Constitutional rule of law is Intelligent Design.

Constitutional rule of law is not about procedures.  It’s Intelligent Design.

I wrote the following for the Indiana Policy Review.  It’s in their Summer Journal I’m posting it here partly because the gob-smacking ignorance on display for the upcoming Presidential election is so culturally, economically, physically and spiritually destructive that I fear we are doomed.  Here is my cry for help, and an offered solution.


Orwell was right.  “Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”  So it’s natural that people today think our nation’s founders were not just slaveholders and sexists, but also idiots.

However, before we eliminate the Electoral College, grant illegal aliens the legal right to vote, lower the voting age again, try to push authoritarian socialism and global domination as good ideas and censor any alternative views, let’s humbly consider that human societies have a 100 percent eventual failure rate.  And perhaps we should review what each of our increasingly intelligent and decreasingly wise generations have already dismissed from the founders’ intents before we flush the rest.

The whole point of the state and federal constitutions was to keep government local, and keep it on a leash.  Voters were supposed to have all the information necessary to make wise choices, and those choices were to be in plain sight and locally accountable.  No secrets, no off-menu selections. Our founders almost universally feared the mob-thinking of democratic processes, and the inevitable centralization and concentration of power that would ensue should citizens be denied information or choices by a ruling elite.

Voting was never about hiring politicians.  Rulers hire themselves if you let them.  Our elections were intended as a means of peaceful revolution, so that we didn’t have to have the other kind again.  A vote is a weapon of self-gundefense, not a poker chip in a game of odds

Similarly, the early militia system, as opposed to a permanent professional standing army, was not only seen as the most potent self-defense, but also a deterrent to foreign war, since every voter would have to personally participate in any violence our government desired.  Only congress was empowered to declare war, because we could vote away the House reps every two years.  Senators were supposed to be appointed by the state legislatures as safeguards on state authority, and states controlled the militia until and unless an actual declaration of war was enacted.

This is important.  The U.S. Constitution’s Article 2, § 2:1: “The President shall be Commander in Chief . . . of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.”  And the President was called into that service by only a congressional declaration of war. Until and unless that happened, Article 5, § 12 of the Indiana Constitution applied: “The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and may call out such forces, to execute the laws, or to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion.”

So we were to have a republic comprised of sovereign states and empowered individuals, not an almighty central government restrained only by majority votes, because as John Adams pointed out, “. . . democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.”

The Texas constitution’s Article I, § I says it well. “Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States, and the maintenance of our free institutions and the perpetuity of the Union depend upon the preservation of the right of local self-government, unimpaired to all the States.”

But we significantly lost that republic during and after the Civil War, when many state constitutions were amended or newly drafted to transform them into administrative sub- units of Washington, D.C., or even worse.

This is from the Nevada State Constitution: “But the Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers as the same have been or may be defined by the Supreme Court [my emphasis] of the United States; and no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair, subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States. . . . and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.”

That’s not Patrick Henry talking there.

We formally lost the citizen militia in 1903 with the Dick Act, which “federalized” the militia. We lost the whole point of bicameral congress in 1913 with the 17th Amendment, when state governments lost their representatives in the federal government. By the 1930s, leaders as diverse as FDR, Prescott Bush, and W. E. B. DuBois heaped praise on the fascist despots of Italy and Germany, and made authoritarian National Socialism, “progressive.”

In 1947, the National Security Act created the Central Intelligence Agency, terminated constitutional declarations of war, and overturned most of the founders’ strongest protections against corruption and eternal warfare.

Also around that time and through the 1970s the rapid expansion of Primary Elections started legitimizing “Major Political Parties” as only two private clubs — the Democratic and Republican Parties.  All independent and so-called “Third Party” candidates faced increasingly difficult ballot access and election-related rules that didn’t apply to members of the favored clubs.

Until the 1936 presidential election, the name of each presidential elector candidate appeared on the Indiana ballot.  However, the Indiana Code prohibits the names of the presidential elector candidates from even being listed, let alone being chosen by those who’ll have to live with the results of the electors’ decision.  Only political parties and candidate committees can choose Indiana’s eleven electors. 

And since each state’s number of electors is derived from census numbers, you can see why many want to not only let illegal aliens vote, but also count all non-citizens as citizens in the census for the purpose of both more power in the U.S. House of Representatives, and more electors; like the generally misunderstood “three-fifths” rule that gave southern states unfair representation in the early U.S.

Many defenders of the Electoral College believe that this is the key purpose of the college — to give each state fair standing in presidential elections.  

But the true purpose is much further from the current collective mindset than even that.  While under the banner of today’s “democracy,” the majority of votes or the greatest biomass of voters is seen as the equivalent of wisdom, presidential electors were intended to reduce the influence and unwise decisions of the most ultimately powerful, but fickle and uninformed body politic — average voters.

By definition, of course, half of us are below-average intelligence, wisdom and knowledge, with many others comprising the majority probably misinformed, and unlikely to make the best choices for the most powerful single person in U.S. government.

Ouch. That sounds pretty insulting to modern ears, no doubt. But judging by our debts, endless wars, increasingly hostile internecine and tribal divisions, and obviously destructive corruption and espionage, maybe the founders weren’t the idiots.

I’m pleased that our young have mostly stopped eating Tide Pods. We can learn.

I suggest we learn what earlier generations considered intelligent, and wise, and put those lessons to work.

The constitutions, state and federal, as imperfect as they may be, are not about procedural minutiae, or partisan games. They are the practical design for individual freedom, security and prosperity, proven to be better than anything any nation had signed into law before or since.  Our current events prove that our founders, however flawed as people, were far more prescient, intelligent and wise, than wrong.

 

 

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Tribalism Sucks

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Unless you wear a MAGA hat to bed, you know our government is headed in the wrong direction.  Unless you’re crazy, you know our government is corrupt.  Unless you’re a genuinely rotten person, you want much, much more peace, prosperity, security, and doggone it…freedom, for both yourself, and all your fellow citizens.

But unless you’re in the less-than-10% (typically more like 3-4%) who ever vote for third party or independent candidates, you chose this complicated, legalistic/ rule-fraught, unfair, dysfunctional and globally violent corruption. All of it.

I don’t mean to be an insulting knowitall, but this is very simple in a nation with elections:

Bernie

Either you use your power of peaceful revolution to oppose what’s not working and replace it with new guards for our future security, or you’re actually supporting the bad guys. If you’re not actively firing the bad guys with your vote, you’re as much as hiring them; either by direct choice, or in vapid inaction.

Now you may not disagree with that last paragraph. That may be while you’re still reading.

But there’s also simple logic in determining just who the bad guys really are.

And that is likely where 90% of voters will disagree.

Our constitutions were written in large part to prevent politicians from granting “to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.” (Indiana Constitution Article I Section 23)

This applies to everything political; from fair trade, housing and corporate laws to …ballot access.

Yet everyone with a living brain cell knows that our political scheme is all about special deals for special people.  Politically favored corporations get special rules that ensure protected profits without fear of competition.  Politically favored people get special legal/tax exemptions, or Get Out Of Jail Free cards.cropped-liberty

I contend that a fundamental part of the problem is the recent, self-appointed, tribal, monopolistic and genuinely stupid “Two Party System.”

Since WWII, and mostly since the 1970s, and varying state-to-state …ONLY Democrats and Republicans can be on election-related commissions, and have special election status that grants them more money, more ballot access, and more power in government.

Not only have these private clubs granted themselves special powers, but they have also imposed special hurdles and handicaps on any group or individual who’d challenge them.

Most of us understand that if there was by law only one manufacturer of coffee, or shoes, or cars, that costs and quality would be horrendous.  Most of us could imagine that even with two options, there’d soon be so much collusion and price-fixing to squeeze out any other competition that, in effect, there’d really be only one option with two faces.  Many of us disdain the rapidly clotting mergers of media, pharmaceutical and healthcare empires just the way many thought it right to bust up the old monopolies in telephone and power service.

And all of us benefit from the profusion of choices in food, clothing, electronics and other, relatively lightly-regulated industries.

So what’s up with the “Two Party System?”

Not only is it not ordained by constitutions, the Bible or physics, it’s actually anti-constitutional, by both state and federal constitutions.

You’ve got to be blind and deaf to miss the collusion and corruption of this monstrosity. You’d have to be either part of their crony crime ring, or crazy, to actually like this almost-universally-detested tribal ruling class.

TheEnemyBut you’d be a rare and precious person to actually vote against it.

I’ll just say it. If you vote for any part, any candidate of the Two Party System, you’re at least sustaining the problem.  Even the best (D) and (R) candidates represent the false hope of fixing a tribal system that doesn’t want to be fixed, and is well-organized against anybody who’d try.

More to the point – if you never vote for any alternatives to the status quo power structure, you ARE the problem. 

All the issues of incumbency – entrenchment of power and money, influence of monied connections, corruption – that goes double for political parties.  While politicians eventually die, their power structures too-often live on…and on…and on.

It’d be simple and easy to fix it all.  But you’d have to:

1. Understand the problem, and

2. Change your choices.  YOUR choices.

Come one, my fellows and friends. We’ve all but ended institutional slavery. We’ve extended the vote to every citizen (both living and dead, along with non-citizens, too…but that’s another story).

Nearly everybody says, “I don’t vote for the party, I vote for the candidate,” and up to now, they’ve mostly been lying.

Nearly everybody says, “Yeah, but look at the choices they give us…” as if we have no choice in that.lucy-charlie-brown-football

Well-over 90% of us keep doing the same stupid thing and never see the connection between bad choices and bad outcomes.

What’s really sad is that there are just as many great people as ever.  Many could be Founding Fathers (and founding mothers and/or non-binary whatevers) of a new and better age; learning lessons of the past and creating a better future.   

It’s just that now such people are pushed aside in favor of body-painted tribal savages and criminal clowns.  Too few ever throw their own hat into the ring, and yet love to complain.

So let’s snap out of that and finally use our votes as intended…as weapons of peaceful, orderly revolution, and end the rule of clans and tribes and gangs at last.

 

About Prohibition…

First, let me be very, very clear on this.  I do NOT believe that marijuana is harmless.  It is not.  But harm or benefit is not what political prohibition is all about.

Short answer: Decriminalizing pot isn’t about pot; it’s about governing our government.

If you’d like to start discussing and finding the best ways to suppress bad behaviors and promote good behaviors, fantastic!  Let’s do it!

But that’d be pretty much the opposite of what we’re doing now.  The War On Drugs is not only counterproductive, it’s also unconstitutional, illegal and immoral.

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America couldn’t be more clear.  It’s just one sentence; and it was exhaustively explained at the time it was written and made a part of this nation’s fundamental law:

RememberThe powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

So… powers not specifically granted, are specifically denied.  If the Constitution doesn’t clearly say our federal government can do something, it can’t do it.

Simple.

Of course, politicians hate that.  It’s a leash on their power.  It’s a limitation.  It’s a big NO to their inevitable desire to oppress their fellow humans.  It’s a restraint that makes them public servants instead of rulers.

And so, they’ve been fighting the 10th Amendment since the ink was wet.

But even with our first Prohibition, 126 years after the Tenth Amendment, our politicians were still restrained enough (and/or We The People were still wise and watchful enough, more likely), that they understood that in order to ban the sale of alcohol…or anything else, for that matter…they’d have to amend the constitution.

So they wrote, passed and ratified an amendment respectful of these fundamental principles and laws.

If you want to do something breathtakingly stupid, that is the correct way to do it.

But let’s be clear about this.  The 18th Amendment, while composed of three sentences instead of just one, was also written clearly enough that confusion would be inexcusable:

  1. The federal amendment would be null and void without concomitant and timely action from the states. “This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
  2. Enforcement was also understood to be a shared responsibility. “The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  3. Most importantly, this amendment was very specifically limited to only the manufacture and distribution of “intoxicating liquors.”  It did not grant any level of government any authority or power to limit the manufacture/distribution of anything else…and it did NOT take away anybody’s right to consume whatever they wanted. “After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

The 18th Amendment never granted any level of government any power or authority to tell you what you can, can’t or must consume.  It never granted any level of government any power or authority to even limit the manufacture, sale, or transportation of anything but “intoxicating liquors.”

So let’s clear up one more thing…and it’s The Biggy:

When the 18th was repealed by the 21st Amendment, it was replaced by …nothing!  There is no longer any amendment, there is no authority (see the 10th Amendment), no legal, just power to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or transportation of ANYTHING!

RememberAnd there never was, and still isn’t, any constitutional authority or just power to prohibit people from consuming whatever the heck they want.

In other words, all the no-knock raids, the expanded policing powers, the incarcerations, the lives ruined by a conviction record, and of course the insane loss of life with enforcement, and the politically corrupt nature of black market trade …is all unconstitutional, illegal, immoral, and otherwise totally wrong.

It’s frustrating we even use the word “decriminalize” since what we’re calling criminal was never legally made a crime.

Legally, constitutionally, none of this should be happening.

Whether people should be consuming high-fructose corn syrup or 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine is a separate topic.  How to make people stop doing bad things is a separate topic.  And I would never argue that THC and the new strains of marijuana are harmless.  They are not

Right now, the item of urgent concern is that our government is corrupt and un-governed.

And that’s not just an inconvenience.  A violently corrupt, deceitful, off-the-rails ungoverned government is a civilization-destroying monster.  

Let’s fix that.  Pronto.

Then, if we’d like a legitimate Second Prohibition, we ought to do it in the proper way.

Until we follow the procedure for this, however, there is no legal, moral, or certainly any functional argument to keep doing what we’re doing to people, all over the world, with our illegal, immoral, costly and self-destructive “war on drugs.”

 

Yeah, he was a socialist.

cropped-libertyI give up trying to convince people that most of the various -isms are divisive bunk, and that, really, the spectrum of -isms from authoritarianism to libertarianism boil down to a very simple principle: primacy of the state, versus primacy of the individual.

But let us at the very least put to rest the idea that Nazis weren’t socialists.

Here is a ten-year-old article, which is, I think, just about the correct distance from the present to be more clearly separated from today’s tribal hysteria and concomitant “Democratic Socialism” blindness.

The core argument is that Hitler called himself a socialist of a sort derived from Marx, and that his deviation from the USSR’s variety of socialism (“Jewish Marxism” in Hitler’s words) was in two key forks that made it, in Hitler’s opinion (as well as that of Mussolini, who wrote much on the subject) more workable.

  1. National Socialism relied on geography and race to avoid the needlessly divisive self-destructive civil war as the Russians had suffered. Hitler felt that Germans shouldn’t fight Germans, so he elevated race above pure socialist dogma in an effort to unite more to his general cause. In Hitler’s words, “…find and travel the road from individualism to socialism without revolution.
  2. Recognizing private property rights is necessary to economic success and social unity. In Hitler’s own words (not from the article), “Socialism is the science of dealing with the common weal. Communism is not Socialism. Marxism is not Socialism. …Socialism, unlike Marxism, does not repudiate private property. Unlike Marxism, it involves no negation of personality, and unlike Marxism, it is patriotic.

I can understand some confusion, as Hitler had over the years said many things that could, in isolation, fuel the notion that he was anti-Marx; certainly he was anti- “Jewish Marxism.”

But I believe that’s only when viewing Hitler through a partisan lens. Because he made it abundantly clear in his own words that he was a socialist.

In a critique of Mussolini’s newly-coined “fascism,” Hitler wrote of his own economic plan, “Point No. 13 in that program demands the nationalization of all public companies, in other words socialization, or what is known here as socialism.”

To more or less summarize my argument, as well as that in the article and referenced book, I’ll end with Hitler’s own words, and let you think on where we are today, and why so many Americans admired the man back in the day:

The Germany of today is a National Socialist State.  The ideology that dominates us is in diametrical contradiction to that of Soviet Russia.  National Socialism is a doctrine that has reference exclusively to the German people.  Bolshevism lays stress on international mission.  We National Socialists believe a man can, in the long run, be happy only among his own people.  We are convinced the happiness and achievements of Europe are indissolubly tied up with the continuation of the system of independent and free national States. Bolshevism preaches the establishment of a world empire…

 

A “hearing” without ears

Post mortem on the Pro Tempore hearing

OK, so “hearing” is the wrong word, because they voted to not hear me at all.

I gave them written copies of the 10-point argument below, but they were handed back, saying it would be “inappropriate” for them to read it.  Of course, the State’s attorney did hand me nine-thousand pages of their arguments*…about why I should shut up and go away, as it turned out.

After spending ten minutes going over the rules (including how I’d get ten minutes to make my case) and other niceties of procedure, the State moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that whatever I’d have to say should’ve been said in July, and they’re sure that what I’d say would be the same as what was already said anyway…AndyTriesAgain

…Even though I wasn’t there in July, and it wasn’t the same argument.  And I was there to represent another person’s CAN-1 challenge (Ben Tackitt) who couldn’t make it to this hearing.

You see, the state arranges these meetings at inconvenient times in places with exotically expensive parking for a reason

And so, the State (everyone of authority in the hearing was paid as an administrative judge working as an agent/employee of Connie Lawson with a built-in and unconstitutional conflict of interest…whatta surprise) voted to reject CAUSE NUMBER 2018-124.  They wouldn’t give me even my ten minutes.  Not even two.

Even as they tried to shush me, I asked, “Does this exhaust my administrative remedy?

If they answered no, then I should’ve been allowed to speak.  If they answered yes, then it’d be clear that I’ve got a court case with no administrative remedy (helping me ascend to that diaphanous, magical and nearly unattainable quality of “standing” before the court).

So attorney Brad King told them not to answer me.

I was railroaded.  Again.

I really didn’t expect better.  I mean, how weird would be for the state’s cronies to vote against themselves?

HeroIt’s voters who’re supposed to vote against such corruption and entrenchment of power.  If I’ve done anything at all with my efforts over the decades, I have proven (over and over and over and…) that I can’t fly onto the scene with my ray-gun and save the day, dang it.

I’d like to, of course.  But I can’t.  It takes numbers.

My hope all along was that ordinary folks would hear about this case, and DO SOMETHING about it!

PoliticsMonsterThat’s my hope (not my expectation…but I do hope).

This cause was only one example of the continuous expansion of political powers and reduction of citizen powers and rights by unconstitutional legislation, and evermore-damaging constitutional amendments, which have spawned a culture of political cronyism that foils the purpose of term limits, democratic elections, and constitutional rule of law…

…Sigh…  <deep breath>

cropped-youSo I’m posting this for you, in the hopes that you’ll read it, agree that injustice is being done, and tell others about it.

Of course I hope you’ll do even more than that (write letters to the editor, call-in to radio shows, start a lawsuit, organize protest marches, foment revolution…).  But even if telling others is all you do, I’d be delighted, and grateful.

Anyway, here’s pretty much what I would’ve said today, if given the chance; it’s what I tried to hand them on paper at the hearing.  But none of this was heard, or read:

  1. Article I, Section 25 of the Indiana Constitution makes plain that there is no legal state authority except by specific provision in the constitution. Indiana Code does not create authority; all legal authority rests only upon the Indiana Constitution. All officeholders are required by oath of office to uphold this fundamental rule of law.  The state’s case rests entirely upon Indiana Code which contradicts and violates the state constitution.

  2. As of today, there are only two constitutionally clear ways to empower a Secretary of State; election by the voters of the state (Article 6, Section 1), and by gubernatorial appointment (Article 5 Section 18).

  3. Constitutional provisions in Article 5, Section 18 and Article 15, Section 3 ensure that no Indiana office is left vacated, yet make no special or extra-ordinary definition of pro tempore.  The specific constitutional authority to issue writs of election was repealed in 1984 (Article 5, Section 19), making it less constitutionally clear when, how, and by whom, special elections are to be called.  But the definition of pro tempore has always been known to be transitory and provisional.

  4. The original 1851 Article 6, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution mandated: “There shall be elected, by the voters of the State, a Secretary, and Auditor and a Treasurer of State, who shall, severally, hold their offices for two years. They shall perform such duties as may be enjoined by law; and no person shall be eligible to either (sic) of said offices, more than four years in any period of six years.”  The original wording makes evident the erosion of constitutional protections as demonstrated by the doubling of term limits in 1970.  Article 2 Section 11, unchanged from 1851, made more sense in the context of short term limits: “… an appointment pro tempore shall not be reckoned a part of that term.”  Lawson’s first term as SOS was longer than the 1851 full term of elected office, and was over half the entire 1851 term limit.

  5. On February 4, 2012, former Secretary of State Charlie White was removed from office, and Jerold A. Bonnet was made the temporary, interim, pro tempore Secretary of State of Indiana.  This appointment was unquestionably pro tempore because there was a legal challenge to White’s 2010 ballot eligibility, throwing into question how the SOS office would be filled, though by original constitutional design and one judge’s ruling, either Democrat Vop Osili should have confirmed, or been a special election should have been called.

  6. On March 16, 2012, Mitch Daniels named Connie Lawson the new Secretary of State. There was no contingency or compromise to this appointment. Connie Lawson’s unconditional replacement of Charlie White and Jerold Bonnet was not pro tempore by any definition of pro tempore (proxy, locum tenens or conditional officeholder – e.g., the President pro tempore of the Senate, who stands-in for the Lt. Governor’s role as President of the Senate, or Judge Pro Tem who stands in for another judge). Jerold A. Bonnet was unquestionably the only pro tempore Secretary of State.

  7. The intent of the term limitation, even as of 1970, was to limit the power and electoral advantage of incumbency, limit the entrenchment of factions, and inhibit politics as a lifetime career.

  8. The purpose of democratic elections is to both thwart crony entrenchment, and to give equal opportunity for all people, without any special classes of citizen powers, privileges or immunities, an equal chance to serve their society.

  9. Precedent” is not law.  Only legislators can make law.  While this is most plainly stated in the federal constitution, the state constitution follows the same form of separation of powers.  And Article I, Section 25 of the Indiana Constitution does indeed forbid law by precedent, as it is rule-making without constitutional provision, process or authority.

  10. SUMMARY: Connie Lawson’s first term of office was not pro tempore.  And as per arguments previously submitted for Indiana Election Commission CAUSE NUMBER 2018-12, she is not eligible for election to a term of office she cannot lawfully complete.  At best, Lawson’s candidacy strains electoral propriety, and taints the credibility of Indiana’s chief election officer.  But more seriously, to allow this candidacy to go forward presents an abuse of public trust, as well as an egregious violation of Indiana’s governing authority – the Indiana Constitution.

###

So, what comes next?

Plan B

Will the GOP get away with this obvious scheme to simply appoint cronies who can then run in the next election with all the advantages of incumbency?  Are they going to kick out Curtis Hill so they can appoint a more insider-friendly replacement?  Is this whole democratic process and term-limits thing kaput?

Well, that’s up to you.

 

 

 

 

*Lawyers like to intimidate people with piles of paper and ink.  In fact it came up in the hearing how much time and money in billable hours were wasted on my futile attempts at justice.

We were railroaded.

Indiana Election Board CAUSE NUMBER: 2018-12 was dismissed on the grounds that Connie Lawson’s appointed term of office as Secretary of State was pro tempore.

But the state and anyone who follows such things would know that’s not true at all.

Because there was an actual pro tempore appointment before Connie Lawson.

Jerold A. Bonnet

While Wikipedia is not a final authority on such matters, this is a good summary of the case: “A lawyer by profession, Bonnet was the deputy Secretary when his superior Charlie White lost his position after being convicted of voter fraud, leading Governor Mitch Daniels on February 4, 2012, to appoint Bonnet until a permanent successor could be chosen. Holding the office for an uneventful term of over a month, Bonnet was succeeded by Connie Lawson on March 16. Currently, Bonnet serves as the chief legal counsel in Lawson’s administration.”

Note the wording, “…appoint Bonnet until,” and “until a permanent successor could be chosen.”  That is how pro tempore works.

tenorOf course Lawson’s defenders also cited case law to weaponize their attack on The People, constitutional rule of law, decency, truth, honor and all that’s good and wholesome.  But as I’m sure YOU know, case law cannot be law!

Now, as an ordinary citizen who doesn’t have the mean$ to fight this, and without any apparent public interest in the matter, I am forced to just walk away from this example of ungoverned government.

But for anyone paying attention, you’ve been railroaded too.

It’s up to US to drain the swamp!

If there are flaws in our state and federal constitutions, they are these:

  1. There are no specified remedies for violating them. Our founders assumed we’d know (i.e., nullification, impeachment, and …quit reelecting them!), but we clearly do not know!  Not surprising, after a couple hundred years of politicians’ lies.

  2. Seemingly equivocal prohibitions against the “whispering down the lane” or “telephone game” judicial/ legislative/bureaucratic corruption of our constitutions by incrementally perverted interpretation.  While the constitutions do clearly say what they say, it’s obvious that with every new case, every new law, every legal argument, there are new divergences from core principles and fundamental laws.  It’s gotten so bad through the past century that instead of consulting the actual words of our constitutions, we now consider previous court decrees as the authoritative law.

So now, politicians assert in court and in practice, that whatever’s not specifically prohibited from politicians, is within their authority.BWLadyLib

That is of course opposite of the whole point of constitutions.

Constitutions are to restrain politicians, not citizens.

Despots have for millennia gained power without elections, and made their own rules as they wished.  The USA was supposed to be better than that.

hand-coming-up-from-the-swamp-554x350

Instead, we’re drowning in corruption.  It’s been too long since there’s been any organized attempt to legitimize and govern our government by the actual words of our federal and state constitutions.

So, about now, the Indiana Election Division should receive the CAN-I candidate filing challenge I signed on July 10.

Besides the fact that it’s an obvious trick to appoint a GOP-insider/swamp incumbent for the next SOS race, there’s a legal problem with the candidacy of incumbent Secretary of State Connie Lawson.  Please note, it has nothing to do with her, personally, and everything to do with corruption of our constitutional Rule of Law:

Article 6, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution specifies that, “There shall be elected, by the voters of the state, a Secretary, an Auditor and a Treasurer of State, who shall, severally, hold their offices for four years. They shall perform such duties as may be enjoined by law; and no person shall be eligible to either (sic) of said offices, more than eight years in any period of twelve years.” – (As Amended November 3, 1970)

Now, legislators can and do make mistakes.  Frequently.  The word “either” is, for example, a mistake.  But please note these key words and phrases:

“There shall be elected… who shallhold their offices for four years.”

“…and no person shall be eligible to …said offices, more than eight years in any period of twelve years.”

“Shall” is a strong imperative.  It is not “may hold” or “can, if the law doesn’t prohibit it, hold.”

No, it’s SHALL, as if written in stone tablets.

The word “shall” is in all the key places of “elected,” “hold,” “perform,” and “eligible.”

So, very clearly by the letter and intent of this constitutional term limit, no person shall be eligible for election to a public role they are constitutionally forbidden from performing as mandated in the letter and intent of the law.

The state will of course claim that Lawson’s first term was pro tempore; and that it therefore doesn’t count as a term of office.  But Jerry Bonnet was the actual pro tempore SOS.  Lawson was a full replacement for the ousted Charlie White.  So, no…there is no constitutional excuse for this.

Incumbent Secretary of State Connie Lawson is constitutionally forbidden from performing the specified role in the terms clearly specified in the constitution.

She is an ineligible candidate.  And the GOP is using her situation to hoodwink us.

Again.

I say no.  I’m throwing a flag on this play.

FlagOnThePlay

By any name, it kills

First, here are the classical definitions of socialism:

  1. Government (not “communal”) control of property, and ownership of the means of production.
  2. Some definitions include the elimination of private property, but this overlaps with communism, and somewhat contradicts Marx’s definitions.
  3. In Marxist theory, an intermediary/transitional form of government between capitalism and communism distinguished by unequal distribution of property and income. “Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” – Karl Marx

Socialism

Now, the use and meaning of the word “socialism” has changed a LOT recently.  So I’ll contrast it to communism, as defined by Marx:

  1. The state is eliminated (true anarchy) and all property and means of production is owned equally by the people as a collective.
  2. No private property. “The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.” – Karl Marx
  3. Distribution of goods and services by: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” – Karl Marx

People can of course believe whatever they want.  Marx proposed socialism as a violent takeover and transition to forcefully-imposed communism.

But if people want to call themselves “socialist” and then redefine socialism to be something they like better than the old definition…well, who am I to argue?

Words change all the time. The English language hardly resembles what it did before the Vikings and French and Shakespeare started messing with it.

But let’s not fool ourselves with our words, either.

Words are extremely powerful.  It’s by words, and the actions we apply to words, that we turn corporate abstractions like “tribe,” “gang,” “army” and “nation” into deadly forces of oppression, slavery, genocide and war.

I know a lot of decent, well-meaning, well-educated and very intelligent socialists.  But they all perform the same, subtle, self-deluding linguistic/mental alchemy:

They trans-substantiate politicians/rulers into “The People,” like the way Catholics turn wine into Christ’s blood.  And they are, in their clearer moments, advocating communism without the inevitable bloodshed.Atheists

In other words, today’s socialists dismiss the inevitably violent and impoverishing despotism of an almighty government, and transmogrify the realities of authoritarianism into the detached dreams of a Marxian Kumbaya.

Now, to a degree and in a way, we all do that.  We like to imagine a nice utopia and don’t care about how to actually get there.

That’s a problem.

All government is by consent of the governed.  Politicians, elites and even the legions of bureaucrats all put-together, are vastly outnumbered by the people who in one way or another consent to be ruled.  So even the most oppressive tyrants reflect The People’s willingness to submit, if nothing else.

We’re tribal, pack animals, and we tend to Follow The Alpha.  But even the most well-armed and entrenched ruler can be thrown down when the actual human populace (and not an abstraction like “The People”) get mad enough to finally act.

So it’s true, though we act like it’s not: ALL government is by consent of the governed.  ALL government is a reflection of the people.  Politics/government is the collective’s avatar.

But socialists aren’t thinking of We The People as a republic with representative politicians.  Even more strangely, when they’re asking politicians to take over every aspect of life, they’re imagining this will lead to freedom, not being subjugated by an authoritarian despot.

I really do understand this.  It sounds great.  In fact I used to do this mental trick on myself, and I fell for a good bit of Marx and Engel’s rhetoric:

If you’re unhappy with the way things are in general, or the way your life is working in specific, doesn’t this sound appealing?  “We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. …Both for the production on a mass scale of this communist consciousness, and … the alteration of men on a mass scale is, necessary, … a revolution; this revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew.” – Karl Marx

And how about this one: “Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution.  The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.  They have a world to win.  Workingmen of all countries, unite!” – Karl Marx

And this one from Marx is absolutely true: “A nation cannot become free and at the same time continue to oppress other nations.

I’m not sure why “socialists” don’t just come out and say it; again, here’s Karl Marx: “It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Specter of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself.

But let’s consider the label “Democratic Socialist” (which is itself very Marxian: “Democracy is the road to socialism”).

Problem #1 – Democracy is majority rule.  Majority as opposed to any minority.   Another name for it could be “mob rule.”  Democracy is, as Benjamin Franklin asserted, “Two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.”  In both form and effect, this is not at all what any “Democratic Socialist” I’ve heard of actually promotes.  They really don’t want democracy.  They couldn’t, and still claim any concern for minorities.

Problem #2 – We’ve already got what they want, and they’re still not happy.  We may not admit that we have what we vote for, but I can easily prove that we do.  We may whine a single-digit-approval rate of our congress, but those politicians enjoy a >90% reelection rate every Election Day.  Constitutions don’t matter, we have what we vote for, so we’re much more a democracy than a constitutional republic.

And about the “socialism” part…

A few hours ago I read a rose-colored “Democratic Socialism” article that said “Socialism can be defined as ‘a system of social organization in which private property and the distribution of income are subject to social control.’

OK, fine. But what the heck is “social control” if we don’t have it already?

What doesn’t our government control right now, today?  Are socialists somehow saying that our government is not the social organization of our society?

You can argue all you want about the benefits of income redistribution and that mysterious ether “social justice.”

But if you’re using “social control” of property and income as the definition of socialism, then we’ve already got it, and socialists should be delighted.NoGun

But they’re not, are they?

So, what do they really want?

Well, actually, I think most want, in a broad sense, what I want.

  1. They may be angry at people, and even violent toward their political foes; but all the “socialists” I know say they want peace.  World peace.  As in …quit bombing people.  That’s a fine wish.  I’d be happy to work with them on this.
  2. They want prosperity, however they define it.  I may strongly disagree with their ideas on economics, but our goals are the same.  People should prosper.
  3. They know our current social order is corrupt, and want that to go away.  Me too! Oh man do I agree with them on that.
  4. They want something like “fair.”  OK, they do tend to categorize people and have special classes of rights and privileges for special people, and I hate that anti-individual tribalism.  But they still have a sense that things aren’t fair now, and that something has to be done.  I’m cool with that.
  5. While I think they’re calling oppression down on their own heads, they think they’re working toward freedom…personal freedom.  I’m totally for that goal.

So, my problem with socialists isn’t their goals; it’s their chosen plan to attain their goals.  I don’t think they’re thinking straight about their “social control” versus authoritarian corruption, poverty and violence.  I think they’re grabbing onto the same, ancient snake-oil political promises and imagining that they’re the newest Get Rich Quick scheme.

lucy-charlie-brown-footballWe’ve done this before.  We’ve done it to death.  We keep believing the promises of dreams and ending up with the nightmares of yet another despot.

I know the arguments about western intervention in socialist nations like North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and other descendants of the Russian revolutions of 1917.  They have some merit.  Our lefty Presidents T. Roosevelt and W. Wilson did tremendous damage to the world in making war into a grand adventure of Empire instead of self-defense only.

But the arguments that socialism quickly tears itself to bits are much stronger, in my opinion.

Strong enough, I think, that the real peace, freedom and prosperity lovers among us should keep offering a much, much better way for a better life, and try to convince our fellows that what didn’t ever work as advertised before…still won’t work.

Fearing our own shadow

The Land of The Free has been surrendering freedom hand-over-fist because the Home of The Brave is scared of its own shadow.  Almost literally, its own shadow.

wwii-rubbleWe’ve for generations been the arms dealer and political destabilizer to the world.  Our CIA and armed forces have interfered with elections and even violently taken down one dictator to prop up another for over seventy years.

Our government has lied about its wars, warmongering, entangling alliances and foreign interventions for much longer than that.  Our CIA and NSA have been spying on the whole world, including every person within our own borders, as well as prying into foreign elections (and our own) for long enough that it’s disingenuous to complain about foreign spies and foreign interference in elections…unless we claim we’re the only ones who’re supposed to do all that.

To everybody.

All the time.12362834_10153703528535280_3712867037536160998_o

We are the most heavily-armed, most globally nannying and bullying, domestically intrusive, imprisoning and militarized nation of all time.

It is our own shadows that both terrify and genuinely threaten us now, and, surprisingly, in the past, too.

You think our soldiers are fighting for freedom?  Which freedom?  How many freedoms must we lose to get that elusive freedom we’re fighting for?  At what financial/future security cost?  At what moral/social spiritual cost?

We have literally reordered and molded our society’s defense/military, monetary and legal and political structure to our collective trembling nerves.   Why?

While nobody ever says it exactly like this, the predominating justification for the USA’s violent, costly Fear-Aggression Syndrome is:

lucy-charlie-brown-footballOur past screw-ups necessitate today’s screw-ups.

Rational people can look at the USA’s past mistakes reasonably.  Our government made horrible, murderous, costly mistakes when it was far smaller, less powerful, less secretive, less snooping, and vastly less heavily-armed and militarized both globally, and domestically, than today.  But ironically, the closer we get to the present, the more wrong we call right, and the more we justify today’s wrong by yesterday’s wrong.

We all know that slavery and native genocide was bad.  Only the more educated among us know that the wars against Mexico and Spain were motivated by greed and desire for empire, and had nothing whatsoever to do with protecting American liberties and land.  But very few consider how Teddy Roosevelt stimulated the Empire of Japan and the USA helped create the Soviet Union, however, so we tend to think of WWII as a wholly Good War, where the USA wore white and saved the world for liberty and justice for all.

Bellamy2The point is that, the closer we get to the present, the more our views of USA government become disconnected from reality.
Even after we learned that the Vietnam War was justified on, at best, a screwup, we tend to think of USA government as a benevolent god of peace and love, incapable of wrongdoing (though we keep seeing new wrongdoing every day).

This is a freakishly weird phenomenon.  But it’s also the nature of tribalism and idolatry.  We love our team, and we hate the other guys.  We can’t see the wrong in our idols, teams, champions and leaders, but we know that the other peoples’ idols, teams, champions and leaders are pure evil.Testing football helmets, 1912

And it’s also just human: People of the past were THEM.  People of today are US.  We can easily admit that our ancestors did horrible, stupid things; but we sure don’t want to admit that, today, right now, WE are screwing up.  We’re blind to our own errors.

In other words, we see the past more clearly than the present.  And we see other sinners more clearly than we see ourselves.

So, as a result, we exemplify, even if unintentionally, the exact opposite of The Golden Rule.

This is self-immolation.  We have so many impending disasters of fiscal, social, monetary and military nature, that we desperately need an epiphany and revolution of heart and mind.

You can’t be the Land of The Free if you’re not the Home of The Brave.  But no nation can survive at all with this kind of stupid.

Realistically, we’re doomed.

All of the most self-defeating things I ever hear begin with something like, “Realistically…”

At least in a political context, whenever I hear words and phrases like “pragmatic,” “the way things are,” and, of course, “realistically,” I know what comes next is a lame rationalization of wrong.

Right?

Instead of saying, “That’s a great dream! Let’s make it happen,” the “realistic” person’s got to say, “realistically, you must choose the ‘lesser of two evils;’” or, “Whoa there; these things take time.  Realistically, you’ve got to ‘take baby steps,’ ‘work within the system,’ and ‘you can’t fight city hall.’”

Even so-called “third parties” concentrate on “winnable” races, even if that means that they sacrifice a statewide televised platform to discuss real differentiating issues.  It also means the most visible races go unchallenged or are contested by lesser candidates who put their party in a bad light.  And, of course, when they do win a “winnable” race, that means it’s such small potatoes that nobody will ever hear about it anyway.

“Realistically,” they’ll say, “you don’t stand a chance.”  “You have to,” they tell me, “play the game.”  “Start at the bottom and work your way up,” they say.

TheEnemyI am pretty certain this is why human civilizations have a 100% failure rate.  There are too many unwitting servants of the status quo, and far too few revolutionaries.  Too many people think like plodding, duty-bound bureaucrats, and too few think like passionate, principled visionaries.

I am sure we have a sufficient number of dreamers;  it’s just that the dream-squashing Powers-That-Be puppets outnumber them, parrot the officially-approved talking points, run the media, and are currently in charge of pretty much everything on the planet.

This so unnecessary, so sad, so self-destructive.

To cave in to odds is to shuffle toward societal collapse.  To accept even mediocrity, let alone “lesser evil,” is to voluntarily, actively, choose failure.  (see aforementioned failure rate)

And that, is a denial of our very real power and accountability to do better.

I’ve spoken to more than a few voters.  I see what they do every Election Day. Collectively, we really did choose exactly what we’ve got.  We’ve chosen badly, and keep re-electing the badly-chosen.charlie-brown-and-lucy-with-football

We can’t blame anybody else for that.  But we sure try to.  The “Two Party System,” corruption, lobbyists, and “there ought to be a law” all get blame.  And those things are, granted, terrible. terrible.

But we chose it.  All of it.charlie-brown-football

And it looks like we’ll do it again this November.

We do this over, and over, and over again.

We never learn.

My enduring hope (and I believe our culture’s only hope) is that we’ll snap out of our madness and choose better.

Now, I do understand the roadblocks.

  1. There’s a vast, nearly-diametrically-opposed difference between a good candidate, and a good politician.  We expect a good candidate1 to be a market phenomenon; sort of like a movie production with a cast of hundreds.  The very “best” candidates are usually much less impressive as individuals than they are as a puppet figurehead/mascot of a team.  You rarely hear or see the politician as a person, actually.  You see a managed message crafted by professional staff.  A good politician, on the other hand, must be an honest, scrupulous statesman; hardly the sort of performance artist who’d be a media hit in this climate…amiright?  The job of a candidate is to get elected and reelected.  The job of a statesman is to serve his fellow humans by holding a leash on that dangerous abstraction we call “politics.”  And that apparently doesn’t sell well today.
  2. The best candidates are bought.  We all know it. But we never follow the money and come to the correct conclusions, do we?  In fact, we do the opposite.  We see our candidates in order of odds and money, not in order of principles and actions.  We treat this more like pro sports, and less like real life with you as a key actor.  And that’s at least partly because…
  3. All the major media are bought, and not just by the best candidates.  The major media are wholly owned and operated by the same military industrialists, financial services moguls and kingmakers that own and operate all the best candidates.  Look at how they cover campaigns.  Look even at the order in which they list candidates in articles.  It’s not alphabetical, is it?  And try to look for what doesn’t even make it to your eyes and ears.  Almost all of the very best statesmen are rendered invisible and voiceless by our incessant, loud and omnipresent media – both old and new.  Your senses are overloaded by their choices such that you may never get to hear what would be better choices.  That leaves you too numb and worn-out to scour the fine print, rumors and internet for better choices.
  4. The rules we now call election and campaign finance “laws” were written by all the best candidates, so of course they’re unconstitutional, corrupt, and serve to stifle better options.
  5. We don’t want to admit that we’re responsible for our choices, and that our choices really do matter, and that we could change our choices, because that’d be the same as admitting that we’ve screwed up for years!  I get it.  I’ve been there, done that…and in ways I still don’t want to admit.

But now let me describe your opportunity.

  1. You get what you choose.  If you choose better, you get better.  If you decide to vote against evil entirely, what’s “lesser” or “greater” won’t matter.  You really do get what you, personally, choose, because you are not as alone as you’ve told yourself.  Not everybody else is an idiot.  More people than you likely think, are thinking, and acting, just like you.  Most people are just looking for somebody else to make the first move.
  2. It doesn’t take a majority to change things.  In fact, it has never worked that way.  The passionate few have always determined the course of history.  Always.  The “masses” follow the leader.  That’s how our species, and most others, work.  You want to be among the passionate few?  Then choose to be.  Be a Political Alpha that others can follow.  It’s just another choice.
  3. Politicians hire themselves if you let them; we do NOT have elections to hire politicians.  Our founders and prior generations bequeathed all of us (all races, all creeds, all genders…even the new ones) the hard-won right to vote not as a numb approval of the status quo, but as a weapon of peaceful revolution.  You are SUPPOSED TO vote AGAINST some things (evil, entrenched incumbents, bad choices).  You are SUPPOSED TO vote to FIRE the best candidates, and replace them with the best politicians.
  4. Picture this.  On a single day in November, you upset the status quo.  Instead of reelecting almost everybody (over 98% of House Reps were reelected last time, you know), you fire almost everybody, and replace them with people who’ve not sold you out.  It’s a choice.  Your choice.  Imagine how bright the sun would shine on that next day when the gobsmacked media pundits realize that you figured it out, and won.  Just picture it.

Would it be so scary to, just for once, use your vote more like a sword than a poker chip? Wouldn’t it be invigorating and wholesome to walk into a voting booth with the Spirit of ‘76?lucy-charlie-brown-football

Realistically, we’re all going to die, and our culture and nation will collapse.  It’s a certainty, actually.

But we choose how we live our precious lives.  We don’t have to keep doing the same things over and over again.   While history demonstrates very well that we humans keep screwing up over and over again, we personally don’t have to.

We can choose.

Don’t we want to strive for a really great life in a great country?  I say let’s dream on that, and make it so.

1A candidate is a corporate abstraction consisting of a figurehead, several key executive members, and a bunch of supporting staff all dedicated to winning elections…often as a full-time job for many campaigns, year after year.   A politician is, when done right, an actual, moral, honest-to-goodness human being who’s trying to make politics the noble art of getting along.