Friday, February 24, 2012

Common Sense and Marbury v Madison - 2

In the first post of this series, on this very date years ago (in fact it was over 1,300 posts ago), Dredd Blog discussed one famous case written down in the annals of American jurisprudence.

There have been many famous cases since that case was decided some two centuries ago.

In today's post we will remember that post, and that case, which is possibly the oldest case to have eventually sparked the realization that appointing judges to the U.S. Supreme Court, and other federal courts, is one of the more critical considerations for a citizen to ponder, when contemplating who to vote for when voting for an occupant of the office of the president:

Today marks the 206th year since the world famous Marbury v Madison case was decided.

If a nation's statutes are governed by a constitution that guides those statutes toward the betterment of the nation, then the betterment of the nation will depend on the legal hermeneutics (a.k.a textual interpretation) of that constitution.

The Marbury case made it crystal clear this means that "betterment" will depend on what judges say the constitution says.

In that light it is an every day occurrence for a common citizen to read the text of the constitution and say "it says thus and such", and for that citizen's lawyer to respond "actually it says what the judge says it says".

And that is where the rubber meets the road. The famous Marbury case has a common sense foundation:
It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each.
(Marbury v Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), italics added). A federal district judge in San Francisco is tasked with that problem at the moment. In Hepting v AT&T these issues are currently being litigated.

In a case that concerns what is called "immunity", the congress passed a bill allowing the DOJ to, in effect, give retro-active immunity to telephone companies that helped Bush II get access to all of your phone and email records without a warrant. Contra the 4th Amendment of our constitution.

Bush II said he needed to know all about you to protect you, and therefore he asked congress to give DOJ the power to give the phone companies retroactive immunity. Because they gave your records to Bush II illegally.

Why Bush II did not simply pardon the telecoms is a mystery, because that act would have ended the matter.

Perhaps Bush II was tired of taking all the blame and wanted congress to share the blame load? Who knows.

Then senator, and now President, Obama voted for that statute to the chagrin of many civil rights activists (me included). Now his Attorney General, Eric Holder, is supporting the statute as did Bush II Attorneys General.

Federal Judge Walker has ordered the parties in the telecom immunity cases, including AG Holder, to explain why that statute does not violate, among other things, the separation of powers doctrine.

The basis of the order stems in part from a 1944 Supreme Court ruling which requires a statute to clearly define the bounds of performance of the administration of that statute so as to constitutionally delineate legislative will from administrative will:
[T]he only concern of courts is to ascertain whether the will of Congress has been obeyed. This depends not upon the breadth of the definition of the facts or conditions which the administrative officer is to find but upon the determination whether the definition sufficiently marks the field within which the Administrator is to act so that it may be known whether he has kept within it in compliance with the legislative will.
(Walker's Order, 2/11/09), quoting from Yakus v United States, 321 US 414, 425 (1944). Judge Walker ordered the parties to further brief the court and to answer the following question:
Does the retroactive immunity statute give the DOJ unfettered authority, thereby, in effect giving it the power to make law - which is the sole province of the legislative branch of government?
(ibid). In essence congress can't say to the president, "you make the laws", and if it did so in this retroactive immunity case, then that statute is unconstitutional.

In the final analysis, Judge Walker must decide not whether anyone or any company is above the law, but whether or not congress can lift them that high.

The Dredd Blog System has criticized the sovereign immunity which the judicial branch has created, the legislative branch has created, and the administrative branch has created.

Wikileaks has provided more information as to why the executive branch must be watched (Guardian).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gerrymandering - Geological Deceit? - 2

In the first post of this series, before the national census in 2010, we began a series discussing gerrymandering.

Some people say "Jerry who ... Seinfeld?", when they hear the word "gerrymandering".

Yet, it is quite an important subject, so people should read up on it.

A new census must be done each ten years, under our constitutional law, so the possible problems of gerrymandering are repetitive, constantly threatening our election system.

Some expert commentators are even saying that redistricting / gerrymandering is more of a danger to some aspects of election democracy than Citizens United v. F.E.C. is:
We have little real choice in our elections. Even with low double digit congressional approval ratings, my guess is that at least 80 percent of House incumbents seeking reelection will win. Here is a number that should open some eyes: 95 percent of all House members who sought reelection between 1982 through 2004 were reelected. Expanding the time horizon changes the numbers but not their effect. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, between 1964 and 2010, the incumbent in the House was reelected between 85 percent and 98 percent of the time; the majority of those election cycles resulted in incumbent reelection rates of at least 90 percent. Those are Kim Jung Il and Robert Mugabe numbers that legitimately call into question the fundamental tenet of American democracy: the use of elections express the representative will of the people. A system with historically low approval ratings for Congress yet ridiculously high reelection rates cannot be seen as an accurate reflection of voter will ... The policy consequences that stem from illegitimate political power have long compromised the American political system. Concerned activists and pundits must pay more attention to this critical issue.
(Dr. Michael Fauntroy, emphasis added). At the time of the original post in this series, a scenario existed where there were strangely shaped districts in every state.

These congressional House districts are made by even using parts of counties, not all of the country, to jigsaw / gerrymander U.S. Congressional Districts:
California District 1 snakes its way through all or part of:  Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Sonora, and Napa counties; while California District 2 snakes its way thru Siskiyou, Trinity, Shasta, Tahama, Glenn, Butte, Yuba, Colusa, Sutter, and Yolo counties.

Texas District 25 snakes its way through all or part of:  Hidalgo, Starr, Jim Hogg, Duval, Live Oak, Karnes, Gonzales, Caldwell, and Travis counties. Texas District 28 is similar.

Utah District 1 snakes its way through all or part of:  Juab, Tooele, Box Elder, Cache, Rich, Summit, Morgan, Davis, Webber, and Salt Lake counties.
Indiana Congressional District 3 snakes its way through all or part of: Allen, Elkhart, Lagrange, Steuben, Kosciusko, Noble, De Kalb, and Whitley counties.
Indiana District 9 snakes its way through all or part of:  Monroe, Brown, Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings, Ripley, Dearborn, Ohio, Switzerland, Jefferson, Scott, Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Perry, Crawford, Washington, Orange, Dubois, and Spencer counties.

Alabama District 7 snakes its way through all or part of:  Tuscaloosa, Pickens, St. Clair, Greene, Hale, Perry, Sumter, Chocktaw, Marengo, Dallas, Wilcox, and Clarke counties.

New York District 23 snakes its way through all or part of:  Clinton, Franklin, Essex, Hamilton, Fulton, Saint Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, Oneida, and Madison counties.

North Carolina District 1 snakes its way through all or part of:  Northampton, Warren, Vance, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Gates, Bertie, Edgecombe, Martin, Washington, Pitt, Greene, Craven, Beufort, Jones, Lenoir, Wilson, Wayne, Carteret, Pasquotank, Perquimans, and Chowan counties.
In the above list showing the congressional districts prior to the 2010 census, Indiana District 9 snaked through all or part of 20 counties, North Carolina District 1 snaked through all or part of 23 counties.

I think the point about snaking has been made.

Andrew Breitbart, suffering from severe Stockholm Syndrome and propaganda induced dementia, accuses Occupy Movement of raping the people:



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact - 3

Power Corrupts
This is the third post in the series which began here.

The background material, to support this post's following narrative, comes from About dot com, Wikipedia, Psychology Today, as well as contextual links throughout the post.

In the previous post, I indicated that we would consider the psychological evolution of Jim Jones as an adult, while comparing that evolution with the evolution of U.S. government after it began to govern the most powerful polluter in the world.

Jim Jones, the leader of the church called People's Temple, like early Americans, both had a vision for a better world.

Both the People's Temple and We the People's Constitutional Government were formed to help make that better world happen.

Unfortunately, due to the toxins of power, both eventually became unstable personalities and institutions.

That eventuality happened because the toxins of power overcome both individuals and governments, when they fail to stay sufficiently aware of those toxins of power.

Jim Jones eventually lost touch with the earlier principles, and so, became responsible for the deaths of over 900 church people. That "Christian church" eventually committed "revolutionary suicide" and mass murder at their Jonestown compound in Guyana.

The U.S.eh? government eventually attained economic, social, and then military power, to thereafter become a military empire, after having fought war after war, of course.

Yes, the concept of peace above all else waned in Jonestown and the U.S.eh?, even after they had been warned for decade upon decade about the consequences of so doing.

Eventually, about 50 years ago, a military-industrial complex formed, then evolved into MOMCOM, which is now on a path to eventually become responsible for millions or billions of deaths, due to the prospect of revolutionary ecocide, or perhaps mass suicide-murder by way of nuclear holocaust.

Jim Jones was born in the small town of Crete, Indiana, while America was born within the minds of statesmen who wrote down their vision, their insightful words, yes, wrote it down on small pieces of paper, calling the results the Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution.

Jones' father was injured in World War I, so he could no longer work. America's founding fathers, in terms of ideology now lost in endless wars, no longer seem to be able to work either.

So, like Jim's mother Lynetta, who supported the family, MOMCOM is now the 1% provider in what is the American Plutocracy, the 99% having a tiny share by comparison.

While working in a hospital as a teenager, Jones met Marceline Baldwin, and they were married, while MOMCOM met Uncle Sam just after the time of the industrial revolution, when Sam became enamored of oil. Eventually love set in then grew to become a suicidally-hooked-on-dirty-oil relationship, to the point it is now firmly embedded in the nation's DNA.

The U.S.eh? political debate during this presidential cycle seems to be about the evil of contraception, the good of vaginal probes (mandated by "small government"), and the "hoax of global warming". Evidently because that is what the GOP candidates say their god tells them.

Jones and Marceline had one child together, and also adopted several children of various ethnicities, while the U.S.eh? similarly opened arms to all nations saying "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of you teamming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!".

Jones was proud of his "rainbow family", like the U.S.eh? was, as it struggled to eventually cast off slavery, while both urged others to adopt inter-racially.

Despite an extremely difficult marriage, Marceline, Jim's wife, stayed with Jones until the end, and even though America had a "civil" war, the states were forced to stay "united".

As an adult, Jim Jones wanted to make the world a better place, working to help his church and family prosper, as did America, prospering so well that it became an empire, then took the lead in the world, voicing ... and more, a desire to make the world a much better place.

At first, Jones tried to be a student pastor at an already established church, but he quickly quarreled with the church's leadership, likewise, those who became Americans quarreled with The Church of England, to the point of eventually leaving Britain to form their own religious freedoms elsewhere.

Jones, who believed strongly against segregation, wanted to integrate the church, which was not a popular idea at that time, much like America that could not shake slavery at its inception, but eventually became a voice against racism in the world, and eventually shake off slavery.

Jones soon began preaching specifically to African Americans, while America passed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, allowing all races and genders to have a part in governing.

Jones mostly wanted to help the underprivileged, but misused "healing" rituals to attract new followers, meanwhile America began to use deceit and propaganda to attract new "followers." These highly staged events claimed to heal people's illnesses, anything from eye problems to heart disease, even as many Americans resisted "health care for all", but embraced jingoism.

Jones eventually had enough followers to start his own church, and American thinkers had enough people willing to set sail for a new beginning. By selling imported monkeys as pets to people door to door, Jones had saved enough money to open his own church in Indianapolis, Americans sold slaves at first, to help "grow the economy." America eventually expanded from coast to coast too, then, set up hundreds of military bases around the world.

In 1956 Jim Jones started a racially integrated church in Indianapolis, a church that focused on helping people in need. At a time when most churches were segregated, the People's Temple offered a very different, Utopian view of what society could become. It was so American (after Brown v Board of Education anyway).

Jones was the charismatic leader of the church involved with helping others, but began to more and more demand loyalty as he preached sacrifice. His vision, to some, was seen at best as socialist in nature.

America extolled the virtues of "the public welfare", "the public good", and even thought privately "we take care of our own." This, oddly enough, happened as the military was growing increasingly, with the help of McTell News, to be seen as the most competent institution in America.

In earlier times, Jim Jones believed that American vulture capitalism would cause an unhealthy balance in the world, whereby the rich would have too much, and the poor would have to work too hard to receive too little.

Today this is seen by many to have been an accurate observation, at least as far as the nation's fair minded economy and government did thereafter begin to evolve into the American Plutocracy, fueled by the American Plutonomy.

Through the People's Temple, Jones preached activism, through the People's free press, America preached activism so as to bring democracy to all in the world. Although just a small church, the People's Temple established soup kitchens and homes for the elderly and mentally ill. They also helped find people jobs. It was so American.

As the People's Temple grew increasingly successful, the scrutiny of Jones and his practices grew as well, likewise the American Free Press discovered Watergate and took down President Nixon. When an investigation into Jones' healing rituals was about to begin, Jones decided it was time to move away from those reporters. Similarly, a few American corporations bought up the free press to make it their own, to later more and more remove the long-term interests of the people from the news.

"In 1966, Jones moved the People's Temple to Redwood Valley, a small town just north of Ukiah, in Northern California. Jones picked Redwood Valley in particular because he had read an article that listed it as one of the top places least likely to be hit during a nuclear attack. Plus, California seemed much more open to accepting an integrationist church than Indiana had been. About 65 families followed Jones from Indiana to California."

"Once established in Redwood Valley, Jones expanded into the San Francisco Bay Area. The People's Temple once again established homes for the elderly and the mentally ill. They also helped addicts and foster children. The work done by the Peoples Temple was praised in newspapers and by local politicians." Eventually the military turned the free press into a vast propaganda engine, which increasingly taught that war is an art, not a disease.

People in the church inexplicably trusted Jim Jones and the U.S. government, believing that they had a clear view of what needed to be changed in the U.S.eh? and the world. Yet, many did not know, or did not want to believe, that Jones and America were subject to corruption.

With help from the evolving main stream media, from the outside, Jim Jones and his People's Temple, like the U.S.eh? and its vast classified imperialistic operations, looked like nothing more than an amazing success. Yet on the inside, the church and the nation were transforming into cults centered around Jim Jones and MOMCOM, with an economy centered around wealthy corporations owned by the 1%.

Corporations that were eventually called "people", and a pastor Jones who was eventually called a god. Corporations sold themselves as the People's Temple on Wall Street.

After the move to California, Jones changed the tenor of the People's Temple from religious to political, while American politicians and churchmen eventually sought to blur those lines too.

Members at the top of the church's and nation's hierarchy had pledged not only their devotion, but had also pledged over all of their material possessions and money "to causes." Some members even signed over custody of their children to Jones, and others to wars.

Jones and people in government become infatuated with power, through the surreptitious workings of the toxins of power. Jim required everyone to call him either "Father" or "Dad", even as the national psyche evolved to a place where citizens consider the government to be a parent.

Jones also took large quantities of drugs, even as Big Pharma evolved to saturate the U.S.eh? with pills that were designed to cure everything.

Anti-biotic pill production went rogue, even though the people were biotic.

At first, it might have been to help the Jones' stay up longer, so that more good works could be done, but eventually the pills caused major mood swings, health deteriorated, and it increased wide-spread paranoid jingoism in Sam.

No longer was Jones just worried about nuclear attacks, he soon believed that the entire government, especially the CIA and FBI, were after him.

The government likewise started a war on terror, and increased domestic spy agencies a thousand fold, encouraging the people to spy on each other then report suspicious activity (like paying for coffee at internet cafes with cash).

In part, to escape from this perceived government threat, and to escape from an exposé about to be published, Jones decided to move the People's Temple to Guyana in South America, as the mainstream media morphed into McTell News, so as to help the south in America rise again in the U.S.eh?

Jones convinced many of the People's Temple members to move, to what was supposed to be a Utopian commune in the jungles of Guyana, and McTell News convinced everyone it could in the U.S.eh? to move to the right.

Jones' control over his members became extreme, meanwhile the national security engines in the U.S.eh? increased surveillance throughout the nation, in a hope for a domestic control that would better the nation.

It was apparent to many that there was no escape from Jones' control, meanwhile the U.S.eh? began to put more and more Americans in prisons.

Finally having only 5% of the world population, the U.S.eh? imprisoned 25% of the world's prison population.  The living conditions at the People's Temple became horrible, the work hours were long, and Jones had changed for the worse, even as millions in the U.S.eh? lost homes, jobs, and health care. As the 1% got richer and richer.

When rumors of the conditions at the Jonestown compound reached relatives back home, concerned relatives put pressure on the government to take action, even as The Occupy Movement sprung up around the U.S.eh? to decry the status quo which was causing them to suffer.

When Congressman Leo Ryan took a trip to Guyana to visit Jonestown, the trip ignited Jones' own fears of a government conspiracy that was out to get him, while U.S.eh? homeland security became afraid that The Occupy Movement was a terrorist attack. Thus they responded with coordinated militancy, and a spy effort to infiltrate and crush it.

To Jones, greatly addled by drugs and his paranoia, Ryan's visit meant Jones' own doom, while MOMCOM felt The Occupy Movement was subversive.

Jones launched an attack against Ryan and his entourage, and in so doing used that fake "attack" to influence all his followers to commit "revolutionary suicide", even as the forces of MOMCOM in turn, shot, beat, pepper sprayed, and jailed members of The Occupy Movement.

"While most of his followers died from drinking cyanide-laced grape punch, Jim Jones died on the same day of a gunshot wound to the head. It is still unclear as to whether or not the gunshot wound was self-inflicted."

Many fear the U.S.eh? is dying of a self-inflicted wound, as MOMCOM rises up, increases damage to the Earth's environment with poisons, increases wars, and plunders the people's treasury to satiate the lust and greed of the 1% Plutocrats.

Now in the U.S.eh? the warnings of scientists, even republican scientists, are beginning to be violently resisted by the right wing of MOMCOM, while being muted by McTell News.

The cries of the warmonger engendered homelessness sufferers, the hungry, and the poor are blamed on them, blamed on their own character flaws.

Even as religion becomes the dialogue of the right wing politicians, who want more power, so they can take more from those poor, then give more to their rich 1% cronies who haven't needed it for decades.

'Hood Robin' has replaced Robin Hood, even as MOMCOM has replaced America.

And did I mention torture? Yeah, Jim and Sam developed a thing for that too:
Experience has shown that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

Studies show that there are a higher number of psychopaths both in government, and in business, than there are in the general population.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Holy Right Marries Big Brother - 2

For the second day in a row, we present material that was posted over a thousand posts ago, on this date several years ago.

We are testing the theory that the more things change the more they stay the same.

Here is the text of that post:

The marriage of Holy Right to Big Brother eventually gave birth to their daughter Scandal and their son Character Assassination.

The purpose and function of Holy Right is to raise the concept of good behavior way up to a holy level above mere mortals.

There is a distinct reason that the bar must be very, very high. Fishermen of men know that the net must be wide if one is to prosper.

Yes, a very distinct reason it must be raised to an unattainable height that can only be imaginatively inhabited by the Robe Wearers (Holy Right's family, Big Brother's inlaws).

The social script handed down betimes ends up being a movie where everyone is to pretend that it is an attainable realm.

A realm fitly inhabited by good people floating above the realm of bad people. Like Springsteen said, everybody has a hungry heart, so you lay down your money and you play your part.

The Robe Wearers not only proclaim the divine creation of the realm, but they proclaim the path to inhabiting it as well.

The purpose and function of Big Brother is to use the power of government for spying, illegal wire taps, other illegal surveillance, and rogue segments of the various departments of justice to gather food for the children Scandal and Character Assassination.

Once the populace is fully conditioned to the notion of "good behavior" by Holy Right, the information gathered by Big Brother is handed off to the children Scandal and Character Assassination as the toys for their delightful play.

Those two children play a serious game of taking people out of power or even out of consideration for power by the vehicles of scandal and character assassination.

Their sandbox where they play with their toys is called "The Press" or "The Media".

So long as the Holy Right can successfully define what is "good", Big Brother can use the spy mechanisms to find behavior that is "bad".

Then the children can use their toys in the sandbox to keep certain people out of power and certain other people in power.

It is the Hour of Power, so are you a Muslim, conspiracy theorist, lefty, tax avoider, liberal, atheist, peacenik, or are you a good person instead?

Lyrics to the following song (Flume) are here.



Monday, February 20, 2012

7286 Wall Street - 8.8 Main Street - 2

In a post on this date in 2009, about one month after President Obama's inauguration, Dredd Blog looked over the economic landscape.

History is sometimes fantasized as a quaint, way back, not at all like today, stream of events that appear as black and white, not in HD color, on old TV sets.

In that light, we, the writers and readers at Dredd Blog, like to take a look at material a thousand posts back from time to time, so as to get a feel for how fast some aspects of history are moving.

So today we re-post that post from, February 20, 2009, an example of history:

The competition is fierce.

The DOW is straining to hit its 1997 closing low of 7286.

The unemployment rate is straining to hit 8.8% this year.

Meanwhile, bankruptcy filings and Tax Court petitions are going through the roof.

The notes of the Central Bankers of the fed from its last meeting state the following:
All participants anticipated that unemployment would remain substantially above its longer-run sustainable rate at the end of 2011, even absent further economic shocks; a few indicated that more than five to six years would be needed for the economy to converge to a longer-run path characterized by sustainable rates of output growth and unemployment and by an appropriate rate of inflation.
(NY Times, italics added). The current economy is not fundamentally sound in any way, shape, nor form.

This is not quite like the first months of the Bush II presidency in 2001 where there was a $230 billion dollar surplus that had to be wasted fast.

Clinton left tiny, tiny foreclosure rates. Property values increasing. Code black, code black!

No, now there is an economy that has to be resuscitated quickly. Code red, code red!

Did I mention stratospheric foreclosure rates and plunging property values?

Change we can't deny.

Shall we invade ourselves as a stimulus?

UPDATES:

Can you believe it? One trading day later, they did it. And it may get into the 6,000 range this week.

And the DOW dropped below 7,000 on Monday March 2, 2009.