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About

I need to correct this. I am 75 years old, currently sitting in a wheelchair and no longer practice Yang Style Taiji. I am still a damn good bench electrician and a decent writer.  I am hoping to be able to stand long enough to cook on a standard size stove and to plant a garden next spring.

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Education, Free Society, Trivia, Uncategorized

Presidents’ Day – Things to think about

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

By the only clearly objective test our greatest president was William Howard Taft. (also Greatest Chief Justice, Greatest Secretary of War, Greatest Solicitor General….)

The only good politician is one who has been dead at least a generation.

The sure way to get a second term is to have a conflict going at the time of the election.A

Hamilton wanted a system of a Presidency for life or good behavior with a much looser standard for impeachment.

There was talk of impeaching George Washington over his pardon of persons involved in the Whiskey Insurrection of 1794. There was also talk of impeaching Jefferson for the Louisiana Purchase.

The election of 1840 was won by name recognition of William Henry Harrison over Martin Van Buren. Harrison was a war hero from the War of 1812 and earlier. Van Buren, father of the political machine was President of the United States.

Harrison gave the longest inaugural address, caught pneumonia and died 31 days later without having time to do substantial damage to the Republic.

Between 1837 and 1861, no President served more than a single term.

Only three Presidents have been elected directly from the Senate. They are Warren Harding, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.

Theodore Roosevelt was the first vice-president succeeding to the presidency to be elected in his own right.

Neither of the two world class intellectual Presidents went to high school. Jefferson learned what was necessary to running a Plantation at home and had some work at the College of William and Mary. Theodore Roosevelt had tutors and was published in scientific journals before entering Harvard.

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A reprieve: but for how long?

No copyright notice as this is just news.

The committee drafting the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has adjourned without reporting a treaty to the nations or General Assembly for signature.  This is probably do to Senator Jerry Moran’s effort in obtaining signatures of 50 Senators besides himself against the draft treaty.

Be wary.  The ATT will not go away.  A second Obama Administration will likely push a total gun ban and work by Executive Order.  Justice Antonin Scalia is on board with this.  It is time to assure that anti-gun candidates do not become Congresscritters.

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Small Arms Treaty — an open assault on our rights

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl  Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Within two weeks, President Obama is set to sign the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. The anti-gun movement is awaiting ratification to begin the disarmament of the American People. At present more than 60 Senators are leaning toward ratification of this treaty and the President is leaning on the rest. This is a grave moment because the ultimate sovereignty of the United States ultimately boils down to the ability of the people to repel invasion.

We are quietly celebrating what we call the War of 1812 which James Madison stumbled into. It was the only time a foreign power invaded the United States and burned the government buildings to the ground. It was not the scattered national army, but the Maryland Militia who convinced Admiral Cochrane that the British did not want a war of attrition.

Since 1913 the government has been attempting to consolidate power in Washington as part of a consolidation of national powers under an international body. In 1919 the Senate wisely rejected the Treaty of Versailles (actually the Treaty of Paris signed at Versailles) which placed severe controls on Germany that made life miserable and gave rise to Hitler’s National Socialist movement. This treaty was a bad thing and would not have stopped Hitler even had the United States joined.

After World War II, the mood changed and there was a consensus that the world needed a new international organization. Senator Robert Taft opposed this as an entangling alliance and warned that we would regret this. The U.S. Senate ratified the Charter and the United States joined the nation. At the motion of the Soviet Union, the headquarters was located in New York City.

The location has an upside and a downside. The United States may keep an eye on the goings and comings of foreign diplomats. The high cost of living in NYC may discourage smaller nations from sending too large a delegation. The downside is that it essentially doubles the number of spies with diplomatic immunity and draws heavily on both local and national assets for security.

A disproportionate percentage of UN funding comes from the US, which was, in the latter half of the 20th Century, a great engine of wealth. The US is no longer that mighty engine and is “obligated” to the same level of support and threatened by General Assembly if it does not support organizations like UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). The interests of UNESCO are contrary to the interests of the United States and yet it dictates curricula to the US Department of Education which in turn dictates curricula to the states. The goal is a society indoctrinated in a world view inimical to our own system and history.

Reagan properly cut off US funding for UNESCO, but under Clinton, this country went crawling back apologizing—Clinton also kow-towed at the Western Gate after the Massacre at Tienanmen Square. The whole outlook has been “international.” The Clinton administration signed the Kyoto accords after the Senate voted 95-3 to reject the terms. He also signed the International Criminal Court treaty but never submitted it to the Senate.

Both Bush Administrations were also international in outlook, especially when justifying military adventures.

In the history of the United Nations, UN Peacekeeping troops have a spotty record. In Katanga, the UN Peacekeepers support the Communist leaning Central government of Zaire against the Western leaning Katangan government of Moise Tshombe. In Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) the UN oversaw an election which was won by Bishop Abel Musarewa and Josiah Gummede. The Marxist party of Robert Mugabe stayed at war and the UN, at the insistence of US Ambassador Andrew Young sided with Mugabe and the next election was rigged. Then there was Angola where the Marxist government held power only with the assistance of Cuban “volunteers.” Dr Jonas Savimbi’s pro Western UNITA party held out until George H.W. Bush, in order to curry favor with the UN, pulled support from Savimbi.

During the Rwandan Genocide the primary weapons were machetes. Belgian UN peacekeepers gave shelter to 2000 disarmedTutsis in a school with Hutu Power people outside. Everyone outside were Hutu. The Belgian troops left and the slaughter began.

So now, President Obama is asking us to trust that a UN technical treaty will not have a significant impact on Constitutional rights, namely the right to keep and bear arms. Meanwhile his lackeys have assured the Brady Campaign that it will. Kleptocrat and former Secretary General Kofi Anan has praised the treaty for disarming citizens.

This is a treaty about centralized power, about making the world safe for dictators.

I am of the opinion that if there is a conflict between a treaty and the Constitution itself, the Constitution prevails. We unfortunately have some justices on the Supreme Court who value the consensus of International Law over a written (not “living”) Constitution.

Just in from Senator Moran’s office: http://moran.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news-releases?ContentRecord_id=2b02a67f-2179-41fc-be55-3502163c8510 Senator Moran and 50 others oppose the treaty if it will interfere with Second Amendment rights.

Meanwhile, Kurt Nimmo over at Infowars,com has, through his sources, obtained a draft of the proposed treaty. The language specifies international trade, but this is no problem for the O-Team. In all gun ban legislation, the interstate commerce clause is invoke with the additional language stating that since intra-state transfers may affect interstate commerce they are also reguliated. I have no doubt that the progressives will attempt to clamp down on domestic transfers.

This will include:

  • Reimposition of the 1994 assault weapon ban. There will be no grandfather clause on magazines or weapons in the possession of the population.
  • All private transfers of firearms will have to go through registration.
  • All reloading equipment and components will be registered.
  • Military ammunition will be prohibited to “civilians.” NOTE: The only non-civilians in the criminal justice system are those who are in a custody status and have not had their civil rights restored. Military ammunition includes: .45ACP, .45 S&W (a cowboy action load), 9mm Parabellum, .30-30, .30-06. 6.5mm Swedish, 7×57 Mauser, 8×57 Mauser, .308 Winchester, 7.62 NATO, 7.62 rimmed Imperial, .223 Remington, 5.56NATO, 7.62×39 Combloc, 5.45×39 Combloc and numerous other rounds.
  • Black powder weapons will fall under registration.

Realize that the 51 Senators opposing the treaty will be under extreme pressure from the White House and remember that we expected the Arms Reduction Treaty to go down in defeat.

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Uncategorized

More on Anonymity and Retribution

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

This is a little more on the use of anonymity in American politics without going into street names and current literature.

Anonymous was, according to Paul Stubblefield who was my freshman English teacher at DU, the most prolific writer in the English language prior to the eighteenth century.  On the web (s)he seems to be making a comeback.  The use of noms de plume goes back in politics in this country at least to 1722 when Silence Dogood slipped letters under the door of James Franklin’s printing operation.  James’ younger brother Ben had a number of similar correspondents of whom Poor Richard is the best known.  I might go back to Elizabethan times if I accepted the nonsense about Edward de Vere writing plays and sonnets under the name of William Shakespeare, but I’ve read some of De Vere’s work, and he is no Bill Shakespeare.  I am listing here a url to a pdf of an article in the January 8, 1770, Boston Gazette signed by Vindex.  It appears that Vindex is none other than Sam Adams.

The Constitution of the United States was a controversial issue in 1787 when it was submitted for ratification.  There are still writers who consider it a coup d’tat and assert that the Articles of Confederation are the legal founding document, but I have also heard claims regarding the descendants of James VII of Scotland, II of England to the current throne.  As an answer I point out that Cumberland won at Culloden with an army of Scots. The fact is that Cumberland won.  And the fact is that the United States Constitution was ratified by the states.  

Virginia and New York were problematic states.  Jefferson and  George Mason were both master politicians who were able to force a “conditional” ratification on the convention.  New York was a battle ground.  The Federalist faction wrote up a series of arguments which we read as the Federalist Papers like they are just nice essays explaining the Constitution.  They were part of a debate as to what should be the form of government and whether there would be a republic strong enough to ward off the recolonization that England would attempt.  (People in those days knew that England was the power in the British Isles–there was no pandering to the Welsh, Scots and Irish with the namby-pamby United Kingdom language of the twentieth century.)   The name signing the Federalist Papers was Publius.  In addition to anti-federalists there were Tories still loyal to King and Church.  No, they did not all go to the Hudson Bay colony.  Their descendants are still here.  But they were keeping in contact and would gladly have turned in Col Hamilton or Mr Jay.  Mr Madison had already been convicted of treason in absentia.  So the name Publius was used because, let us face it. we are products of the Roman Republic, of the literature, culture and law.

The Anti-Federalist papers argued against doing away with the Articles of Confederation.  They believed in a voluntary compact that would allow them to come and go and to enact legislation that would help them protect jobs in their own state.   So who wrote the Anti-Federalist Papers.   Cato and Brutus were the primary authors.  There is some evidence, though not conclusive, that Col George Clinton was Cato.  Clinton was the governor of New York and a Revolutionary War Officer.  Other names mentioned are Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee.  The latter is not to be confused with Henry (Light Horse Harry) Lee, a staunch federalist.  At any rate, identities were “secret” until after the fact.

The upshot of the conflict between the factions was that New York, like Virginia, ratified the Constitution conditioned on passage of a Bill of Rights.  And that Bill of Rights contains ten Amendments that essentially prohibit federal action or regulation.  Without the input of Publius, Cato and Brutus we might be living under a constitutional government with no limits on its powers.

In my opinion (realizing that everyone who took constitutional law I and II is an expert, and further realizing that the only justice who comes close to my constitutional view is Thomas) the decision in Citizens United did not go far enough and dismantle the Federal Election Commission as well as the regulations it enforces.  My reasoning is that the First Amendment permits no regulation on speech, petition, or the electoral process.  The Congress has power to regulate the selection of electors in the District of  Columbia and the power to regulate local elections in said District and in territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam etc.  Otherwise the only provision for federal interference in state sponsored elections which include elections to the house and senate are the Fifteenth. Nineteenth and Twenty-sixth Amendments which guarantee individual rights to vote and are handled by the Justice Department.

There is an argument that in our society with open communication there is no retribution and therefore no need for anonymity.  Retribution goes back to the administration of John Adams, second president of the United States and one of two former presidents to endorse the idea of Massachusetts’ secession, had an enemies list, a number of whom were incarcerated under the Sedition Act of 1798.  There was a similar Sedition Act in 1917 under which a number of anti-war, anti-military ministers were incarcerated as well as a number of opponents of conscription were incarcerated for the duration.  During the War of 1861-65, a number of judges and legislators were banished to the Confederate States of America.  Much anonymous literature was circulated opposing Lincoln and the War.  Specifically, Clement Laird Vallandigham of Ohio was convicted by a military commission and denied a writ of habeas corpus when he was forthwith incarcerated.  Lincoln ordered him transported to the Confederacy in order to prevent him from becoming a “martyr for the Copperheads.”  This did not stem the anonymous criticism of Lincoln and the war.

In the thirties there was a true civil war in Spain.  The Loyalists who considered themselves a soviet and had representation on the Politburo were portrayed as the “good guys” in the American press.  There was an American contingent in the International Brigade called the “Lincoln” battalion and there was at some point some adverse action attempted but the popularity of the cause–celebrated in Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls protected them. There were also Americans  who fought for Franco in the Spanish Foreign Legion, but they kept quiet about their participation in the cause of the Falange because they could suffer retribution at home.  However the choice was not between the Falange and Republicanism but between Falangist Republicanism and the agents of Stalin.

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Free Society, Uncategorized

Marketing and desparation

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Well, it happened. Playboy is seeking me out….along with maybe 200,000 other “potential” subscribers. I know the game and everyone else knows the game. How do you market a hard copy magazine in a digital age? What they are looking for are demographics: male, over 55, has other magazine subscriptions.

Here’s the deal. Male. That has always been a demographic for Playboy. This was proclaimed by Hefner in 1963.

Over 55: There are a couple reasons for this. One is that the over 55 male population is perceived as sexually restless in “studies” and market research questionnaires with warranty cards. The reliability of such research is suspect. I can recall sitting in McDonalds with some friends filling out “anonymous” questionnaires—it can be a hoot. It is like faking an identity on the internet—and do not say there are safeguards because there are people who regard them as a challenge. Secondly, the over 55 crowd might be willing to read hard copy. And this is more critical. You can interviews with serious thinkers on the internet (and is that not the reason to read Playboy in the first place) as well as finding purveyors of hedonistic paraphernalia. If the magazine fails to attract readers, ad revenues fall.

Have other magazine subscriptions: If someone does have subscriptions, they are more likely to subscribe. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. And I admit to subscribing to a number of magazines catering to male interests—shooting, flying, fishing, military, &c. So I probably fall in the 50-60 percent likely category—remember that this is also 40-50 percent unlikely, but those are decent odds when you are in a dying industry.

Then there are the special offers like price. This is the same as other magazine offers I get. A dollar an issue is nothing to sneeze at.

In other words, it is a trying time in the magazine industry as a whole—I am considering going to online subscriptions for several that I already get. Advertisers understand this. Back when I was hustling ads the primary tool we used was the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the knowledge that drive time radio was better because it is the buffer in the background. You tend to remember what you hear while doing something else—you do not have to remember where you heard it but you have heard it twice a day for the last three months.

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Education, Free Society, Technology, Uncategorized

ALL POWER IS TEMPORARY

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Back in the late 20th Century (or possibly the early 21st), I was writing a novel and the main character looked his rival in the eye and said, “All power is temporary, save that which created the cosmos.” That is about all that is left of that piece of fiction, because it states a truth that neither the elites nor their conspiracy theorist opposition understand.

It goes back to the Enlightenment which rejected hierarchies and looked instead to Nature and Nature’s God. Unfortunately, there are some people who have made some discoveries and get the idea that they know “the secrets.” Nature (whether we call her Danu, Artemis, Isis, Sophia or Our Lady of Guadalupe) has a sense of humor and she chuckles at those who think they control her because they have uncovered something they think they can hide from the “unwashed.” The fact is that because it has been uncovered by someone means it is likely to be uncovered by others.

So we have “enlightened” elites who have replaced the “hierarchical” elites and are willing to go to vast extremes to prevent “commoners” from gaining the secrets. This is done by restrictive admission to educational opportunities, censorship of what is published, societies to “protect” the hidden knowledge. Further the reason this is done is to convince the rest of us that we are somewhat inferior and should remain in our place—with me they failed when I figured out that a couple shots of Tennessee sippin’ whiskey makes me everyone’s superior. However, Andrew Carnegie endowed buildings for public libraries. And Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have made what is on the internet much more accessible. There should be a theory about how much mass a genie must attain to be permanently free of the bottle—in this case it seems that we may have passed it some time ago.

“Don’t pay any attention to the man behind the screen.” And then we discover that the Great and Terrible Oz is just a balloonist from Omaha.

The Bilderberg Group just finished their 2012 Meeting in Chantilly, VA. And the Alex Jones faction of the alternative press did all in their power to “expose” what was going on. And the Bilderbergers, playing their part, gave cryptic interviews to their favored “journalists” and otherwise maintained the appearance of a secret cabal. Therein lies the “power.” It is a game and each player is dependent on the other, the power monger is dependent on the conspiracy theorist for publicity and the conspiracy theorist needs the power monger as a foil.

Yes. The power of secret societies is based on perception. In fact any show of phenomena beyond the understanding of the masses is perceived as witchcraft. A gentleman attending the San Diego County Science fair back when I was in high school thought that a Tesla coil—built by a friend of mine—was satanic. He did not realize how his radio worked. So it has been with gunpowder, steam, the telegraph and the internet. I can see the power of the internet, but it is largely psychological—in fact, the internet is somewhat like a mechanical device improved by a patent medicine salesman who went by “Doctor Colt.” Yes, the internet does for the war of ideas what Colt’s revolver did for Captain Walker’s Rangers—it levels the playing field.

Those “secret” groups who exercise power because people let them exercise power by assent. They are like the character of the Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz who turns out to be defeated by a bucket of mop water. Because the Bilderbergers promote this aura of power, elected officials bow and scrape as the mayors were doing to Royal Governors in New England in 1769. A few years later, a few barrels of Governor Hutchinson’s tea in the harbor, and there is an altered paradigm. A few words, beginning with “When in the course of human events” and ending with “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” and the paradigm is further altered.

How to break the power. I might recommend a mopping formula based on water, chlorine bleach and ammonia which is not recommended by the folks at the extension but does a heck of a job on really sticky floors—as well as eating sponges. The first thing is to stop groveling. As long as elected officials believe the forces have power they will. All the rebels need to do is convince twenty percent of the masses the power is phony. Historically, that is critical mass. Sam Adams had fifteen percent of Boston when they went on board ship to assure Governor Hutchinson had no reason to warehouse the tea. It was Wilhelm Tell who told the Austrians they had no power and backed it up with a few well placed bolts. It was Wallace at Stirling Bridge. It was Smith’s militia at Fort McHenry. It was the folks at the Alamo who delayed Lopez a good ten days so Houston could prepare at San Jacinto. It was los Heroes Nin~os at Chapultapec. It is the seven over the hill gunfighters who take the job because they do not have anything else—and the farmers who hire them because they cannot find anyone else.

 ALL POWER IS TEMPORARY – SAVE THAT WHICH CREATED THE COSMOS

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Uncategorized

Social Security Commentary

(c) Earl L. Haehl  Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

I suppose every blogger has some opinion of the Social Security issue. And while every politician who can move his or her lips has spoken out, the question remains as to whether a permanent fix is appropriat for what in 1935 was a quick fix to lower the unemployment rate in time for the 1936 election.

Disclaimer: I am a Social Security recipient.  That was optional but I calculated out that any way I go I will be 82 1/2 when I will have gotten back the funds confiscated from my employers and myself in my name.  Added to this is the fact that the dollars confiscated in 1975 are paid back in 2010 dollars.  And with all due respect to those who have said this is an insurance plan I say, “No!”  Social Security was designed to supplement pensions so employees would have an incentive to leave the workforce.  A true insurance plan would have fiduciary responsibilities unknown in government programs.

I began working when Dwight David Eisenhower was President and was paid under the table.  I can say this because all of the employers who so paid me have long ago passed into the realm that is beyond the jurisdiction of the Internal Revenue Service.  The culture back then was to avoid this.  Lyndon Baines Johnson was President when I first had the deduction.

Every so often a politician announces that something has to be done about Social Security and it has to be a permanent solution not a quick fix.  The resulting solution is a bipartisan plan that buys a few more years so “we” will have time to work out a permanent solution.  It is interesting that politicians use the the term “we” to mean someone who will have to deal with the problem somewhere down the line.  But the root of the problem is never addressed.

It’s easy (and often accurate) to blame the Prussians.  John Taylor Gatto points out that Horace Mann was heavily influenced by the Prussian system of public education.  Bean counters admire Prussian record keeping,  The use of statistics in government program development comes from the formation of Germany in 1870.  The hours of close order drill to which I was subjected from age 16 to 19 was the result of Benjamin Franklin recruiting an out of work Prussian staff officer to devise a method of drill for the Continental Army.  And from use of statistics Bismarck determined that 65 was an optimum age for members of the German Army to retire.

Back in the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt was trying to redesign the mode of production in the United States to combat an economic “crisis” resulting from government and government authorized actions.  In 1929, the Federal Reserve tightened the money supply because the economy was a little too “hot.”  This resulted in the Stock Market crash of 1929.  The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 was vetoed by President Hoover–I give him credit for this–but it was passed over his veto.  US Industry was at full production until April of 1931 according to Merrill Rukeyser.  He viewed Smoot-Hawley as the proximate cause of the recession that began in 1931 and was nursed along by FDR until it was handed to Harry Truman.

Which brings us to the New Deal.  What FDR promised was a set of temporary laws that would restore the country.  Frances Perkins, graduate of Mt Holyoke College and Columbia University was the Secretary of Labor.  In 1935 she chaired the group that brought forth the Social Security Act.  Remember back in 1870 that Bismarck’s plan for retirement arrived by statistics at age 65.  It was a rare retired soldier that would live beyond 67 or 68 (a significant portion did not make it to 65) which made the retirement age sustainable (well, statistically sustainable).  Age 65 retirement made sense in the new deal because it had a precedent–it did not have the statistical analysis that said that workers were not as effective at that age or that their longevity was ideal to this.  The other factor that was probably more important was that this would give the older worker an incentive to leave the workplace so that “family men” could have jobs.

Like the other alphabet programs the SSA would disappear at the end of the emergency, which in this case, turned out to be 1946.  However, all of the New Deal legislation remained in effect and was enlarged upon.  In 1965, Medicare was added to the Social Security entitlement.  There have been various adjustments in retirement age.  Only individuals ages 16 through 64 are considered to be in the Civilian Workforce.  This is comparable to the withering of the state after the dictatorship of the proletariat.  While Social Security did not demand retirement at any age, social pressure was applied to those who kept “family men” out of the workforce–this is the way authoritarian regimes keep power by demonizing those who do not get with the program,

Unintended consequences:  Every piece of social legislation has unintended consequences which keep lawyers and activists in business.  While taking social security is not necessary, in a society where there were “family men” out of work, there was a certain opprobrium attached to older workers staying on jobs.  In a manufacturing setting it used to be the older skilled workers would train the newbies–65 retirement eliminated that.  AVTS and junior college are not a substitute.  When I worked at the ladder company I was taught by the foreman even though I had shop training in school and knew everything.

And the “jobs are for family men” meme sort of evolved into a bias against older workers. That had to be rectified by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.  And it is still a perception that when you’re 60 or so it is over.  Except that there is an expectation that “older workers” make excellent greeters but not necessarily sales associates in the sporting goods section.  You will find retirees in small hardware stores, but not the big box outfits.

Meanwhile, if you are between age  40 through 70 and so inclined, you may tie an employer up with an EEOC investigation to determine whether or not there are reasonable grounds for you to sue that employer–no worries; the taxpayers pick up your tab whether or not EEOC finds anything and you have achieved a terrific inconvenience for your employer. The costs of the inconvenience will be passed on to the employer’s customers who pay the taxes to fund federal regulatory agencies.  And if that employer is a manufacturer, the cost of mounting regulatory inconveniences can help make product less competitive in the marketplace.

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Uncategorized

People’s Rights (?) Amendment

(c) Earl L. Haehl  Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Imagine waking up and dealing with the fact that your email account has been used as a conduit of really insipid spam. And then you decide to do a run through of the morning’s news. The usual inching toward an unjustified and stupid war on Iran because the current occupant of the White House does not understand history or geopolitics well enough to evaluate what his venal advisers tell him. Either that or he is with the Wilsonian program of military adventurism to spread “democracy” throughout the world. Then, on infowars.com you pick up Nancy Pelosi nattering about amending the constitution to “undo” the damage the Supreme Court did in Citizens United.

If you want to read their story here is the link.

http://www.infowars.com/nancy-pelosi-wants-to-amend-the-first-amendment/

So the basic idea is that the “founders” intended this to be a democracy and the Supreme Court had thwarted that dream by allowing the “slime” of big money to control our elections.

Let’s get rid of some assumptions.

Let’s talk about how democratic our Constitution really is.

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,)…” The words in parentheses were unfortunately removed by the Seventeenth Amendment, thereby making Senators the least accountable public servants outside TSA. Federal Judges serve during good behavior and Congress has power to impeach. Prior to 1913, a Senator could be removed by a legislative resolution—no signature by the governor needed. This is not Democracy, but rather a shield against democracy.

And as to whether the “Founders” intended a democracy, I will quote one of my two favorite members of the Convention, Benjamin Franklin. A woman approach Dr Franklin and said something to the effect of, “So what have you given us, Dr Franklin, a democracy or a monarchy?” Dr Franklin answered, “a Republic madam, if you can keep it.”

Ms Pelosi wants to convince Americans that this is a democracy subject to the will and tyranny of the majority rather than a constitutional republic where there are restrictions upon governmental powers.  She fails in this.

My other favorite member of the Convention is George Mason who walked out without signing the document because it did not include rights. His actions galvanized the anti-federalist movement to demand a Bill of Rights. No, the first amendment was not the idea of the founders, but of the anti-federalist faction.

Hamilton, Jay, Madison, Washington, John Adams were opposed to the Bill of Rights. The first four believed it to be unnecessary although Madison “came around” after time “in the woodshed” with Jefferson and Mason. Adams was a reluctant Patriot—he believed that the President should have absolute power in emergencies and that the country needed an army rather than a militia (except for the armed thugs he sent out to deal with his enemies in the press). In Massachusetts it fell to others, primarily Sam Adams, Elbridge Gerry and Mercy Otis Warren to fight for ratification of the Bill of Rights.

New York, where Governor George Clinton prevailed over Hamilton, and Virginia, led by Patrick Henry, insisted on the amendments we now call the Bill of Rights as condition precedent to remaining in the compact—these were the days before Daniel Webster claimed the Union was indissoluble. Without New York and Virginia, the United States would have foundered.

Ms Pelosi is a hack politician, who like so many on both ends of that road from the Capitol to the Executive Mansion, lacks a grounding in history and the Constitution. The “Peoples’ Rights Amendment” reads as follows:

Section 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.

Section 2. People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, and such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.

This reads like a high-school debate topic. What this lacks is the prohibitory nature of the First Amendment which reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

To be absolutely honest, the Democrats who are responsible for this do not realize that:

1. Congress will no longer be prohibited from establishing a religion, as long as it permits free exercise. In other words, the establishment of secularism like France with the universal ban on public display becomes possible. Rights provided by the government may also be regulated by the government.
2. The people’s rights presumes a collective, rather than an individual right. Such rights, if spelled out, become rights granted rather than rights recognized. There is difference. This basically allows the regulation of rights in which they become privileges.
3. If a corporate entity is no longer recognized as a legal person, then it can neither sue nor be sued because it does not exist. It could not be held liable in tort nor could it be liable to pay fines or taxes. Nor for that matter could it be outlawed. The non-profits that both sides of the spectrum use to run surveys and disseminate both information and disinformation would have no corporate being to receive funds.

There are probably, among the sponsors, some who understand the consequences fully and would merely assume all corporate powers into agencies of the government—the United States could have as efficient an economy as the Soviet Union.

UPDATE 07MAY2012

Having read George Will I see the author of this travesty is Rep Jim McGovern (D-Mass). That the author is from Massachusetts should really surprise no one. Massachusetts is home to John Adams, Second President of the United states and reluctant member of the committee that wrote the Declaration of Independence. It is not that John (unlike his smarter Cousin Sam) was happy with the King but rather that he would have preferred a Cromwell type rebellion. John Adams, while President, ignored the Bill of Rights and sent thugs to punish his enemies in the press. B.F. Bache, publisher of the Philadelphia Aurora and grandson of Benjamin Franklin, was beaten severely and his press significantly damaged. He was unable to return to publishing.

Mr McGovern would do well to emulate John’s smarter cousin Sam and his anti-federalist colleagues Elbridge Gerry and Mercy Otis Warren who pushed the limitations on government which protect us from the “tyranny of the majority,”

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The new Villienage

About a year ago commentary in Alex Jones’ infowars.com discussed a tax protest in England. A number of Englishmen engaged in effecting a civil arrest of a judge over a “charter tax” which the judge was enforcing. This was in neither Idaho nor Montana, but in the mother country. Commentators are comparing this to a poll tax protest in 1990 and on this side of the pond to the American Revolution.

Such comparisons are often made. However the Peasants’ Revolt or Wat Tyler’s rebellion took place in 1381 as peasants who were unhappy with their lot of being taxed. They rebelled against the boy king, Richard II, who had ascended the throne because his father, Edward the Black Prince, had the bad form to predecease his grandfather Edward III. As a minor Richard was controlled by John of Gaunt and Simon Sudbury, a pair of tyrants who would exist gloriously in the pages of a Sir Waltet Scott novel. The tax was not as important as the fact that these peasants were held in a state of villeinage or perpetual debt by their lords.

Added to this was that a theologian named Wycliffe had recently been dismissed from Oxford for his deviation from church doctrine regarding the Eucharist. His followers were called Lollards and were mostly from the class of villeins.

This is just a little background. In the great twentieth century we began some programs to have the government guarantee and regulate loans for various purposes such as small business (really big businesses do not need these loans because they have subsidies in the form of contracts), farming, home ownership and education. This was to protect these from the rigors of the market and to protect farmers from the villainous bankers who appear in melodrama to take the farm until Dandy Dick shows up, having hit the Power Ball to save the day. Note that the term villain is used for a creditor whereas the term villein means debtor. The term villain was early on used as a class distinction as in “these rough villains” to refer to the debtor class who were outside polite society. In American usage the term villain became the loathsome creditor.

In the late seventies and early eighties there was a mortgage crisis in the midwest—it is not considered as serious because the people losing their stuff were farmers. So were they the victims of predatory banks? In the words of Walter Williams if you said no go to the head of the class. The banks had been working with the farmers, adjusting rates—they had been through the tough times together and come out of it before. The Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) was the successor of a new deal agency that guaranteed agricultural assistance loans. It was a GS-14 or supergrade administrator who made the decision that the banks had to foreclose.

During the Clinton Administration many of the loan guarantee programs became direct loan programs. During the “recovery,” bailout or takeover of the financial system there were a lot of requirements on private lenders to adjust terms and even write off debt.

However, no government debt was written off and, in fact such debt follows for the rest of people’s lives and is not discharged in bankruptcy. The existence of Federal student loan debt (either direct or guaranteed) may restrict government employment, travel outside the country, educational programs etc. Such controls over individuals is much like the semi-feudal control in England in the fourteenth century.

During various times, especially in rural areas, there have been organizations sprout up to actively protest debt policies. (A joke in early Wyoming was that Republicans were beholden to the big banks in New York or Denver whereas Democrats were beholden to banks in Chicago and Omaha.) In the upper midwest there were “penny auctions” wherein friends and relatives of those farmers foreclosed on would bid trivial amounts on the land while other friends and relatives convinced speculators and bank representatives that they did not want to bid. This could happen again.

The problem with villienage is that it leads to the condition Kristofferson wrote about in Bobby Magee. “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” When too large a portion of the population gets into that situation it is going to be a lot different than the collectivist controlled Occupy movement.

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