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New Study Reveals Youth Unprepared to Make Challenging Ethical Choices

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whitewater writes:

Where is the special deal?

 

The $1/year lease that was not open to bidding.

 

The Scouts spent more money developing and maintaining the property than it was worth.

 

Are you saying acres of land just off Seaworld is worth only a couple of million?

 

There was a public comment period where no one complained and no one else came forward to offer to run the property.

 

This is simply not true. Over 1000 people attended the meeting where the city council voted on renewing the lease (it had to be held in Charles Dail Concourse Plaza Hall). It took over 10 hours. The early lease renewal was opposed by a number of groups, including the ACLU which filed the lawsuit.

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Merlyn,

 

One could contend that the 14th Amendment does not apply to the states. That is a weak arguement as well. Currently only some of the Bill of Rights guarentees have been "incorporated," or applied to the states. May I remind you that the original Supreme Court cases following the passage of the amendment such as the Slaughterhouse cases ruled the opposite of what you claim, that the 14th Amendment did not apply to all citizens of the states and was only designed to protect the rights of free blacks in the south. Only later did activist courts seek to gain more authority over state legislation as well.

 

I misstated the 1st Amendment "establish religion" Obviously San Diego did not do that either. Anyone who claims so is clearly just misrepresenting facts. You must also realize that clearly Mr. Madison's views were repudiated. The Congress elected by the American people hired a Chaplain and kept one for over two centuries and continues to have one to this day.

 

You and I could keep bickering back and forth about this issue. The main point is the only thing that you use to back up your ideas is the federal judiciary. Meanwhile I believe such decisions should be up to the American people to decide through through their elected representatives.

 

My question is what is your aversion to letting elected legislatures speak for the will of the people they represent and make law and public policy. You echo anti-democratic sentiments that you and a few judges know better and have more of right to determine policy than the American people.

 

Thank you.

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The Balboa Park case is typical ACLU. Twist the law to fit your need. Then make gobs of cash off the city! And for what? Just to get the Scouts out of the park. Nothing more. Nothing less. The only rights that were trampled on were the BSA's. All they did was maintain a section of the park at no cost to the citizens of San Diego. Now the citizens of San Diego will have to pay for someone to do what the BSA did for nothing. Plus cover the gobs of cash the ACLU won! When this is overturned, I hope the gobs of cash the ACLU got have to be returned.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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TheScout writes:

One could contend that the 14th Amendment does not apply to the states.

 

One could contend that the first amendment only applies to white landowning males.

 

I prefer to deal with reality, whether I like it or not.

 

The main point is the only thing that you use to back up your ideas is the federal judiciary. Meanwhile I believe such decisions should be up to the American people to decide through through their elected representatives.

 

For many years, blacks in certain areas only had the federal judiciary backing up their ideas of voting rights, civil rights, and so on. Local governments often actively opposed these, with local popular support.

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Merlyn,

 

The $1/year lease that was not open to bidding was the same deal granted to quite a few other groups. (In the terms of the lease the Scouts also pay $2500/year in administrative fees.) In fact the Girl Scouts' lease was extended in the same way, without bidding, and was approved at the same hearing. Of the 123 leases to non-profit groups that San Diego has granted, 96 of them pay less than the Boy Scouts do when you add in the administrative fee.

 

In return for the low rent, San Diego receives development of the property and doesn't have to maintain it- a considerable savings. Sounds to me like the City is getting the sweetheart deal.

 

The City also leases part of the park to true religious groups: the San Diego Calvary Korean Church, the Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church, the Jewish Community Center and the Salvation Army. Why aren't you and the ACLU attacking them as well?

 

As far as the value of the land, since it is dedicated parkland by the City of San Diego's charter, its value is purely speculative since it cannot be developed. However, the plantiffs in the case speculated that the Fiesta Island Aquatics Center was valued at about $1.25 million and the Balboa Park property was worth between $1.25 million and $1.9 million. The Boy Scouts have invested over $2.4 million in each.

 

I did mis-speak when I said no one complained. I should have said that no one came forward with an offer to continue to develop and maintain the property. I see in an earlier message that Merlyn claims no one came forward with an offer because the City didn't request proposals. I contend that no one else has the resources to do what the Boy Scouts have with the property.

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Merlyn,

 

 

So basically what you are saying is that you DO support the ability of the federal judiciary to stick its nose into local matters when decisions should be made by the elected representatives of the people.

 

You cite that fact that blacks were denied rights for many years by local governments. However may I remind you most of the civil rights advances in American history have taken place by elected legislatures of the people. Congress and the States ratified the 19th Amendment to give women the right to vote. Congress ended discrimination in public accomoadations with the Civil Rights ACt of 1964, Congress ended discrimination in voting rights with the Civil Rights Act of 1965, Congress and the States ratified the 26th Amendment to give 18 year olds the right to vote. These decisions with popular support are taken by the public as legitimate more quickly. Look at the massive resistance to Brown vs. Board of Education.

 

You should not hide behind the walls of the federal judiciary. If your cause is just you will be able to convince the American people because I believe they are inherently good and wise.

 

I fear you must cower behind a few judges because they are the only ones you can convince of your crazy ideas.

 

Thanks.

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whitewater writes:

The $1/year lease that was not open to bidding was the same deal granted to quite a few other groups.

 

That's not relevant - some or all of those leases may not be legal, either. That doesn't change the fact that the city didn't follow its own open bidding process for the BSA lease.

 

The City also leases part of the park to true religious groups: the San Diego Calvary Korean Church, the Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church, the Jewish Community Center and the Salvation Army. Why aren't you and the ACLU attacking them as well?

 

What are the circumstances surrounding these leases? Do these organizations get exclusive use of public parkland the way the BSA does? The BSA admitted that they book the property 100% with Scouts in the summer months, so only members of their discriminatory organization can use this public parkland during the most popular time.

 

TheScout writes:

So basically what you are saying is that you DO support the ability of the federal judiciary to stick its nose into local matters when decisions should be made by the elected representatives of the people.

 

No, I support the ability of the federal judiciary to stick its nose into local matters when decisions should NOT be made by the elected representatives of the people, specifically when the elected representatives decide to cut special deals for an organization that discriminates against atheists.

 

I fear you must cower behind a few judges because they are the only ones you can convince of your crazy ideas.

 

Yes, atheists having equal rights is certainly a "crazy" idea.

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Merlyn,

 

You write, "I support the ability of the federal judiciary to stick its nose into local matters when decisions should NOT be made by the elected representatives"

 

I don't think I have ever heard a more anti-democratic sentiment. I think the people should make the decisions through their elected representatives. The American people are not children to be dictated to. They are mature, wise, and good enough to make their own decisions. If you want to attack me for thinking that popularly elected legislatures should make public policy decisions go ahead, but I will stand by that belief. For two centuries many Americans have fought, died, struggled, and prayed for the right to elect representatives to make decisions for them. I think that is principle that we should cherish most in America.

 

Also, since you say that equal rights for non believers in God is not a "crazy" idea, why do you and those who share your sentiments have such a hard time getting the people and their elected legislatures to agree with you. Why can you only get a couple of judges. If your cause is just the American people will support it. I believe the American people are fundamentaly good and can make their own decisions. Apparently you don't.

 

Thank you.

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TheScout, I do not have time to take your argument apart line by line. Basically I agree with Merlyn (please note I am talking about your constitutional argument in general, not the San Diego case, which I long ago decided was factually complicated enough that the courts can handle it on their own, and that I do not need to have an opinion on it.) I also elaborated on some my views of the Constitution and the relative roles of the elected and judicial branches, earlier. Our system of government is much more complex than the simple statement "majority rules" or as you put it, "I think the people should make the decisions through their elected representatives." Your statement describes how our government (state and federal) works the vast majority of the time. However, it ignores the Constitution and those relatively rare cases in which a piece of legislation violates the Constitution. In one of your earlier posts, I think you said that the elected representatives can interpret the Constitution, and often they do. But the Bill of Rights (and later amendments recognizing various rights) exists as a limitation on the powers of the legislature (the elected representatives.) As you know, the First Amendment begins "Congress shall make no law" and proceeds to identify what Congress may not do (and there are other such limitations found in the body of the original Constitution, mainly Articles I and some in Article IV.) Do you really believe Congress should be the last word on whether Congress itself has violated the Constitution? Well, don't answer that. For me, the answer is no. To do what you suggest effectively cancels out the Bill of Rights and a number of other parts of the Constitution as well.

 

I also think Merlyn alluded to your argument about whether the First Amendment applies to state and local governments. The First Amendment has been applied to the state and local governments by the doctrine of "incorporation." For those readers who did not happen to attend law school, here is an article that explains what this is all about:

 

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hamilton/20050211.html

 

This article actually deals with the exact same issue TheScout is talking about, that is, does the Establishment Clause apply to the states. In the recent "Pledge of Allegiance" case (aka "Newdow"), one justice (Clarence Thomas) based his decision in part on the idea that the First Amendment is NOT fully applicable to the states. The linked article explains why this is incorrect, an opinion apparently shared by the other eight justices.

 

Now, TheScout, apparently you reject the idea of "incorporation" on the grounds that it was not developed recently enough. All I can tell you is, cases decided within the past 50 or 60 years do "count" in constitutional law, in fact often they "count" more than older ones if they overrule a decision in the past. I have to laugh at your citation of the "Slaughterhouse cases," partly because I doubt that more than 2 or 3 other readers of your post have any idea what you are talking about, but mainly because those cases are perfect examples of what the law no longer is. If you want to cling to cases decided 125 years ago (or around there) and ignore the case law that has been decided since around the 1940's, go right ahead, but I think other readers should be aware that your beliefs do not represent "the law."

 

I also have to ask you something else, TheScout. Do you realize that under your view of the Constitution, there would be "avowed homosexuals" in the Boy Scouts right now? (Well, maybe just in New Jersey, but that is more complicated than I have time for.) In the Dale case, a group of un-elected judges (5 ninths of the U.S. Supreme Court) declared a portion of New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination (adopted by an elected legislature) unconstitutional as applied to the BSA's policy excluding avowed gays. In your opinion, that was an incorrect decision, right? Incorrect for a second reason also, I guess, which is that the NJ statute was declared unconstitutional based on the First Amendment, which according to you applies only to the federal government, not to the states.

 

Right?

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Just a note. The perceived public reaction to a court action versus congressional action is irrelevant regarding the validity of either.

As a matter of fact, I was in school just after the 1954 decision in Brown vs Board. Also during the subsequent actions cited in 1964 and 1965.

From the view of this student, reaction in these parts (the South) was MUCH stronger and violent after the 1964 and 1965 actions.

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What are the circumstances surrounding these leases?

Makes no difference. Religious organizations have the same type of lease the BSA has & yet you seem to be able to justify them! Just proves your and the ACLU's only agenda is the destruction of the BSA! Well, what are you going do when this ruling is overturned, Merlyn? What will you & the American Cash Lover Union go after then?

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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TheScout writes:

I don't think I have ever heard a more anti-democratic sentiment. I think the people should make the decisions through their elected representatives.

 

Including abridging civil rights, it seems. Under US law, some things are not subject to popular vote.

 

Ed writes:

What are the circumstances surrounding these leases?

 

Makes no difference. Religious organizations have the same type of lease the BSA has & yet you seem to be able to justify them!

 

I haven't justified them at all, Ed - in fact, if those leases were also awarded without competitive bidding, they would be struck down as void on the same basis as the BSA lease.

 

But you never have any useful information to contribute.

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I haven't justified them at all, Ed - in fact, if those leases were also awarded without competitive bidding, they would be struck down as void on the same basis as the BSA lease.

But you never have any useful information to contribute.

 

And that proves my point! You don't know if those leases were awarded without competitive bidding because you really don't care! (I don't know either nor do I care) Your whole focus is the BSA! Nothing more! If you & the ACLU were really defending the Constitution, you & the ACLU would be attacking those other organizations with the same viciousness you are attacking the BSA. But you aren't. Why?

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Geeze, can it you two. Yes the BSA makes mistakes, Yes the ACLU makes mistakes, yes the Feds make mistakes. We all make mistakes. If we all realize the the world is not perfect, not everyone is going to be happy and that we all screw up every now and then, we'll all get along better. Can we please stop talking like 2nd year law students and really bad High School Debate teams and have some decent quality debates without flames and putdowns every other post? Thanks.

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Ed writes:

If you & the ACLU were really defending the Constitution, you & the ACLU would be attacking those other organizations with the same viciousness you are attacking the BSA. But you aren't. Why?

 

Because they didn't get special, no-bid leases, and they don't exclude people from public parkland on the basis of religion.

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