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Middle Class Anarchy Could Be Coming Soon

Anarchy, a state of disorder in an absence or nonrecognition of authority, can happen when the people of a society lose respect for the rule of law. People don’t just obey the law out of fear of punishment; they obey the rules when they respect the rules and those who make them. When they see lawlessness by public officials they begin to feel justified to ignore the law if they can get away with it. When the law doesn’t seem to apply to government officials, appointed judges, political operatives or candidates for the presidency, and if these persons are not going to be held to the same standards as everone else, anarchy is just around the corner.

The United States Constitution is the law that governs those we elect to govern us. Barack Obama has treated the Constitution as little more than a suggestion rather than a binding statement of how he is allowed to conduct his office. When Obama attempts to create rules for the entire country by executive order instead of following the laws duly enacted by Congress and signed by either himself or some previous president, he is essentially committing a crime only he can commit.

Soon other lower-ranking officials and administrators begin to act out in the same way, and a lawless society is born. When the people can no longer trust their leaders to honestly uphold the law for themselves, why should anyone else obey the law? Criminality at the top is the ultimate substance that will trickle down to the rest of the population. When the trust the people have in the social order rots away, then obeying the law starts to look like a sucker’s game.

Hillary Clinton, 2 Years, $21 Million in Speaking Fees

The UK Daily Mail says that crooked Hillary Clinton picked up $21.6 million in speaking fees between 4/13/2013 and 3/19/2015.  Most of the speeches netted her $225,000, some as much as $400,000. The hefty fees were paid by “pharmaceutical and health care companies, Wall Street banks, The Gap, eBay, Xerox, Qualcomm, and a handful of trade associations representing vegetable farmers, car dealers and the like.” A Chicago synagogue paid her $225,000 for a 20-minute speech.

You might wonder why anyone would pay ten cents to hear Hillary Clinton speak, althought you might also understand why they were satisfied to pay such an amount for a short speech. They were spared having to listen to her for any longer than that.

They weren’t really paying for a speech at all, they aren’t interested in what she has to say. They were paying for access and favoritism when, they hope, she becomes president. It’s not unusual for crooked politicians to sell their office to the highest bidder. Hillary has topped that by selling her office before she has won it. If she doesn’t win the presidency in the 2016 election it will be satifying to know that all these crony capitalists wasted their money.

A complete list of all speeches and amount paid is at the UK Daily Mail story.

The subterfuge of “speaking fees” is how to crony capitalists and crooked politicians get away with bribery these days. Hillary began her bribery career with the cattle futures deal and Whitewater fraud when she and Bill were back in Arkansas.  It’s become a way of life that has paid off handsomely.

 

How much is a Trillion dollars?

The national debt of the United States has doubled under Barack Obama. From ten trillion dollars to 20 trillion. That’s right, the national debt that was accumulated from 1789 until 2008, 219 years, was ten trillion dollars.  Between 2008 and today, 7.5 years, Obama doubled it.

How big is a trillion compared to say, a million? Well, a million seconds is about 12 days. A trillion seconds is 34,000 years.

Get out your calculator and go to it if you doubt this.

Trump announces 11 possible SCOTUS nominees — all look good

Here’s the list:

Steven Colloton of Iowa is a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, a position he has held since President George W. Bush appointed him in 2003. Judge Colloton has a résumé that also includes distinguished service as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, a Special Assistant to the Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, and a lecturer of law at the University of Iowa. He received his law degree from Yale, and he clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Judge Colloton is an Iowa native.

Allison Eid of Colorado is an associate justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. Colorado Governor Bill Owens appointed her to the seat in 2006; she was later retained for a full term by the voters (with 75% of voters favoring retention). Prior to her judicial service, Justice Eid served as Colorado’s solicitor general and as a law professor at the University of Colorado. Justice Eid attended the University of Chicago Law School, and she clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas.

Raymond Gruender of Missouri has been a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit since his 2004 appointment by President George W. Bush. Judge Gruender, who sits in St. Louis, Missouri, has extensive prosecutorial experience, culminating with his time as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. Judge Gruender received a law degree and an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania has been a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit since 2007. Prior to serving as a circuit judge, he served as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania since 2003. Before his judicial service, Judge Hardiman worked in private practice in Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh. Judge Hardiman was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Notre Dame.

Raymond Kethledge of Michigan has been a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit since 2008. Before his judicial service, Judge Kethledge served as judiciary counsel to Michigan Senator Spencer Abraham, worked as a partner in two law firms, and worked as an in-house counsel for the Ford Motor Company. Judge Kethledge obtained his law degree from the University of Michigan and clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Joan Larsen of Michigan is an Associate Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Justice Larsen was a professor at the University of Michigan School of Law from 1998 until her appointment to the bench. In 2002, she temporarily left academia to work as an Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. Justice Larsen received her law degree from Northwestern and clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia.

Thomas Lee of Utah has been an Associate Justice of the Utah Supreme Court since 2010. Beginning in 1997, he served on the faculty of Brigham Young University Law School, where he still teaches in an adjunct capacity. Justice Lee was Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Civil Division from 2004 to 2005. Justice Lee attended the University of Chicago Law School, and he clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Lee is also the son of former U.S. Solicitor General Rex Lee and the brother of current U.S. Senator Mike Lee. William Pryor

William H. Pryor, Jr. of Alabama is a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He has served on the court since 2004. Judge Pryor became the Alabama Attorney General in 1997 upon Jeff Sessions’s election to the U.S. Senate. Judge Pryor was then elected in his own right in 1998 and reelected in 2002. In 2013, Judge Pryor was confirmed to a term on the United States Sentencing Commission. Judge Pryor received his law degree from Tulane, and he clerked for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

David Stras of Minnesota has been an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court since 2010. After his initial appointment, he was elected to a six-year term in 2012. Prior to his judicial service, Judge Stras worked as a legal academic at the University of Minnesota Law School. In his time there, he wrote extensively about the function and structure of the judiciary. Justice Stras received his law degree and an M.B.A. from the University of Kansas. He clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas.

Diane Sykes of Wisconsin has served as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since 2004. Prior to her federal appointment, Judge Sykes had been a Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court since 1999 and a Wisconsin trial court judge of both civil and criminal matters before that. Judge Sykes received her law degree from Marquette.

Don Willett of Texas has been a Justice of the Texas Supreme Court since 2005. He was initially appointed by Governor Rick Perry and has been reelected by the voters twice. Prior to his judicial service, Judge Willett worked as a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, as an advisor in George W. Bush’s gubernatorial and presidential administrations, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, and as a Deputy Attorney General under then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Justice Willett received his law degree and a master’s degree from Duke.

These are all good, some are close to Antonin Scalia in judicial philosophy. I don’t know if every one of them is an originalist thinker on the Constitution but I’m sure some of them are. Originalism first acknowledges that the Constitution contains provisions for amendments to be made and that procedure should be followed. The Constitutional amendment process involves the U.S. Congress and the 50 State legislatures. It does not involve the Judicial branch nor the President. Judges should respect that and restrain themselves from trying to amend the Constitution by strained interpretations of it actual words.

Charles Evans Hughes (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 1930-1941) stated “we are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is…” If that is true we are no longer a nation of laws but a nation of judges. If that is true there is no such thing as the rule of law, but rather the rule of judges.

Originalism holds that the words of the Constitution should be interpreted as having the meaning that was understood by the people who adopted it and ratified it. It does not give judges the power to devine what those who wrote the Constitution might have meant it to mean, but only but what they actually said and how what they said was understood by everyone at the time.

Justice Scalia went to great length to explain this process in the Second Amendment case of DC v.Heller. He concluded that the words used by the framers were unversially understood at the time to protect the natural and individual right to keep and bear arms and was not meant to create some new and unheard of collective right.

What a relief. Maybe Trumps get it. This certainly makes it foolish for any conservative who has a problem with Trump to even think about voting for Hillary. I will continue to criticize Trump, but I will be voting for him. I’m pleased that Allison Eid is on the list. She has been a reliably good Justice on the Colorado Supreme Court. I think Trump has helped himself with this list of true blue conservatives to replace Justice Scalia, and this will make many conservatives feel more comfortable with him.

Little known facts about something

Charles Evans Hughes was the Republican nominee in the 1916 U.S. Presidential election, losing narrowly to incumbent  Woodrow Wilson. He was United States Secretary of State (1921–1925), a judge on the Court of International Justice (1928–1930), and the 11th Chief Justice of the United States (1930–1941).

His comment on the Constitution cited above was made in a speech he gave in 1907. Perhaps he was a wiser man by the time he became Chief Justice in 1930. Until 1937 the Supreme Court upheld the Constitution and struck down many of the New Deal laws. Then in 1937 the court made a dramatic turn and essentially gave us the Constitution that Hughes described, and that is largely what we have been living with since. It took World War II to finally relieve us of most of the most harmful aspects of the New Deal. The 1947 Taft-Hartley Act gave us further relief from some of the worst labor union laws of the New Deal.

Hughes’ daughter, Elizabeth Hughes Gossett, was afflicted with type I diabetes before insulin was discovered. The only known treatment for diabetes as the time was a starvation diet which left the patient lying in bed in a weakened state waiting to die. Most died within 1 year of being diagnosed. From age 11 to 15 Elizabeth barely clung to life and would have died shortly. Then in 1922 insulin was discovered and she received one of the first injections. She received over 40,000 injections over the remainder of her life and lived until her death in 1981 at age 74. She was best known as the founder of the Supreme Court Historical Society in 1972 and served as its president until 1979. The discovery of insulin was nothing less than a miracle to thousands or perhaps millions of people who have been diagnosed with type I diabetes since 1922.

A Tale of Two Tyrants

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 7.52.07 AMDonald Trump said back in February that if elected president he will change the nation’s libel laws in order to make it easier to sue news organizations. He’s really angry at the New York Times over its front page story about his past relations with women. He better get used to this. He’s about the see much more of the same as the media that has coddled him up to this point goes into full scale attack mode. It’s rumored that the Washington Post has assigned 20 reporters to go full time digging up dirt on Donald Trump.

“One of the things I’m going to do if I win… I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Trump said during a rally in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We’re going to open up those libel laws so when The New York Times writes a hit piece, which is a total disgrace, or when the Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected,” he said. “We’re going to open up libel laws and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”

Pssst, Mr. Trump: Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court, in the First Amendment free speech case of Sullivan v. New York Times, said that a public figure like you cannot sue news organizations for slander or libel [actually you can still sue, it’s just difficult to win] unless you can prove the news outlet published a falsehood with actual malice, i.e., knowing it is false or with reckess disregard of it’s truth or falsity. [At common law malice was the state of mind that needed to be proved to sustain a charge for murder, malice in the law has been described as having a “malignant heart.”]

You can still sue anybody at any time for anything, but since you are a public figure if you sue for slander or libel you have a very high burden of proof. During the Viet Nam War it was no secret that Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes were against the war and engaged in hit-piece, highly slanted reporting. One report claimed that General William Westmoreland had withheld accurate U.S. casualty figures from the public. He claimed they were deliberately lying and brought suit. After and epic struggle he was forced to settle for nothing. The burden of proving actual malice is just too difficult.

But hey Trump, you are not the only public strongman with a fragile ego:

erdogan81-800x600A sixty-two year-old woman was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in jail for carrying a banner which called Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “indecent” during a protest in 2015.

A report by Turkish daily, Hürriyet, said on Tuesday that the woman carried a banner which read “We turn our backs on indecent Erdoğan,” on June 3, 2015, in reference to Erdoğan’s remarks during a rally in Iğdır in the same month.

Addressing a group of women who protested him by turning their backs while he was passing the street with a convoy, Erdoğan had said “ over there… a group… excuse me… my decency does not allow me to say… [They] are making a sign by turning their backs.”

Didim 3rd Criminal Court of First Instance, which sentenced the woman to jail time, said that the woman carried out a concrete action which could hurt the complainant’s dignity by carrying the banner in public.

More than 1,500 cases were opened against people for “insulting the president” since Erdoğan came to office in 2014.

So here’s the deal Trump, if you want to punish people who criticize you maybe you should go run  for president of Turkey. There’s also another option if you can’t take criticism. Don’t be a public figure.  Oh, too late for that. You already made that decision and it’s not revocable. Besides, you can still mean tweet everyone you don’t like. Isn’t that what you think a real statesmen does?

I guess there is one other option as well. Trump could just defend himself, something he’s good at [except for the nasty name calling which doesn’t work so well], and stop making empty threats to bring suits he cannot win. He should also stop threatening to “open up libel law.” It’s a Constitutional free speech issue and most people believe the Supreme Court came up with a pretty good balance between the First Amendment and libelous reporting on public figures. We want people to be able to speak their mind freely because government is a powerful force and a constant menace to the liberty rights of free people. We don’t want to be like Turkey, or even like the U.K. where the courts are clogged with libel and slander cases because the libel laws are tilted in favor of plaintiffs of all stripes.  We want free and open debate on social and poliitical issues without fear of reprisal. The remedy for false and offensive speech is more speech, not less.

Glenn Reynolds: Don’t Be a Sucker For Socialism

Literally millions of people have rallied around the Bernie Sanders’ promise to bring socialism to America, which has already started down that road under the Obama presidency.  Sanders and his supporters would like to see socialism instituted completely. Millennials tell pollsters they prefer socialism over capitalism.  Sanders’ groupies and Millennials are showing how woefully ignorant they are of not only the history of socialism but the present reality of it wherever it exists today. The truth they should learn right now is that Bernie Sanders’ socialism will not help anyone except a ruling elite.

From Glenn Reynolds column in USA Today:

It is a common misconception that socialism is about helping poor people. Actually, what socialism does is create poor people, and keep them poor. And that’s not by accident.

Under capitalism, rich people become powerful. But under socialism, powerful people become rich. When you look at a socialist country like Venezuela, you find that the rulers are fabulously wealthy even as the ordinary citizenry deals with empty supermarket shelves and electricity rationing.

The daughter of Venezuela’s socialist ruler, Hugo Chavez, is the richest individual in Venezuela, worth billions of dollars, according to the Miami-based Diario Las América. In Cuba, Fidel Castro reportedly has lived — pretty much literally — like a king, even as his subjects dwelt in poverty. In the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as Hedrick Smith reported in his The Russians, the Communist Party big shots had lavish country houses and apartments in town stocked with hand-polished fresh fruit, even as the common people stood in line for hours at state-run stores in the hopes of getting staples.

Venezuela sits on a mountain of oil and has fertile soil in which anything will grow. In spite of these rich advantages that ought to make life comfortable for all of its citizens, socialism has turned Venzuela into a humanitarian disaster. Juan Carlos Hidalgo of the Cato Institute has this to say about Venezuela’s socialism:

Margaret Thatcher’s dictum that the problem with socialists is that “they always run out of other people’s money” faced a unique challenge in Venezuela: during the course of a decade and a half, the government received nearly $1 trillion in oil revenues— the equivalent in today’s money of more than seven Marshall Plans. This was enough to mask the effect of hundreds of expropriations, stifling economic controls, and otherwise running the private economy into the ground.

Part of the windfall was spent on social programmes, which temporarily improved some social indicators and made the regime popular among poor Venezuelans. But a couple of years ago, the then minister of education admitted that the aim of the regime’s policies was “not to take the people out of poverty so they become middle class and then turn into escuálidos” (a derogatory term to denote opposition members). In other words, the government wanted grateful, dependent voters, not prosperous Venezuelans.

In America the Democrat party often acts in ways similar to the ruling elite in Venezuela. It should be common knowledge that the Democrats, much like the regime in Venezuela, want and need a permanent underclass that will reliably vote for Democrats who promise to keep the welfare checks coming (so will the Republicans, truth be known). Like the Venezuelan dictators, they want grateful dependent voters, not prosperous ones.

Glenn Reynolds ends his column this way:

As the Rainmakers sang, back in the 1980s, “They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.” That’s socialism in a nutshell. The “equality” talk? That’s just for the suckers. Don’t be a sucker.

“If you like your health plan you can keep it.” Ha! Ha! Ha!

Michael Walsh calls them the Obama “kiddie corps.” They’re the 20-something wet-behind-the-ears young skulls full of mush that write speeches for Obama. Some of them appeared on Charlie Rose yukking it up about the stuff they write to fool the voters, such as “If you like your health plan you can keep it.” Watch:

We should never forget what Ben Rhodes said about the Washington press corps that covers Obama:

“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

This sort of disrespect for the American people and the uninformed voters who put creeps in office is stinkingly corrupt.

Crooked Hillary, one step ahead of the FBI

FBI director James Comey has to make a decision. He has ample evicence to convict Hillary Clinton of mishandling highly classified material and jeopardizing national security, but the rumor is that the Loretta Lynch Justice Department has declined to prosecute. Obama would pardon Hillary after the election anyway. Comey is caught between his guiding principles, that all Americans stand equally before the law, or joining in the cover up. The latter choice would advance his career, sticking to his principles will bury it and make him a pariah much in the mold of Kenneth Starr.

This is the stuff of great drama, where moral dilemma abounds.

Many sit in Federal prison today for actions much less culpable that what Hillary has done. General David Petraeus was convicted of sharing classified information with his biographer, who happened to also be his mistress. It was never shown that national security was threatened by his actions. The evidence against Hillary is much worse and apparently overwhelming. Hillary Clinton is clearly guilty of multiple felonies, and the Obama Department of Justice is not going to prosecute her. Director Comey must decide what he is going to do about that.

Hillary Clinton’s crimes and James Comey’s choice:

James Comey was a veteran prosecutor and former Deputy Attorney General who convicted hundreds of criminals during his career before coming to direct the troubled Federal Bureau of Investigations. Until now, his integrity always came first, and he served faithfully regardless of the party in power, always careful to put aside any personal political agenda, though he’d seen more than enough people who didn’t.

“There’s no question, sir. None at all. She’s guilty.” said the Deputy Director, telling Comey nothing he did not know. He had sat in the secure classified information facility deep in the bowels of the Department of Justice when his agents had made their two-hour presentation to the stone-faced prosecutors. Clinton had grossly mishandled classified documents in violation of 18 United States Code Sections 793 and 1924. Some of the information Clinton had on the bathroom server was so sensitive that his agents needed upgraded clearances to see it, and it could only be discussed behind reinforced concrete walls in a room scanned twice a day for bugs. Clinton, because she did not want the accountability that came with using official email, had given industrious hackers and foreign governments carte blanche to pillage through some of America’s most sensitive secrets. Though her loyal acolytes tried to spin it as innocuous, anyone who ever held a security clearance would go pale upon hearing what she had done.

Then there was the compelling evidence of the former Secretary of State’s quid pro quo influence peddling – favorable Department decisions and contracts linked to cash for contributions to the Clinton Foundation, which was essentially just a slush fund that subsidized the ex-president and his wife’s lavish lifestyle. And, of course, there was obstruction of justice – Clinton’s brazen attempted destruction of over 30,000 emails. She might as well have wiped them with a cloth because the skilled FBI technicians were able to recover most of them – and what they found was damning.

Well, it would be damning for anyone else. Even at that moment, there were ongoing prosecutions brought with a fraction of the evidence his dozens of agents had assembled against Clinton. At that moment, people were serving sentences for doing less with less sensitive material. And if some company under investigation had destroyed thousands of emails it had the legal obligation to maintain, the CEO would already be sweating out shower time in a federal prison.

It’s clear that the law is, once again, not going to apply to Hillary Clinton. Now Comey has to decide whether he will make a public stand and keep his integrity; or whether he will go along quietly with something every fiber of his being is telling him is a great travesty of equal justice. One way is silver, the other lead. Not unlike a choice offered by the Mexican drug cartels to politicians who are able to either help them, or hold them to the rule of law. Plata o Plomo.

“What will you do, sir?” asked the Deputy Director. Comey gestured to the door.

Now alone, Comey stared out his window, and his eyes settled on the tip of the Washington Monument piercing the skyline of the city named in the first president’s honor. There was no question what George Washington would do, the Director mused. He sighed, stepped back toward his desk and picked up the phone.

“I’ve made a decision,” he said.

We anxiously await to see what it is.