Hang onto your hats, folks…

We The People never actually did the constitutions as intended.  We never extended the freedoms we cherished to those we disliked (Injuns, Darkies, Micks, Wops, Chinks, Bohunks, Catholics, Jews, etc., etc., et cetera…), and so the whole point of constitutional rule of law was compromised from the start.

In empowering a government to degrade or oppress anybody, we created a baby monster.  That monster would grow up, of course.

Well, maybe not so much a baby monster.  I think for present purposes I’ll ignore our government’s first centuries of slavery, native genocide/oppression, what happened with Civil War and Jim Crow, and move on to what we think of as our more pleasant selves.

coming-money-trustFrom 1910-1912, we feared occasional interruptions to history’s greatest economic expansion, so we surrendered our successful monetary/financial system to central banking and fiat currency through a political system of monetized debt.  This was also, not so coincidentally, how we could “pay” off previous wars and prepare for “modern warfare” in the future… by robbing the future.

Not long after that, our fear of drunkenness led to the prohibition of “…the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.”  While this first prohibition of any sort of trade didn’t involve prohibiting consumption or purchase of anything, those additional prohibitions came as if by magic, along with rampant “civil asset forfeiture,” police and judicial corruption, and the presumption that government can prohibit other trade even after the 18th amendment was repealed by the 21st.

From WWI to WWII, our fear of Germans, Arabs, Italians and Japanese temporarily distracted us from our hatred/fear of Native Americans, Negroes and Jews, so our government took away our gold, rationed and prohibited a bunch of stuff, raised taxes dramatically, started “socializing” the heck out of stuff, and imposed lots of laws against speech and movement and so on.  But we were pretty proud after kicking some @$$…though we did, of course, fear commies (our allies just moments earlier) after that.

So some more liberties had to be curtailed, naturally.  That’s war, you know. Sometimes past mistakes rationalize making more in the future.

But by the 60’s we no longer feared alcohol, because we now fear drugs.
So we got SWAT teams, Nixon’s “War on Drugs,” and a thriving black market in …drugs.  And all without amending the constitution this time!
Police forces grew exponentially in size, armament, and since the 1980’s…immunity.

By the 80’s we feared black markets and drug dealers so much that we got more sting operations, spying, unlimited “civil asset forfeiture” and no-knock raids.

From the 70’s, when we tied our money to Saudi oil trade, through the 90’s, when some uppity Muslims challenged our petrodollar system, we decided that the people we’d been relocating for a hundred years, then overthrowing and manipulating with the Saudis, were “terrorists,” and THEY became our biggest fear…for which we’ve had to sacrifice innumerable freedoms of travel, privacy and finance.
Then after 9/11…ho boy!

Now the NSA has replaced Santa Claus as the keeper of lists, and you really don’t have any constitutional freedoms at all anymore.  You’ve got only conditional privileges with ever-more conditions on ever-fewer privileges.

Strangely, instead of thanking our nation’s founders, constitution’s authors and civil rights heroes for the freedoms we’ve been throwing away, we thank soldiers fighting foreigners in foreigners’ own homes.  …Fighting wars that rationalize the loss of more freedoms.
(how can we make this make sense?)

HwDrYuSo now we’ve got this really bad case of cooties, and we’re snitching on each other like CoroNazis, and trying our best to shovel even more power onto the authoritarians when that’s now becoming a very hard thing to do.

CoronaVirusNot to minimize how deadly a pandemic can be, of course.  With my first political campaigns, I tried to make an issue of our lack of preparedness for just such things (my first real job in healthcare was an internship at the Indiana State Board of Health, after all).

If you really want to live scared, communicable disease actually is a worthy terror.

ChynaApparently that’s not enough fear, however, because we’ve lately replaced our fear of Russia with the fear of China.  In some ways, that makes sense.  China’s much more dangerous now that we’ve given them at least close equivalence in economic, industrial, entertainment, information/ education, engineering and of course military/espionage might.  They could danged-near build a human bridge across the Pacific and kick our @$$.

But what you really should fear is that, as China has to an effective degree emulated our industries and market economics, We The People have emulated Chinese brutality, deceit and authoritarianism.
We’ve thus thrown away our economy, and our freedom.

…Oh, and our security.

Sure, we’ve angered the whole world by putting our forces in half the world with the guns pointed at the other half.  Our wars never end…even after our President/General Eisenhower warned us about the danger of a military industry.

But worse, all the preceding has rationalized more enforcement, more force, an increasingly adversarial relationship between us and the police and our “National Guard” forces.

Bad laws drive away good cops and encourage bad cops.  Too many laws mean selective enforcement, which is a major foothold for corruption and racism/tribalism.  And corrupt, continuously re-elected and therefore arrogant and unaccountable politicians want thugs and the fear they spread…it’s what gives politicians power over us.

Our collective fear, ignorance, tribalism and hate is leading us to a very, very, historically, epically bad place.  Only politicians thrive on our division, hostility, fear and hatred.  They feed and grow more powerful on our discord the way a tick drinks blood.

Our nation’s founders would be ashamed at not only the destruction of their gifts to us, but also that we’ve not come up with any better vision by now.  They’d be horrified that we’re fighting each other instead of the forces that divide us against each other.

We could easily fix things at least to fundamental principles.  I’m not the only one who for decades has proposed simple ways to govern our government, regulate our regulators, police our police, and make our justice system just.

HeroBut it seems us Cassandra types have naught to do now but prepare for what’s now inevitable, and maybe prepare to help pick up the pieces… …If people become any more amenable to reason after catastrophe than they are now.TheEnemy

Sigh… We can’t be the Land of The Free if we’re not also the Home of The Brave.  I’m afraid we’ve become the Land of the Sheep and the Home of the Fraidy Pants.

As demonstrated every Election Day, including the next one, by all the evidence I see, We The People don’t seem to want any regulation of our government at all.  We want authoritarian rule and we want it good and hard.

SaveUs

Over 90% of us incessantly blow electoral kisses to the Powers That Be…and then whine about the consequences.

And those consequences have only just barely started to show…

Hang onto your hats.
They may be all that’s left after we’re done doing to ourselves what we have always feared from others.

No, this isn’t about Nazis. It’s about humans.

For good, obvious reasons, I don’t like to leap to Nazi analogies, references or allusions.

RememberBut so many people have been claiming that the Governor is fully authorized to suspend rights because of what they think are constitutional “emergency powers,” that I’m afraid I must point out six fundamental truths (before I exhume the Nazis):

1. Indiana Code (IC 10-14-3, “Emergency Management and Disaster Law”), and not the constitution, is where the emergency powers were passed as “law.”  You will not find any emergency Executive powers in either state or federal constitution.  Please look yourself.
My contention is that this IC chapter that seems to conjure this power is unconstitutional, not law, and should be entirely eliminated, for the reasons that follow.

2. Indiana’s constitution is the necessary, fundamental authority for all Indiana laws. Just as you and I can’t just make laws from our easy chairs, the Indiana General Assembly can’t just do whatever it wants.  It has to be properly authorized to do whatever it does. The Indiana Constitution is that authority.  And the Governor cannot make any laws at all (Article 4).
First, authority, and then, law.
Article I Section 25:No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.

The constitution used to clearly state that any law that transcends what’s clearly written is null and void (they “amended” that away)…but they never removed Article I Section 25.

And even the Indiana Code agrees about the constitutional hierarchy of law. This is IC 1-1-2: Sec. 1:

The law governing this state is declared to be:

  • First. The Constitution of the United States and of this state.
  • Second. All statutes of the general assembly of the state in force, and not inconsistent with such constitutions.
  • Third. All statutes of the United States in force, and relating to subjects over which congress has power to legislate for the states, and not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States.
  • Fourth. The common law of England, and statutes of the British Parliament made in aid thereof prior to the fourth year of the reign of James the First (except the second section of the sixth chapter of forty-third Elizabeth, the eighth chapter of thirteenth Elizabeth, and the ninth chapter of thirty-seventh Henry the Eighth,) and which are of a general nature, not local to that kingdom, and not inconsistent with the first, second and third specifications of this section.

The Governor and GA cannot give away what does not belong to them…and that includes our rights.   The actions taken by our Governor specifically violated Article I Section 25; Article I, Section 26; Article 3; and Article 4, Section 9.

3. Our rights, however, can be compromised in emergencies. There is constitutional authority for that…but only by the General Assembly!
Article I, Section 26: “The operation of the laws shall never be suspended, except by the authority of the General Assembly.”
If you read what was said about this in period, there are very good reasons for local accountability.  Different regions have different needs.  A tornado doesn’t destroy the whole state.  Rural areas are different from cities.  And, mostly, no one person should have so much power…or accountability!
We need to have more access to the people who make decisions that affect us so severely, and we want to be able to fire them or reward them with another term as needed.
I understand why legislators don’t want to make tough decisions that could get them fired on a Tuesday in November…but this is the point!
We want these people accountable to us, locally.  So there IS an emergency power structure…and it’s in only the GA.  …Not in the Executive office.

4. This is clarified by Article 3 – Distribution of Powers: “The powers of the Government are divided into three separate departments; the Legislative, the Executive including the Administrative, and the Judicial: and no person, charged with official duties under one of these departments, shall exercise any of the functions of another, except as in this Constitution expressly provided.
There are good, unequivocal reasons and principles here that should not be violated.  Ever.  …I mean it, not ever.

5. Ditto the federal constitution and its only-somewhat-related US Code.
Here’s the Amendment X: “The 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.” This is the same principle as the Indiana Constitution’s Article I Section 25.
Politicians cannot take, abuse or give away what doesn’t belong to them.

6. “Ah, but…” the fancy pants pseudointellectuals claim in their whiny voices, “…the constitution doesn’t specifically prohibit emergency Executive powers, so the real question is how to properly limit them in scope and duration.”
Shut up and read the preceding again.
Yes, the constitution does specifically prohibit such powers, and no court case, bench ruling or pundit rumination can change that.

Whatever isn’t specifically authorized is completely prohibited.

In fact, there are long-standing, very serious punishments (including death) made by law for those operating under the “color of law” that violate our constitutional rights.

We didn’t throw away our rights and erect Caesars over polio or the 1918 flu.  There were emergencies, and there were emergency sessions in legislative assemblies all across the country to deal with them…at state and local levels.  Even in this pandemic hysteria, there have been many Mayors, businesses and other local institutions that took local action while Presidents and Governors hesitated.  That’s the right way for things to happen.
There has always been a right way to respond to emergencies, and it’s all written down…in constitutions, state and federal.

A few more details before I get to the Nazis.

First, the obligatory Confucius quote: “An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.

Next, this country made it over 200 years before passing the National Emergencies Act.
Think about how many emergencies (pandemics, droughts, floods, wars and economic catastrophes) had already come and gone by 1976.Enabling_Act_in_colour

OK.  So.  I’ll not say much about Nazis other than to say you really ought to look up the “Enabling Act of 1933,” or “Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich” (“Law to remedy the plight of the people and the empire”).
I assume I need not mention how that turned out.
But I do need to mention that this was signed into law by Reich President von Hindenburg, when Hitler was only Reich Chancellor.

So first, the enabling act of expanding power and reducing rights; and then

Governor Holcomb is no madman Hitler.  Not even close.  I like the guy, actually.

But you should never, ever, law or no law, give ANYBODY this much power, because the next Executive, Caesar, Poohbah or King will only add to that power.

Power takes power.  It accumulates and festers and expands until societal calamity.

On August 3, 1857, in an era of much greater harshness than we face from a virus, Frederick Douglass spoke the words that, more than any other single thing I can think of, pushed me toward philosophical libertarianism:Comments on Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass ...
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

You know this, right?  It’s all over human history that people’s own government becomes their biggest enemy, right?

Well, the Germans didn’t think it could happen to them, either.

Open letter to Governor Holcomb

Governor Holcomb, I know you’re not a bad man.  In fact I believe you’re a man who means well.  I’m certain your advisors assured you that what you’ve been doing is legal.  And I know that many applaud your “leadership” in closing businesses and schools, forbidding all manner of association and movement, and in general, suspending rule of law as a state-wide, one-size-fits-all rule.

But right is right and wrong is wrong.  And while I know you don’t believe you’ve done wrong, you have.

I wish you had called an emergency session (Indiana Constitution Article 4 Section 9) so that Indiana’s General Assembly could have constitutionally authorized (by Article I, Section 26) what you have been doing …in violation of your oath of office.

I’m betting they’d have come up with measured, regional plans that made more sense and relieved you of total accountability for this mess.

The decades-old blanket standing order from the legislature (IC 10-14-3) was both unconstitutional and foolish – not so different from 1973’s War Powers Act that so many regret today.  Such vague, inherently corrupt delegations/ surrender of authority nullify the whole point of the separation and limitation of powers.  Besides, Governor, unilaterally taking such unconstitutional authoritarianism upon yourself when it’s not only illegal, needlessly inflammatory, and raises fears about our new, dangerous form of government, is also bad politics.

KingNo one person should wield so much power.  And under our constitutions, no one person does.

I’m sure that, given the circumstance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus / COVID-19 disease, the General Assembly would have granted you specific, timely and focused authority to do what needed doing, where it needed doing …and without the suspension of laws that are in only the GA’s authority to suspend.PlagueDoctor

While I think what politicians have been doing in response to this pandemic is based more in fear and self-interest than in fact (and the corruption has become obvious, in case you’re wondering), it should still be done by constitutional rules. Anything else is unconstitutional, specifically illegal (Article I, Section 25), and contrary to the most fundamental principles of this nation’s purpose.

Please read this: https://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/indiana-constitution-book.pdf Remember

You took “…an oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States

I’m sure we’d all be both relieved, and favorably impressed, if in a public mea culpa, you’d recognize the chain of errors and misapplication of force, and resolve to do what’s right…and legal.

Nobody expects a politician to be perfect, you know.  But we’re all looking for somebody to earn our trust in these pivotal, tumultuous times.

Going legit, and governing our government according to constitutional rule of law, would be a great start.

 

You know we need to do this. Will you help?

OK, I’ll keep this brief:
I want to organize a campaign to overturn the unconstitutional, immoral, corrupt and destructive partisan/ballot access/primary election “laws” that serve as a firewall, red herring and force field protecting all the worst people and worst corruption, and also protects the tax-funded tribal madness you can clearly and daily see tearing us apart, and at each others’ throats.

I need your help.

The key details are all here: https://wedeclare.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/indianas-ballot-access-primary-election-laws-are-unconstitutional-and-corrupt/

The good news is that we’d be right, and doing the right thing in the right way, and everybody would benefit massively.

Massively.  This would be genuinely revolutionary stuff and our nation’s framers/founders would be proud of us.

The bad news is that:

We’ll need to raise about $10K to bring the case to Phase 1.  I tried to do it on the cheap and pretty much on my own, and that can’t work against an enemy that responds to only numbers.

And we’ll likely lose Phase 1.

But more good news is that after that, we’ve the opportunity to, at worst, get the truth out in the open where people can see it.  And there’s a real chance at overturning a nasty, costly mess that even people within the corrupt crony duopoly parties would like overturned.

Hey, they know the rapidly devolving status quo system sucks.  It doesn’t even benefit most of them.

If you want to read more than what I’d linked above, there’s plenty.  But I’m betting that since you’re reading this, you’re already either on board with at least the goal, in at least an approval sense.YOU!

What I need is YOU to help in any way you can.

Money is of course required.  The more, the better.

But that would come with word-of-mouth promotion of this cause.  Letters to the editor.  Social media posting.  Blogs, vlogs, smoke signals and mime.  We need organizers and facilitators and meetings and events.  Catchy names and memes and slogans.

And we really need to start protesting…in public.  On courthouse steps, in the rotunda, around courthouses and offices.  We need to get to know each other, and get known, in real-world physical protests.

We need an active campaign of more than just a few people who want to see some justice and equality under law…at last.

Are you in?

Let me know, and let’s get going.

Indiana’s ballot access/primary election laws are unconstitutional and corrupt

We’ve been so systematically and trans-generationally deceived about the recent, unconstitutional, corrupt, self-appointed “Two Party System” that it’s understandably hard to believe the truth.  I’ve laid out my case several times in the past, but it’s worth trying again.  This time I’ll just lay out the facts and try (try…I really will try) to avoid pontificating.

Please read the following and come to your own conclusions.  If they’re different from mine, let me know what you think I’ve got wrong.  But if you agree with me…won’t you consider rising to action?

 

Facts:

Candidate caste system:

Indiana Code has in the past forty years created seven separate classes of candidates respecting ballot access, as well as for other increasingly divergent privileges, powers, immunities and liabilities under “law.”[i]

  1. The “Major Political Parties” defined by IC § 3-5-2-30, and by which there can only be two, is by far the most empowered class. Only MPPs can have poll clerks, election sheriffs and other election officers, and have members on election-related commissions.  MPPs have the easiest, and in most cases, automatic ballot access in at least one election per cycle.  Few races require ballot signatures.  Only MPPs have actual ruling power granted to them (for example, appointment to the Indiana Election Commission IC § 3-6-4.1-2, Recount Commission, etc.).   At present and for the foreseeable future (see #2 below), only MPPs get the extra public exposure, debates, taxpayer paid promotion and primary elections to put the imprimatur of legitimacy and favorable odds on their candidates.  To be crystal clear – the MPPS are exactly and only the Democratic and Republican parties – which are, in Indiana, only recently incorporated (Indiana GOP incorporated in 2005) quasi-chapters of the national, private 527 corporations.
  2. The second class defined by IC § 3-10-1-2 is hypothetical, since it would be any non-MPP political parties whose candidate for Secretary of State received at least ten percent of the votes cast in the previous election. That’s not just a difficult thing to achieve for a “third party;” it’s an odd, artificial goal for a political party where other offices would be considered much more important and ideologically relevant.  While no such parties exist in Indiana, second-class parties could have precinct committeemen, and participate in publicly funded primary elections.
  3. Members of the Indiana Libertarian Party are the only people to have made the third class of citizens.  They have automatic ballot access by having maintained at least 2% of the General Election vote in the Secretary of State Race.  In some ways, third-class people have the easiest path to getting on the General Election ballot.  But they cannot participate in primary elections, or have the officers/organizational advantages and governing powers of the MPPs or 2nd-class parties.
  4. In 1993, IC § 3-5-2-5.5 created the class, “Bona fide political party.” This includes the first-through-third classes, but also grants another class that allows a party its own poll watchers, and provides it certain election/voter-related information.  It is very difficult for them to get on the General Election ballot even in local races, as their hurdles are very greatly higher than the 3rd-class citizens’.  Their ability to participate in elections (debates, media, any public exposure), either General or Primary, is extremely limited.
  5. All other political parties fall in the 5th-ranked citizen class. There are many of these, but entirely out of the public view except in local races or as write-in candidates.
  6. Independent candidates cannot possibly participate in primary elections, even if they can overcome the obstacles both put in their way, and doubled in severity through the past thirty years (double the ballot signature requirements for example). Independent candidates face more hurdles than even 5th-ranked citizens, in some ways.
  7. Write-in candidates are those who failed to meet the requirements for ballot access in any of the previous classes, though there is overlap with the 5th and 6th-ranked classes. Though it’s not supposed to happen, votes for such candidates have often been thrown out in my experience (my own write-in votes, for example).  It’s very unlikely that these candidates would ever be listed in any candidate information guides, let alone be able to participate in candidate debates and media interviews.

 

Primary Elections:

The primary election system in the USA was promoted by the “Progressive” movement (they were NOT Democrats then!).  The first statewide primary election was in Florida, in 1899; but not all states have them for all elections even today.  Most states didn’t until the 1970’s, when their importance and power to the Democratic and Republican parties increased dramatically.  The point here being that primary elections are recent inventions…not at all part of the constitutional design, or even universal today.

  1. IC § 3-5-1-2 defines the purpose of primary elections to choose the following:
    1. The candidates who will be the nominees of a political party for elected offices in a general or municipal election.
    2. The precinct committeemen of a political party.
    3. The delegates to a political party’s state convention.
  2. IC § 3-5-3-7 (and others) require that taxpayers bear the full cost of primary elections.
  3. Primary elections provide benefits (debates, public exposure/advertising, listing in election reference sources half a year before other candidates) to only participant candidates and parties, which creates both relative and absolute disadvantages to all other candidates and parties.
  4. “Blanket primaries,” which offer the most options/choice to voters in selecting candidates, have not existed since 2003, when the SCOTUS decided that primary elections are for parties allowed to participate in primaries, and not for voters.
  5. Many candidates have no primary challenger. In these cases primary elections serve only the purpose of promoting candidates; not selecting them.
  6. The whole purpose of a political campaign is to gain public exposure and the imprimatur of legitimacy offered in debates, public media and recent expectations of a “Two Party System.” The extended campaign cycles resulting from taxpayer-funded primary elections are worth more promotion money than most candidates can ever raise.

Issue: Indiana’s Constitution plainly forbids the separate classes of citizens under law.  The violation of Article I Section 23 by Indiana’s election/ballot laws provides benefits to only the politically favored class, and at the expense of everyone else.  The unconstitutional Indiana Code that created and maintains the anti-competitive entrenchment allows only Democrats and Republicans to write the rules, enforce the rules, and count the votes…all at taxpayer expense.

Rule: The Indiana Constitution’s Article I Section 23: “The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.”liberty

Summary: Article I Section 23 was enacted largely to prevent corruption, anti-competitive favoritism, and government-entrenched monopolies.   Indiana’s recent election-related codes reward corruption through institutionalized favoritism and government-entrenched monopolies.

So, we need a court case.  Maybe an amicus brief.  Maybe ask for summary judgment.  If we had enough people to make it happen, a big honking jury trial with plaintiffs and damages and media and a movie starring only liberty-leaning stars from Hollywood to Bollywood.  But more likely, a multi-step legal challenge in Indiana (where we’ve got just about the worst ballot access rules, but one of the very best state constitutions) where we’d almost certainly lose the first round, but end up in the state Supreme Court with a more publicly visible, and maybe even winning case against what plagues us all.

But that’s up to you.  Whatever we do, we need more people than just me fighting this.

 

[i]Article I Section 25 nullifies any Indiana law depending upon any authority but the Indiana Constitution: “No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.”  If there can be no such law, there can be no judgment or executive action favoring laws that cannot legally exist.  Article I Section 25 is an absolute ban on any government action exceeding the limits prescribed by the state’s constitution.

A Modest Proposal to End The Madness

So perhaps now we can all agree that today’s Powers That Be – the self-appointed “Two Party System” that’s been expanding its powers unchallenged since WWII, is a destructive, unjust, wholly corrupt, costly, devolved-to-garden-slug embarrassment.

It’s also unconstitutional, in case anybody still cares about that.

I propose a solution.  Let’s end it.

Yeah, we have lots of problems for which I suppose we all have some solutions.  But I think this is one we can agree on:cropped-liberty

The two private clubs called the Democratic and Republican parties have been left alone with power in a dark room for too long.  The system is broken, and it’s not going to fix itself.

While the phrase has been repeated innumerable times in declarations, constitutions, speeches and laws, it’s not entirely true that “all men are created equal.”  Some humans want to rule, too many are too eager to be ruled, and only a few of us don’t want any part of this follow-the-alpha tribalism and strife.

But everyone should be equal under the law.  No special deals, no special people, tribes, classes, castes or clans with respect to governance.  Every human gets the same deal when it comes to treatment by cops, judges, legislators, executives, bureaucrats, and…ballot access laws.

That sort of equality is law under both state and federal constitutions.Remember

Indiana’s constitution says it well in Article I, Section 23: “The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.”

charlie-brown-footballI’ll cut to the chase scene – The Democratic and Republican Parties are private, 527 “nonprofit,” and unreasonably tax-exempt and unaccountable organizations that never should’ve been allowed to grant themselves special powers, immunities, privileges and ballot access unavailable to any other people.  They’ve become a single crony network of corruption and destruction so costly, profligate and deceitful that you have to lie to yourself pretty hard and repetitiously to excuse this mess or fall for the lies any longer.

I’ll not bother to cite specifics here (that I’d be happy to beat to death if you ask), but just for example, there is no way possible for an independent candidate to get on Indiana’s primary ballot.  It’s almost always automatic for (D) and (R) candidates – but totally impossible for independents.  It’s not impossible for other party’s candidates to get on the primary ballot – but it’s so much more difficult than the (D) and (R) special access that no other party can do it.  Only (D) and (R) parties can have precinct committeeman.  And critically/absurdly, no other party’s members can be on most election-related commissions.

In short, only the members of two private, unaccountable and tax-free groups have colluded to grant themselves actual powers of government in violation of both constitutional rule of law, and fundamental principles of justice.

Indiana is among the three or four worst states in terms of unconstitutional ballot restriction and partisan chicanery.  And among these worst states, Indiana has the best constitution.

So, here’s what I propose:  An Indiana state court case to remove all special classes of people for ballot access, and fulfill the terms of state and federal constitutions, and fundamental fairness.  Same rules, no exceptions for anybody or any group.  Simple.  It’s already the law.

All we need is people.

We need people to help organize protests, write letters, gain media attention, occupy social media, and help bring a constitutional challenge to the Indiana Supreme Court.  Money would help, too, of course.  We need people willing to do at least a little for at least one of these actions.

We need to build and activate a focused political campaign team.

Not a lot of effort from any one person, hopefully; but it would be focused on a single goal of changing Indiana’s ballot access laws to declaw/defang/de-stink Indiana’s self-appointed “Major Political Parties,” and break their stranglehold on Indiana politics and media.

It’ll be fun, wholesome and successful if we gather a crew of focused people and build some momentum.

Whether you approve of the results or not, you’ve got to hand it to the LGBT movement.  They very quickly overturned centuries of law and social practice with determination and focus.  And that movement is focused on a low-single-digit percentage of the society.

How could we be less successful when our fundamental laws and centuries of judicial reasoning are already on our side, and everyone would benefit?  …Everyone.

Come on.  I know a lot of hard core Democratic and Republican faithful who admit this train has gone off the rails.  You do too, right?

Who’s up for this?

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, erase our history 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 now 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.

 

 

About Prohibition…

First, let me be very, very clear on this.  I do NOT believe that marijuana is totally 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.”

 

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.