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Comment Re:A huge rocket? (Score 1) 642

Now you're just trolling. The Apollo moon landers managed to take off from the moon with a very small rocket.

The half of the landers that took off from the moon did so with a small rocket, but didn't leave low lunar orbit; rather, they rendezvoused with their respective Command Modules, which had much larger rockets. The CMs also had the benefit of being already in orbit, so they had a pretty substantial running start compared to starting from rest on the surface of the moon.

Comment Re:It'll never happen (Score 2) 136

U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995). Argued November 29, 1994; decided May 22, 1995.

The exercise by Congress of its power to judge the qualifications of its Members further confirmed this understanding. We concluded that, during the first 100 years of its existence, "Congress strictly limited its power to judge the qualifications of its members to those enumerated in the Constitution." 395 U. S., at 542.

"It would seem but fair reasoning upon the plainest principles of interpretation, that when the constitution established certain qualifications, as necessary for office, it meant to exclude all others, as prerequisites. From the very nature of such a provision, the affirmation of these qualifications would seem to imply a negative of all others." 1 J. Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States 625 (3d ed. 1858) (hereinafter Story). See also Warren 421 ("As the Constitution ... expressly set forth the qualifications of age, citizenship, and residence, and as the Convention refused to grant to Congress power to establish qualifications in general, the maxim expressio unius exclusio alterius would seem to apply").

Unsurprisingly, the state courts and lower federal courts have similarly concluded that Powell conclusively resolved the issue whether Congress has the power to impose additional qualifications. See, e. g., Joyner v. Mofford, 706 F.2d 1523, 1528 (CA9 1983) ("In Powell ... , the Supreme Court accepted this restrictive view of the Qualifications Clauseat least as applied to Congress"); Michel v. Anderson, 14 F.3d 623 (CADC 1994) (citing Nixon's description of Powell's holding); Stumpf v. Lau, 108 Nev. 826, 830, 839 P. 2d 120, 122 (1992) (citing Powell for the proposition that "[n]ot even Congress has the power to alter qualifications for these constitutional federal officers").13

Petitioners argue that the Constitution contains no express prohibition against state-added qualifications, and that Amendment 73 is therefore an appropriate exercise of a State's reserved power to place additional restrictions on the choices that its own voters may make. We disagree for two independent reasons. First, we conclude that the power to add qualifications is not within the "original powers" of the States, and thus is not reserved to the States by the Tenth Amendment. Second, even if States possessed some original power in this area, we conclude that the Framers intended the Constitution to be the exclusive source of qualifications for Members of Congress, and that the Framers thereby "divested" States of any power to add qualifications.

Comment Re:It'll never happen (Score 2) 136

The fix? Term limits. At least it's a start. But the sad thing is the Republicans actually PROMOTED term limits as part of their Contract with America. The Contract helped the Republicans capture the House back in the Clinton years. My faith in Republicans evaporated when their commitment to term limits did the same pretty much as soon as they took office (thanks, Newt... I haven't forgotten).

Do you also remember that SCOTUS shot down term limits as unconstitutional?

Comment Re:Gulty until proven Innocent Evidence (Score 1) 216

No, it's the court's job. If it's a jury trial in the US, the jury serves as the trier of fact, and the judge serves as the trier of law.

True, however the jury still has the right to judge the law as well as the fact:

It may not be amiss, here, Gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. On this, and on every other occasion, however, we have no doubt, you will pay that respect, which is due to the opinion of the court: For, as on the one hand, it is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumbable, that the court are the best judges of the law. But still both objects are lawfully, within your power of decision.

--CJ John Jay, delivering the opinion of the court in Georgia v. Brailsford 3 U.S. 1 (1794)

It's still good law. Juries don't have to be informed of their right to do so, but they still retain the right.

Comment Re:What about her maid? (Score 2, Insightful) 733

Did you read the story? Clinton had a SCIF in her home. She sent her maid--who had no clearance--into the SCIF--to collect documents. At times, she even received the President's Daily Brief there, a document that is always Top Secret.

1) There's no way she could have not known that stuff coming into the SCIF was likely to be classified--that's the whole point of having a SCIF.

2) There's no way she could have not known that her maid was unauthorized to be in the SCIF or to be handling classified information.

Comment Re: Gold you say? (Score 1) 156

If Trump were elected (which I doubt) he could totally give China the middle finger, and maybe they'd stop buying any bonds in the future, but beyond that the US would simply continue to pay off its debts on schedule and everything would continue as it already has.

Except that it wouldn't just be China refusing to buy our bonds, but everybody. You don't get to default on that much debt and keep borrowing, and you don't get to stiff a specific bondholder without the others saying "hmmm, I wonder who's next."

Also, most bond debts are fungible and freely negotiable; if we refuse to pay China, China sells it on the open market and recoups most of its loss...if it can find a buyer (see credibility problem above).

Comment Re:Patent? (Score 1, Informative) 117

In addition, I really can't see most people building their own batteries of sufficient storage capacity to power a home during peak usage time. Maybe an "Almost Ready to Charge(ARC)" kit that you would just have to add electrolyte to before using.

I can't see even that much. Messing with house wiring can be dangerous, both to the user and to people down the line (literally). Just plugging it in and letting it backfeed could get someone killed; there's a reason generators have to be installed with a cutoff switch to prevent that possibility.

Comment Re:Other than Brother... (Score 1) 387

Is there anybody who makes significant use of hardcopies anymore?

Yes. We're called "lawyers," and nearly everything we submit to the court in my jurisdiction (Oklahoma) is done not only on real paper, but in triplicate at minimum (one for the Court, one for me, one for the other side; more if there are multiple parties, if the judge needs his own copy separate from the court file, etc.). PACER is all electronic in the federal courts (though some things still have to be retained on paper for audit purposes, such as bankruptcy filings), but e-filing hasn't come to my state system yet (we have one county, out of 77, working on a pilot program right now). Print, sign, make 2+ copies (I love my auto-stapler), have the clerk file-stamp all of the copies, and mail or FAX them to the other side. For pretty much everything we do.

Contracts, though not filed with the court, are done on paper. Wills are done on paper. Deeds are done on paper.

Paper isn't going anywhere.

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