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1 hour ago, Ivanhoe said:

"secular celebration of Christmas"

lol

 

Very much.

Unless, perhaps, one understands as "secular" something Christian that is so interlinked with the social customs of the country that it must be considered secular to accommodate other things.

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On 6/21/2024 at 8:38 AM, sunday said:

Curious. Now a Christmas tree is a secular symbol...

It has roots in paganism.

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Many of the monotheistic practices came out of paganism. 
 

Religion evolves. 

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I'd say that for most of the people 'celebrating' Christmas it's in practice a secular holiday. 

2 hours ago, JWB said:

It has roots in paganism.

Well, isn't converting to christianity a most popular pagan tradition? :P

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1 hour ago, urbanoid said:

I'd say that for most of the people 'celebrating' Christmas it's in practice a secular holiday. 

Well, isn't converting to christianity a most popular pagan tradition? :P

Well, you do have a point......

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THIS is a case worth paying a LOT of attention to:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/23-370_i4dj.pdf  I suspect this is a shot across the bow, and it will have BIG ramifications on a lot of other things.  Jury verdicts have to UNNANIMOUS (not 4-4-4) and a Judge cannot give extra punishment.  

GORSUCH, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS, SOTOMAYOR, KAGAN, and BARRETT, JJ., joined. ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS, J., filed concurring opinions. KAVANAUGH, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ALITO, J., joined, and in which JACKSON, J., joined except as to Part III. JACKSON, J., filed a dissenting opinion

 

Held: The Fifth and Sixth Amendments require a unanimous jury to make the determination beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant’s past offenses were committed on separate occasions for ACCA purposes. Pp. 5–26. (a) The Sixth Amendment promises that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions the accused” has “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.” Inherent in that guarantee is an assurance that any guilty verdict will issue only from a unanimous jury. Ramos v. Louisiana, 590 U. S. 83, 93. The Fifth Amendment further promises that the government may not deprive individuals of their liberty without “due process of law.” It safeguards for criminal defendants well-established common-law protections, including the “ancient rule” that the government must prove to a jury every one of its charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Together, these Amendments place the jury at the heart of our criminal justice system and ensure a judge’s power to punish is derived wholly from, and remains always controlled by, the jury and its verdict. Blakely v. Washington, 542 U. S. 296, 306. The Court has repeatedly cautioned that trial and sentencing practices must remain within the guardrails provided by these two Amendments. Thus in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U. S. 466, the Court held that a novel “sentencing enhancement” was unconstitutional because it violated the rule that only a jury may find “facts that increase the prescribed range of penalties to which a criminal defendant is exposed.” Id., at 490. This principle applies when a judge seeks to issue a sentence that exceeds the maximum penalty authorized by a jury’s findings as well as when a judge seeks to increase a defendant’s minimum punishment. See, e.g., Alleyne v. United States, 570 U. S. 99, 111–113. Pp. 5–10. (b) The government concedes what all of this means for Mr. Erlinger. To trigger ACCA’s mandatory minimum, the government had to prove, among other things, that his three predicate convictions were “committed on occasions different from one another.” §924(e)(1). And as Wooden observed, deciding whether those past offenses occurred on three or more different occasions is a fact-laden task. As the government recognizes, virtually “any fact” that “increase[s] the prescribed range of penalties to which a criminal defendant is exposed” must be resolved by a unanimous jury beyond a reasonable doubt (or freely admitted in a guilty plea). Apprendi, 530 U. S., at 490. Here, the sentencing court made a factual finding that Mr. Erlinger’s offenses occurred on at least three separate occasions. And as in Apprendi and Alleyne, that factual finding had the effect of increasing both the maximum and minimum sentences Mr. Erlinger faced. Thus, Mr. Erlinger was entitled to have a jury resolve ACCA’s occasions inquiry unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt. This Court decides no more than that. Pp. 10–12. (c) Court-appointed amicus cannot avoid this conclusion. Pp. 12–22. (1) Amicus relies on an exception announced in AlmendarezTorres v. United States, 523 U. S. 224, which he argues permits a judge to find certain facts related to a defendant’s past offenses, including whether he committed them on different occasions. That decision is an outlier. And the Court has described it as “at best an exceptional departure” from historic practice. Apprendi, 530 U. S., at 487. It persists as a “narrow exception” permitting judges to find only “the fact of a prior conviction.” Alleyne, 570 U. S., at 111, n. 1. Pp. 13–15. (2) Amicus responds that if Almendarez-Torres permits a judge to find the fact of a conviction, that necessarily implies that a judge may also find the jurisdiction in which the underlying offense occurred and the date it happened, which is generally enough to resolve the occasions inquiry, making sending it to a jury pointless. This Court disagrees. To answer such questions, a court will sometimes consult the Shepard documents in a case, which include judicial records, plea agreements, and colloquies between a judge and the defendant. See Shepard v. United States, 544 U. S. 13. This Court’s cases hold that a sentencing judge may use the information gleaned from Shepard documents for the “limited function” of determining the fact of a prior conviction and the then-existing elements of that offense. “[N]o more is allowed.” Mathis v. United States, 579 U. S. 500, 511. Moreover, often Shepard documents will not contain all the information needed to conduct a sensible ACCA occasions inquiry, and they can also be “prone to error.” Mathis, 579 U. S., at 512. Pp. 15–19.

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A palate cleanser, boo to his family.

 

https://pjmedia.com/rick-moran/2024/06/22/marine-veteran-dies-alone-in-a-nursing-home-the-outpouring-of-love-at-his-funeral-was-phenomenal-n4930064

 

What do we owe those who served? 

Former U.S. Marine Gerry Brooks was 86 years old and alone when he entered a nursing home in Augusta, Maine. A week later, he was dead. When his next of kin was contacted, they declined the offer to take his body and bury it.

 

The funeral home director posted a notice asking for pallbearers and perhaps a a few people to pay their respects and honor the former Marine.

The response was phenomenal.

Within minutes of posting the notice, the funeral home was turning away volunteer pallbearers. 

A bagpiper came forward and offered to play. A pilot said he would perform a flyover. An honor guard was formed made up of veterans from across the state.

And hundreds of people who never heard of Gerry Brooks came to the funeral. He received full military honors Thursday at the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Augusta.

It was 40 miles from the funeral home in Belfast to the cemetery in Augusta. Brook's body was escorted the entire way by Patriot Guard Riders on motorcycles.

"Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars paid tribute with a 21-gun salute. Volunteers held American flags next to the casket while a crane hoisted a huge flag above the cemetery entrance," reports the Associated Press.

 

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2 hours ago, Murph said:

THIS is a case worth paying a LOT of attention to:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/23-370_i4dj.pdf  I suspect this is a shot across the bow, and it will have BIG ramifications on a lot of other things.  Jury verdicts have to UNNANIMOUS (not 4-4-4) and a Judge cannot give extra punishment.  

GORSUCH, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS, SOTOMAYOR, KAGAN, and BARRETT, JJ., joined. ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS, J., filed concurring opinions. KAVANAUGH, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ALITO, J., joined, and in which JACKSON, J., joined except as to Part III. JACKSON, J., filed a dissenting opinion

 

Held: The Fifth and Sixth Amendments require a unanimous jury to make the determination beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant’s past offenses were committed on separate occasions for ACCA purposes. Pp. 5–26. (a) The Sixth Amendment promises that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions the accused” has “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.” Inherent in that guarantee is an assurance that any guilty verdict will issue only from a unanimous jury. Ramos v. Louisiana, 590 U. S. 83, 93. The Fifth Amendment further promises that the government may not deprive individuals of their liberty without “due process of law.” It safeguards for criminal defendants well-established common-law protections, including the “ancient rule” that the government must prove to a jury every one of its charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Together, these Amendments place the jury at the heart of our criminal justice system and ensure a judge’s power to punish is derived wholly from, and remains always controlled by, the jury and its verdict. 

Is this idea that the jury has to be a unanimous 12 in favor of each conviction going to be one of those constitutional concepts that Josh and other will shrug their shoulders at? 

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Here's the best response I've seen so far on the Dem LGBwhutevs guy;

 

reddit.JPG

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I'll put this here, since it is more of a culture thing;

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/20723/california-legalized-drugs-cartels

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Six years after California legalized marijuana, the bodies keep piling up. Earlier this year, six men were murdered in the Mojave Desert. Four of the men had been burned after being shot with rifles. In 2020, seven people were killed at an illegal pot operation in Riverside County.


 

Quote

 

Cartels and gang members dominate the business. And open borders allowed them to bring massive numbers of laborers to boost their ranks. Not only California, but places as far afield as Maine that have large open areas and limited law enforcement resources, have been overrun by drug operations that more closely resemble parts of Latin America and Asia than the USA.

The coasts, from Southern California up to Oregon, are controlled by Mexican cartels which have expanded so much that they're running short of workers even during the Biden open borders boom. Some have taken to brazenly advertising for illegal workers in Europe.

A local California DA described "Mexican cartel groups coming up to grow pot, and people from Bulgaria, France and Russia." The vast exodus across the border has made it possible for cartels to freely bring in any workers they want, even as drug legalization and open borders effectively ended any real penalties for either illegal migration or marijuana.

 


 

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Once again, "the mafias set their sights on Oklahoma when the state's voters approved a ballot measure that legalized the cultivation and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes." Now the Triads run their own compounds "ringed by fences, surveillance cameras and guards with guns and machetes" with 3,000 illegal grows having a value estimated at as high as $44 billion a year.

The Triads are not just in the illegal marijuana business, they traffic in everything from heroin to fentanyl. Legalizing marijuana, however, provided them with a profitable and semi-legal market that gives them a base to expand their efforts trafficking in even more lethal drugs.

 

 

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Related to legalized marijuana.

I have two medical predictions:

In several years there is going to be an O Shit moment when we realize that marijuana isn't the benign drug we were led to believe when the push for legalization came down. There will be all kinds of syndromes and side effects associated with marijuana use, especially heavy use. The people who smoke a joint or two on the weekend probably won't have too much trouble. The people who smoke several joints every day will have the most problems. Especially those smoking the stronger pot of today.

I saw a study a while ago that if you use marijuana within two hours of having a heart attack there was a 50% increase in mortality. 

Many clinics are pushing replacement testosterone. And many into the gym scene use testosterone to get better results. I know several guys in their 40s and 50s  who all of a sudden get in great shape. Then you hear second hand they are on the roids. There will be a significant increase in prostate cancer among heavy users of testosterone. 

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The narrative about the safety of marijuana goes all the way back to the 1960s. Next to no actual science behind it, AFAICT mostly wishful thinking.

The causality between testosterone and prostate cancer is more of a belief rather than a proof. If high T levels resulted in prostate cancer, 18 year olds would be the hardest hit and men in their 70s would be safe. 

 

 

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On 6/22/2024 at 8:55 PM, Ivanhoe said:

The causality between testosterone and prostate cancer is more of a belief rather than a proof. If high T levels resulted in prostate cancer, 18 year olds would be the hardest hit and men in their 70s would be safe. 

Maybe 18 year olds don't have a problem with testosterone because they are still developing.

When treating prostate cancer many treatments suppress the testosterone levels. 

Edited by 17thfabn
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Not culture war, but war on culture

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My wife and I are volunteers for the Friends of the Library at the branch library in the college town where we first met, where every year we help out at the book sales. A month ago we received a peculiar donation. It turns out the new director of the library at our alma mater made the decision to liquidate the library’s special collections. Among those liquidations was a special collection library that had been initiated in the nineteenth century by a member of college founder’s immediate family.

In my years at college, I treasured this special library – it was housed in an elegant top-level room in the college’s oldest building, and required special access to visit. Nearly all the books were old, and all of them were on special subjects of great interest to me – literature, poetry, theology, the sciences. Many titles had bookplates with the names of the alumni who donated them over the years.

After some investigation I discovered that this new head of the college library pulled all of the books out of that special library, and put them in an enormous rented bin in the main lobby, with a sign suggesting that students could use them for art projects and scrapbooking, you know, to cut and paste their contents to express themselves and be “creative.” The majority of books sat there for weeks, and then she called our group to donate them to our book sale.

The last day of the book sale is bag day, where a brown grocery bag of books is only a dollar. What the library doesn’t sell at the end of sale is brought to a pulper. I pulled all of these books and placed them in private storage—if I hadn’t, they would have literally been shredded a week ago.

The process is ongoing. I’m told that the librarian is closing all of the special collections in all departments of the college, so I don’t want to share any names just yet, but before this is over, I hope I’ll have saved at least a thousand out-of-print books.

This is not new. Well over a decade ago, another university library in my state was destroyed. This library, in a literal ivory tower built exclusively for holding and preserving hundreds of thousands of books, was at one time among the top ten libraries in the nation. A new library director had not only decided to gut the
interior of the building and destroy all of the original architectural detail and period decor, but he also pulled out and destroyed a great majority of the books to make room for “computer stations.” They did not sell the books, they did not offer to donate them, and the director specifically instructed staff to discard the books in locked university dumpsters so that they couldn’t be taken by anyone.

The bad, the ugly, and the false. That is the makeup of the world these people are actively contriving and constructing. It really is time to build a consortium of knowledge, physical and digital, containing archives of the world’s books and works that are under attack and being taken away.

source

Edited by sunday
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