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View Full Version : "Mr. Leu, tear down this wall!"



sarongsong
2007-Jul-26, 04:33 PM
July 26, 2007
Blaine, Washington [map (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?formtype=address&country=US&popflag=0&latitude=&longitude=&name=&phone=&level=&addtohistory=&cat=&address=4250+west+99th+street&city=blaine&state=wa&zipcode=)]
...their retaining wall stuck about three feet into a 10-foot border buffer zone...The Leus, who live across from rural British Columbia, say they built the wall to keep their sloping back yard from washing away into the shallow ditch that marks the 49th Parallel, the border with Canada...
Honolulu Star-Bulletin (http://starbulletin.com/2007/07/26/news/story11.html):wall:

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Jul-26, 04:51 PM
Well, it seems to be in violation of US treaty law. It's illegal. Knock it down.

Kelfazin
2007-Jul-26, 04:53 PM
I heard this story on NPR yesterday too. It will be interesting to see which way the court case goes. I guess I can see all sides. On one hand, you should be allowed to build a wall on land that you legally own without being told to take it down. On the other hand, we have to make sure the border is free of obstruction. On the gripping hand, the law was already on the books when the Leu's bought their property, it was up to them to follow it.

I wonder how far this will go.

sarongsong
2007-Jul-26, 05:25 PM
It's a fine looking wall, but the city should pay to relocate it since they---a border city---issued the permit(s)...but that's probably too simplistic a solution.

Jim
2007-Jul-26, 05:26 PM
When you own property in the US, you don't always own everything about it.

The city (usually) has rights over the property between the street and the sidewalk, or 10' from the street if there is no sidewalk. They can dig it up w/o your permission, or claim it outright if they want to widen the street (have to pay you, of course). Utilities have similar rights for their rights-of-way; you can plant or build on them if you want, but the utility can remove whatever you put up if they decide it's in their way.

Oops, got cut short...

Basically, any time you want to erect anything on someone's right-of-way across your property, you need to contact that someone, or take the chance that what you put up you may have to take down.

The rights-of-way are normally included on the property plat, which you should be given when you purchase the property.

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-26, 05:47 PM
The U.S. bought Lousianna, the U.S. bought Alaska, surely the U.S. could buy or lease 3 by 85 feet of Canada? It's not as if Canada is running short of room now is it?

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Jul-26, 05:55 PM
Well, it's still US territory - the wall just encroaches on the buffer zone on either side of the border. Also, no nation would be willing to sell territory for something as trivial as this. It would be an indication of weakness and a breach of the principle of sovereignty. It would never happen.

mike alexander
2007-Jul-27, 03:30 AM
Man, just leave the folks alone. It's 'matters of principle' like this that end up starting wars.

The Backroad Astronomer
2007-Jul-27, 04:04 AM
Near Machias Me there is a zone in the Bay of Fundy were both US and Canada claim as there own and used in the lobster fishery there, if the two countries can survive that for decades. This wall should not be such an issue.
Also there a houses that are on the border and nobody is asking to tear them down.

Damien Evans
2007-Jul-27, 09:25 AM
Ah, the benefits of living on an island country...

Maksutov
2007-Jul-27, 09:39 AM
When you own property in the US, you don't always own everything about it....Actually, when you own property in the United States, you really don't own anything. There's something called "eminent domain" (one of the various reasons why I'm a libertarian). Plus there's something called "property taxes".

When I paid off my mortgage, my wife celebrated, saying "Now we actually own this all by ourselves!" I reminded her of the two items mentioned above. Later she reminded me of what the courts can do during a divorce.

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-27, 11:34 AM
Well, it's still US territory - the wall just encroaches on the buffer zone on either side of the border. Also, no nation would be willing to sell territory for something as trivial as this. It would be an indication of weakness and a breach of the principle of sovereignty. It would never happen.

Make Australia an offer. You might be surprised. Australia has been declaring parts of its territory as sort of but not really part Australia at all in order to avoid international obligations.

Strange world. Some people are willing to kill for territory, others are trying to get rid of it.

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-27, 11:36 AM
Actually, when you own property in the United States, you really don't own anything. There's something called "eminent domain" (one of the various reasons why I'm a libertarian). Plus there's something called "property taxes".

If you think that's bad, we're subjects and belong to a lady with buck teeth.

Damien Evans
2007-Jul-27, 02:37 PM
If you think that's bad, we're subjects and belong to a lady with buck teeth.

and her son with massive ears, and his wife who looks like a horse!

Damien Evans
2007-Jul-27, 02:40 PM
Make Australia an offer. You might be surprised. Australia has been declaring parts of its territory as sort of but not really part Australia at all in order to avoid international obligations.

Strange world. Some people are willing to kill for territory, others are trying to get rid of it.

Yeah, anyone willing to make us an offer for Christmas Island?

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-27, 02:55 PM
Yeah, anyone willing to make us an offer for Christmas Island?

Heck, I should try and buy and and make into Brak land. The capital city will be Geekopolis, nerd capital of the world. And we shall make mothers live in the basements, but they will be very nice basements indeed. And they can come up and bring us cookies and milk while we're playing D&D any time they like.

pghnative
2007-Jul-27, 02:57 PM
I wonder how far this will go.But the story indicates that the Justice Dept had essentially reached a settlement, but for the actions of the Boundary Commission. With a new commissioner, the settlement presumably can proceed. Unless Canada takes issue, but there is no indication of that.

The old commissioner is trying to be reinstated, but the case looks weak.

([lighthearted political joke not meant to really be partisan]Seems like lots of people these days are trying to be their own branch of government...[/lighthearted political joke]

Damien Evans
2007-Jul-27, 02:59 PM
Heck, I should try and buy and and make into Brak land. The capital city will be Geekopolis, nerd capital of the world. And we shall make mothers live in the basements, but they will be very nice basements indeed. And they can come up and bring us cookies and milk while we're playing D&D any time they like.

May I join in this masterful plan?

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-27, 03:01 PM
May I join in this masterful plan?

Certainly. I'll make the Australian government an offer as soon as my tax return comes in.

hhEb09'1
2007-Jul-27, 03:08 PM
Man, just leave the folks alone. It's 'matters of principle' like this that end up starting wars.It's not as simple as that. :)

From the newspaper article linked in the OP:

the Justice Department appeared ready to settle with the Leus.So, everybody is reasonable? No!


[Schornack] argues that he is trying to uphold the treaty he was sworn to protect, while the administration is seeking to remove him for disloyalty -- simply because he did not go along with Justice Department in the Leus' case. Not only that, but Schornack claims the president cannot fire him, because he works for a binational agency governed by international treaty, not U.S. law.

So, it's not the Leus, not their city government, not the federal government, not Canada, but someone named Schornack causing all the ruckus.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, which is representing the government in its dispute with Schornack, recently called his claims "breathtaking."

Damien Evans
2007-Jul-27, 03:10 PM
Certainly. I'll make the Australian government an offer as soon as my tax return comes in.

Excellent...

Kelfazin
2007-Jul-27, 04:07 PM
Heck, I should try and buy and and make into Brak land. The capital city will be Geekopolis, nerd capital of the world. And we shall make mothers live in the basements, but they will be very nice basements indeed. And they can come up and bring us cookies and milk while we're playing D&D any time they like.

Hope that island can support a lot of people, cause we're all comin' over!

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-27, 04:12 PM
Hope that island can support a lot of people, cause we're all comin' over!

I hope so too as a lot of Iraqi people tend to turn up there. But with so much brain power on hand we'll work things out.

Kelfazin
2007-Jul-27, 04:20 PM
Just put up a Barrier of Knives if they are sporting the latest ExplosiveWear fashion :)

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-27, 04:25 PM
Just put up a Barrier of Knives if they are sporting the latest ExplosiveWear fashion

I think they are trying to get away from that. Anyway, in Brak land all are welcome provided you can get past the animatronic gay guys kissing defence system at the border. It should serve to keep out the intolerant.

Kelfazin
2007-Jul-27, 04:28 PM
I think they are trying to get away from that. Anyway, in Brak land all are welcome provided you can get past the animatronic gay guys kissing defence system at the border. It should serve to keep out the intolerant.

:lol: perfect defense system.

Jim
2007-Jul-27, 06:05 PM
Hope that island can support a lot of people, cause we're all comin' over!

Not me. When all you guys move, I intend to stay behind and pillage... er, look after all the stuff you don't take with you.

Kelfazin
2007-Jul-27, 06:08 PM
Not me. When all you guys move, I intend to stay behind and pillage... er, look after all the stuff you don't take with you.

Ha ha the trick's on you, I'm taking all my dice with me, even the D100!

Trebuchet
2007-Jul-27, 06:31 PM
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, which is representing the government in its dispute with Schornack, recently called his claims "breathtaking."

This sounds like a rare instance in which I can say I agree with the current Justice department!

They covered this story on the TV news the other night, including the stuff about the "you can't fire me" commissioner, but it was really confusing.

BigDon
2007-Jul-27, 07:01 PM
Ha ha the trick's on you, I'm taking all my dice with me, even the D100!


Naaw, D100's are round and a big pain in the patukis. They won't stop rolling. Worse than D30's. That's why I go with two D20's for percentages. Now my collection of dice was started in the 1970's and has been around the world with me while I was in the Navy. I have six siders that are so used they've lost all their corners.


One of the most unlikely outcomes in a game occured in a Call of Cthulu game. We were playing the set of scenarios called Masks of Nyarlathotep. In the chapter called Shanghai, my younger brother's character, after catching two rounds from the body guards*, tried to huck a 12 stick bundle of dynamite under the RollsRoyce of the main villian that not only had him in it but also the physical avatar of ol' Narly hisself.

As this was just supposed to be a temptation to the players and not a confrontation, plus the bad guys had other things to do later in the chapter, PLUS just being badly wounded I gave my bro slim odds. But being a good game ref is as much about showmanship as rules I didn't tell him you only have a one per cent chance, I said "Okay, roll under ten per cent twice, and if you don't make it, the dynamite is going to roll about ten feet away"

Darned if he didn't make it.

Well, even a well built 1920's RollRoyce fairs poorly against a bundle of dynamite that big. Heck, even a tank of the same era would have been blown to scrap.

Had to do a lot of mental back pedaling after that coup, but I pulled it off.



*Call of Cthulu isn't like D&D. You only get a dozen or so hit points, to a max of 18, (If you're still human). So catching two .45 colt rounds from a long burst of Thompson fire is very bad for your character's future advancement.

So Mr. Brak, can I come to the island without having to kiss any animatronic pooftas?

BD the DM

Kelfazin
2007-Jul-27, 07:12 PM
My best "screw up the GM" event was a night we were playing Vampire: Masquerade. The storyteller had us start just waking up from a sleep all alone in a room 30 or 40 stories up, no information on how we got there or where we even were. My character was malkavian (the crazy ones). When my character heard footsteps coming down the hall, I took a quick look around and broke out the window. As the bad guy walked into the room I leaned out the window, pretending to hold on to somebody, and started shouting things like "it's not worth it, come back inside! You have so much to live for!" As soon as the guard got close enough I reached inside, grabbed him, and with a couple lucky unarmed combat rolls, threw him out the window. She sent in a second guard and I managed to accomplish the same thing.

Found out after the story was over that the guards were a big part of her planned story. Escorting our group to other parts of the building, fighting, all kinds of stuff. She recovered ok, but learned that sometimes you have to choose to ignore the dice rolls and go with the greater story :)

BigDon
2007-Jul-27, 09:36 PM
My best "screw up the GM" event was a night we were playing Vampire: Masquerade. The storyteller had us start just waking up from a sleep all alone in a room 30 or 40 stories up, no information on how we got there or where we even were. My character was malkavian (the crazy ones). When my character heard footsteps coming down the hall, I took a quick look around and broke out the window. As the bad guy walked into the room I leaned out the window, pretending to hold on to somebody, and started shouting things like "it's not worth it, come back inside! You have so much to live for!" As soon as the guard got close enough I reached inside, grabbed him, and with a couple lucky unarmed combat rolls, threw him out the window. She sent in a second guard and I managed to accomplish the same thing.

Found out after the story was over that the guards were a big part of her planned story. Escorting our group to other parts of the building, fighting, all kinds of stuff. She recovered ok, but learned that sometimes you have to choose to ignore the dice rolls and go with the greater story :)


I read the rules for that series but never played. Now given my druthers I'd rather be one of the mages or even one of the Lupine. Who wants to be an animated corpse that sucks the life from the living? And at least the Lupine are rather lusty, like me. Vampires? Pshaw! They are the undead. They produce neither waste nor seed. As they said in that one movie, "They're NOT romantic, they smell bad, and they will kill you!"

Had a player in Shadowrun become a vampire. He eventually became so powerful as to become unplayable, IE he won, as we say around here. And boy did he have some enemies. He had a personal war with the CEO of Ares Macrotech, Damien Knight. Damien came really close to killing him several times. The closest being when he lured the player down to Antartica (using himself as bait) and trapped him in a hermetic circle on an open ice field. An hour before the long day began. Would have worked too, had not my player had the ability to discorparate, (mist form). He was able to take refuge in a narrow ice fissure. But he was trapped from several game weeks in the ice due to the long Antartic day. Boy, was he tee'd off after that.

One of the things that made him so tough to beat was while vampires can't have cyber implants, (They immediately heal and expell the foreign parts) the player in question was heavily cybered prior to being converted. And as the big rule on cyberware is, since you paid essence for it, it's you! I had to let it ride.

Essence is a measure of how much body burden cyberware costs you as a living thing, to run. An unmodified human has 6 points of essence. Things like thermal vision cost .2 essence. BUT things like having your eyes pulled altogether and replaced with orbs costs .5 essence but you can load them with 1.2 essence worth of stuff. (The usual eye suite is Amps, Damps and Thermals)

The down side of excessive cyberware is when your essence drops below 4 points people start to get uncomfortable around you. Under 2 points and you lose your sex drive, as that's a function of a living thing, not a piece of equipment. Plus the mundos (mundanes) stop inviting you to the good parties.
If you reach or get to zero essence you just stop eating after a while and there is nothing to be done to save you as you go catabolic.

This isn't to be confused with what happens to a mage who astral projects too long. In that case you only have an hour for each point of essence you have. After that your body chills and you basically die of hypothermia, only blankets and heaters won't help. And there is no automatic find your way home. If somebody moves your meatbody while you're away you're hosed if you can't get to it.

But then you got the boys in the .01 club. Them boys are always dangerous. Around here we refer to them as "Cybermonsters". And you'ld best have some of your own if you are going to go against any. The average weight of a cybermonster is between 550 to 600 pounds nekkid. And a lot of them can move over twice as fast as you can possibly react. (For the mere price of .2 essence and hundreds of thousands of Nuyen you can buy a chip that will allow you to pass for more human than you are. It will remind you to blink and breath and such. Scratch your butt once in a while. You know, be human.)

Then they came out with bioware and Cybermancy. Bioware is pretty self explainitory and you can have both cyber and bio ware. Bioware uses a atribute called "body" which limits the amount you can have. 6 points of that as well.

Cybermancy now, thats bad. Only three megacorps and one or two goverments can do it. It basically involves loading up some poor sap with a Godawful amount of cyberware and then through spells both fell and foul they bind the poor smoe's soul to the hulk of his body. So he can't die under normal circumstances.

But there are serious drawbacks to that system, not the least of which is expense. Add to that the "cyberzombie" as they are called have to be micromanaged and directed to their targets. They are subject to distraction and can become fatally fixiated on minutia. To the point of going catatonic if not brought out of it fast enough. (One example they gave was when this guy who had the procedure done stared for hours at a small imperfection in the earring of a receptionist who was twenty feet away. With his new eyes the crack looked big enough to put his hand in. His "handlers" had to come out and shock him to get him back online.

Not that I play a lot of Shadowrun or anything.

BD

Kelfazin
2007-Jul-27, 09:50 PM
Hah, Shadowrun was my game of choice. Going up against Ares is quite the feat, considering they invent everything that kills everybody else lol. Our GM like to bring out Dunkelzan (the head dragon himself) whenever he wanted us to lose (he would kill us, but we all had Platinum doc wagon accounts). We had a really really good crew.

I had a character that was part of the .01 club, named him Mech (thought it was fitting). He was pretty fun, but I spent so many pointsi n STR that his Willpower and INT suffered. Got lost in a single-chamber cave once because he dropped a lit flashlight and I failed the test to find it again. Had to call for help on the radio. He was strong, but he were D-U-M-B dumb. Didn;t get to play him long enough to increase his stats with karma. The GM actually took him out of play by having him lose his role to become a cyberzombie. He got lost forever into the P on a pepsi can. *cry*.

After him I stuck to characters with around 1-3 essence. Always got the smartlink for my Ares guns, improved vision, wired reflexes, cyber lung stuff that was really useful. I never got the finger compartment, or the "entertainment package" for my brain. Then I always spent money on a couple Ares hanguns, or a nice HK sniper rifle, or if I felt like making noise, a Panther cannon :)

Maksutov
2007-Jul-27, 11:08 PM
Heck, I should try and buy and and make into Brak land. The capital city will be Geekopolis, nerd capital of the world. And we shall make mothers live in the basements, but they will be very nice basements indeed. And they can come up and bring us cookies and milk while we're playing D&D any time they like.Move over, G'Topia...here comes Brak Land!

What will we be, BTW? Brakkers? Braklanders? Friends of Exeter? Brak Homeland Security Enforcers?

:think:

Kelfazin
2007-Jul-27, 11:11 PM
Ireland - IRish
Brakland - BRish :)

BigDon
2007-Jul-28, 12:07 AM
Ah, a fellow runner! The other "in-house" names we had were:

Chicken Swingers and Rattle Shakers. As in, "Holy crap! A hive! We need some chicken swingers up here ASAP! (One does not confront the Invae without mage support!)

Trogs, what humans call orcs or trolls, from a distance.

Pinkies or Dinkies, (which is short for "dark pinky"), What orcs or trolls call humans to their faces. I have some black players in my regular gaming group and didn't want them to feel left out.

Elves are "weed eaters" due to being vegans. In one early volume they were called that, then the makers of a certain gardening device hit them with a cease and desist. Then they tried to use the name "Dandilion eater" as a replacement. But that wouldn't float in my book. Derogatory slurs have to be quick and roll off the tongues of spiteful people with ease. "Dandilion eater" is just too awkward to qualify as such. So it was dropped like a hot potato. After all of 20 seconds of thought, if that.


Lately the guys' favorite characters have been getting bored with the usual fare so I've been studying the Horrors. Read all the rules of Earth Dawn just to use them in my Shadowrun games. They seem to earn the distinction of being the toughest opponents in RPG playing. No two are alike.

They had a very minor one in basically a giant bell jar in a hermetic circle. After an hour or so the jar began to make distressing noises and fine cracks began to appear. A quick check of all the instruments and sensors and they realized the air pressure in the jar was dropping. Thats when they discovered that it didn't actually "breathe" per se. Its chest rose and fell, BUT it never actually exhales anything. It just consumes. That is the nature of the Horrors. The chest goes back to the starting position just to set up for the inhale. It took all the abilities of a very experianced mixed runner crew to destroy a trapped one.

Another was hunting the slums in Puyallup. The locals called it "The Choir" because of the sound the few folks who survived encountering it told. And almost all the victims seemed to be suicides to the local authories. It was destroyed through sheer good fortune and the persistance of a powerful owl shaman, "Hunts-by-Night". Sadly Hunts-by-Night was killed down in LA while hunting down a serial killer who preyed on children.

Turned out not to be a serial killer but an Incubus. (An urban predator who's root anscestor was the Pacific Octopus. They can breath air, read minds, and cast back the illusion of whatever you desire, hence the name. Fortunately they lack human intelligence. And if they are attacked by multiple opponents, you will get some "weird" illusions.

After it had dropped its desire reflection power, (The kids thought it was Santa Claus come to give them presents) it literally tore him in half at the waist. One of the .01 clubbers who was covering him emptied two vehicular machineguns into it. Sure it was dead after the first 40 rounds or so, but "Crater" burned through 400 rounds at one setting, "Because it ****ed him off" It was deader than hell after that but the damage was done. Ol' Hunts thought he was taking on a human psycho with his magic knife only to discover he was face to face with 500 pounds of angry tentacles. Bummer. Its an Awakened World my friends.

Unbeknowst to most folks, after The Great Ghost Dance, some two dozen Horrors were able to transverse the veils between our worlds. Now they seek to bridge the difference and allow their numberless hordes across.

That would be bad. According to story canon THAT is the real reason for periodic mass exinctions.

Kelfazin
2007-Jul-28, 12:38 AM
Ah, a fellow runner!

good idea mixing RPG's. We did some mixing as well, but instead of going the horror route, we mixed it with Cyber Punk 2020. The bad guys were badder but our guns were bigger :)

The most interesting run we had was stealing some technology from a space station. The station was actually owned and operated under a secret Aztechnology program and Mistuhama wanted the AI that controlled their station. They got hold of our Mr. Johnson who arranged a flight through Mitsubishi-Sugo (a cyberpunk corp) and sent us up. It was a nicely organized run by the GM. Fighting in space was a lot of fun, allowed us to really open our imaginations.

BigDon
2007-Jul-28, 01:16 AM
good idea mixing RPG's. We did some mixing as well, but instead of going the horror route, we mixed it with Cyber Punk 2020. The bad guys were badder but our guns were bigger :)


Ah technically its not a mix of rpg's friend Kelfazin. Officially sanctioned as being the cause behind the terrors in the teocalis, astral fovea and a couple of other Very Bad Things. Wouldn't have put the effort in otherwise. The Horrors are waiting in 2056. Even the Great Dragons avoid confronting Great Horrors head on. At the time of Earth Dawn during the last crisis a Great Dragon and a Greater Horror fought continuosly for ten years in one long melee. The Horror was then able to subsume portions of the Dragon's mind and became something worse than either. Nothing that big has come across yet. Things like that don't bother trying to hide. The Great Dragons remember the last time this happened and are only just now believing it to be true. Mr. Johnsons with very deep pockets have been showing up in every runner den on the planet.

You must have missed the memo.

Kelfazin
2007-Jul-28, 01:48 AM
You must have missed the memo.

Heh yea I haven't been in the running business for about 5 years now. I almost had a team put together a couple years ago but they decided they liked vampires better. *sigh*

BigDon
2007-Jul-28, 02:39 AM
I was going to post another long story post but I think the dereailment is getting a little......(Makes shakey hand gesture). The mods have been nice to this point, but I don't what to push it.

BD

If you want to start a gaming story thread I won't mind.

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-28, 01:34 PM
So Mr. Brak, can I come to the island without having to kiss any animatronic pooftas?

You don't have to kiss them, you just have to not care.

Gillianren
2007-Jul-28, 04:19 PM
My Discworld GURPS game starts Monday. I, the GM, will be making my players cake. Who's the best GM ever?

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-28, 04:33 PM
My Discworld GURPS game starts Monday. I, the GM, will be making my players cake. Who's the best GM ever?

Me. Oh wait. Was that a retorical question?

Donnie B.
2007-Jul-29, 06:03 PM
Ireland - IRish
Brakland - BRish :)
No, no... Brakish. Just slightly salty. :)

BigDon
2007-Jul-30, 03:06 AM
My Discworld GURPS game starts Monday. I, the GM, will be making my players cake. Who's the best GM ever?

Yeah, I know what you mean. I like to make large grubbin' meals on big game days too. Big stews, tomatoey beef soup (made with a couple of seared beef shanks to give it that sweetness unique to marrow fats), big loads of smothered pork chops, what my Mom called "goulash", but is technically a ragout, is very popular with the players.

The optional topping for the goulash is always cooked in a small cast iron frying pan and that is sliced serrano chilis, sliced mushrooms and butter, (salt and pepper too). Saute them all together until the mushrooms not only give up their juice but a lot of the water boils off as well and the butter predominates. The peppers will be slightly crunchy by then. If you can take hot, this topping rocks on that dish.

All served with our world famous sourdough bread and butter from those happy cows we have.*

I make them bring the beer though. And not any ol' wussy beer either. Has to include at least one six pack of a good hoppy ale. Though they did find a brand that had TOO much hops in it and it tasted like drinking an old woman's potpourri.

Those make for good gaming nights.

BD

*They're so happy because they keep stumbling upon those illegal pot farms up in the hills. Ever seen a herd of cows with the munchies? It's not a pretty picture. Strip an area down like half ton locust. And there is always that one cow who spends an hour staring at its hoof wondering if the solar system is merely an atom in the hoof of a larger cow somewhere.

mugaliens
2007-Jul-30, 04:02 AM
But the story indicates that the Justice Dept had essentially reached a settlement, but for the actions of the Boundary Commission. With a new commissioner, the settlement presumably can proceed.

And I wonder how much that effort cost the taxpayers of both the US and Canada?

You know, compared to the cost of the three-foot wide spot of land and all that...

:wall::wall::wall:

Maksutov
2007-Jul-30, 05:07 AM
The title of this thread reminds me of the old story about some ancient Swiss inhabitants of an alpine valley. The valley was surrounded by glaciers. Each glacier had a name and was revered as "Herr" ("Mister" in English), per the local tribal religion.

One inhabitant was a bit precocious as well as puritanical. He had discovered how the valley had been formed (glaciation), but was very disapproving of what he considered to be the rather loose morals of his valley village. He was also multilingual, being fluent in English as well as German.

His favorite glacier, the one he had studied and which led him to the discovery of the effects of glaciation on mountain environments was the Herr Leu glacier.

Every evening he could be found staring up at the glacier and pleading
Mr. Leu, wear down this tal!

mfumbesi
2007-Jul-30, 01:56 PM
I think they are trying to get away from that. Anyway, in Brak land all are welcome provided you can get past the animatronic gay guys kissing defence system at the border. It should serve to keep out the intolerant.
This is a creative system, may I also suggest the following pre-requisite at the border gate:
1. Pig meat eating.
2. Gurgling with beer, wine or spirits (gin,vodka,whiskey).
3. Beard or hair shaving.

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-30, 02:26 PM
This is a creative system, may I also suggest the following pre-requisite at the border gate:
1. Pig meat eating.
2. Gurgling with beer, wine or spirits (gin,vodka,whiskey).
3. Beard or hair shaving.

Not sure what that will acomplish. The whole point of the animatronic kissing gay men is too scare off people who are intolerant. Vegetarians, social drinkers and people with shaving phobias are welcome.

mfumbesi
2007-Jul-30, 02:31 PM
Not sure what that will acomplish. The whole point of the animatronic kissing gay men is too scare off people who are intolerant. Vegetarians, social drinkers and people with shaving phobias are welcome.
I was joking.
Maybe I can change them, instead of eating the pig meat you touch it.
Wash your hands with beer.
Let a beautiful supermodel massage your head/beard.

hhEb09'1
2007-Jul-31, 05:59 AM
Every evening he could be found staring up at the glacier and pleadingWith that, I think you now own WORST JOKE on BAUT and BEST JOKE on BAUT honors. I can't remember the latter though :)

Five Easy Pieces
2007-Jul-31, 08:51 AM
This sounds like a rare instance in which I can say I agree with the current Justice department!

They covered this story on the TV news the other night, including the stuff about the "you can't fire me" commissioner, but it was really confusing.

If I had to bet a Canadian dollar, I'd say this commissioner will soon be learning a lesson in realpolitik...

Ronald Brak
2007-Jul-31, 09:43 AM
In Brakland, things that hurt other people, such as setting off bombs, will be illegal. Things that don't hurt other people, such as not eating pork, kneeling on the ground five times a day or burning your own copy of the Quran or bible will not be illegal. This means you can walk around naked if you want. Virtual reality goggles that superimpose clothes on (certain) people will be a big seller. (Actually public health measures will require people to wear pants in public. We don't want naked butts sitting on park benches or tram seats.) There will be truth in advertising laws. Since churches are regarded as businesses or clubs in Brakland this will significantly impact on their activity.

hhEb09'1
2007-Jul-31, 01:39 PM
burning your own copy of the Quran or bible will not be illegal. JOOC, what kind of hurt? threats will be legal? but not carrying out threats? will libel or slander?

Brakland forever

Lurker
2007-Jul-31, 04:19 PM
Well, it seems to be in violation of US treaty law. It's illegal. Knock it down.
gods... this makes sense... after all people are formed to serve nations...

Lurker
2007-Jul-31, 04:31 PM
In Brakland, things that hurt other people, such as setting off bombs, will be illegal. Things that don't hurt other people, such as not eating pork, kneeling on the ground five times a day or burning your own copy of the Quran or bible will not be illegal. This means you can walk around naked if you want. Virtual reality goggles that superimpose clothes on (certain) people will be a big seller. (Actually public health measures will require people to wear pants in public. We don't want naked butts sitting on park benches or tram seats.) There will be truth in advertising laws. Since churches are regarded as businesses or clubs in Brakland this will significantly impact on their activity.
Isn't this getting a bit political here. You are really beginning make decisions as to how people should live their lives. There are some who would want a society such as Brakland and there others who might find that it goes against their beliefs and morals...

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Jul-31, 05:06 PM
gods... this makes sense... after all people are formed to serve nations...

Nope. As you rightly point out, nations serve the citizenry. They do so by making and enforcing laws. It only works if you actually enforce the laws. So, to serve the Leus (and everyone else), the Leus need to be forced to knock the wall down.

It's not like the law is unjust - in cases where laws are, they should be disobeyed.

Jim
2007-Jul-31, 05:18 PM
Well, you're both right. Governments are supposed to serve the governed. And they do that by enforcing the laws evenly, equally, and impartially.

If the law is considered unfair or unjust or simply "not right," then those who feel so have an obligation to get it changed. That may involve some civil disobedience. In this case, the Leus can decide to leave the retaining wall up and go to court and/or petition their government to change that provision.

What should not happen is for some bureaucrat to decide that the law in this case is "not right" and that it can be ignored. That violates the "evenly, equally, and impartially" requirement.

Lurker
2007-Jul-31, 05:30 PM
Nope. As you rightly point out, nations serve the citizenry. They do so by making and enforcing laws. It only works if you actually enforce the laws. So, to serve the Leus (and everyone else), the Leus need to be forced to knock the wall down.

It's not like the law is unjust - in cases where laws are, they should be disobeyed.
the law is an instrument made by people to serve people. It is neither complete nor infalable. Such an instrument should be applied carefully and sensitively. the Leus did their homeowork and were given permission to proceed with the project. the Leus then moved forward with their project in good faith. At this point those who are charged with enforcing the laws were at fault here.

Now... if a clear and present danger to the safety and freedom of others by letting the wall stand, I would say tear it down. I have not, however seen such a case made. In the past, many laws have been overturned or modified by bringing a violation to court and having the judicial rule that the law of the land in in error and must be either amended or rescinded. It is not as "cut and dried" as you would make it seem.

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Jul-31, 05:37 PM
Seems clear to me:

A request was made by the Leus to build the wall in the buffer zone around the border.
The request was granted.
They built the wall.
They were told they could not build the wall.
Clearly, the person who gave permission was mistaken - it is in fact illegal.
Since it is illegal, and since the law is not (in my opinion) unjust, the wall must come down.

Now, it could be that the Leus are not at fault and that the person who gave permission is. That's for the courts to decide. But the wall is still illegal, and has to come down, no matter who pays for it.

Lurker
2007-Jul-31, 05:43 PM
Seems clear to me:

A request was made by the Leus to build the wall in the buffer zone around the border.
The request was granted.
They built the wall.
They were told they could not build the wall.
Clearly, the person who gave permission was mistaken - it is in fact illegal.
Since it is illegal, and since the law is not (in my opinion) unjust, the wall must come down.

Now, it could be that the Leus are not at fault and that the person who gave permission is. That's for the courts to decide. But the wall is still illegal, and has to come down, no matter who pays for it.
And abortion was illegal in this country when the law was challenged. It was found to be unconstitutional and abortion became legal in this country. The question is not whether the law is unjust... the question is whether there is material harm to the community if the wall is allowed to stand. If so, bring the case forward and the law will be enforced. If not, then the law should be amended just as the abortion laws of this country were...

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Jul-31, 06:05 PM
Here's the harm:

The law about having a clear buffer on either side of the border is intended to make the border "idiot-proof." Basically, you want anyone who wanders close enough to the border to say, "Huh. Bit swath cut through a forest with markers in the middle. Looks like a border to me." Keeps accidental illegal immigration down, and prevents firearms violations from occurring when a hunter traipses over the border. It's a way to ensure that the principle of territorial sovereignty is enforced, and that is a very important thing for a nation to do.

By allowing the wall to stand, a precedent is set that says obstructions are allowed in the buffer zone, and the whole reason for having it could fall apart - what if I want to plant trees in the buffer behind my house? How's that different from a wall? Kind of makes it hard to see the markers, though, doesn't it?

Lurker
2007-Jul-31, 06:13 PM
Here's the harm:

The law about having a clear buffer on either side of the border is intended to make the border "idiot-proof." Basically, you want anyone who wanders close enough to the border to say, "Huh. Bit swath cut through a forest with markers in the middle. Looks like a border to me." Keeps accidental illegal immigration down, and prevents firearms violations from occurring when a hunter traipses over the border. It's a way to ensure that the principle of territorial sovereignty is enforced, and that is a very important thing for a nation to do.

By allowing the wall to stand, a precedent is set that says obstructions are allowed in the buffer zone, and the whole reason for having it could fall apart - what if I want to plant trees in the buffer behind my house? How's that different from a wall? Kind of makes it hard to see the markers, though, doesn't it?
Then let the issue be brought before the courts and a determination be made as to whether this infringement is of such a magnitude that it really could result in a collapse of the entire system.

It seems to me that an easement in this one particular case would not set a dangerous precedent since an error was made and similar errors are not very likely. Such an easement would then exist only for the life of the wall and would not include unnecessary improvements of the wall. So... if the governments involved feel that such a solution would be dangerous, let them come before the court and make their case. Let the court then makes it ruling taking into account the error, the danger, and the damages to the Leus...

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Jul-31, 06:27 PM
Of course you need to put it to the court. I wasn't suggesting bulldozing the wall, sending the Leus the bill, and then leaving them no way to appeal. That's just - wrong. I was voicing the opinion that the court should decide that the wall comes down. Obviously, though, that's up to the judge.

Lurker
2007-Jul-31, 06:36 PM
Of course you need to put it to the court. I wasn't suggesting bulldozing the wall, sending the Leus the bill, and then leaving them no way to appeal. That's just - wrong. I was voicing the opinion that the court should decide that the wall comes down. Obviously, though, that's up to the judge.
And I am voicing the opinion that letting this single wall stand does not seem to be a major precedent-setting issue that could cause the collapse of the buffer zone between the United States and Canada. That an easement that has a life no longer than the life of the wall, with no additional improvement of the wall allowed, would spread the pain in an equitable fashion between the parties involved without endangering the security of either nation...

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Jul-31, 06:44 PM
And that's fine, too. I just dislike making changes to a law which are extremely specific to certain situations. Either way, my concern would be trying to avoid setting a precedent without making law a warren of exceptions and conditions. Any way to do that is good.

Lurker
2007-Jul-31, 06:56 PM
And that's fine, too. I just dislike making changes to a law which are extremely specific to certain situations. Either way, my concern would be trying to avoid setting a precedent without making law a warren of exceptions and conditions. Any way to do that is good.
It would not be making a modification to the law... it would be granting an easement to an portion of land that would otherwise be covered by the law; the law itself remains intact. In this case the easement would die with the wall. It would not set no dangerous precedent other that when errors of this type were made that the pain must be shared "equitably" among the parties involved. If mistakes of this sort are so common that this sort of precedent would cause trouble, then perhaps the issue is in the incompetence of those who are charged with enforcing the law... or the law itself...


This is not about making any changes to the law at all. It is about an easement that is applied to land that is would otherwise be completely covered by the law. It is not an uncommon practice in other areas of law. I am not fond if the concept of easement, but it is an acceptable legal concept that has been developed to cover just this type of situation. The law is an imperfect instrument and requires good faith if it is to protect rather than dictate. The easement concept has been used many times before, I think it would not constitute unnecessary danger or hardship if applied here.

Jim
2007-Jul-31, 09:50 PM
And abortion was illegal in this country when the law was challenged. It was found to be unconstitutional and abortion became legal in this country. The question is not whether the law is unjust... the question is whether there is material harm to the community if the wall is allowed to stand. If so, bring the case forward and the law will be enforced. If not, then the law should be amended just as the abortion laws of this country were...

But, until those laws were changed, people were arrested, tried and convicted for violating the law.

Canuck has already explained the harm to the community. If an exception is made in this case - no matter how specific - it opens the doors to someone else violating the law and trying to claim an exception. "Well, I saw the Leus' wall and figured I could put my swimming pool/storage shed/greenhouse there..."

If the law is to be changed or an exception granted, it should not be done by a bunch of bureaucrats; that is not their function.

Lurker
2007-Jul-31, 09:59 PM
But, until those laws were changed, people were arrested, tried and convicted for violating the law.

Canuck has already explained the harm to the community. If an exception is made in this case - no matter how specific - it opens the doors to someone else violating the law and trying to claim an exception. "Well, I saw the Leus' wall and figured I could put my swimming pool/storage shed/greenhouse there..."

If the law is to be changed or an exception granted, it should not be done by a bunch of bureaucrats; that is not their function.
This patently false...

In the case of Mr. Leu's wall, he contacted the proper agencies, filled out the proper paperwork, and was granted the right to build. The error was on the part of the government agency that granted him the right to build. To grant the man an easement would set no precedent except in other cases where the right to build was erroneously granted.

I really don't see the problem, the concept of land easement is a well established procedure that has been used in any number of land disputes in the past. I don't see why this one is so different.

hhEb09'1
2007-Jul-31, 10:01 PM
If the law is to be changed or an exception granted, it should not be done by a bunch of bureaucrats; that is not their function.Probably, the law has those sort of "exceptions" built into it already.

Who knows, maybe the original attempt to accommodate the Leus was driven by a desire to not gut the current law, should it be tried as a test case. The details that I have are sketchy.

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Jul-31, 10:07 PM
Lurker: I think we've had a miscommunication - I wasn't aware that easement was a specific legal term. I simply assumed it to mean "just let them do it" in a precedent-setting way. Could I ask you to define the term, or point me in the right direction?

Lurker
2007-Jul-31, 10:20 PM
Lurker: I think we've had a miscommunication - I wasn't aware that easement was a specific legal term. I simply assumed it to mean "just let them do it" in a precedent-setting way. Could I ask you to define the term, or point me in the right direction?
Nope... its a legal concept that has evolved for situations where established rules and rights for land use are "bent" for the "public good". Its a rather grey area so that the complexities of modern life can be conducted without a single individual blocking them. This concept allows the utility company to place utility connections on your property, to dig them up for the public good when they fail, and many other situations. When I get a chance, I will post further links...

I am far from a legal expert having a background in geophysics and computer science, but a definition can be found here:

Legal Definition of Easement (http://www.nolo.com/definition.cfm/Term/AF5D76DA-CBE4-4548-9296B84F460521C6/alpha/E/)

hhEb09'1
2007-Jul-31, 10:21 PM
Lurker: I think we've had a miscommunication - I wasn't aware that easement was a specific legal term. I simply assumed it to mean "just let them do it" in a precedent-setting way. Could I ask you to define the term, or point me in the right direction?Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/easement): "1. Law. a right held by one property owner to make use of the land of another for a limited purpose, as right of passage."

Utility companies, such as power or telephone, have easements over private lots--often, they can disturb the property (dig) without even giving notice, or restoring the landscape.

Lurker
2007-Jul-31, 10:26 PM
Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/easement): "1. Law. a right held by one property owner to make use of the land of another for a limited purpose, as right of passage."

Utility companies, such as power or telephone, have easements over private lots--often, they can disturb the property (dig) without even giving notice, or restoring the landscape.
This is true for utility companies, but it should be noted that not all easements are so broad. Each must be carefully defined and negotiated between the parties involved.

Van Rijn
2007-Aug-01, 12:51 AM
Lurker: I think we've had a miscommunication - I wasn't aware that easement was a specific legal term. I simply assumed it to mean "just let them do it" in a precedent-setting way. Could I ask you to define the term, or point me in the right direction?

An easement creates some specific rights to use another's property, and can be public or private. Legal details vary from state to state and I don't know about Canada. An easement can be granted, sold, required by a government entity, or it can be given through inaction. A classic case would be if I built a fence a foot onto your property. Now, if you immediately challanged that, legally it's quite certain that I'd be forced to take it down or move it. But, if you don't say anything for 10 years, and then you take it to court, they'll probably rule that you had more than enough time to respond, and in not doing so, you have granted an easement to me.

sarongsong
2007-Aug-01, 01:00 AM
What a mess!
July 26, 2007
...For two hours, [U.S. District Judge Marsha] Pechman listened to arguments by the commission, Justice Department and Pacific Legal Foundation...intends to issue an opinion in two weeks...
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/325110_borderflap26.html)

Jim
2007-Aug-01, 02:08 AM
This patently false...

I take great offense at your choice of words. I'm not sure if you're calling me a liar, or just dumb as a brick.


In the case of Mr. Leu's wall, he contacted the proper agencies, filled out the proper paperwork, and was granted the right to build. The error was on the part of the government agency that granted him the right to build. ...

Obviously he didn't all of the proper agencies; he neglected to contact the agency that held an easement on his land. And, just because some government clerk who doesn't know he's doing it issues you a license to break a law does not grant you the right to break that law w/o facing legal repercussions.


... To grant the man an easement would set no precedent except in other cases where the right to build was erroneously granted.

I disagree, and I'll guess a lot of lawyers would, too. If the government allows the wall to stay, they are conceding that the open swath of land does not need to be entirely clear and open to serve its purpose. Therefore, if someone else decides to build something that encroaches, there is no reason to deny them that right.

You yourself claim that the wall does the community no harm. I contend that my swimming pool/tool shed/greenhouse also do the community no harm. That is the precedent. It cannot be that the wall was built by accident, but it can stay even though it does harm to the purpose of the easement.


I really don't see the problem, the concept of land easement is a well established procedure that has been used in any number of land disputes in the past. I don't see why this one is so different.

Yes, very well-established. But, in this case, it's the government that holds easement rights on a portion of the Leus' property. Just as the utility company can tell you to get your swing set off their easement, the government can tell the Leus' to remove their retaining wall.

Ronald Brak
2007-Aug-01, 06:13 AM
Isn't this getting a bit political here. You are really beginning make decisions as to how people should live their lives. There are some who would want a society such as Brakland and there others who might find that it goes against their beliefs and morals...

If it's getting political I'll stop talking about Brakland. But it was sort of a given from the start that some people weren't going to like Brakland. The animatric kissing gay men defence system was an attempt to keep them out.

Lurker
2007-Aug-01, 04:45 PM
I take great offense at your choice of words. I'm not sure if you're calling me a liar, or just dumb as a brick.

And you sir have spent your life sitting on your brains or are just too lazy to use them.

I have NOT called you a liar, I have simply pointed out that you are dangeropusly ignorant on the topic you are attempting to discuss and should do some homework before you you discuss it...

Kelfazin
2007-Aug-01, 04:48 PM
It's like saying Leu got permission to erect a wall extending 1 foot into the street from the Home Owners Association, but he forgot to get permission from the City Council. The city can still require him to take it down because it's their jurisdiction, even if the HOA said it was ok.

If the city lets it stand, as a neighbor I would claim that if Leu has a right to build the wall 1 foot into the street, so do I, and so does every other neighbor. Only instead of 1 foot, I want to go 1 foot 4 inches. Next thing you know, the street is too narrow to drive a car down.

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Aug-01, 04:52 PM
An easement creates some specific rights to use another's property, and can be public or private. Legal details vary from state to state and I don't know about Canada. An easement can be granted, sold, required by a government entity, or it can be given through inaction. A classic case would be if I built a fence a foot onto your property. Now, if you immediately challanged that, legally it's quite certain that I'd be forced to take it down or move it. But, if you don't say anything for 10 years, and then you take it to court, they'll probably rule that you had more than enough time to respond, and in not doing so, you have granted an easement to me.

Got it. I'm familiar with the concept, I just didn't have the name for it. Thanks.

Anyway, in this case, easement does indeed seem to be a viable option, but I'm still not a fan of the fact that it would be so specific. It looks like the Leus would have a right that no one else does, and that seems wrong to me.

Lurker
2007-Aug-01, 04:59 PM
Got it. I'm familiar with the concept, I just didn't have the name for it. Thanks.

Anyway, in this case, easement does indeed seem to be a viable option, but I'm still not a fan of the fact that it would be so specific. It looks like the Leus would have a right that no one else does, and that seems wrong to me.
Exactly... it is a case where the pain should be spread among the parties. Mr. Leu would not be very restricted in his ability to maintain or improve the wall, but he would be allowed to keep it.

Society should grant a right to Mr. Leu that no one is allowed in acknowledgement of a mistake that was made on their behalf by their elected representatives. I agree it is an imperfect solution, but it spreads the pain among all parties. This is where law meets social order and tries to maximize benefit and at the same time equitably share the difficulties associated with honest mistakes.

sarongsong
2007-Aug-01, 05:47 PM
Here we come,TSC! :)
July 31, 2007
...The number of U.S. citizens who moved to Canada last year hit a 30-year high, with a 20 percent increase over the previous year and almost double the number who moved in 2000...
ABC News (http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3433005&page=1)

Tucson_Tim
2007-Aug-01, 07:36 PM
And you sir have spent your life sitting on your brains or are just too lazy to use them.

I have NOT called you a liar, I have simply pointed out that you are dangeropusly ignorant on the topic you are attempting to discuss and should do some homework before you you discuss it...

Wow! Lurker, you always seem to forget your self-proclamation:



I prefer the truth... spoken plainly, gently, and with great humility...


Your accusation is not true, not very gentle, and contains very little humility.

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Aug-01, 09:55 PM
Here we come,TSC! :)

Hey, the more, the merrier!

SeanF
2007-Aug-02, 01:54 PM
Here we come,TSC! :)
Hmmm...

In 2006, 10,942 Americans went to Canada...Last year, 23,913 Canadians moved to the United States...
Net change: more Americans, fewer Canadians. :whistle:

;)

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Aug-02, 10:42 PM
The trend is changing, though - the gap is definitely narrowing.

hhEb09'1
2007-Aug-03, 10:41 AM
What a mess!That article (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/325110_borderflap26.html) says
Schornack's lawyer, Elliot Feldman, agreed. "It is still the position of the commission to take down the wall at no cost to the Leus," he said.So, the fired IBC guy who was fired for trying to get rid of the wall, says he would (if he wins this suit to keep his job) pay to take down the wall. So, apparently, it was not the Leus' fault, in his opinion.

The judge says "It looks like politics; it sounds like politics," so the firing of the Republican commissioner by the Bush administration must look like internal party wrangling?