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ACLU Grinch Strikes Again!!

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Rooster says:


It shouldn't matter how a jurist feels about a controversial issue or even he or she takes a public stance. What matters is whether or not he or she will hold up the law as it is written and/or interpret it reasonably per the Constitution.


Well then Rooster, I think you should get yourself elected to Congress so you can help change how both parties deal with nominees of a a president of the opposing party. Until then, both the Republicans and the Democrats will continue to question some nominees about their beliefs on certain issues and how those beliefs may affect their decisions -- and in some cases, play politics with nominations. People who are complaining about it now (like some Republicans, and the writer of that opinionjournal.com article, and Rooster) ought to think back a few years to how things were when there was a Democratic president and a Republican majority in Congress (and the latter still is the case) -- but of course, that is not how the political game is played. When the shoe is on the other foot, history goes out the window.


Democrats are telling this country that those people who subscribe to that set of beliefs (i.e., conservative Christians, Orthodox Jews, etc.) are unfit to be federal judges.


All Democrats are doing that? Or just some Democrats? If it's a few Democrats on the Senate judiciary committee, and some "liberal" groups here and there, that's not an entire poltical party. And I don't think any Democrat is telling anyone that anyway. As I said before, the Senate has confirmed about 160 out of about 165 judicial nominees, and I find it difficult to believe that with G.W. Bush doing the appointing, some (if not most) of those nominees have been "conservative Christians" and/or outspoken opponents of "abortion rights."


And by the way Rooster, since you mention Orthodox Jews, I would be curious to see the list of Orthodox Jews (of which I am not one, by the way) who G.W. Bush has appointed to the federal bench and/or other high federal positions.


Yet people of various religious faiths are being penalized for embracing the beliefs taught to them.


Again, I think that's "spin." It is not what is really happening. And then of course we get the inevitable pre-emptive anti-counter-spin from Rooster:


Liberals who proclaim otherwise are merely propagandizing in order to achieve their own political ends - even if it means circumventing the Constitution.


Uh huh, Rooster. In other words, everything you say is the objective truth, but everything your ideological opponents say is "propagandizing in order to achieve their own political ends." Give me a break.

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Earlier I wrote a sentence (actually a phrase at the end of a sentence) that said this about the persons nominated by the current president and confirmed by the Senate with no opposition from Democrats:


I find it difficult to believe that with G.W. Bush doing the appointing, some (if not most) of those nominees have been "conservative Christians" and/or outspoken opponents of "abortion rights."


when I actually meant this:


I find it difficult to believe that with G.W. Bush doing the appointing, some (if not most) of those nominees have not been "conservative Christians" and/or outspoken opponents of "abortion rights."


That word "not", it will get you every time. Or me, anyway. Of course, I should have avoided the double negative (or is it really a triple negative) in the first place and said this:


I find it difficult to believe that with G.W. Bush doing the appointing, none of those nominees have been "conservative Christians" and/or outspoken opponents of "abortion rights."


or even better, this:


I am pretty sure that with G.W. Bush doing the appointing, some (if not most) of those nominees have been "conservative Christians" and/or outspoken opponents of "abortion rights."


The wonder of grammar. I regret any confusion.

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ScoutParent, if you want to tell yourself that the readers of this forum saw me "spit and sputter," I suppose that is your privilege. However, from my perspective, what the readers (and I'm mainly talking about the ones who don't post) have seen is you refusing to defend your statement or to answer any questions about it. And from that, they can draw their own conclusions about what was really behind your statement. Anyone could have asked you those questions; if it wasn't me, if it was someone who never posted here before, what excuse would you have used then?

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Pronunciation: u'pinyun



Matching Terms: opinion poll, Opinionable, Opinionate, opinionated, Opinionately, Opinionatist, opinionative, Opinionator, Opinioned, Opinionist



WordNet Dictionary


Definition: [n] the reason for a court's judgment (as opposed to the decision itself)

[n] a vague idea in which some confidence is placed; "his impression of her was favorable"; "what are your feelings about the crisis?"; "it strengthened my belief in his sincerity"; "I had a feeling that she was lying"

[n] a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty; "my opinion differs from yours"; "what are your thoughts on Haiti?"

[n] a belief or sentiment shared by most people; the voice of the people; "he asked for a poll of public opinion"

[n] the legal document stating the reasons for a judicial decision; "opinions are usually written by a single judge"

[n] a message expressing a belief about something; "his opinions appeared frequently on the editorial page"


Seems the dictionary doesn't agree with your assessment of the word opinion.

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ScoutParent (and Rooster too I guess, since you decided to jump in):


If you are referring to my statement "opinions have to have some basis in fact," the dictionary definitions you cite do not contradict my statement at all. They support it.


What I am saying is that an opinion based on false or nonexistent facts is worthless. To use an example from your post, ScoutParent, if I am asked to give an opinion on Haiti, and I say I like it because it is warm there, and you say you don't like it because it is too hot there, those are our opinions and there is no point in debating them. Neither of us can be right or wrong. However, if you have been told, and you believe, that the average summertime temperature in Haiti is 20 degrees (F), and you say your opinion is that Haiti is too cold, your opinion isn't worth much. Likewise, if you believe that Haiti is the name of a cow rather than a country, your opinion of the cow isn't worth much, because there is no cow.


The dictionary also mentions judicial decisions, twice. I have read thousands of court decisions. Virtually every one has had some statement of what the facts are, upon which the opinion is based. If the facts are incorrect, the opinion is not worth much. In fact, if the facts in a lower court decision are clearly incorrect, the decision can be overturned on appeal. The "opinion" based on the incorrect facts becomes irrelevant.


And I found an article that supports what I am saying:




This article says, among other things, the following:


An opinion is a judgment based on facts, an honest attempt to draw a reasonable conclusion from factual evidence. (For example, we know that millions of people go without proper medical care, and so you form the opinion that the country should institute national health insurance even though it would cost billions of dollars.) An opinion is potentially changeable--depending on how the evidence is interpreted. By themselves, opinions have little power to convince. You must always let your reader know what your evidence is and how it led you to arrive at your opinion.


To bring this back to what I was talking about, Rooster re-posted an article that drew opinions from partial statements of fact, "spun" facts, "twisted" facts or no facts at all. It may have represented the writer's belief, but it had no weight in convincing anyone of anything because it was not based on actual facts. A number of the posts in this forum are like that too. Someone's pure belief, based on no facts at all, has no power to persuade me of anything. I may have my own beliefs, but I wouldn't try to convince anyone of them.


So, I'm having a pretty good day, Rooster.




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I think they gotcha, NJ. Opinions don't have to be based on facts. Of course, you can evaluate the value of an opinion by whether it is supported by facts.


Thus, it is my opinion that both Republicans and Democrats consider the ideology, and not just the qualifications, of potential judicial nominees--both in nominating and opposing them. You can certainly have a contrary opinion, but it won't be encumbered by the facts.

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Well, Hunt, I did not mean to start a semantic debate. The article that I quoted agrees with me, and in the portions that I did not quote (see link), it draws a distinction between "opinion" and "belief," the first one being based on facts and evidence, the second one not. That is a distinction that I have always gone by, even before I found that article earlier today. Maybe some people don't make that distinction. It doesn't matter. I do know that ScoutParent's dictionary definitions do not contradict what I said.


I will acknowledge that I could have been more clear in my original statement, although I don't think that either ScoutParent or Rooster actually misunderstood me. What I really meant was that an opinion based on a false fact is not persuasive. But even then, Hunt, the example you give is one where your opinion (about nominations) can be supported by facts. You could find examples of members of both parties basing their decisions on ideology rather than objective facts. But when I see a suggestion or implication made that only one party does that -- and right now that charge is only being made by Republicans against Democrats -- I have to say something, because that "opinion" is demonstrably false. There are facts that disprove it. Something similar applies to statements I see all the time on here, or in talk radio -- like "liberals believe in such-and-such" or "gay people do xyz." Is that opinion, that might persuade someone? Or is it just pure belief, that is contrary to the facts when it implies that all of a particular group do something or believe something, when they don't.


And to take it back to an issue we all know and love, I have seen statements on here or elsewhere on the Internet that James Dale wrote "I'm gay" on a leader application, or appeared in a gay pride rally in a Boy Scout uniform before he was terminated from the BSA, or that he appeared in a parade wearing a dress holding a sign about the Boy Scouts, or other things that he never did. While people who post such things on here may well believe they are true, someone started those stories, knowing they were not true. I can only conclude that they started those stories because they thought that if people believed any of those things, they would be more likely to agree that Dale should have been banned from Scouting, and maybe also that they would believe that all gay people act in an inappropriate manner. In other words, they were seeking to shape opinion based on false facts.


And that is why I say, each of us is entitled to our opinion, but not our own facts.

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Anyone is entitled to an opinion based on whatever facts or information they choose to believe. That alone does not make their opinion correct or support a persuasive argument.


I know of some people(I'm not refering to anyone on the forum) who get their information from either Fox News or NPR and consider other sources biased if they happen to present facts that are not consistent with their opinion. They are all entitled to their own wrong opinion regardless of the facts. However, I am not likely to be persuaded by those that automatically dismiss information simply because it doesn't support their opinion.





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