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Can of worms

17. October 2005 • Matt Hollerbach
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I received notice about this in my e-mail recently:

An ad hoc group of faculty members have drafted a Letter of Support, calling on the University administration, NOT to divest from Israel/Palestine, but simply to establish an advisory committee – as per U policy – and investigate if divestment is warranted.

This is similar to the action urged by some members of MSA last year, including myself. However, our resolution was defeated, amidst a fiesty 500-strong crowd in the Union Ballroom.

That was a crazy night.



  1. Who are the faculty members? I looked at the letter, but I could not find the signatories . . .
       —Jared Goldberg    Oct. 18 '05 - 12:22AM    #
  2. Also, is there a list of ALL the investments of the University?
       —Jared Goldberg    Oct. 18 '05 - 01:08AM    #
  3. Jared, it may not be all on one sheet of paper, and there may be some debate on how you define “investment,” but I’d be shocked if the U, for example, couldn’t show where every penny of its multi-billion dollar endowment lives. You don’t build a top-performing pile of money like that without attention to details like where it’s actually invested…
       —Scott Trudeau    Oct. 18 '05 - 08:58AM    #
  4. Yes, there is a nice, clean spreadsheet that indicates where all the money is invested. My guess is both the financial and the fundraising departments have access.

    Here is a question – i’ll throw it out and maybe i’ll get a reasonable answer not Blain’s usual rhetoric.

    Divestment like policies were found to be per se unconstitutional (in violation of the 10th Amendment) in Crosby v. NFTC. In that case the First Circuit said that any policy by a state or local government (or agency) that attempted to influence behavior of a foreign state is an intrusion into federal power and presumptively unconstitutional. The supreme court upheld the decision (on other grounds) and has taken teh Crosby arguments further over the past three terms. So, here is my question: what is the result of all of this? can the university do something it knows to be uncostitutional. This isn’t like AA where you can reasonably claim to be trying to change/preserve the law – this is one of the few clear areas in con law. Just seems overly weird to me.
       —David Livhsiz    Oct. 18 '05 - 05:21PM    #
  5. Divest from Sudan! until the Darfur genocide/debacle stops.

    Several states and universities have done this now. Incidentally, many Jewish groups and individuals are supporting this divestment effort…
       —David Boyle    Oct. 18 '05 - 05:24PM    #
  6. That constitutionality argument is pretty weak. In this case, the very act of holding an investment (thus potentially funding and supporting the activities of a foreign government) would be unconstitutional. Of course it is not, which means that dropping a stock cannot possibly be a crime.

    “Divestment-like activities” is pretty vague… can you clarify?
       —Matt Hollerbach    Oct. 18 '05 - 06:47PM    #
  7. Six investments were named in March. I was just wondering what list they came from and where one could see that list (preferably online, I’m not being confrontational, I’m interested in researching this).
       —Jared Goldberg    Oct. 18 '05 - 07:19PM    #
  8. Sorry failed to be clear. The state/local entities can act (inviest/divest) if it is consistent with the policy of the Federal Government (and in light of several cases last term – possibly the executive branch specifically). In Sudan there is a lot of congressional resolutions, and State department white papers that make it seem consistent. The example you’re looking for is Burma where the divestment policy was counter to the position of the federal government – and thats when the courts struck it down.

    Matt – its okay to have investmetns/sell divestments if you are doing so for reasons other then trying to impact the behavior of a state.
       —David Livhsi    Oct. 18 '05 - 10:29PM    #
  9. that’s an interesting point…likewise, because segregation was ruled “seperate but equal” by the supreme court, it was wrong for african-americans to demand civil rights…

    9 unelected aristicrats are not gods,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Oct. 19 '05 - 11:27AM    #
  10. Livshiz: The counter argument that I would make, and the way that I would dress the issue, is that divestment should occur not to influence the behavior of a foreign state, but to disassociate the institution from the negative domestic implications of holding those investments. I’d frame it in a similar way to getting rid of tobacco holdings. Of course, that would require university administrators to publicly aver this line of reasoning, which might be a little harder.
       —js    Oct. 19 '05 - 12:22PM    #
  11. I want to clarify the position of those who support this call for an advisory committee.

    As we have all seen in Iraq and (now) New Orleans, companies with contracts to the federal government do not obey taxpaers and often do not even obey laws. Companies exist to make money for their shareholders—in this country and abroad.

    Take Caterpillar, with a huge contract with the Israeli military. If, all of a sudden, the Knesset decided to totally abandon the occupied territories and and grant full sovereignty to the Palestinian people, Caterpillar would be out of a lot of money. Companies like Caterpillar have a vested interest in keeping the occupation going, and may even participate in lobbying efforts with the Israeli and US governments in order to protect their business interests.

    It is THIS that we seek to end—a financing of companies who are profiting from the killing of BOTH innocent Israelis and innocent Palestinians. The occupation is taking lives on both sides of the barrier, and people are making money on it.

    At this University, we are implicit in these practices by supporting the businesses in question. By cutting ties to companies who are shamelessly cashing in on terrorism and occupation, we can rid ourselves of direct financial culpability.

    As far as I know, the Israeli military and the Israeli government are not publicly-traded companies; The University does not trade in shares of ‘Israel’—so in no way can anyone even ask the University to divest from ‘Israel.’
       —Matthew Hollerbach    Oct. 19 '05 - 12:39PM    #
  12. Matt:

    I understand your point and I agree with you: Caterpillar’s stake in the occupation as it stands smacks of so much bad practice of profitting from human tradgedy it can’t even be expressed.

    On the other hand, Israel’s stake in Caterpillar is not as black-and-white. Israel’s presence in the Palestinian territories is not due to the military-industrial complex of Caterpillar. It predates it, and if Caterpillar were to go bankrupt and disappear tomorrow, would outlive it as well. Divesting from Caterpillar certainly won’t end the occupation.

    With regards to the argument of eliminating direct financial culpability, it certainly is a goal I support, but there are most likely other companies doing business elsewhere on the planet who are profitting from human tradgedy much more (ie Darfur).

    A divestiture from ALL companies with shady practices like that, not just the ones in Israel, would certainly be more successful in eliminating the culpability.

    I, however, remain opposed to divestment. Not out of support of the occupation (which I don’t) but rather because I think positive investment would better address issues in the region. Investing in businesses and organizations that help bring Israelis and Palestinians together is far more productive, constructive, and in the long run globally beneficial than selective divestment right now. And it’s less divisive.

    But, hey, that’s my opinion.
       —Jared Goldberg    Oct. 19 '05 - 01:02PM    #
  13. Ari P.: “Hates Judicial Activism…”
       —David Boyle    Oct. 19 '05 - 01:09PM    #
  14. matt/livshiz,
    selective divestment of companies like catipillar selling bulldozers to israel for the use of terrorism against palestinians…

    but, i divesting from any company just for doing business is in israel would be in shaky terroritory, but hey, maybe the case should be overturned…

    stay free,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Oct. 19 '05 - 04:49PM    #
  15. I don’t think it matters. Matt you have a creative spin on things, but i don’t understand what distinguishes you from the policy in Massachusets that prohibited local institutiosn from contracting iwth businesses that did work in Burma. Its the same thing. THe boottom line is that for a variety of reasons – Foreign Policy is an area the Federal Government doens’t like sharing. Their view (and i agree with this) if you don’t like something lobby congress, or lobby the executibe branch – they are the ones that deal iwth this.

    as for selective/general – doens’t matter – its targeting a foreign actor. D
       —David Livshiz    Oct. 19 '05 - 07:07PM    #
  16. What’s upsetting to me is that we finally have a thread where it’s appropriate for Blaine to share his views and he’s nowhere to be seen!
       —RJY    Oct. 21 '05 - 04:17PM    #
  17. “THe boottom line is that for a variety of reasons – Foreign Policy is an area the Federal Government doens’t like sharing. Their view (and i agree with this) if you don’t like something lobby congress, or lobby the executibe branch – they are the ones that deal iwth this.” -dlivshiz

    the bottom line, matt, is that in the relm of foreign policy, you have to be rich or a corporation or a member of the aristocracy to make change…the only avenues you can use to influence policy are ones that take lots of money and social capital…if the people of the country opose the war, that means diddly squat because the ruling capitalist class needs to make a profit off the war, so we (the u.s.) cannot grant the people a way to stop that…

    the people want the u.s. to put pressure on israel to stop the occupation…how dare a national of millions try to stop that!!! livshiz knows that if people had a voice in foreign policy, israel would not have the unique luxary of ruling and robbing with the u.s. holding its hand…thus, avenues to influence the government should only available to small cliques like aipac…

    now, i actually do not agree with divestment as a whole…i do believe in the divestment of catipillar, but not of any business that does business with israel, just ones that aid terrorism against palestinians…funny, livshiz has no problem in scraping the bill of rights to go after suspected terrorists, but if you want to stop terrorism against palestinians (i.e. house demolitions) then sit down!

    total divestment was correct in south africa…the destruction of aparthied was more important than maintaining the status quo of keeping foreign policy in the hands of the ruling capitalist class and lobbyists…but livshiz would probably disagree with that, but is that because he staunchly opposes the people’s will or is it because he is still mounring the loss of aparthied in south africa???

    get behind the struggle,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Oct. 21 '05 - 05:04PM    #
  18. The purpose of the Divest-from-Israel campaign is to destroy Israel’s economy. It is a form of economic terrorism, and stands in violation of US law aimed at protecting nations friendly to the U.S. from unsanctioned foreign boycotts. U.S. businesses need to be protected against secondary boycotts aimed at them as well..

    Mary Sue Coleman has already spoken against University divestment from Israel. Lee Bollinger, while at Columbia, is also on record as being opposed to University divestment from Israel. The overwhelming majority of campuses that have had this discussion have voted against divestment as well as the majority of local governments that have considered this form of political activism. The many campuses that have had a petition to sign in support of divestment have typically had ten-fold more persons sign an anti-divestment petition.

    This isn’t a local issue that began with a faculty or student government resolution. A google search of “Israel divestment” clearly shows otherwise. It is an International movement beginning with the Arab League in 1920, and again in 1945, and with increased activism since 2001.

    The premise is that if only Israel would withdraw to the pre-1967 borders, then peace in the Middle East could be achieved. There is no guarantee that the boycott would stop if Israel withdrew from all “occupied lands”. Israel did not occupy these lands when the boycott was started and, significantly, it must be remembered that this was the peaceful position that Israel occupied when it was attacked, initiating the six day war and the subsequent occupation.

    I am against a formal University sanctioned discussion of divestment from Israel. It makes me feel uncomfortable because I feel it contributes to anti-Jewish bigotry, and in doing so, encourages more terrorism. I don’t understand why we must attack the Jewish people again and again. Rather than using our time, energy, and investments to weaken the productive economy of Israel, why don’t we use our resources to build an infrastructure and comparable economy in a Palestinian nation?

    I have read that there was a church in Germany, during World War II, that was located next to the railroad tracks. The cries of the Jewish persons packed into the railroad cars on their way to the concentration camps sometimes disrupted the church services. So the organist increased the volume and the congregation sang louder. And the people later claimed that they did not know what was really happening during the Holocaust.

    I won’t sing louder. I see what is happening and I will speak out against it. We need to embrace only those peaceful, political solutions that give equal respect to both the Arabic and Jewish peoples. We need to ensure equality of opportunity in our own country for all individuals so that we can show the world, by example, that peaceful co-existence is not a future goal but a present reality. And we need to denounce, both personally and corporately, all forms of racism.
       —IMHO    Oct. 22 '05 - 10:26AM    #
  19. Ari:

    Isn’t it true for nearly all national issues that it takes rich and powerful people to bring change? Not just foreign policy, but health care, drug reform, labor, etc? I can’t think of a single issue in American politics where the government listened to “the people.”

    I think the people want a return to peaceful negotiations so that a just peace can be attained, not just an end to the occupation. An end to the occupation is a means to the end in the view of national opinion, not the goal in and of itself.

    IMHO,

    First, the controversy is over forming a committee to research divestment, not divestment itself. Second, it would be selective divestment, not divestment from every company doing business in Israel. Third, I doubt that such actions are anti-Jewish, so to characterize them as such is just wrong.

    I do agree with you that instead of divestment, we should invest in things that could be positive, building infrastructure and economic development for not just Palestinians, but co-existence projects.
       —Jared Goldberg    Oct. 22 '05 - 03:32PM    #
  20. Ari –

    A member of the house represents about as many people as does a mayor of AA (more, but not significantly). However, are you telling me that you think ti woudl bre wise to allow a group of a FEW people to undermine the work of teh State Department? Comeon. I disagree with Jared, i don’t thinik you hav3 to be “rich” to get Congress to act, you have to be right – and i think that the people who want divestmetn are wrong.
       —David Livshiz    Oct. 23 '05 - 10:56AM    #
  21. “i don’t thinik you hav3 to be “rich” to get Congress to act, you have to be right – and i think that the people who want divestmetn are wrong.”-dlivshiz

    firstly, you spelled have with a 3…secondly, your right, lobbying isn’t expensive…come one, jared, let’s use the change we have in our office to open a k street office and get some face time with the president…damn, i don’t think we have a enough…hey, livshiZ, do you think aipac will give me a low interest loan so the government whom i fiaance will listen to me???

    livshiz, the principal about power over people is a hypothetical (i think only a minority of people in the states believe in divestment from israel)...but when let’s say, for example, that most of the country thinks the war in iraq is a disaster, but the only people that a have a say in that is the president who is going to profit off it, his contacters, and the neocons…they get decide about where this country goes…not the people…

    this isn’t the soviet union…the central committee or the “vanguard” to think of us dumbasses (bush and his rich freidns) are not in charge…the citizens hold the soverignty in this coutnrey…i know that sounds horrific to you, but its something neocons will have to realize one of these days…

    yeah, i don’t believe in divestment from israel…but the idea of robbing the citizens of their right to govern themselves and make decisions about THEIR country is proof that this country is going the way of orwell’s nightmare, a stalinist fantasy…

    happy sunday,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Oct. 23 '05 - 12:57PM    #
  22. Ari – Have you read the fedarlist papers? The founders wanted, among the higher priorities, to take away foriegn policy from states/local entities. THat was one of the major defects of the initial approach. (see federalist 2-5). As for unpopular war – that is the point of a republic – you can convince them to vote it out in the next election cycle. You (and I) lost in 2004, and if you want to convince hte president its by showing him the “order of the boot.” You are frustrated cause you can’t do that, and the reason yo ucan’t is clearly the majority of the country does not oppose the war as strongly as you do. shrug. THe alternative, is not havin a single foreign policy – and we all suffer as a result. Its not about divestment, its about ensuring that interactions that can potentially cost us allies, or get us into war (see the relations with Britan in the mid 1780s) do not happen. D
       —David Livshiz    Oct. 23 '05 - 11:41PM    #
  23. “The founders wanted, among the higher priorities, to take away foriegn policy from states/local entities.” -dliv

    they also wanted due process, freedom of religion, and such, but the bush white seems to disagree with them on that one…

    “You are frustrated cause you can’t do that, and the reason yo ucan’t is clearly the majority of the country does not oppose the war as strongly as you do. shrug.” -dliv

    firstly, you don’t keep up with the news:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/10/opinion/polls/main930772.shtml

    yes, i am frustrated because we didn’t beat bush in 2004, largely because i did not think kerry was the right candidate and because of questionable voting irregulartieis in ohio and florida…

    grandfather clauses,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Oct. 24 '05 - 12:35AM    #
  24. I am aware of the polls, but I don’t think that a republican government has to chase every poll. The poll that matters is the one that comes out on the first wed in November every 2 years. and until we win there, thats life.

    as for the rest – that maybe true – but i have yet to see them ignore a court rulling. which is what this (divesment) woudl be doing. a country with a rule of law is one where no one gets to just ignore the law.
       —David Livshiz    Oct. 24 '05 - 03:02AM    #
  25. “The poll that matters is the one that comes out on the first wed in November every 2 years. and until we win there, thats life.” -dlivshiz

    true, but that one needs some serious fixing…i mean, where the guy gets less votes wins by winning state run by his brother where blacks were barred from voting and jewish voters were fooled into voting for buchanan, you just have to wonder whether or not there really is an open vote in this country…

    “a country with a rule of law is one where no one gets to just ignore the law.” -dlivshiz

    with rove, libby, aipac, bush, gonzalez, delay and all, i guess republicans DON’T want a country like that…

    law and order,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Oct. 24 '05 - 08:06AM    #
  26. The majority don’t want a Democrat as president. The majority don’t want to place all the blame on Israel and do anything that would appease terrorists or encourage them.

    The butterfly ballot was designed by Democrats. What your argument says is that Democrats are less able to read and follow directions on a ballot. You may be right, but you have 4 years to train voters and will surely find another reason to whine next time.

    The Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from establishing a national religious denomination and from interfering with the free exercise of religon. It does not prevent free people from electing persons of faith and it does not require that an elected official somehow disengage their decisions from their worldview and all they hold to be true. We are a Christian nation and because of that persons of all faiths can worship as they see fit.

    If you want to direct foreign policy, get a job within the executive branch. You are right – our government was designed so that local governments and individuals do not decide foreign policy.

    Republicans are the party that follows the rule of law. The liberal press, one liberal prosecuter in Texas and Move On.org can wage a smear campaign but after 8 years of Clinton and his ilk we recognize criminals when we see them. Bush never raped anyone, never sold missle technology to the communist Chinese, hasn’t sold amnesty to rich drug dealers, hasn’t had anyone killed for having an affair with his wife, hasn’t had any cabinet member’s body found in a airplane crash with a bullet hole in his head, didn’t perjure himself in court and attack innocent women in the press after he sexually attacked them in person or any of the dozens of criminal acts that our last President committed.

    Since you all still defend this criminal and buy his books I guess we already know what kind of country the liberals want.
       —ANON    Oct. 24 '05 - 09:59AM    #
  27. i’ll respond to your comments if you come out from behind your vail of cowardice…

    that is all,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Oct. 24 '05 - 12:05PM    #
  28. That would be veil. That is all,

    Ano n.
       —ano n.    Oct. 24 '05 - 12:29PM    #
  29. ano n – your rhetoric seems a tad bit biased. Its not a liberal proescutor – the man has indicted 3 times as many democrats as he has republicans. More importantly, it strikes me that really the problem is that “power curputs”. In the sense that when the dems were in power they did plenty of shady things, right now its the republicans. Come on – you have a republican appointee about to indict a healty part of the west wing, a republican led SEC investigating Frist, Delya and several other republican members of the house under indictement already. Its not moveon.org, its teh fact that no party is filled iwth angels. I may not like Howard Dean, but that doens’t mean I like Tom Delay.

    As for what this country was created – i DARE you to find a line in the Federalist Papers (or, hell, for that matter the anti-federalist papers) that refer to this country as “christian”. I agree that the country is organized around judeo-christian values – but that is a long way from saying a “christian country”.

    Lastly, Ari, come on – youmay not like the republicans are doing, however at the end of the day there seems to be acccountability (see list of investigations/indictments). Moreover, why does it matter for this discussion. The question isn’t that what they do in other areas is wrong? its about what is right in this one. surely you are not arguing that two wrongs make one right? D
       —David Livshiz    Oct. 24 '05 - 04:12PM    #
  30. David Boyle: I read your Divest from Sudan and thought that – maybe for one second – Blaine had a new cause.
       —eston    Oct. 25 '05 - 01:26AM    #
  31. David Livshiz-

    Would you consider a Supreme Court decision to be evidence?

    In 1892, the Supreme Court declared in Church of the Holy Trinity vs. United States, that America was a Christian nation from its earliest days. After examining a full range of historical documents, Associate Justice David J. Brewer concluded that Americans are “a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation.”

    In 1931, Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland reviewed Church of the Holy Trinity vs. United States, the 1892 Supreme Court decision that concluded America was a Christian nation, and reaffirmed that Americans are a “Christian people.” As late as 1952, even the liberal Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas declared that “we are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.”

    In addition to writing the opinion in the Holy Trinity case (see “The Court Speaks,” at right), David Brewer wrote The United States: A Christian Nation in 1905 while still a member of our nation’s highest court. In it, Brewer reiterates the history behind the 1892 Trinity case and states clearly that America was founded as a Christian nation, as the following citations from his book indicate:
    • “This republic is classified among the Christian nations of the world.”
    • “{W}e constantly speak of this republic as a Christian nation—in fact, as the leading Christian nation in the world. This popular use of the term certainly has significance. It is not a mere creation of the imagination. It is not a term of derision, but has a substantial basis—one which justifies its use.”
    • “In no charter or constitution is there anything to even suggest that any other than the Christian is the religion of this country. In none of them is Mohammed or Confucius or Buddha in any manner noticed. In none of them is Judaism recognized other than by way of toleration of its special creed. While the separation of church and state is often affirmed, there is nowhere a repudiation of Christianity as one of the institutions as well as benedictions of society. In short, there is no charter or constitution that is either infidel, agnostic, or anti-Christian. Wherever there is a declaration in favor of any religion, it is of the Christian.”
    • “I could show how largely our laws and customs are based upon the laws of Moses and the teachings of Christ; how constantly the Bible is appealed to as the guide of life and the authority in questions of morals.”
    David Brewer’s conclusion?

    “This is a Christian nation.”
       —ANON    Oct. 25 '05 - 05:43AM    #
  32. ANON, this is a nation founded by and largely run by christians… That doesn’t make it a “christian nation”, nor does citing cases from a hundred or so years ago. But since you obviously love centuries old reading I highly recommend James Madison: Writings – that Father of the US Constitution guy goes on and on about what can go wrong when you mix religion with politics.
       —FAA    Oct. 25 '05 - 11:18AM    #
  33. FAA,

    I thought liberals were well versed in Supreme Court precedence and stare decisis. The initial case was 1892, supported again in 1931, and again in 1952.

    If you like Madison, perhaps you should check out his early writings. James Madison’s religious views and activities are numerous, as are his writings on religion. An understanding of Madison’s religious views is complicated by the fact that his early actions were at direct variance with his later opinions. Those who would use Madison as an authority in secularizing the public arena misrepresent his historical role in framing the First Amendment and ignore the views and importance of other prominent Founders.

    First, Madison was publicly outspoken about his personal Christian beliefs and convictions. Madison even desired that all public officials would declare openly and publicly their Christian beliefs and testimony.

    Second, Madison was a member of the committee that authored the 1776 Virginia Bill of Rights and approved of its clause declaring that:

    “It is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.”

    Third, Madison’s proposed wording for the First Amendment demonstrates that he opposed only the establishment of a federal denomination, not public religious activities. His proposal declared:

    “The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established.”

    Fourth, in 1789, Madison served on the Congressional committee which authorized, approved, and selected paid Congressional chaplains.

    Fifth, in 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided a Bible Society in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.

    Sixth, throughout his Presidency (1809-1816), Madison endorsed public and official religious expressions by issuing several proclamations for national days of prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving.

    These were the early actions of Madison. In later life Madison retreated from many of these positions, even declaring in his “Detached Memoranda” his belief that having paid chaplains and issuing presidential prayer proclamations were unconstitutional. Recent Courts have made a point of citing Madison’s “Detached Memoranda” in arguing against public religious expressions.

    Significantly, the “Detached Memoranda” was “discovered” in 1946 in the papers of Madison biographer William Cabell Rives and was first published more than a century after Madison’s death by Elizabeth Fleet in the October 1946 William & Mary Quarterly. In that work, Madison expressed his opposition to many of his own earlier beliefs and practices and set forth a new set of beliefs formerly unknown even to his closest friends. Since Madison never made public or shared with his peers his sentiments found in the “Detached Memoranda,” and since his own public actions were at direct variance with this later writing, it is difficult to argue that it reflects the Founders intent toward religion.

    If you’d like the references- check out
    wallbuilders.com
       —ANON    Oct. 25 '05 - 12:13PM    #
  34. too bad jefferson didn’t want religion to mix with government…and he’s the “author of america”...

    god hates figs,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Oct. 25 '05 - 04:28PM    #
  35. While Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he was in France when the Constitution was discussed and written.

    God likes figs – he created them and said they were good!
       —ANON    Oct. 25 '05 - 04:45PM    #
  36. I guess that’s why we have religious tests for holding public office. Oh wait, we don’t:

    Article. VI. Clause 3: ”...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
       —John Q    Oct. 26 '05 - 10:22AM    #
  37. ANON, a few things:
    * Don’t assume one is a liberal just because they don’t want to mix gods and governments.
    * Read your own quotation again, slowly and aloud: “nor shall any national religion be established” – did you hear a “federal denomination” clause?
    * The Detached Memoranda is published by and regarded as authentic by The Library of America among many others. I’m going to trust them on this one.

    I just read your first post… You made a good point about foreign policy but then trailed off into what looks like either insane bias or a brown acid fueled tirade. Let’s not resume this discussion until you’re feeling objective and/or sober.
       —FAA    Oct. 26 '05 - 11:04AM    #
  38. Who is FAA??? Are you an adult? Have you graduated high school? Are you the bouncer on this site?

    I have participated in 3 topics. Each time, you have responded with illogical arguments which indicate your poor reading comprehension and then request I no longer contribute. If I had your debating skills I wouldn’t want to face an articulate spokesperson for the opposing view either. If you are reading or listening to another person’s point of view, you need to be ojective. When you are speaking or writing your own personal viewpoint, you are biased by definition. If I had no bias, there would be no need to write. You are clueless!
       —ANON    Oct. 26 '05 - 12:36PM    #
  39. ANON, I apologize – I in no way mean to stifle the expression your opposing viewpoint. I should have politely asked why you would spout a paragraph of negativity towards a former president and accuse everyone of defending him/buying his book when no one had even mentioned him, rather than comparing your statement to a drug induced rant.

    I’m also sorry you are having such difficulty following me. I know I can tend to make some out of kilter remarks… Like when you questioned the validity of the Detached Memoranda and I replied that it is authentic in the opinion of the most trusted historical publisher in the country. I must be having an off day…

    Lastly, no, I’m not the site bouncer (nor am I affiliated in any way other than residing in Ann Arbor). I do, however, greatly appreciate every aspect of this site and would prefer to not see its comment section come to resemble an AM talk radio political shouting match. You know, one filled with statements beginning with “republicans are [that]” and “the liberal [this]” as in your first post? If you can refrain from using such absolutes (you don’t actually think such things are black and white, do you?) and personal attacks (speaking of “are you an adult?”), I’ll keep my condescending comments towards you to myself… And this will be an even nicer place. Cheers!
       —FAA    Oct. 26 '05 - 02:10PM    #
  40. I’m sorry, my fault. I haven’t been reading posts on this site for very long. I apologize for being too argumentative. This did start out as a discussion on divestment. I will try to tone it down. :-)
       —ANON    Oct. 26 '05 - 05:59PM    #