Woe to the Republic: SCOTUS Undermines Democracy

Supreme Court overturns ban on direct corporate spending on elections – latimes.com

I wish I could say I am surprised that the Supreme Court made this decision, but I am not. Once again the Supreme Court of the United States undermines American citizens and democracy in favor of corporate hegemony. The last anti-civil rights agenda supported by the Supreme Court was approving eminent domain being used to steal property from citizens so that land could be given to corporations. See the trend?

The notion that entities like corporations and unions have the same rights and often times accorded more rights than citizens is ludicrous. Unfortunately, the SCOTUS now appears to be firmly in the belief that the “rights” of corporations supersede the rights of the citizenry.

Another defeat for American democracy at the hands of those who are supposed to uphold said democracy. Democracy by it’s very definition is for the people, not corporations. Too bad those on the Supreme Court who approved this undermining of democracy have forgotten this simple concept. When corporations and government combine you have fascism.

Woe to the Republic!

Since entities like corporations and unions have all the money and influence to counteract said money and influence I propose new laws be implementing requiring both corporations, unions, and other entities covered by this decision as well as lawmakers be required to reveal their supporters to the public (including monetary amounts) via newsletters, radio ads, commercials, et al., in advance of any vote. Additionally, make a mandatory spending limit for those seeking elections. Remove the hegemonists their paths of influence and we’ll be on the path to regaining control of democracy.

Pigs On The Hill: Toss ’em in the trough

The Kick Them All Out Project  I’m in general agreement with this group: throw the pigs out!

VoteAllIncumbentsOut.org – Vote All Incumbents Out

Pelosi bill: Jail for no insurance – The Hill’s Pundits Blog

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation reported that the House version of the healthcare bill specifies that those who don’t buy health insurance and do not pay the fine of about 2.5 percent of their income for failing to do so can face a penalty of up to five years in prison!

The bill describes the penalties as follows:

• Section 7203 — misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

• Section 7201 — felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.” [page 3]

As noted later in the article, the Federal Government has no constitutional authority to impose mandatory insurance or penalties. I bet there are hundreds of lawyers just salivating at the chance to take this bill on should it become law. People may hate lawyers but we’ll need them to stop these insane ideas in the courts. Besides no one fears the lepers of the IRS anymore. No, people hate them with a vengeance that will be unleashed if they even think of trying to enforce this.

But then Ms Pelosi and her ilk haven’t a clue about what is constitutional or not as evidenced by:

CNSNews.com – When Asked Where the Constitution Authorizes Congress to Order Americans To Buy Health Insurance, Pelosi Says: ‘Are You Serious?’

CNSNews.com: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”

Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

CNSNews.com: “Yes, yes I am.”

Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told CNSNews.com that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandated that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a “serious question.”

A question is a question Madam Speaker. But then I already knew she was a complete ignoramus and arrogant to boot. She’s part of the pigs in Congress who think they are above the law, sneer at the Constitution, dismiss the Bill of Rights as irrelevant and meaningless, and believes any who question her and her fellow whack jobs are nothing more than “mobs” and un-American.

Of course she trotted out the overly used and abused Commerce Clause. The Commerce Clause is in regards to interstate (between states) commerce, not intrastate (within state) commerce. After all her precious bill specifically prohibits interstate commerce with regards to health care. Another point is that the Commerce Clause refers to economic activity (e.g. commerce) so can not be applied to economic inactivity, hence you can not mandate purchasing or goods and/or services. So yeah, unconstitutional no matter how you look at it. Ordering Americans to buy good and services with their own money or face punitive taxation and imprisonment? Not constitutional, let alone setting a dangerous precedent of tyrannical government control. What happens the next time a car company gets into trouble? According to Pelosi and the Pigs on the Hill thinking it’s simple: the government simply orders people to buy cars from that company or go to prison whether they want it or can afford it.

Woe to the Republic: Fascism And Swine Flu

I’m all for preparedness. But being prepared doesn’t need to follow the tactics of the jackbooted thugs of history: the fascists.

Well I was afraid the government fear mongering over H1N1 was going to lead to some fascistic megalomaniacal behavior from various levels of government. Now it has come to pass in Massachusetts in full fascistic glory in the name of public safety. Today the Massachusetts Senate Passes Draconian Flu Pandemic Bill (other sources: here, here, the bill itself (pdf)) that in effect turns that state into a police state under martial law if a flu pandemic is declared.

The fact that anyone would even consider such fascistic actions bodes ill for this nation. Being prepared for a potential disaster is one thing. Destroying the rights of the citizenry is another. Given our assorted governments recent arrogance and activities I’m naturally inclined to assume the worst about such measures when played off as “in the interest of the public good”.

The problem herein lies on several points:

1. Who determines when it is a pandemic? The state government? The same state government that passed the bill? WHO already declared H1N1 as a pandemic on June 11, 2009. So if the bill passes does Massachusetts become a police state overnight?

2. Allows for forced vaccination of the population or face imprisonment (or as they call it “isolated or quarantined”). This in spite a number of medical professionals concerned that the vaccinations are unnecessary and unsafe combined with the sudden easing of regulatory controls in order to produce enough of the vaccine.

3. Warrantless invasion of homes. Unconstitutional and likely will endanger the lives of those attempting such home invasions.

4. Warrantless destruction of private property. Unconstitutional. And leads to questions of why this portion is needed if, as is claimed, the intent is to isolate people from the disease. How does destroying their property accomplish this? We aren’t dealing with the bubonic plague here. Yes you can destroy contaminated items but what’s to stop it at just the contaminated objects?

5. Quarantine people against there will. While this is always the case with confirmed virulent cases of highly communicable diseases (e.g. tuberculosis) there appears to be no safeguards to ensure a person is allowed to appeal their quarantine as occurs in many other similar cases.

6. Restrict free assembly. Unconstitutional no matter how you look at it, even in the name of “public health”.

7. Involuntary transportation to treatment centers. This ones is questionable given other segments about quarantining people in their own homes without legal recourse. Can’t have it both ways, people.

8. Warrantless arrest. Gee, isn’t this the same thing so many liberals claim they’re against?

9. A real kicker: all involved in the (unconstitutional) acts can not be held criminally or civilly liable for their actions. Yep, nothing says trustworthiness more than making yourself exempt from accountability and responsibility.

So currently this bill violates the following portions of the Bill of Rights (off the top of my head): 1st, 4th, and 5th. You know those lovely rights that allow us free assembly (and religion), due process, protection from unreasonable search and seizure. I’m sure there are many other Constitutional violations involved as well.

Unfortunately other states (NC, FL, WA, etc.) are adopting similarly, some equally fascistic, approaches to curb the rights of the citizens in the name of “public safety”. Hopefully the MA House will kill this thing, but I’m skeptical of anyone in government at this point doing anything that is truly for the benefit of the people.

This bodes ill for all. Nothing good will come of this act.

Woe to Republic!

Distrubing Trends

In the U.S. government:

  • The unspoken and MSM ignored H.R. 45 (Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009). It sounds like a good thing on the surface until you take a look at the egregious invasion of privacy and near criminalization of gun owners (fingerprinting, federal government identification (why is this ok but a national id opposed by these nutters?), approval by the Attorney General of the United States, forced consent to allow AG or AG reps to look at medical records, forced tracking of law abiding citizens by requirement to inform the Federal government when you move, giving up 4th Amendment rights in order to be “licensed”, subverting the 10th Amendment, and so on).
  • White House proposing oversight of the 2010 U.S. Census instead of Commerce Department. Why the sudden need for White House supervision?
  • Reintroduction of “Fairness Doctrine”. Why at this time after so many years of its absence? Simple. Some elements of the Democratic Party desire to use the Fairness Doctrine as a way to silence criticism of their agenda and popular media figures. They have forgotten the FCC itself abolished the practice after coming to the conclusion that government intrusion restricted journalistic freedom and hindered public discussion of issues. Why would anyone want to reinstate a program that allows government interference into broadcasting as well as hinders journalistic freedom and public discussion? Would they next try to impose the Fairness Doctrine on the internet?
  • Card Check. If passed The end of secret voting on whether to unionize or not.

Of course there was somewhat good news in the passing of the stimulus bill. I still consider it a pork fest and believe it will do little to nothing to help the economy while punishing our grandchildren with ridiculous amounts of debt.

At the UN and World:

  • Apparently some twits at the corrupt United Nations want 0.7% of the stimulus bill. Of course these are the same twits that want 0.7% of the GNP. I say not until they show transparency, accountability, and eliminate uneeded positions, gifts, and graft.
  • Voting in Venezuela. Chavez hopes to dupe the citizenry there into allowing him to set himself up as President for Life. Hopefully, they’ll be smart enough to realize term limits were placed in their constitution to protect them and their democracy for neo-socialists like Chavez.

In Life:

  • Idiots claiming certain diseased don’t exist when in fact they do. Annoys me to no end. Morons.

Congress Watch: Repeal the 22nd Amendment?

Interesting that as our new President call for change, that the Democrat controlled 111th Congress puts forth House Resolution 5, which calls for the repealing of the 22nd Amendment:

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

The 22nd Amendment limits the time in office for the president and was ratified after it was felt FDR had been in office to long a period of time. There was a long history dating back to Washington of Presidents choosing to maintain the traditional (if unofficial) policy of only serving two terms prior to the amendment.

The question is why did Rep José Serrano introduce HJ Res 5 now? Why the sudden rush to push for something that I suspect most, if not all, Americans oppose? Lessen constraint on a government rife with fiscal irresponsibility, insider politics, elitism, and corruption? I think not. There is no legitimate reason I can see for this. It’s as inane as the attempt that was made with Ronald Reagan.

Yes, Mr Serrrano has pushed for the repeal numerous times since 1997 but I have to wonder at his reasoning. It’s not like he’s the most fiscally responsible member of congress being known for his pork. Politically he is considered extremely liberal, even by congressional standards.

Will this attempt to repeal the amendment pass muster? Probably not given previous failures. The fact remains the most recent attempt to remove the amendment were championed by such people as Sen Harry Reid and Congressman Barney Frank, not exactly shining examples of ethics and responsibility as history has shown us all in the last few years.

Constitution and Change

Those who read this blog know I’m a strong Constitutionalist and dislike those who would change the Constitution for questionable reasons or laden down the document with non-universal personal or socio-political agendas like banning abortion, defining marriage, guaranteeing full employment, environment, abolishing electoral college, abolishing natural born clause for POTUS, and so on.

I’m sure many are now aware of the video going viral about Obama’s statement saying the Constitution of the United States is flawed and reflects the fundamental flaw of the nation. On both counts I completely disagree. No document devoted to establishing the governing precepts of a nation is ever flawless. What is remarkable is that the Constitution was so well written that it has had rare need to be altered, modified, or added to. Such changes, with rare exception, only enhanced and refined the document further. The very fact that the document could be modified in and of itself shows it’s versatility and progressiveness even in this day and age.

If Obama was referring to racial inequality at the time the Constitution was written he is confusing the attitudes and social mores of the times with what was actually written. The Framers were considerably clever in how the document was written choosing words and phrasing that could easily become universal in the future up to and beyond the inclusiveness of blacks (as latter history in the U.S. showed) while not putting off either Southern slave owners or Northerners fearful of Southern dominance in the government. The problem that arises for me is that Obama goes on to discuss redistribution of wealth via the Court and government and lamenting that the Constitution was deliberate in it role to limit the role of government in peoples lives. At least that’s how I interpreted his words. You can decide for yourself. The part that disturbs me is at the end, “redistributive change”.

It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.

The idea though that Senator Obama feels that the government should decide who makes what amount of money and everything else needs to be taken from them is anathema to me and I suspect a number of other Americans. These comments from 2001 only reinforce concerns of many over Sen. Obama’s neo-socialist leaning.

Now Senator Obama may have only said flaw in that the constitution only states what the government can’t do in regards to a person’s rights, and not what it can do. That is actually a good thing since it clearly delineates that the role of the government is to provide defense and moderate trade while leaving the people to pursue their own lives without being intruded upon as they had by the British. The problem though is that this neo-socialist leaning has continued for more than 7 years.

Case in point Sen. Obama’s has recently mentioned potential changes to the Constitution again.

Q: Yes. Exactly. Do you favor changing the Constitution?

A: I rarely favor changing the Constitution. I will say it doesn’t seem real fair that (the fact that) Jennifer was born in a hospital a few miles north as opposed to a few miles south somehow prohibits her from running for president. So it’s something I would be willing to look at. … The original native-born clause came at a time when the country was pretty unstable. … You could argue that some of those original conditions do not apply.

I don’t change constitutions lightly. So I would want to study it before I made a definitive statement on it.

Source: Obama: Aim for fundamental change | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press| 3 Oct 2008

So Obama apparently thinks it’s unfair that only native born Americans should be allowed to run for President and that the reasons for the clause are no longer valid or necessary. The reasoning behind the ensuring on natural born citizens would be allowed to be President (and later applied to Vice President) was and still is very simple: to avoid a conflict of interest with or undue influence by foreign powers. While it is unlikely an individual working for the behest of a foreign power could gain much control of the U.S. even as POTUS better to avoid the problem in the first place.

I can’t help but wonder if we are returning (or have already returned) to the so called Gilded Age when some thought the Constitution defective. I say this because much of the political corruption we see in the country from all parties is somewhat reminiscent of the scandals and fraud of that time period such as government intervention in the economy resulted in favoritism, waste and corruption. Sound familiar? (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac/Wall Street Bailout.) Also parties had large get-out-the vote campaigns of a dubious nature (ACORN anyone?), and sensationalist news took precedence over genuine news (News reporters covering sexual escapades of celebrities versus uncovering corruption in local government, for example, or covering a politician’s marital history instead of their politics). Sounds familiar, yes?