Westboro Supreme Court mis-rule

SUMMARY: This isn’t Free Speech, it’s freedom of politico-(pseudo-)religious gang-persecution organized on a national basis against random mourners (as such) uninvolved in the grievances supposedly being protested by Funeral Invasion.


Mob pseudo-religious persecution of mourners’ Free Exercise of Religion — the Baptists’ “speech” is usually not on-point, but irrelevant to the life and death circumstances of the decedent at funerals they INVADE — is just like the mob persecution of Christians in Turkey, long winked at by a supposedly-secularist State.  It violates the civil rights of decedents and their grieving survivors.  Only an unholy alliance between the Court’s fellow-fundamentalists and its (this time) misguided “liberals” would rule that the civil rights of off-topic, political, media-hog, worship-invaders trump Freedom of Religion.

Yes, all defenses of Westboro defend their protests as political, though they are veiled in religion.  If (Westboro) politics now trumps (everybody else’s) religion, maybe the rest of the Religious Right IS right, that religious freedom is being flushed down the toilet with the politicization of everything — IRONICALLY, BY THEM!

Another way of approaching it is that the Religious Right, a vast well-organized group, may now abuse its “rights” to violate the rights of usually-tiny groups of mourners anywhere in the country — not unlike the invasive, disgusting, terroristic tactics of Operation “Rescue” abortion-clinic protesters and their incited gunmen / bombers / racketeers / conspirators.  If the Bill of Rights is about anything, it’s about protecting the rights of the oppressed — not only those oppressed by governments or officials, but by their fellow human beings in this country generally, especially by groups bigger than them.  Look for other hate groups to go back to the Courts now for vindication against explicit civil rights legislation — the Ku Klux Klan, “sovereign citizens,” (neo?)Nazis, self-appointed “militias” and border guards, “Dot Busters,” ‘crosshairs’ assassins, the whole sorry, scary lot of them.  What will the lawless Scalia/Roberts Court say then?  Cross-burnings and lynchings are OK again?  Literacy tests and poll taxes for voting?  Forced segregation of public schools?  ‘The disabled or mentally ill, gay or “different,” should be neither seen nor heard’?  Torching Catholic churches?  Slavery?  Human females as their males’ property?  State-Established religions again?  Swastikas scrawled on synagogues’ outside walls are OK because they don’t violate the “privacy” of the interior of the building??!!  It seems the Court liberals, including two Jewish women and a “wise Latina,” have been tricked into signing on to the rollback of the whole 20th century, if not worse.  (And Clarence Thomas? Nevermind!!!)

Ironically, this unholy alliance represents the difference between Classical Liberalism, in all its forms, and Classical Conservatism, ie, progressive conservatism … the former represented by the whole near-unanimous Court Westboro majority, the latter represented by most Americans’ gut-reaction to Westboro’s atrocities, and this ruling, more bad law, ie, incorrect law, from the Republican Courts and Party.

Learn about the ascendant hate groups and domestic terrorists from the  Southern Poverty Law Center, and support the SPLC.

And how did this case become merely about “privacy and emotional distress“?  The mourners’ lawyers should be disbarred for incompetence!  Were they law students?!  Was this one of those volunteer, workshop, law school projects they do???


Furthermore, does the ruling consider that funeral “privacy” only applies inside a building-of-worship, funeral parlor, chapel, mausoleum, etc.?  What about processions outdoors, burials, cemeteries, motorcades, even the going TO the funeral by the mourners — Some Protestant services even sacralize this with a “Gathering for Worship” recitation or song.  What about Neopagans, adherents of Indigenous religions, or other “outdoorsy” faiths, which might not often even USE a building with a real “indoors” component?  Obviously outdoor portions of a funeral share the vicinity with the neighbors, if any, of the funeral sites, so that’s presumed within Free Exercise.  I’m not sure being attacked, verbally assaulted, or finding yourselves involuntarily amid a political demonstration, controversy, or riot, especially one featuring offensive language, IS presumed within Free Exercise, except during times of Persecution of your freely-chosen (or -retained) religion … something the Court seems to endorse today, even its Fundies!  (Appropriate, I suppose, since their fellow Repugs drove the President out of the church of his choice, then complained he wasn’t Christian enough!  “I played you a tune but you did not dance, I sang you a dirge but you did not wail….”)

I’m willing to consider that baptisms/circumcisions, funerals, and weddings aren’t the same as routine religious services which might be invaded by hecklers urging you to change your religion.  I’m not sure though!  When I was a Quaker in the 1990s I admired George Fox and his Friends’ doing so in 17th-century Anglican and other Protestants’ “meetinghouses.”  Maybe they would’ve really converted  England if they’d just waited till after services, and stumped outside the buildings as the faithful were leaving!  But IIUC these Baptists aren’t recruiting, merely advocating for their ethical or political positions.  And often their protests seem aimed not at anyone present, except the newsmedia.  That’s just rude … Supremely rude.

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PROVOKING a war on Christmas?!

Just wondering.  In Philly for the last few years City Hall hosted a German corporation’s “Christmas Village” gift-shopping platz… but only with time, ie, this year, did people start complaining about the word Christmas in the name and signage.

The Religious Right considered free-market businesses’ attempts to embrace/sell to as many of their customers as possible at this time of year — even their fave Walmart – “a war on Christmas,” when if anything it’s been an expansion of Christmas!  After all, IIUC Hanukkah used to be a relatively minor Jewish observance, until it got Christmased-up under “Gentiles’” cultural influence.  Kwanzaa?  Thanksgiving?  New Year’s?  Little Christmas/Epiphany/Los Tres Reyes? St. Nick’s Day (Dec. 6)?  Even, yes, neopagan Winter Solstice.

Taxpayer-funded public schools (of all kinds) and government real estate are a true problem… but I guess there’s only one time of year when they want gummint on our backs!!!

Just one more thing: The Establishment Clause has nothing to do with people “feeling left out” — the Framers left out many people: women, renters, slaves, Blacks, Indians, Halfbreeds, Mulattoes, Tories….  Catholics, Jews, and pacifists barely got in under the wire!  No, the Framers were no bleeding hearts.  The Clause is about barring government from the religion business, and barring religion as such from the government business.  That’s all.

So, what gives?  Well, I don’t know how typical certain self-appointed Orthodox spokespersons are of the U.S. Religious Right, but I’m afraid some of my co-religionists seem to almost be looking forward to an anticipated Roman-style persecution here, or perhaps Commie-style.  I just hope they remember what they tell Muslims: You’re only a martyr if you die, not if you kill, for your faith!  Also, I’m not sure it counts if you’re actually “persecuted” for Heretical politics or economics, and not for the real o/Orthodox Faith.  Real Catholic Orthodoxy teaches us not to go out of our way to seek martyrdom or persecution.  And think of those you’ll get “persecuted” by association, who might not actually share your personal “belief” … LIKE ME!

BTW the first “war on Christmas” on these shores was waged BY “CHRISTIANS,” namely the Puritans of Massachusetts, who opposed all manner of “merriment” on the day as not only immoral and irreverent, but …

wait for it …

CATHOLIC!!!  (Or as they’d’ve said, Popish.)

Anyway, how many Christmas Warriors / Martyrs do you think will be in church next Saturday?  No, not easy Friday night, but early Saturday morning!  Sure: PUT THE “MASS” BACK IN “CHRIST-MASS”!!!!!

Catholic Bishops attack Obama again

Let’s be clear: I deplore Embryonic Stem-Cell research or usage in any way at all except for a good-faith attempt to bring to those embryonic human beings to birth.  This is because, as an Eastern Orthodox Christian who aspires to be a member of Christ, ie, one of His body-parts, I don’t consider endorsing human destruction of unborn humans — even disabled ones (I am Disabled, perhaps from birth or before) — to be in keeping with Christ’s body-parts.*

However, the U.S. Catholic bishops go out of their way to attack the democratically- and Constitutionally-elected Obama Administration in recent news releases on the issue.  They’ve been indignant that we elected him and VP Joe Biden (himself a Catholic), as they made clear at their winter meetings days after the 2008 Elections, televised live on cable.  But as any Civics student could have told them, the Executive Branch of the US Government doesn’t lawfully appropriate money, Congress does.  The Executive Branch does nothing with money that Congress has not authorized.  This is the bishops’ national release; this is from one of their most “conservative” divisions, Pennsylvania.

Their Eminences and Excellencies could be forgiven (if I had the power!) their confusion, after their boy in the White House, George W. Bush, appropriated money without Congressional authorization several times, occasionally with active deceit on the part of the corrupt then-Republican leadership of both Chambers.  (And they wanna come back?!?!?!)  False or cowardly Federal judges or Congressmembers allowed this ACTUAL theft of taxpayers’ money to fly almost completely under the radar.

What do I want?  President Obama and Vice-President Biden are no more nor less a threat to advance abortion or its related horrors than a Congress that hasn’t brought to the floor a Constitutional Amendment to reiterate the protection of unborn Americans in 27 years in the Senate, and EVER in the House, NOT EVEN UNDER REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP!  Instead, Republican alleged “pro-lifers” spend their time and money (and yours) fighting [PDF] real Democratic proposals (and candidates) to eliminate nearly all abortions voluntarily by addressing their causes — showing that they view the lives of Unborn Americans less sacred than their own political power (witness their last-minute, repeated deceptions over [lack of] abortion funding in America’s Healthcare Reform).

What I want is for the bishops and other non-Democratic pro-lifers to understand that specific parties and candidates clearly aren’t how to prevail, but bona fide proposals on the floor of Congress.  Based on that, who’s the REAL pro-life party?  THE DEMOCRATS, AFTER ALL!!!

And what about the bishops’ dioceses’ tax exemptions for targeting Obama/Biden?  After all, a partisan church’s tax exemption is like spending YOUR TAX DOLLARS ON THEIR FAVORED PARTY OR CANDIDATE.  (There are Orthodox Church clergy who could be called on the carpet equally and worse than these. But Catholic bishops tend to have more resources on which to call, and lawyer friends advising them, so they should know better. Orthodox, not so much yet.)

(*–The only exception I can see is, in shorthand, to save the life of the mother: where the best available medical opinion[s] is that continuing the pregnancy will kill her in and of itself, not via suicide or threats thereat, or financial impoverishment [falling through our coarse Social Safety Net], her own mental illness or disability, etc.  Because I don’t believe we can require mothers by law to actually — not metaphorically — lay down their lives for their babies; that must be voluntary.)

PS: I’m not “an anticatholic;” I’m a convert from Catholicism with extensive graduate work in Catholic and other (Western) Christian theological ethics.  I don’t “hate Catholics;” some of my best relatives and old friends are still Catholic.  Just for the record.

Guns are not for self-defense.

They’re for revenge.

Think about it.

“We the Dollars, in order to form a more perfect Union…”

I’m DISGUSTED with all the money Democratic Party organizations and candidates and progressive groups now have to cravenly beg from me, to have a shot at making a showing in elections in this brave new Scalia/Citizens United world we’re forced to live in!  I guess Repugs like him think it’s a fair clawback for the personal government assistance some of us need … nevermind the Corporate Wealthfare you KNOW they’re now pouring through the floodgates.  That illegal, immoral ruling was “the mother of all Nuclear Options.”  Apparently “limited government” only applies when the GOP is out of power, and “originalism” and “judicial activism” and “legislating from the Bench” only when they’re IN power.

Naturally, we can’t hope to win the money race against our own Corporations, most rich people, and corrupt government officials/politicians, which is exactly how Scalia et al. timed this unprecedented procedural power-grab, a coup d’etat under color of law.

What can we do?

Actually, “conservative” support for Corporations attacks the culture, family,* tradition, family farms, small towns, etc., so they should be with us in trying to oppose this new trend by somehow MAKING CORPS.’ MONEY IRRELEVANT.

(*–As theologian Stanley Hauerwas pointed out a generation ago.)

A corporation has no opinions or endorsements.

Only the people behind it do, especially the powerful and rich ones.  They have every right as individual “natural,” God-made “persons” that you and I have … even more since they are rich and powerful, if you know what I mean.  I struggle not to begrudge them that, after all, the Lord said, The rich you will always have with you … sort of.  It has ever been so; nothing new under the sun.

So why do they need to increase that influence of theirs exponentially by means of the money their customers entrust to them in good faith while making, in most cases, apolitical “consumer” purchases?  Why indeed?

And why, with extra privileges and “rights” that We The People have supposedly freely and graciously, Sovereignly bestowed upon them?  Why indeed?  What are they up to, and why should we “trust” them?

Why do they always want more, and more, and more?  Fool us once, shame on you.  Fool us twenty times … shame on us.

ADA doomed?

Will New Corporate America — The Second American Republic, if you will — chuck the Americans With Disabilities Act?

After all, look how expensive we are!  Do we spend enough to be worth it?

Hell, they could take away Disability assistance / benefits, and basically put us out on the street and/or kill us!

“Freedom of the Press belongs to the man who owns one.”

So said some wag famously.  There’s just one problem with that: “Presses” — as well as radio or TV stations, cable and satellite broadcasting outfits, etc. — in this day and age are usually owned by corporations.  Major ones, anyway.

AND CORPORATIONS HAVE NO RIGHTS, ONLY PRIVILEGES.  ONLY “NATURAL PERSONS” HAVE RIGHTS.  THE LEGAL PUBLISHING CLERK IN THE LATE 1800s WHO DECIDED TO GIVE CORPORATIONS RIGHTS COMMITTED A MONSTROSITY AGAINST THIS NATION AND THIS PLANET … A FRAUD, ARGUABLY EVEN A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.  THE SUPREME COURT NEVER GAVE CORPORATIONS RIGHTS!

…Though it found it convenient, in its corruption, to go along with that lying clerk and his lying employer-corporation.

De-funding ACORN Unconstitutional

…as Rachel Maddow (video) documents.

BTW, re-fund ACORN via their website!

(Type carefully, or like I almost did, you might end up at the shiny new website of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese — force of habit!!)

Aboriginal Title: Today’s word is…

USUFRUCT.  (Sorry, I grew up too Catholic to pronounce it that way! ;)  )

This is the Common Law principle on which is based the occasional English and successor Settler States (USA, Canada, Australia, I know for certain, maybe others) practice of deigning, that is to say condescending, to let Aboriginal Peoples in “their” countries retain (I say retain) certain rights with regard to their “former” territories and their tribesmembers.  It’s the theoretical basis of Reservations, remnant fishing / trapping / hunting / subsistence rights, regard for Tribes’ Sovereignty (to attempt to put it into European terms), Native Treaties, Lands Held in Trust (including royalties [at 18th-century rates]…if only Uncle Sam can remember where he put them!), etc.

The alternative might well have had to be full military defeat, actually wiping out all our ancestors … genocide in its simplest, bloodiest sense — I’ll say it — ala Hitler.  And I deduce that conundrum is where the idea came from, IOW, Settler convenience, politics, occasional conscience.  The earliest case I know of — though I’m no professional historian — where English courts upheld native legal status is only The Case of Tanistry in the early 1600s.  Here the Irish lost by winning (300 years before they won by losing!): the court employed traditional Irish Brehon Law to cheat a rightful traditional clan chief of his chiefly lands in favor of English-Law inheritance previously unknown among traditional Irish … four-and-a-half centuries after first invading.  My current point being, the English certainly have become experts at riding roughshod over Irish culture (which is why 1998′s Good Friday Northern Ireland Peace Agreement was such a monumental reversal for them).  I guess they didn’t always enjoy how hard it was, and so decided to take a (slightly) less harsh approach in Quebec and North America beyond (to the frustration of the greedy and anti-Catholic eastern seaboard “Founding Fathers”), and Down Under.  (In New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi is even considered technically part of the national constitution!)

Anyway, as Merriam Webster reminds us, a usufruct is Europeanly-considered technically only temporary — in our case, until the “death” of each Native Nation, envisaged by (unconstitutional) Blood Quantum laws, mandatory dispersion and exogamy, ethnic/racial cleansing, culturecide, divide-and-conquer, even leaving Tribes with the worst-quality land around on which to survive, as well as what I compare to illegal and unjust “constructive eviction” in attempting to claim a Native Community “abandoned” a temporarily-disused right or plot of land.*  Conveniently, the U.S. has never recognized Mixed-Bloods as such, as Canada has in its Métis since just 1982, otherwise Native Nations might never die!

(*–The Settlers of Maryland Colony did this to my Nanticoke people.  Once they interpreted an Abandonment Clause in a colonial treaty to mean temporarily going up the Susquehanna River for their traditional annual hunt relinquished one of their Reservations: But when they arrived to find one elderly man guarding the otherwise-empty village, they burned him alive in his home.)

The 2 Most Powerful Governmental Leaders in the Americas are now both Black

President Obama and Governor General Jean of Canada meet before Harper meeting

President Obama and Governor General Jean of Canada meet before Harper meeting

I missed this picture in U.S. media from President Obama’s Canadian trip.  HE is the elected President of the United States of America, with his finger on The Button, the son of a Black African student with distant kin descended from chattel slaves.  SHE is Michaelle Jean, appointed “Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada” by Her Majesty The Queen of Canada and Her Other Realms and Territories, Elizabeth II, on the advice of HM’s Canadian Prime Minister of the day.  Mme. Jean is a Haitian immigrant to Quebec, her first language is French (or Haitian Creole), and she is descended from chattel slaves.  In the name of The Queen, she holds all constitutional power in Canada, though according to custom, she too governs in Privy Council, acting only on the advice of HM’s Canadian PM of the day … normally.  She’s married to a White Frenchman, and they are raising an adopted little Haitian girl.

Some photo op, eh?!  Every Black kid on Earth should get a copy free!

Canadian media covered their meeting in greater detail than you’ll find elsewhere: here, for now (link will break).

“If only outlaws have guns….”

…it’ll be pretty easy to identify them before they commit crimes.  Kind of like an Outlaw I.D. card, right?!!*  “Conservatives” like that, don’t they?!!!

(*–Only more dangerous….)

ROUNDUP: Fitzmas II et cetera

Remember Fitzmas carols?!  They’re singing U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s praises again for accusing Rod Blagojevich – remember, innocent till proved guilty, and it’s possible not all us Eastern Orthodox Christians are saints (yet!) – but let’s remember all we got out of him in the Plamegate Treason case was a token conviction of Scooter Libby who took the fall for probably Cheney and many other scum, then walked unconstitutionally.  I have a feeling Blago’s right, and we haven’t seen the end of this, and there’s more to be revealed.  Meanwhile let’s get the Bu’ushists on their way out the West Wing, so they don’t get away with all their High Crimes, and nobody else in the future thinks they will either….

Did you hear about the White Racist vigilantes during Katrina in New Orleans killing poor Blacks escaping the flooding Lower Ninth Ward while cops batted an eye?  Me neither.  (Yeah, OK, it’s Katrina vanden Heuvel from The Nation….)  Sign the petition.

Did you hear Orthodox, former Evangelical bigwig, Frank Schaeffer sounding almost like a progressive conservative?!!!  (What those he calls “conservatives” and “progressives” have in common is Classical Liberalism, as he articulately characterizes without using the term.)  Alright, a pissed one, who forgot in that particular article to take some of the blame himself for driving the Religious Wrong all these years.  (That may be in his new autobiography, thankfully.)  He owes most of us a big honkin’ apology, quite frankly (no pun intended).  But, hell, welcome aboard, Franky, the water’s warm!  Besides, you’re my brother in Christ now, so I have to forgive you.  Do any of us get to retract our mistakes (or any do-overs, to use W’s typically-childish boxball analogy)?

Cheney: If President does something during war, it’s legal.  “Go F*@# yourself,” “Dick”!  Or let your cellmate do that for ya….

Finally, for something completely different(?), “Ten Ways to Make Your Kids More Likeable (and Yourself Too)” or something like that.  Happy Solstice!

Change Prez election procedures?

If you think too long and hard about the question, they might close Comments on you!  (Maybe that’s one of the MSM’s problems!!)  So here’s what I was gonna say (and maybe more):

  • Simple paper ballots, hand-completed in ink (X, check, or circle; no dots to fill in or chads), hand-counted in public at the polling place, no matter how long it takes (no matter what Wall Street or Fox News say), with protections against old-fashioned stuffing. Yes, LOW-TECH. It was good enough for the Founding Fathers….
  • Enough precincts for the population to have no more than a reasonable wait.
  • Non-partisan administration of elections. (And no “privatization” of THIS!)
  • Federal regulation of elections to Federal-related offices: Presidential and Vice-Presidential Electors, Senators, Representatives.
  • Right to Vote: no more “determined by the legislative authority of each state,” like when the 2000 Fla. GOP legislature threatened to throw out the vote and select GOP Electors themselves.
  • Total public financing of campaigns, no private or party or third-party (eg, Swiftboats) donations or money at all … with an amount of free ad time on TV, radio, satellite, and cable.
  • Automatic voter registration with citizenship / adulthood.
  • Regional Primaries.
  • Enforce truth-in-advertising standards, especially if now we’re paying for them!!!
  • Paid holiday, and/or mandatory paid time-off for those who can’t plan to take the whole day off.  No matter what employers say.
  • Simultaneous 24-hour polling nationwide, so as not to disenfranchise the West.
  • No re-election of President: only one term ever per person.
  • Make the presidential runner-up President of the Senate as effectively originally (just, no longer VP, since that has become an important part of the Prez’s Administration), with only a tie-breaking vote, but chairing Senate sessions, etc.
  • Require polling places to be able to accommodate all expected voters indoors in any way possible, in case of bad weather, even if they have to be tents in parks, rental trailers, commandeered big-box stores, supermarkets, malls, etc.
  • Electoral Votes for Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Am. Samoa, Guam, and Northern Marianas Islands — maybe one or two apiece. After all, they’re Americans too, and affected by Presidential decisions! (How about a voting Senator and Rep. apiece, too, and 2 Sens. for DC?)
  • No ballot initiatives at the same time as elections for President or Congress, effectively “federalizing” state and local issues (so much for States’ Rights!!); nevermind that I&R is unconstitutional in the first place, denying States “a republican form of government,” ie, representative democracy!
  • Warmer-weather elections and changes-of-government
  • Apparently it needs to be clarified that Federal Courts have NO role in election of a president or VP
  • Put teeth in the requirement that Prez and VP can’t be from the same state, by adding “in the last 4 years,” to avoid another Dick Cheney sham-move from Texas to Wyoming to be eligible
  • Lame-duck restrictions on abuse of powers, maybe for the final six months of his/her term, maybe unless consented by a supermajority of Congress or the Senate (“advice and consent”), or something

Liberals for States’ Rights!

Yes, it’s true!

MY reason is I’m tired of the W. abuses of power and neutered or compromised Congresses’ lax oversight, and compromised Republican courts.

The dirty little secret is that usually the party out of power Federally favors States’ Rights where they ARE in power, or hope to use to regain power, and opposed by the party IN power Federally that wants to impose its will nationally, and finds it easier to do so through one government than 50, 51, or 52!  They don’t always use the language of States’ Rights, though.  Because the phrase has been tainted by racists, slaveholders, and Confederates, I prefer State Sovereignty — an absolute value under the current Constitution.

I’ve admired the late Marc Chaitlin, but he underestimated the need for State Sovereignty.  Suffice to say he passed away during W.’s first 100 days.  It’s possible to see our States today as Chaitlin’s mere “state-like provinces,” and as theologian Stanley Hauerwas might say, there’s no denying the descriptive power of that statement.  But we need to restore States’ dignity as a hedge against Federal dictatorship like we’ve experienced now, or worse in the future.  Certainly not to roll back true progressive improvements in America, or give greater power to reactionary elements among State and local politicians … indeed, to protect or restore those improvements, and make them even better!  Actually I think most Americans today think of States as little more than provinces, pointless holdovers from somewhere around the Middle Ages, with non-understood differences in drinking or driving laws, court systems, governmental structures, tax structures, practices — Patriots’ Day?  Freeholders?  I&R?  California Emission?  But all this proves is the need to fix Civics classes, and educate pundits and journalists also.  (While we’re at it, let’s teach about the legal status of Native American Tribes, and their rights and Reservations / Villages also.)

Successful national political parties upset balance of power

Think about it: Technically the Democratic and Republican parties aren’t national parties, but State parties.  The U.S. has no nationally-elected officials; even Presidential Electors are elected State-by-State (which is why the national popular vote total doesn’t matter under the current constitution).  However, because all the State Democratic parties act like a national party, as do all the State Republican parties, the President of the Executive Branch becomes their national leader, subordinating his fellow-partisans in Congress and even, as we’ve seen in recent years, in the Federal Courts and “independent” Federal agencies.

Supposedly it wasn’t supposed to be this way.  The Federalist Papers claim to be incapable of envisioning such a nationwide, multi-region, multi-State “cabal” as a national political party (“faction” was another word they called it; “party” only came into use later), because of the presumed clashes of local and regional interests.  But long ago our elections of Presidential Electors were “nationalized,” relegating “sectional” interests to Congress.  This therefore also subordinates the States, which are supposed to be co-sovereign with the Federal government, and a check on Federal overreaching like we’ve seen so much of in the last 7+ years.

It all goes toward making the President of the Executive Branch the virtual dictator he is today … or can be if he’s allowed to be by those who are supposed to stop him.

What’s the solution?  Bar State parties from jointly endorsing candidates?  Even within States with a semblance of a multi-party system — such as New York, with its Democratic, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, and Right-to-Life parties — you often have cross-endorsement, and sometimes it makes the difference in the outcome — typically Republicans courting also the C and RTL ballot lines, and Democrats the L (though Liberal there means Classical Liberal, not liberal like you’re thinking).

What about going back to actually electing Electors, real persons of weight whom we entrust to pick the best person for the job?  Make the Electoral College a real collegium and not just a party-hack rubber-stamp for one or the other major declared and nominated candidate?

Like the U.S. Senate elected not by the voters but by State legislators — and for many of the same reasons – could it be that the “Framers” were sometimes smarter than I thought?!!!

Canada ends constitutional links to Britain

Yes, it’s true.  Way back in 1982 Canada ended the pro forma necessity for the Parliament at Westminster (UK) to ratify amendments to its constitutional law.  In Canada this is commonly referred to as the patriation of the constitution, ‘bringing it home’ so to speak.  This includes the Monarchy, because it is part of Canada’s constitutional system.  Therefore, Canada is most clearly no longer ruled by the Sovereign of the UK, but by the Sovereign of Canada.  Canada agreed in a way extemely difficult to change, to continue sharing its Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II and her heirs and successors, with other interested countries, such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Belize, etc.  In fact, Canada freely and democratically adopted the strongest pro-Monarchy constitution in the Commonwealth, stronger even than the UK itself.  The fact that Canada’s Monarch is shared, and resides in the UK, diminishes this not one iota, since Her Majesty is represented in Canada federally by the Governor General of Canada, and separately in each province by that province’s Lieutenant-Governor, all appointed on the advice of the democratically-elected federal Ministry, ie, the prime minister.  Furthermore, for the last half-century, all Canada’s GGs have been Canadians, not Britons or Australians or anything else.

My headline is a poke at Canada’s few thousand (small-R) republicans, who tend to get disproportionate MSM coverage there (while the Monarchy, the GG, the LGs, and monarchists get very little, usually negative or stereotyped, such as relatively unimportant “gaffes,” or “tea and crumpets” Anglophilia), and who claim to desire to “end constitutional links to Britain” by abolishing Canada’s Monarchy.  They clearly either don’t understand Canada’s constitution, or deliberately obfuscate the issue for ulterior motives: Many want to make Canada a clone of the United States (though others claim not to).  The fact is that Monarchy vs. Republic is not an issue as far as the general Canadian public cares; they’re content with the status quo.  If some MSM “journalist” or pollster asks a leading question like a bad prosecutor, then sure, they think about it, because they’re caring, intelligent people, less likely than Yanks to tell them to do something unpleasant to themselves.  But for the Canadian democracy — as opposed to the Canadian (U.S.-influenced) punditocracy — constitutional change of this magnitude is a non-starter.  They remember how a whole generation from the mid-1970s to the mid-90s was consumed with constitutional questions, and they just want to get on with normal life.

Do some Canadian politicians want to dump the Queen of Canada and become President?  Canadians are wiser to the ways of politicians than most Americans I think, perhaps because they have an option to deny them absolute power: the Monarchy.  Even the most powerful politician in Canada is nothing more than Her Majesty’s Canadian chief servant or advisor; “The Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen” (Constitution Act 1867, paragraph 9 [formerly known as the original British North America Act that created the Canadian confederation out of 4 UK colonies]).

So it’s true, Canada has ended constitutional links to Britain … as of 1982.  In fact, HM came to Ottawa and signed it herself!

PS: I wonder if at least some who oppose Prince Charles succeeding his mother perceive her as having been weaker than some of her recent male predecessors, whereas His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is well-known for having definite opinions that call into question the accumulation of power — to society’s detriment — by politicians, businesspeople, ideologues, gratuitous anti-traditionalists, even ‘regressive’ pseudo-traditionalists, and such.  I certainly don’t agree with everything HRH has said or done publicly or personally, but he does strike me as sometimes a real ‘progressive conservative,’ or Red Tory in Canadian terms!

A monetary-reform approach to the crisis

From monetary reformer Stephen Zarlenga, Mrs. Kucinich’s old boss.  [Wow, what a makeover!  I liked her better before....]

(Hey, I just realized something: We have debit cards, and debt cards!!!  Imagine if we called them that: I guess that’s why we don’t!!!)

America’s King’s Birthday

I missed it, but June 4 is the birthday of ‘British America’s’ *  last actually-reigning Sovereign, King George III, as currently recounted on the Gregorian Calendar.  (He was born under the Old Calendar.)  He was ill-advised regarding Ireland, like most of his predecessors and successors, and a little delusional regarding America.  But insofar as America suffered at all – and not just one in five, or fewer, the rebels with vested socioeconomic interests (ie, not in the Common Good) – ISTM it was mostly owing to the immoderation of homeland politicians’ legislation, eg, a tax on every damn piece of paper?!!!

The late Marc Chaitlin commemorated his birthday from a U.S. monarchist and constitutional-legitimist perspective shortly before his own passing (text-search “birthday” – without quotation marks – here).

God be good to both of them … and to the victims of George’s politicians.

(*–That is to say, south of Canada!)

Voter Fraud Fraud = Election Fraud

Classic racism, classism, bashing even of legal immigrants, etc etc etc.  How big a problem is this really?  They are totally insincere.  Is it any wonder the illegals keep voting Democratic?!!!  ;)

Religious Establishment conundra II

What if we funded ALL primary and secondary schools, those of all religions and none?  Then it wouldn’t be “an establishment of religion,” just universal funding of education.  Might not even need a Constitutional Amendment!

I would imagine schools would retain their existing governance structures, just requiring public fiscal accountability, ‘strongly encouraging’ economies-of-scale, and retaining a minimum of educational expectations like now for reading, math, science, etc.

This might result in a reduction in, though not elimination of, the need for non-elitist, nonsectarian schools, ie, the remnants of today’s “public” schools, governed by the same local Boards of Education or whatever.  But then, ALL schools would be public schools, so to speak!

I also don’t envision parsing the money so it doesn’t pay for religion-class-hours, chapels, etc., as sometimes happens now with nonsectarian aid to sectarian schools.  Most of that is driven by the (mistaken) Constitutional issue anyway.  Education is for educators and parents to decide, broadly speaking.

Could we bar aid to White Supremacist schools?  Muslim-Fundamentalist Madrasas?  Schools that teach against “race-mixing”?  “Afri-centric” schools?  Gay-affirming schools?  Atheist schools?  Polytheist schools?  Satanist schools?  Conspiracy-theory schools?  Legal, constitutional ways might be found to approach such questions rationally….

One thing this might do is spread “the most segregated hour of the week” – Sunday morning – to Monday-through-Friday, 8-to-3.  Then again, forming children really is a religious / moral / ethical task, is it not?  ALL education is religious in one way or another, even ostensibly non-religious education.  And national surveys say although Catholic parochial school alumni/ae have attended rather White schools (in this country), at-large they turn out among the most progressive, tolerant adults in America … so that way may lie hope after all!

And just as now, all these “public” schools should certainly be free to raise additional funds on their own voluntarily.

IOTM that all the non-public-school-aid Supreme Court cases I’ve ever heard of involved a single denomination or at most two at a time, namely America’s (despised) Catholics and Jews.  Has any State or school district or city ever proposed to fund ALL primary and secondary ed. in its borders???

All this education is being paid for already.  My proposal would merely spread the burden over the entire society that benefits – the whole country or State – and at the same time solve the old School Choice conundrum, the religion-in-school conundrum, the at-the-same-time-great-and-miniscule-expectations-of-public-schools paradox, maybe even much of the youth-sex-and-violence problem and the Melting Pot ideal (though this last indirectly, as I said above) … with all their unnecessary costs to everyone….

Of course, funded schools would have to be nonpartisan and not involve themselves in campaigns for or against candidates.

A way out of Religious Establishment conundra?

Back in 1989 someone suggested the following:

Nor does the Constitution seek to create a secular public sphere. Religious pluralism and diversity — not secularism — are the animating principles of the First Amendment. [Emphasis Tiernan's.]

The article provides a piercing analysis of conflicts over the First Amendment’s clause, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”  Are we ‘excessively entangled’ in “excessive entanglement” concerns?!  I’m not 100 pct. certain about this approach, but I think it raises necessary questions.

WE HAVE A QUEEN? Some American monarchists, I hea…

WE HAVE A QUEEN?

[Updated 10 April 2009, filling-out list of Rebel allies, adding Categories, Tags, and Summary.]

Some American monarchists, I hear, question the legality of the American Revolution. Other American monarchists, I hear, reply that U.S. independence (including the abolition of monarchy) became legal when the lawful Sovereign, King George III (or his representative on His Majesty’s behalf) signed the Treaty of Paris of 1783. [To this day Brits usually date American independence from that year, not 1776, the year it was jointly "declared" by 13 of the colonies.]

Let’s try a thought experiment.

Can the Monarchy be abolished? It’s a principle of Western moral and legal philosophy that “an unjust law is no law at all.” This is so old it’s attributed to Bishop Augustine of Hippo, Roman North Africa, 5th century A.D., considered a saint by the Western Church as well as some Orthodox.  Theologian Thomas Aquinas, also a Western saint, fleshed it out.  Now, republics throughout history are almost always, at best, oligarchic (in a bad way), and frequently, dictatorial…protestations of “democracy” notwithstanding. From ancient Athens to America to the USSR to Idi Amin’s Uganda, “republics” are usually lorded over by one or a few, who simply lack the noble or royal titles of monarchies – and their (more usual than not) respect for law, tradition, and ethics. Therefore, any law creating a republic is arguably unjust, and in the Western legal tradition, “no law at all.” Keep in mind that an important job of the British Monarch was to protect the people – his subjects – from the Barons’ – their local lords’, including landlords’ – exploitation. Yes, creating our oligarchic republic was a step backwards in terms of political development! Remember how much the “Founding Fathers” harked back to republican Athens and Rome – with good reason it turns out! Those of us outside the American oligarchy have been living with the results ever since. In fact, since 1980, they’ve been turning this country – and the whole planet – into even more of a plantation than ever before – remember most of the colonies were founded as plantations. But they forgot one thing: English (and Welsh and Irish) people take the Common Law anywhere they colonize. Now granted, there were a few problems with Britain’s colonial policies, and certain inconsistencies. What probably should’ve happened was the formation of the colonies, with their cooperation (as opposed to the imposed 1686-89 “Dominion of New England”), into an autonomous Dominion as would happen with Canada less than a century later (1867). Canada started negotiating on trade with the United States almost from Day One, was a distinct signatory of the Treaty of Versailles ending World War One, and became completely free of British government advice in the 1920s and ’30s; in 1982 Canada’s right to amend its own constitution without even the pro forma approval of the Parliament of Westminster was recognized; and Canada retains Her Majesty as Queen of Canada voluntarily, separate and distinct from her roles as Queen of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and eleven other independent countries.

Of course, The Crown assented to the American independence and republic under the duress of eight years of armed rebellion (even of a tiny minority of colonists), aided by French, Spanish, some Native American, some German, and Polish forces. Another Western legal principle is that consent given under duress is not binding either. But both The Crown and most Americans, being loyal to it, nevertheless acquiesced to the de facto conquest of this country by its wealthiest landowners and their supporters, who had previously overthrown their provincial governments, harassed or killed or exiled their political opposition, conspired under the color of a joint “government,” and made war on their lawful Sovereign. And make no mistake, the Revolution was not launched with the consent of the American people – this was conquest! My research leads me to conclude that when John Adams said a third of Americans supported the Revolution, a third were Loyalists, and a third were “neutral,” he was being generous to his own side; more like twenty percent supported the Revolution, and the rest by any definition would be considered Loyalists, active or passive.

If the Revolutionaries were going to set up their own monarchy – and some briefly considered it – the King’s assent might have been warranted, provided his subjects’ wellbeing was to be taken care of at least as well as under his rule, if not better. But despite what you here from (small-R) republicans about flirtations with Continental princes or George Washington (formerly de Washington), it was never very serious. Having freed themselves from one Monarch, these oligarchs weren’t about to subject themselves to another!

I won’t begrudge certain African and Asian countries essentially conquered by Britain – or the Irish Republic for that matter – their abolitions of the Monarchy. It might not have been a good idea for them, either, to become republics, but generally they were more dominated than colonized by Britain. But the 13 American colonies (plus Vermont) were essentially new England (sic), English and Irish and Scottish subjects of His Majesty transplanted here, or others who willingly moved into His Majesty’s Realms (or African slaves who, at that point in British legal and social development, had no choice). Even the Indians were mostly pushed out and/or killed.

The fact that both The Crown and American republican propaganda have ignored the above facts for 223 years doesn’t make them go away. Any freedom and rights you have weren’t given to you by the “Founding Fathers,” but are recognized at all by dint of the English legal tradition, whose fount is The Crown. “If you heart your freedom, thank The Queen!”

If you want it back (nonviolently)….

(Quite a thought experiment, eh?)

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