a public mob clamoring for Sterling's hide. 

What's that you say? That Sterling's comments were so awful he deserved what he got? Of course Sterling's  views on race are abhorrent. But you are missing the point, much like the comment of this misguided "professor" who left a comment:
Third, your "slippery slope" argument here lacks merit. You contend that if Sterling is punished, team owners could be subject to punishment for any political position they take, even those that are controversial in the public eye. The problem with your argument is that you ignore the fact that certain ideas or actions are so fundamentally and inherently wrong that they can be placed in a category extant from those you list (support for Obama care, etc.) For your position to be consistent logically, you would have to be saying that opposition to Obamacare is equally morally wrong as blatant racism. Are you intending to say that hatred on the basis of race is only as morally wrong as opposition to a healthcare program? Somehow, I suspect not.

Dear Professor: we assume you hold the Altruist/Statist chair of ethics at some local public school. 

"some ideas are so fundamentally and inherently wrong..." you write.
Oh really? According to who? You? According to the public? 

Like when the "public" incarcerated Japanese Americans during WWII just because they were Asian and the Supreme Court upheld  concentration camps for Americans? See, Koreamatsu v. US. 323 U.S. 214 (1941). 

Like when the public passed laws for the forced sterilization of mentally challenged adults, and the Supreme Court upheld the law? See,  Buck v.Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), wherein Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, writing for an 8-1 majority famously wrote "three generations of imbeciles are enough."

Like when the public clamored to prevent farmers from eating their own produce and the supreme court upheld that? See, Wickard v Fillburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)

In YOUR view, professor, with YOUR ethics, and YOUR determination of what passes for some ideas that are so fundamentally wrong, the NBA was correct to ban Sterling. 

And while I happen to agree with your view on racism, what if I don't agree with your view that the US is a Christian country? Or your view that women should not wear skirts above their knees in public. Or YOUR view that creationism is the correct science to be taught in schools. 

The fact is that speech is speech and ideas are ideas and whenever you appoint anyone to determine that there are some generally accepted set of ideas that "everyone agrees with", well, get ready for concentration camps and forced sterilization  and the imposition of Christian/Muslim/Buddhist morals on society. 

When you punish people for ideas, no matter how stupid and repugnant those ideas are, you are putting you faith in people like our Statist professor that what they find offensive you find offensive. 

We're not willing to roll the dice. We would rather the market place vote on Sterling's racism. 

See You In Court, where ideas matter. 

Donald Sterling, the octogenarian billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers exploded across the news this past weekend as lurid details of his conversation with his (fifty some odd year) younger girlfriend were exposed in a tape of the phone call.

Now all NBA fans can be fully briefed on Sterling’s atavistic views on race and sex, which we will summarize for you thusly: his girlfriend can have black friends, she can even sleep with black men, she just cannot engage in the public disgrace of posting pictures of her with black men on her Instagram account, nor should she bring “those people” with her to Sterling’s Clipper’s home games.  Sterling’s comments harken back to an era when Americans of African descent were commonly referred to as “the blacks”. Think Archie Bunker, just with a billion in the bank.

We have a few thoughts. First, who would have bet that Sterling knew what Instagram was and could access it?

Second, make no mistake, Sterling’s views are repugnant and reprehensible.

Third: and the NBA should not do a damn thing about it. No fine. No press conference deploring his words. No suspension. Nothing.
Why? Glad you asked.

Sterling’s views fall clearly within the purview of the first amendment. Furthermore, these are his private views, expressed during an intimate (ughh, even the thought ruins our appetite) conversation with his half century younger girlfriend. If you want to publicly excoriate Sterling for being racist, why not also trash him as being a sexist? He is clearly paying for sex, or at least companionship, and last we heard, that might be illegal. Or not (www-date-a-millionaire- type websites abound).

Sterling has the right to his views. He has the right to play Deutschland Uber Alles before every Clipper’s home game and throw up a Nazi salute as well.  Sterling has the right to tell fans he loves Obama Care, or his has the right to say only rich white American men should get health care. And there’s the rub. Because the moment Sterling gets officially punished for his views on race, every other NBA owner runs the risk of having their support for Obama Care, or gay rights, or any other issue, punished for offending other league owners. And you don’t want to open that Pandora’s Box. It’s a mess.
The solution is simple. Let Sterling’s ideas meet the market place. Will fans now attend the games of an avowed racist team owner? What television station will offer a lucrative cable contract? What local businesses want to now be associated with the Clippers and buy luxury boxes from their moronic owner? Who wants to advertise on the Clipper’s radio broadcast of their home games? What business wants to buy advertising at the Clipper’s home games? What coach would agree to work for such an owner? What player would sign a free-agent contract with Donald Sterling?

Leave Sterling alone. Really. Leave him completely alone. He will be forced to sell the team within a few months as he loses his fan base, can't sign players or a coach, and can't sell advertising.  Then the NBA doesn’t have to wade into the morass of reviewing the political views of its owners and players.

See you in court.

Not to be sexist, but his GF does appear to be mucho exotic.  The benefits of being a billionaire.


Japolina said...

I agree. There is no doubt that racism and bigotry are alive and well here in America but it was private and the fact that it is being talked about ad naseum in the media just keeps putting his hateful comments in the spotlight over and over again.

Let his friends, family, business associates and customers deal with it.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. The First Amendment protects our speech from the government. But if people want to go out and say disgusting things in public (or have private conversations made public), let the marketplace resolve that issue.

Literati said...

The First Amendment applies to the federal government, not an association of billionaires who run a business monopoly. What's more, you're confusing the marketplace with the marketplace of ideas. The marketplace is where people buy and sell and where capital moves. The marketplace of ideas is an exchange of ideas, including whether ideas are proper. Despite what the Supreme Court seems to believe, the two are not the same. The vehement backlash against Sterling's ideas is exactly what you would expect in the marketplace of ideas where an odious ideology is brought forth. The notion that the marketplace of ideas is limited to actions in the marketplace is a bizarre one that no one would have held 100 years ago. Just goes to show you how legal ideology can change.

MC Waste Services, Inc said...

Well said, however, the tyranny of the mob will defeat the logic of your remarks...Though we wont let our daughters marry/date black men, we surely find Sterling an awful guy...he are all a bunch of asses, myself included.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant analysis Rump. The CNN's of the world won't let this story end as it leads to ratings … especially now that it is the 3rd month that Malaysian Air is still missing with not one sign of debris!

Anonymous said...

Hey Captain, any new filings yet? I am hearing that a couple of incumbents will be challenged.

The Professor said...

Rumpole, I don't write here much these days, but I have to disagree with you on this one.

First, the first amendment has nothing to do with this. The NBA is not a government entity, and therefore it can prohibit speech however it chooses. One major logical flaw that is ubiquitous in our society (and need not be cultivated by a person as bright as you) is that the first amendment somehow applies against any organization, whether public or private. This mistaken belief, if repeated by impactful public speakers like yourselves, ultimately erodes democracy because citizens then believe that government is a speech-market participant, indistinct from businesses. Someone with your Randian beliefs would certainly seem to be against that.

Second, actions of the government (or in this case a private regulator, such as the NBA) changes norms not just thru punishment (like fines, etc.) but also through its statements either condoning or repudiating certain ideas. In this case, ignoring Sterling could have the effect of leading the public to believe that the NBA condones his ideas. In the absence of a repudiation, the public views his actions as acceptable to the league, thus leading citizens to believe that his ideas are in fact acceptable.

Third, your "slippery slope" argument here lacks merit. You contend that if Sterling is punished, team owners could be subject to punishment for any political position they take, even those that are controversial in the public eye. The problem with your argument is that you ignore the fact that certain ideas or actions are so fundamentally and inherently wrong that they can be placed in a category extant from those you list (support for Obama care, etc.) For your position to be consistent logically, you would have to be saying that opposition to Obamacare is equally morally wrong as blatant racism. Are you intending to say that hatred on the basis of race is only as morally wrong as opposition to a healthcare program? Somehow, I suspect not.

And let's not forget that the NBA is, in essence, a democracy with voting rights held by owners; if the league wants to punish an owner for political speech, it may only do so with the consent of a majority of the owners (ultimately). This majoritarian function, therefore, prevents the parade of politically-correct horribles that you incorrectly envision.

So, yes, the NBA most certainly ought to sanction Sterling.

Anonymous said...

MC Waste Services: For once you got it right! But don't dare impute your racists views to the rest of us.

That said, Sterling's & MC Waste Services' opinions are not so different than those expressed behind slightly closed doors by some members of the Bar. Our community is not as progressive as we'd like to think.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the Professor at 11:33 AM on this one Rumpole. Looks like you have been schooled by the Professor.

Anonymous said...

11:33 nailed it. Why even bring up the First Amendment here on a blog for lawyers when it's wholly inapplicable to the National Basketball Association. Also, if the NBA doesn't sanction or try to get rid of this guy, won't the entire Clippers franchise (including the hot dog vendors -- not just the players) potentially lose their jobs? All the corporation sponsors have already withdrawn. You think anybody WON'Y boycott that team if the old racist is still around?

The Trialmaster said...

The Trialmaster agrees with Rump on this one. But why no inquiry as to why and how the girlfriend went about secretly taping DS. In Florida this would be a felony. What is California law on this issue?

Anonymous said...

I see your point. Agree with some of it. I also agree with the some of the professor's views at 11:30.
But I think one of the reasons that I think the NBA needs to do something is because his speech (which he's free to speak) dealt with basketball itself. He spoke of his gf bringing black people to the games.
Without some type of sanction, the NBA could be seen to condone his speech in a tacit approval of blacks don't belong at the games.
If he hadn't brought that into his statements I think the league shouldn't take any action.

Anonymous said...

Thousands of factors contributed to the ultimate success of Apollo, but no single factor was more essential than the concept of lunar-orbit rendezvous. Without NASA's adoption of this stubbornly-held minority opinion, the United States may still have gotten to the Moon, but almost certainly it would not have been accomplished by the end of the decade, as President Kennedy had wanted.

Anonymous said...


There are two more candidates for judge who are planning on filing this Friday morning.

If you are one and are reading this.... PLEASE run against Butchko, Tunis and not against a nice judge.

Anonymous said...

Go back 60 years and the opinions of civil rights activists were as heretical and condemned in much of the country as Sterling's views are now. Who knows, maybe in 20 years, Sterling views will be the politically-correct orthodoxy of the day. I agree with Rumpole's result thought I disagree with his reasoning because the Constitution does not ply to private actors. i do believe the banning is wrong under the spirit of free speech.

Anonymous said...

I'm not as smart as the Professor, I just make a living practicing law...which makes me wonder - How can the NBA "ban" someone with a very real property right?
Does the super secret NBA owners contract have property forfeiture clause for misconduct? Does being a donkey-butt qualify as "misconduct".
Now its getting interesting!

Anonymous said...

stupidest comment ever by you. the marketplace did react. they started pulling sponsorships and threatening the nba. the nba responded to protect the bottom line, the only moral principle that counts for them or any other money-making entity. that is why they had to do what they did. the first amendment that you wrap yourself around has nothing to say about that.

Anonymous said...

Weaver got it wrong "again"


Anonymous said...

Did you hear the one about the three lawyers about to be disbarred for fraud on the court ? DETAILS ! DETAILS!

Anonymous said...

I think you miss the point. The NBA is an association. The members of the NBA are in business together. Sterling is morally reprehensible and bad for business. If your law partner made these types of remarks, we you just let the market decide? Or would you be looking for new space? Get off your soapbox and join us in the real world.

Nice speech on Saturday by the way.

Anonymous said...

Robaina and wife NOT GUILTY on all counts.

MC Waste Services, Inc said...

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/palm-beach-county-judge-cohen-gets-reprimand-today/nfkDm/?ecmp=pbp_social_facebook_2014_sfp interesting

Anonymous said...

In Evelyn Halls biography on Voltaire, Hall wrote the phrase: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" (which is often misattributed to Voltaire himself) as an illustration of Voltaire's beliefs.Hall's quotation is often cited to describe the principle of freedom of speech.

While I disapprove of Sterling's statements, I am troubled by the mob mentality that has followed. We all know that his ownership of the team was over once his bigotry was exposed. Somehow I am just troubled that it is ending after a judge (Commissioner Adam Silver) bowed to the mob. If he said these things to his players, or treated them as servants, i would feel differently. But there is no indication that he treated his players, who were mostly black, with anything other than respect. The same for the coach, who is also black.

I listened to the entire recording between Sterling and the ex girlfriend and it sure seemed that the ex was baiting him ... entrapment, no. Sordid and somewhat sleazy on her part, yes.

I am not a Fox TV fan, but I am worried that perhaps the PC police won out today.

Rumpole said...

This business by the "professor" of trying to identify ideas that are "so fundamentally wrong..." is what makes the objectivist in me crazy. There is no such thing. All such statements must be viewed by answering the questions :by whose definition? By what set of ethics?

It was fundamentally wrong for blacks and whites to use the same toilets, drinking fountains, and there were strict laws against interracial dating for the better part of 150 years in most of this country. Was the professor happy with Governor George Wallace's view of what was fundamentally wrong when he tried to stop the integration of schools in the south?

Go to parts of Taliban controlled Afghanistan and it is a generally accepted fundamental wrong for a woman to show her face in public. A woman who has sex outside of her marriage, including being raped, is subject to the death sentence. For those people, those crimes are fundamental wrongs.

The professor lives in a world where he or she knows what is right and wrong, but the professor doesn't realize that he or she lives in a country where the John Roberts, Eric Cantors, Samuel Alito's have the power to tell him what they believe to be a fundamental right or wrong.

When they come for you professor, don't look for me to defend you.

Literati said...

Rumpole, your comparison of the Taliban to racism is misleading.

Some things are wrong, and we all know it. That some persons are stuck in the pre-historic ages is irrelevant. Your point of view assumes, incorrectly, that the last 300 years have not actually advanced civilization. That the mores, values, or norms of Rome or colonial England, which treated women and slaves like dirt, are equal to current Western morality. But that's nonsense. One would assume morality improves over time. That is, cultures and their moral views improve as the public debates right and wrong. For morality to improve, of course, you need time and free speech. We have time (over Athens and George Wallace) and free speech (which fundamentalist cultures, like the Taliban, lack). Today, we know that bigotry is wrong, and it is unlikely that the marketplace of ideas will revert us to the silly notion that it's okay.

In fact, if the opposite were true, then what would be the point of free speech? If the marketplace of ideas did nothing to improve our morality or ideas or views of others, if, instead, it was basically aleatory, why defend free speech? Since John Stuart Mills and Justice Holmes, free speech has been a corner stone of Western civilization because the exchange of ideas leads to improvement of society. But if that were false, what would be the point of defending Sterling's views under "free speech." (If you say, simply, because free speech is important, you are essentially saying something is fundamentally right, which is what you unjustly accuse the Professor of doing. That is, to make your argument, you fall back to the moral objectivism that you mock the Professor for having.)

The Professor doesn't live in a world in which he or she knows right and wrong; he or she lives in a world where he or she, unlike you, is logically consistent. After all, if free speech is great because of the exchange of ideas betters our understanding of morality, the good, and the bad, what is wrong with letting the marketplace of ideas run amok against those who speak in a way the marketplace detests? And if free speech does improve morality, why believe that in the not-so-distant future somehow free speech will irrevocably lead us to the immoral position that x race is inferior to y race? Presumably, it wouldn't do that.

And, if somehow our country became a country run by bigots trying to throw the Professor in prison, we'd have a dilemma. Either the marketplace of ideas is broken and leads to awful consequences, in which case we have to rethink our adoration of free speech. Or these bigots got into power by some mean other than by adoring free speech (by, for example, squashing true free speech). In the latter case, if you're not defending the Professor, you're not being a morally consistent examplar; you're just another person allowing tyranny to triumph over democracy.

Rumpole, you should revisit your views. In this case, you're logically inconsistent. Either free speech works fine, in which case both political and societal pressure should befall Sterling. Or free speech should be restrained, barring the "masses"--heaven forbid they do anything against elites--from hoisting Sterling. But if free speech should be restrained, what better case than to restrain the bigotted speech of billionaire who earns his wealth off the backs of likely underpaid young minority athletes he abhors?

I don't intend to speak for the Professor, but it is one thing to believe, as I do, that Sterling has the right to say whatever he wants. He can publish books, he can go on a soapbox on Rodeo Drive and speak of the evils of minorities, or he can organize some non-profit hate group that hands out pamphlets. The government ought not interfere with him. But that is a long way from saying that his hate-filled speech is also free from the ire and backlash of any other person.

Anonymous said...

I'm ready to call it Rumpole. Heat v Trailblazers in The Finals. Mark it down. April 30.


MC Waste Services, Inc said...

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MC Waste Services, Inc said...

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Rumpole said...

Forget the Taliban my collectivist Literait friend. John Roberts. Sam Alito. John Boehner. Eric Cantor. Every right wing christian Republican who "knows" this is a Christian country. They're the people I fear making the decisions on what "everyone knows" is right.

Perhaps lost in this contretemps, is the fact that I agree the NBA has the right, as a private organization to punish Sterling and even ban him. If you read my original writings, I am warning NBA owners that if they do this to Sterling, they may find themselves individually punished by their other owners for their own views.

I of course realize this is not a case involving government suppression of speech. It is the public lynch mob that frightens me. Because while the NBA can do what it wants with the other owners, I could easily see some restaurant owner refusing to serve people with blonde hair shut down by the government. Oh wait- that has already happened. Hmm... I could easily see some private property owner punished for her refusal to rent her apartment to Hinuds. Oh wait- such laws already exist.

The point is that we live on a thin edge in our free country. As long as our ideas are somewhat acceptable, the government leaves us alone. But if you haven't looked at the Republicans lately, their collectivist statist view of the world may someday intrude on your desires to live you life without praying to Jesus Christ three times a day. And when they come and take your business and throw you in prison for not displaying a cross, don't look for me to defend you. I will be gone.

Anonymous said...

You again reference the "government leav[ing] us alone." The government has left Sterling alone. The public spoke. Your marketplace spoke. His business associates and partners (the NBA) spoke. His friend/family (the girlfriend) spoke.

Like him, you can enjoy whatever opinion you desire, undisturbed by the government. But, if it offends the public, you must deal with the consequences. The 1st Amendment protects your right to have an opinion free of government intervention. It does not require private people or entities to tolerate them.

This blog post is nonsense. Surprising, really.

Anonymous said...

phil, I think you are officially now starting to lose it.




No changes since my post on Monday. Looks like everyone will be waiting until 11:59 AM on Friday to pull the trigger on their final decisions.

If anyone has a hot tip on any filings, please email me.

Updates when they are necessary.

Meanwhile, Rump, how bout those HEAT?! Have to agree with an earlier poster who has them getting to the Finals for the fourth straight year; and the way Portland has been playing, I would not be surprised if they come out of the West. The Trailblazers and the Grizzlies look like they are both playing their best BB at just the right time.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

I have never posted a comment to this blog before, but I feel compelled to do so now. Rumpole's position that the NBA should DO NOTHING as well as the comments regarding the 1st Amendment have compelled me to respond.
1) The 1st Amend. right to "free speech" is, basically, the right to RECEIVE information, ideas, etc. Being able to express one's views is meaningless unless other people are allowed to hear them. Thus, a municipality cannot provide a place for someone to speak but prohibit other people from being there. Allowing someone to say whatever they want to an empty room does not satisfy the "free speech" guarantee. This is why condos and other homeowner associations that tried to restrict or ban satellite dishes ran afoul of the 1st Amendment. The homeowners have the right to Receive information. And, just like the restrictive covenants in property deeds which disallowed the property to ever be sold or transferred to a "Negro" were deemed unenforceable by the courts, as that would constitute State action, the same holds true with the by-laws and regulations of these homeowner associations. Courts will not enforce them as this would be State action in violation of the 1st Amend.
Here, the Clippers owner said what he wanted to who he wanted to hear him and she heard him. This is not a 1st Amendment issue in any fashion whatsoever.
2) It is, however, an issue of morality and integrity. Rumpole says "do nothing, NBA." He forgets the observation of someone (maybe Edmund Burke, although there is some dispute about that) that "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." He (Rumpole) says to let the marketplace take care of this. I think that is simplistic cowardice. It is not likely that the marketplace would have eradicated slavery. Nor is it likely that the marketplace will stop child pornography, etc. In fact, I imagine just the opposite is true. What stops these things is when good people with a collective morality that find something abhorrent stand up and say they will not tolerate that behavior. Rumpole, your argument that this is a slippery slope, while generally a good one, is not applicable here.
If my business partner espoused beliefs and views that disgusted me and reflected negatively on my business IN MY OPINION, I would do whatever I could to dissolve our business relationship and distance myself from her as far and as quickly as possible. And I would be willing to bet that you would too, R. So, why should the owners of the NBA not want to do whatever they are permitted to do within the legal boundaries of their partnership to remove themselves from being forced to be partners with someone they think is a racist? Let them take whatever action they think is appropriate and permitted by their partnership agreement. THEN let the marketplace determine whether it approves, disapproves or even cares.
Social injustices, prejudice, hatred, ignorance, etc., in my opinion, don't get diminished by people doing nothing. They get diminished, incrementally and sometimes glacially, by people doing something in response even if that something is small or seemingly insignificant.
You are wrong on this one. Really wrong.
Lane Abraham

Anonymous said...

Mc waste services- I will certainly let my daughter marry a black guy. Too bad you are so shallow.

Anonymous said...

Rump -- your Bluebooking needs some serious work. No comma after "See." That's basic.

The Professor said...


Thanks for your thoughtful response. You did well to play the tried-and-true moral relativism card, but your logic is still flawed. Here's why....

I'm not saying that racism is wrong because society says it's wrong, i.e. a positivist view. I'm saying that racism is wrong because it is inherently wrong ... i.e. a position of moral realism (the opposite of your position of moral relativism). Because I'm not taking the positivist position, this moots your citation of all those horrible SCOTUS cases.

I'll assume, though, that you also take issue with moral realism. For your position to be correct, i.e. that morals can never be absolute, you're essentially saying there is no such thing as "mallum in se" crimes -- certain crimes that are wrong not because society says they are wrong but because they are inherently wrong. In other words, you're saying that it would be acceptable for a person to say that murder, rape, and other hideous crimes are not "wrong." To be a moral relativist, you must hold the position that torture for torture's sake is not wrong; child abuse for the sake of sadism is not wrong; genocide is not wrong; slavery is not wrong.

So, do you argue that torture, slavery, etc. are not inherently wrong? If not, is it your position that racism cannot be categorized with these other wrongs? I think you've put yourself into a position from which answering these questions consistently will be difficult.

PS: Sorry for the slow response, but I was indoctrinating students on statist altruism.

Rumpole said...

Put down your well thumbed dictionary (realism, relativism, positivism) professor. I ain't a scared of big words.

You say racism is wrong because it's inherently wrong. And the owner of Ollies Bar-Be-Que said black and white people eating together was wrong because it is inherently wrong. And most of the southern states said blacks and whites marrying was wrong because it was inherently wrong. And a large part of the United States currently says gay people shouldn't marry because it is inherently wrong.

By what ethic are these things wrong? Who sets the standards to judge what is right and wrong?
President Obama? The Pope? Eric Cantor? Justice Alito? Governor George Wallace? Vox Populi?

You are willing to roll the dice that the majority will protect you. Tell that to the jews of Germany in 1939.
You are willing to accept that smart, likeminded people will somehow just "know" what is right and wrong.
And I am not, because the ethics of altruism/collectvism deprive people of property rights and human rights in the name of "the benefit of the many".
You (whether you know it or not) happily support "from each according to his ability to each according to his need" because you believe in the public good, the public need, and sacrificing the individual for the betterment of the many.
I do not.
So as I say, when they come for you and decide you are the next necessary sacrificial lamb for the betterment of the many, don't look for me to defend you. They just did it to Sterling for his private beliefs, and if they did it to him, they can do it to you comrade.

Rumpole said...

And by the way, murder, child abuse, torture are not wrong because they are just wrong - with no further explanation or discussion of epistemology. They are wrong because they deprive people of their right to their self, their life, their well being, all of which arise from their right to property and to own what they produce.

The Professor said...

I'm quite sure you're not afraid of big words, Rumpole. I know you can hang just fine with this conversation. Don't ever take me as saying otherwise.

Unfortunately, by saying that you believe in a "right to property and to own what [one] produces," you're admitting that there ARE some inherent rights ... things that are not "given" to you by the "people" but nonetheless exist. The only difference between you and me, therefore, is that you think that rights only exist if they flow from this source and not another.

So, tell me, Rumpole, if you admit that there ARE some inherent rights, who decides what those rights are? Or, in your words: "by what ethic are these things wrong? Who sets the standards to judge what is right and wrong?" Because, like Jce. Scalia, it's not that you don't think rights (or wrongs) inherently exist, you just differ on what they are. As such, you're just as guilty of pulling rights and morals out of thin air as anyone else.

imran muzzfar said...

Thousands of factors contributed to the ultimate success of Apollo, but no single factor was more essential than the concept of lunar-orbit rendezvous.The First Amendment applies to the federal government, not an association of billionaires who run a business monopoly. What's more, you're confusing the marketplace with the marketplace of ideas....