The United States of America are ruled by a constitution. This document is the foundation document signed off by the original colonies and subsequent states admitted into the union. The Constitution is the sum total of all the articles and amendments passed over the last 240 years. Unfortunately, every little law, ordinance and program that is not contradicted by the Constitution is fodder for lawmakers. Sometimes, they do violate the Constitution and that’s why there is a judicial branch.
Aside from all the judges who solve petty disputes, there is one final arbiter in the United States. The Supreme Court was established as an august body with the power to strike down or permit laws seen as unconstitutional by one party. The only other recourse is an amendment, which is a very difficult process with the polarization of political groups these days.
That goes out the window when the Supreme Court becomes interested in creating rights out of wishes. During the Roosevelt Administration, the Court was bullied into submission. The Court of 1973 was not, and simply decided that abortion was so important that human rights were insignificant. The Roberts Court used the false premise that the ACA was Constitutional and “established law” to appear non-activist when it interpreted the actual text out of a law.
From a legal perspective, the decision on gay marriage was the worst of all. Marriage law is the domain of the states and SCOTUS couldn’t change that. Instead, they used the already overused Fourteenth Amendment to claim that a legal process, marriage, and not a person’s identity, is protected. That would also mean that the ERA has apparently passed, because their decision means the same thing.
Greece’s economy is literally dragging down the rest of the world. When a country joins an economic union but doesn’t want to live by its rules, that country can get away with a lot. While the US stock market fell about 2% in one day, EU countries have a much bigger stake. Throwing money at Greece can put off economic collapse, but won’t stop it. Greece has now been told to accept austerity (slightly less generous socialized benefits and higher taxes on the rich) or face default.
The world economy isn’t growing, but it is stable. This is as good a time as any to force the country’s hand. Of course, if Greece refuses the plan and withdraws from the EU, they face a whole new problem. The socialist leader of Greece is talking to communist Russia about a less restrictive bailout. The problem is that Russia is a criminal organization and using them as a loan shark would have even worse consequences. One thing seems clear. The EU is sick of Greece’s crap.
I saw an article linked on my trip through The Crawdad Hole today. It’s very interesting in that it discusses the fall of the Roman Empire in economic terms. Rome had an advanced society and successful entrepreneurs and a form of democracy. What took it down was socialism that existed before socialism had a name.
The rulers of Rome found that a passive population was easier to handle. So, they chose to entertain them and feed them cheaply. They enacted a maximum price for food, pushing farmers into poverty. Those farmers moved to the city where subsidies kept them fed. The payouts to non-workers created a coin with less metal (inflation) and the collapse of buying power. As prices were fixed further, farmers and their products became scarce. People fled the cities to live off the land. However, having no businesses to help them, they could only farm to subsistence, not having proper clothing or tools available.
Ultimately, society disintegrated from the inside of Rome outward. This week, so many progressives had to prove they were right due to a few social victories. I do not have to prove I am right. If the United States collapses, it proves what I think is happening. I am only trying to stop what is wrong. Only people who are wrong need to bother convincing people they are right.
For those who don’t know, insanitybytes has a rundown of the behind the scenes rainbow header pasted on every WordPress user’s admin page. I’m sure there’s some freedom or other bullshit reason for this that they think goes with WordPress philosophy. Ironically, I started this blog here because of horror stories from Uppity Woman about Blogspot sites being taken down for being anti-Obama. Gay marriage is not about equality, it is about specificity. Just being a Republican makes one unwelcome in the gay community. Barack Obama claimed this victory and none of his political tribe disagreed.
So, where are we headed? I already laid down my marker that it was all over the Wednesday after the 2012 election. We are on the path to European socialist democracy. The problem is that Europe is about a generation away from being another ISIS target. The same week SCOTUS decided that written laws should be divined for intent, ISIS has been using Ramadan to enforce their non-negotiable rules.
This administration and much of the Western world doesn’t actually know how to deal with a group that doesn’t love money enough to be controlled with it. Worse than that, they don’t seem to accept the central tenet of “live and let live” yet exploit it to put sleeper terrorists all over the modern world. When Israel or even Pamela Geller fights their ideology, the responsibility for violence is put on them.
It seems the strategy of the “love wins” crowd toward evil fanatics is to love them harder. Let’s see how that goes.
As I type this post, WordPress has superimposed a rainbow banner above the edit window, no doubt to celebrate the national gay marriage decision. Unlike the
Obamacare SOCTUSCare decision, there is considerably less opposition to gay marriage. I think that speaks to the nature of the laws. The ACA has large and obvious implications for increased premiums, regulation and choice for everyone. Gay marriage expands a legal process that already exists for normal couples. The downside is less obvious. Both decisions are wrong for the same reason.
John Roberts has let Obamacare stand multiple times now arguing that Congress should make law (or end it) and not the Court. It’s a ridiculous standard and it has been completely negated by the decision today. The fact that he voted against it is about as important as Republicans passing the same “End Obamacare” bill that is never signed but refusing to stop the flow of money until it is repealed. The Defense of Marriage Act is over and marriage does not exist anymore.
One of the dangers of every society is hubris. We assume that since we have “democracy,” we are superior to every other society in history. Ancient Rome was very sexually permissive. Caligula was rumored to have married his horse. They had a form of democracy where the upper class had the votes and the lower class were the slaves. Everyone else was placated with bread and circuses. Dictatorships have survived longer than rule by the citizenry.
Look at the United States. The first voters were land owners. They were also the only ones burdened with taxes. Not only did the US have taxation with representation, we had representation by those who were taxed. If the politicians you voted for spent too much, you would feel it and your recourse would be to vote for someone else. Now, most residents are citizens. The government has created a system where almost half the voters can be assured of free bread if they just vote for a particular candidate.
The worst part, however, is that neither Obamacare nor gay marriage are popular. Over 90% of the time, gay marriage fails under popular referendum. Obamacare has never exceeded 50% in polls and was much lower when it was passed. In the case of gay marriage, positive support is low, but hardly anyone wants to fight it. With Obamacare, every battle seems to make the result worse. The Republican opposition has been weak and ineffective. Just as dictatorships can yield to popular government, democracies can trade their liberty for comfort. This week democracy lost and oligarchy won.
Dateline: June 6, 2016
In a perfectly reasonable ruling, the Supreme Court decided 6-3 in favor of the President in the case of Obama v Sanity. This ends the debate over whether ordinary citizens have the right to bother Barack Obama with questions of supposed illegality. Writing for the majority, Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited the Communist Manifesto 42 times, the Koran 13 times and Richard Nixon when he said that “it’s not illegal if the President does it.” Justices Kagan and Sotomayor simply chanted “O-ba-ma” as the decision was read.
Justice Scalia’s dissent was less articulate than usual, mostly consisting of the phrase “What the hell is wrong with everybody?” Samuel Alito was mostly silent and former Chief Justice John Roberts was heard saying “I can’t do this anymore” as he left the courtroom. He has not been seen since. Of course, Clarence Thomas was recently executed for sexual harassment charges brought by Eric Holder, who came back to the Justice Department “just to fry that bastard.”
Newly appointed Chief Justice Michelle Obama breached protocol slightly by taping a segment for The Ellen Show before the decision came down. “The problem with this country,” she said, “is that Barack and I didn’t have enough of a voice. Even though we face a tough road where people who have no power to stop us can still bitch us out, we plan to work with Speaker Boehner to enact new laws limiting ungood people.”
Today’s ruling grants the President the authority to decide on behalf of the states in the case of a Constitutional Amendment. While he has not decided on the first one to be changed, modifications to the First, Second and Tenth are high on the list.
I’m being forced to write this. If you can see my message, it is time to resist. The police state must be stopped before we beco….
The story has gone down that Republicans who voted against trade authorization supported by the leadership will lose their own chairmanship or committee assignments in the House. This is part of John Boehner’s continuing war on independent thought for votes that he believes need party unity. By chopping off heads, certain grandstanding Republicans will learn there is s price for voting against the majority just to look like an iconoclast.
Here’s the danger. As a Congressman, you are hired by the people in your district. Being on committees is great. It gives you the power to make changes to laws that benefit your district and raises your profile. If you want to stay in Congress, that is the kind of reward you need. It’s an incentive to follow the party, sometimes at the cost of your personal beliefs. Boehner is betting on these errant Republicans to be corrupt enough to fear the disfavor of their leadership.
If you look at the titles of people in Congress, you see the designation “majority” or “minority.” This is because the Constitution doesn’t respect parties. The leadership of a particular group is based on a simple majority vote at the beginning of a session. The winners are in the majority, the losers are in the minority. In the recent past, Republicans were burned by freezing out moderate to liberal Republicans because they would defect to the Democrats. This is how Republicans lost the Senate in 2001 when Jim Jeffords switched sides. It’s also how Democrats got a 60 seat majority when Arlen Spector wend back to being a Democrats after decades as a Republican.
A conservative Republican is seen as having nowhere to go. The Tea Party hates Obama slightly more than Boehner. It would certainly teach him a lesson if conservatives pulled a coup and voted for Nancy Pelosi, but her leadership would be a nightmare. It is also quickly becoming the only option open to them. John Boehner cannot fire fellow Republicans, only demote them. How long until he plays with firing too much?
After the shooting in South Carolina, progressives yet again tried to have a conversation on guns where you give up your guns and shut up while they lecture you. That failed almost immediately. The conversation on race started off slows as well, since the last year has been all about racist cops and not racist loners. Luckily, some special snowflakes were negatively triggered by the Confederate flag. This was difficult since pictures of the gunman with the stars and bars didn’t come out for days. Instead, the mere fact that South Carolina has the flag on state house grounds (it had already been moved from the state house itself) was enough to somehow inspire a race attack.
This turns out to be a good strategy for the left. Get out in front of banning a piece of cloth as a symbol. This catches conservatives off guard, who actually still believe in freedom and know it’s silly to think removing a flag ends racism. This way, when the groundswell occurs to have it banned, the Republicans look like wafflers for changing their minds. Better yet, it makes people defiant and more likely to say dumb things about Blacks being worse criminals or having lousy morals.
The resurgence of the Confederate flag a couple of generations ago was an act of defiance by Southern states targeted by Civil Rights legislation that continued until just a few years ago. While it had some place in American culture, (The Dukes of Hazzard comes to mind) the flag is something of an anachronism. Instead of just letting it fade away, however, the left just has to tear it down.
The best part of this story for me is that around 160 years ago, the Republican Party was founded on principles that included the abolition of slavery. Republicans took over much of the country’s government and slavery was outlawed by the Constitution. Progressives and Republicans had control of the government until the 1930’s. The Civil Rights movement was filled with Republicans who fought against Democrats and Dixiecrats. Democrats have a history of slavery and racism longer than the Confederate Flag. Maybe they should be banned.
One of my stranger thoughts lately is about aliens. Many of us idly consider if there is any life out there. If there is, are they even enough like us to communicate. The perfect alien would be humanoid, but with something (attractively) exotic about them. We’d like them to be more intelligent, but not condescendingly so. It would also be cool if they had solved some medical or engineering problem that vexes us.
One of the things people who don’t like science fiction don’t get is that almost all the stories are an allegory for the human condition. Alien “races” simply highlight different aspects of ourselves. Ironically, I thought about this when I was watching “The Last Ship” on TNT. It has no aliens, only a story of a world destroyed in less than a year by a deadly virus with a cure, but one that can’t get to everyone fast enough. This makes the series an anthology. Each episode relates how different people deal with a radically different existence.
Apocalyptic fiction is popular these days. It’s set in a world where life is hard. The trappings of modern civilization are gone. Death is a constant reality. I refer to it with the Roman term of “bread and circuses.” As long as people are fed and entertained, society is maintained. If that is interrupted, there is chaos and a broken society. For Americans, the harsh reality can be found in the past. The further back you go, the tougher life was.
There are constants in the human condition, but the day-to-day of life in the firs world has changed drastically in the last handful of generations. Could I relate to someone from a century ago, where I have my own car, a climate controlled house, a supermarket (and various mini restaurants) filled with cheap food and virtually unlimited entertainment and connectivity? It’s a comparison that’s been made before, but the modern world is like an alien world.
That’s the irony. An “alien” race represents our dream of seeing the distant future in our own lifetime. We don’t want to meet people too much like ourselves. We already can’t stand those people in other countries. What we can know, however, is the difference between ourselves and our ancestors. In the end, what’s more important? Is it knowing our true nature or seeing flying cars?
I didn’t like Barack Obama since 2004 when he (or his campaign, Obama is a meat puppet) doxxed both Republicans running against him. I was an Alan Keyes fan in 2000, so the fact that Team Obama chose to out his gay daughter when Keyes had no chance of winning was a scummy move. I found out that Obama was worse toward the Democrats who ran against him in primaries, like what he did with Hillary Clinton.
I didn’t like Hillary Clinton since the early 1990’s when she was going to implement Obamacare about 20 years early. I didn’t like it when she was essentially given Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s seat in the Senate. I liked Moynihan. Rumor was that he wouldn’t retire because Chuck Schumer would take his place. I enjoyed seeing her campaign limp along in 2008. Then Obama took her out entirely, and it was so much worse. Still, Hillary joined the Obama administration and actually lowered my opinion of her.
The grand majority of disgruntled Democrats who voted against Obama in 2008 (and less so in 2012) were Hillary Clinton supporters. Some accepted the premise that Hillary was doing what she could by becoming Secretary of State. They looked forward to 2016, when Hillary would have experience and be as old as Ronald Reagan was when he became president. I think the ones who were wary of Hillary Clinton were less disturbed. Loving Hillary in an Obama administration means having to ignore her support of his ideas, her tacit agreement that Obama is a good president and, of course, Benghazi.
I’ve read some die-hard blogs now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton can do no wrong in their eyes. They put their dreams on a Hillary Clinton presidency and they will not be denied. It kind of reminds me of a Joe Walsh song.
Everybody’s so different I haven’t changed