Category Archive 'Rule of Law'

15 Jun 2016

Trump Just Bailed on the Second Amendment

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Trump just joined Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein in coming out for no-due-process, at-will suspension by unelected federal officials of a constitutional right.

Why bother trying to pass any new Gun Control Law, when one federal agency or another can simply add anyone (or everyone) to a list of people now instantly, abracadabra! without constitutional rights?

What Constitution? What Rule of Law? Trump would say. We have to be smart.

This is where you wind up when you choose a pragmatist unconstrained by principles or ideas as your leader. Of course, we already had lots of professional leaders of the same kind already. They are called liberals and democrats. Donald Trump is the same thing, just appearing currently in a conservative clown suit and pretending to be a brave opponent of Political Correctness. The real Trump is completely indifferent to political philosophy, principles, theory, and ideas. The real Trump is a sociopathic narcissist driven to personal aggrandizement at any cost. He’s exactly the same kind of creature as Hillary Clinton or John Kerry, just more vulgar and with a more limited vocabulary.

So he’s backtracked on Gun Control. Put him in office (if you can, which many of us doubt) and watch him backtrack on everything else, including those promised conservative Supreme Court appointments which you keep arguing justify supporting this orange-faced mountebank with a woodchuck on his head for president. Wake up, Trumpkins!

12 Jun 2014

Arguing Immigration

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Funeral of my grandmother’s brother, Joseph Skarnulis, killed in Tunnel Ridge Colliery, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, October 6, 1905. While crossing the breast to see if the manway was open, a fall of coal caught him, killing him instantly. My Aunt Rose (born 1901 — died 1988) is the little girl at the head of the coffin. My Aunt Ann (born 1900 — died 2000) is the little girl peeping over the coffin to her left. My grandmother, Martha, is the lady with the big hat cut in half by the break in the photo. My grandfather, George Zincavage, is the fellow with the droopy mustache to her right.

Commenter Chris writes:

1. We control our border. If we cannot do this what’s the point of being a nation

“Controlling our borders” is a slogan. In reality, the United States has thousands and thousands of miles of border passing through uninhabited, empty wilderness which any really determined person can cross. We can’t control those borders completely because the economic cost of doing so would be ridiculous and the benefit trivial. We can’t control our borders perfectly for the same reason nobody can conquer Afghanistan: It would be a tremendous waste of money, so no one is ever going to do it.

Some loons want to built a barbed wire fence all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific. What a noxious symbol of statist irrationality and inhumanity that would be! We’d have our own Berlin Wall, but enormously longer, where we could shoot people for trying to come here in order to better their lives, instead of for trying to escape.

2. We DO NOT implement Amnesty. What point is having laws on the books if we’re going to abrogate them whenever we please?

The problem with this argument is that existing immigration rules embody no real principles, serve no specific purposes, and reflect no real national consensus. They represent only this particular edition of bureaucratic modification cobbled together during a period of national confusion and bitter political division.

Why should anybody give a rat’s rear end if somebody else violates a basically unprincipled, ill-considered, and fundamentally pointless regulation? Personally, I want to see my lawn mowed, my roof fixed, and the world’s work in general done as well and as economically as possible. I don’t really care about the genealogy or national origin of the guy cutting my grass or picking the apples I buy. If the steak I buy at the local Bistro is more affordable because the busboy and the guy washing the dishes snuck into the country to take those jobs, I think that’s just great, and I wish those Hispanic gentlemen the best.

3. Deport those illegals involved in Criminal activity.

I can go along with that one, though I’d personally prefer no laws on the books criminalizing victimless crimes.

4. Prosecute any company paying less than minimum wage to their employees (not sure that’s even an issue)

If I were on the Supreme Court, I’d write you a ruling explaining why government interference with voluntary contracts between one American or one business entity an another are unconstitutional and are economically deleterious to society. There is no such thing as a just price other than a price voluntarily agreed to between to parties. The imposition of fixed pricing by law represents the illegitimate intrusion of governmental force on behalf of one party to the injury of another and of the whole of the rest of society.

Do those 4 things there won’t be a need for amnesty, because in a generation everyone here illegally will be eligible for some form of legal immigration, either through anchor babies, marriage etc.

My wife immigrated here from Canada. We got caught in the 86 amnesty legalization surge and a process that took 3 months ended up taking 3 years because of the volume of illegals that gained legal status. That’s BS of the first order that!

This has nothing to do with race but with FAIRNESS. What you are advocating is unfair to those that cannot run, jump, or swim the border. Why should Hispanic illegals get any preferential treatment? Get in line if you want to come here…. everyone else had to.

This is the Michelle Malkin argument. The problem with it is that compliance with unprincipled and essentially useless regulations really benefits nobody. What we ought to want is what’s good for the country. What’s good for the country is the free flow of willing and affordable labor and all benefits of a continued population increase comprised of the most dedicated, energetic, and ambitious citizens of foreign lands. I want my lawn mowed. I want my fruit and vegetables picked. I want low-skill jobs done cheap. I don’t care if the guy doing them said “Simon says” or stood in the proper line or filled out the right forms.

Even my 9th great grandfather that came over from Wales in 1658.

He stood in line to get here in 1658? I do not understand what you mean.

25 May 2011

Governing the Chicago Way

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Michael Barone cites 1,372 waivers from Obamacare, the NLRB’s intervention to prevent Boeing building an assembly plant in South Carolina, and an innovative attempt by the IRS to apply gift taxes to certain 501(c)(4) organizations guilty of supporting Republican candidates.

Punishing enemies and rewarding friends — politics Chicago style — seems to be the unifying principle that helps explain the Obamacare waivers, the NLRB action against Boeing and the IRS’ gift-tax assault on 501(c)(4) donors.

They look like examples of crony capitalism, bailout favoritism and gangster government.

One thing they don’t look like is the rule of law.


Warner Todd Huston finds the same “Chicago Way” of doing things applies also to White House press pool access.

The Boston Herald recently found itself excluded from the press pool covering presidential visits. The Herald angrily reported finding out the reason for the ban.

The White House Press Office yesterday refused to address its policy on choosing local reporters for pool coverage, after the Herald was denied full access to the president’s Boston visit this week in part because the administration didn’t like the newspaper’s coverage. A press staffer’s e-mails cited a Mitt Romney op-ed that ran March 8 on the front page, challenging Obama’s policies the same day the president came to town for a fund-raiser.

25 Jun 2010

“Judas Must Have Been a Republican”

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Deborah B. Sloan, at American Thinker, describes the failure of the Republican congressional leadership to rise to the challenge of educating the public and confronting the left, and their choice of cowardice and conformity to the politics of the left instead.

“I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday,” Congressman Barton said. “I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown — in this case, a $20 billion shakedown. … I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is — again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown.”

Amen, Congressman Barton. It is horrifying to witness the constant statist attack on property rights and the rule of law while being essentially powerless to stop it. What a relief it was to hear someone who does have a modicum of power speak out against this assault on our nation.

Of course, the usual suspects on the left — most notably Joe Biden — leaped onto their soap boxes and screamed bloody murder in reaction to Congressman Barton’s statements; they regurgitated worn-out clichés about Republicans being “in the pockets of Big Oil.”

This sort of tantrum always erupts when someone takes a principled stand against the left. It was an opportunity for the Republican leadership’s response to second Mr. Barton’s concern for the enormously important principles involved, to advocate reimbursement via the constitutionally supported mechanism of due process for people who were harmed by the oil leak, and to firmly tell the Obama regime that they will not be receiving any apologies — that it is they who owe apologies to the American people for the fraud, corruption, theft, and full-blown terror they have subjected us to since January 2009.

Instead, the House Republican leadership denounced the stand taken by Mr. Barton and demanded that he apologize. This type of spinelessness on the part of the Republicans has contributed significantly to the erosion of freedom in America over the past century. Ayn Rand observed that

    [t]he uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other — until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.

With the exception of the fight against ObamaCare, the current Republican leadership have demonstrated that they are unwilling to stand up to the left. The solution to this is not a third party. Instead, the Republican establishment must be phased out and replaced with a new school of leaders who will proudly fight for freedom and capitalism with the same endurance and unapologetic fervor that the left has exhibited for collectivism and tyrannical big government.

20 Jun 2010

Obama Replaced the Court System With Extortion

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Robert Eugene Simmons Jr. observes that last Thursday’s $20 billion settlement by BP was forced by the White House without anything resembling due process, the color of law, or Constitutional authority.

There is no doubt that the oil spill produced by the Deepwater Horizon rig and BP is a disaster of monumental ecological proportions. There is no doubt that the spill has caused the loss of livelihood for fishermen, hotel owners, beach surfboard renters and millions of other people on the gulf coast. There is also no doubt that it is the responsibility of BP to get the well shut off and pay for the cleanup. Finally, there is no doubt that a full investigation should be conducted into how the spill happened, the role of BP and of the government in the spill and the mistakes made in the cleanup. It is important that we find out what caused the blowout, how it could have been prevented, why the cleanup was so slow in getting started, why foreign experts were not allowed to help, why the EPA is blocking applications of products as simple as hay which could soak up oil, and why Governor Jindal and others were disallowed the means to protect their shore lines by government bureaucracies.

However, none of these events or responsibilities gives the president the power to suspend the constitution, revoke the rule of law or demand payments from a company. In fact the $20 billion fund “demanded” of BP by the Obama administration does just that. To understand let’s review the facts around the fund.

The fund will contain $20 billion to ostensibly pay for cleanup efforts and provide compensation to those affected by the spill. Kenneth Feinberg, who is also known as Obama’s “pay czar”, will administer the fund. Mr. Feinberg, a political appointee, will have the final say so on who will receive money from the escrow funds and how much they will get paid. It is unknown what rules of evidence will be in force, what documentation will need to be provided and what the priorities and process for payout will be. Furthermore, so far there are no known constraints on what the fund can be used for; since Obama clearly views alternative energy as a long-term solution to oil spills in general, it is possible that he could direct part of that 20 billion to alternative energy research. In short, this is a huge 20 billion dollar fund under the sole direction of a single guy without even congressional oversight. Disturbed yet?

If you try to find the power in the constitution that allows Obama to do this, you will be even more disturbed. In this case the government can’t even claim the commerce clause of the constitution as legal basis because the commerce clause, even misinterpreted as it is, only applies to the legislature, not the executive branch. Where exactly in the enumerated powers of the constitution does the president have the right to “demand” money from a corporation, deem them guilty of a crime and extract a settlement amount? The short answer is “nowhere.”

Another pertinent question is what BP got out of this deal with the president. It is unlikely that they simply agreed to just drop $20 billion in escrow without agreements, legal documents or contracts specifying the use of the money. If BP obtained immunity from prosecution in exchange for the money then President Obama just violated extortion laws. Will we get full disclosure on the deal given to BP for this fund? What about the payouts themselves? Will we be allowed to be a watchdog over those funds? At this time it doesn’t look like it.

11 Jun 2010

Ruling By Decree

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We live today in a country differing from the America of the past in which the rule of law prevailed, and increasingly resembling one of the Latin American republics in which a strong man takes power and proceeds to set aside the law and his country’s constitution in order to rule by decree.

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reported that Barack Obama simply ordered BP to pay the salaries of all the oil workers laid off as the result of the drilling moratorium he himself had decreed. No due process, no court action, just an edict.

The Obama Administration ratcheted up its demands on Wednesday that BP PLC cover all costs stemming from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, including millions of dollars in salaries of oil-industry workers laid off because of the federal moratorium on deepwater drilling.

The sudden increase in BP’s potential liabilities—along with growing evidence that even more oil than expected is gushing from BP’s crippled well—helped send BP’s shares plummeting almost 16% in New York, to $29.20. The stock has lost close to half its value, more than $82 billion, in the seven weeks since the spill started.

A second WSJ article reported that a coast guard admiral additionally ordered BP to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to construct berms. Once again, no legal process whatsoever had occurred. There is clearly no rule of law in this country. Even coast guard officers get to rule by decree.

Construction is about to begin on miles of sand piles designed to block oil in the Gulf of Mexico from hitting the Louisiana coast, but documents show the Obama administration approved the building of sand berms despite concerns from some of its own environmental experts.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorized the berms. Thad Allen, the Coast Guard admiral overseeing the spill response, ordered BP PLC to pay the hundreds of millions of dollars that officials estimate it will cost to build the structures.

In announcing his decision June 2, Adm. Allen said the berms would “effectively stem potential damage to these fragile shorelines.”

It can be impossible to obtain redress for these kinds of wholly illegal actions by public officials, even ones many levels below the President of the United States.

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Eddie Compass simply ignored legal considerations and issued an order saying: “No one will be able to be armed. Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns.” They then used both New Orleans police and National Guard troops to confiscate private firearms refusing even to issue receipts.

When, months later, all this reached federal court, New Orleans denied having seized private firearms, then later denied having any still in its possession, and generally simply stonewalled. Only after three years of litigation, which New Orleans lost, did the city admit seizing guns and promise to return whatever private property remained in its possession.

Barack Obama lectured for 12 years at the University of Chicago Law School before running for the presidency, but that did not prevent him last year from simply brushing aside the entire body of bankruptcy law to subordinate the claims of Chrysler bondholders in favor of the interest of the UAW.

Members of his administration then proceeded to intimidate the victims with threats of using allies in the press to destroy their reputation. Most bond-holding creditors knuckled under, but three Indiana pension funds did go to court. The US Supreme Court voided a Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding the illegal cramdown, but also referred the case back to the Second Circuit instructing the Appeals Court to hold the matter moot. Thus, the Supreme Court acted to prevent Barack Obama’s action a legal precedent, but refused to do justice and make the Indiana pension funds whole. The law was theoretically preserved intact, despite Obama’s violation, but not actually enforced in the Chrysler bankruptcy.

We are developing an alternative system of government by fiat fueled by press-reported crisis, in which government officials assume the powers of dictatorship. So far, the courts have proven to be not only slow, but ineffective, defenders of the rule of law.

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