Tag Archives: senate

Who Makes the Constitution Real? The Supreme Court? the Senate? or No One.

People marching in the streets indicate there is a problem with justice. The Constitution states speedy trial and by trial jury.

As we appoint a justice for a lifetime, ought we notice this oversight?

A life long appointment is a serious matter, which certainly merits attention by our most deliberative body, the Senate. It is not a basketball game with a buzzer. And while the Judiciary Committee is getting the headlines, during early election time, we find ourselves talking about how the judge was so skilled at deflecting questions. What about the accountability of the Senate to the Constitution? … and to the People. What issues has the Supreme Court let slip? When, but Now, can we address this.You will find a short list at the bottom.

Justice Not Done.

When the Judiciary Committee of the senate rams through its prime time moment to beat the election, after people have been parading in the streets for five months protesting the frequent killings of blacks by police; justice is not done. If the senate cannot align the Court to the Constitution; an essential repair is absent, void. The Senate is failing in its duties and the entire Government could fall as a result. The court can lose its stature. A true Senate provides advice and consent to the executive and the judiciary. Justice is not done. Advice and Consent is written into the Constitution. It is not a rubber stamp for the president as it has been these last four years. One consequence can be seen as feeding the court a raft of partisan judges. Justice is not done. The Senate ought to deliberate. Just as a court might, were it fair. That is not taking place, even virtually. The Senate was once called the greatest deliberative body…. No longer. A senator now speaks to an empty chamber. The Senate says, Yes Sir. . to the President. In place of deliberations, as we can observe through committee workings, we have rulings.

Now we are watching the selection of a lifetime judicial position. If a judge cannot engage clear judgment outside of the law… How can the result be justice within it? Is a judge qualified to sit on the bench, if incapable of recognizing a clear and present danger? If judge Amy Coney Barrett is incapable of noting that literally millions of Americans and millions of acres of America are already damaged by an increasing physical threat this year alone… what will her judgments be good for? She is obviously very able with words. But it takes more than that to be just. How many billion dollar disasters does one need to add up to notice there is a real threat? There is politics, Judge Barrett, and there is simple counting.

NOAA covers the trend. Going back further in time than 1980 will show even more dramatic increases in the trend. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/

Stare Decisis is nowhere in the Constitution

Process not justice seems to be the only result of the law, as we watch it grind away. ‘Stare decisis’ holds sway where similar thinking gets consistent results. Stare Decisis is latin for ‘let the decision stand’. Like the ouroboros, the snake that bites its own tail and rolls like a wheel, anywhere with no axle. Can we see how our law bites its own tail when our Supreme Court is composed so uniformly. One cannot help but wonder, when we have seven justices of the same religion, where all but one have graduated from two schools, either Harvard or Yale. Who does this Court represent? Consistency or the Constitution? Class or the populous? Money or the people? Which?

Fortunately, the Constitution is written in plain English. We can reclaim it.

But to stick with the point, what is the object here, justice or consistency? ….the consistency of bad judgments or that our laws be true to the Constitution? Isn’t the Constitution the axle to the wheel of the law?

Meanwhile, the Judiciary Committee cannot seem to find time to mention the right to speedy trial, meaning prompt trial. While the murderer of George Floyd that took place on May 25 in the springtime, it still has not been brought to ‘justice’ five months out, as the leaves of autumn fall. Officer Derick Chauvin has moved to another state. Ten thousand people in my city of Portland have protested by lying still and silent for nine minutes on the Burnside Bridge to bring home the fatal fact of “I can’t breathe” of George Floyd. Protesters here get gassed in the middle of a respiratory pandemic by federal armored troops. While the Senate hurries to appoint a new and seemingly partisan judge, but not deal with obvious extra legal murder by officer. The following thumbnail of the fourth and fifth amendments show clearly the law that protects all of us.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated by anybody
nor shall any person
be deprived of life, without due process of law

There are caveats omitted above, yet this is the broad outline of the Law of the Land, the highest law that cannot be superseded by process, delay or subordinate jurisdiction. Justice delayed is justice denied; as one might surmise as one observes the protests lingering in the streets for over 125 days; or as one may casually observe the list of judges that keep quitting on the twenty year old 911 cases in Guantanamo Bay. Where is the Senate here? Something obviously is not working. Is it a political problem or a judicial problem that the constitution is not being honored? As I see it, it is Both. It will become fixed when the Judiciary Committee of the Senate notes the breaches. We have seen protestors assassinated. This appears lawful to some, though inconsistent with the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.

Here is a list of Constitutional breaches that an English speaker might consider as currently engaged: First note that I have prevailed in a constitutional case with the Department of Defense in 1969. Having both taken an oath to defend it, and being victorious in holding the Navy up against the Constitution, I feel a sense of ownership here. Could the Judiciary Committee inquire about trial by jury? The language is very clear: “The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury.” Or is it merely an antique nicety? These days it is replaced nine times out of ten by plea bargain. (Do you want to be charged with a hundred years, or would you plead guilty for just five years?) Why is this the mode of ”dealing out” so called justice across the land… a bargaining? Does it speak to the dominance of money in our politics, as Senator Sheldon Whitehouse so ably illustrated in the judiciary hearings.

President is, or is not King? War powers Tell an old burr under the saddle.

For more breaches, the Constitution states that the Congress must declare war, which states the condition for ending the war that only the People can authorize. We have been so very bad at ending wars these last 75 years. The power to declare war, the power to kill on authority, is reserved for the Congress representing the people. Period. That power is Not a power granted to the executive, otherwise we could legally have targeted assassinations directed by a political executive. This is written in the fresh blood of Portlands’ Michael Reinoehl’s murder by officers. And Trump’s comment: “We got him.” The soldiers understand this breech of authority. That is why we have a four story stack of their coffins resulting from their suicides…. every month. This lack of honoring the Constitution, alters the very structure of government. The Senate is no longer a serious place.

We now find ourselves watching a charade. Justice as process, nothing more. A process run by the clock, where the star is: ‘stare decisis’, a phrase nowhere within the founding document, our Constitution. It is the driving philosophy of chief justice John Roberts, which he touted before the Senate judiciary committee when he received his lifetime appointment. How can the Ouroboros take us back to the Constitution?

What is the Constitution for? Money or Justice?

When laws are made consistent but the axle is forgotten — speedy trial, trial by jury, and so much more written in plain English in the Constitution, then what is this charade for?… other than pretense to aggregate wealth to a few. Can equality under the law be enforced when we have over 620 billionaires? Now the richest 50 people, the cream of the cream, own as much as half of all Americans, 165 million of us; Citizens or serfs? That disequality manifests with one person having more wealth than three million others. How could any state practice equality under the law with that disparity? To our honor, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse showed how money warps our law, especially in selecting justices and creating precedents, painting the law with case after case to provide the preferred effect of protecting those with money. Far better than any reporting on him, his direct testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee ought to wake up All citizens, of any political persuasion.

Ten Questions for John Brennan, and his Senatorial Confirmers.

Ten Questions for John Brennan, and his Senatorial Confirmers.

1.  How effective has congressional oversight functioned with the CIA? <br>
2. The Church Commission required an FBI Director be confirmed every decade, and this was not done with FBI Director Mueller.  Why?  Is periodic confirmation of ANY spy/surveillance/investigative agency a good idea in light of the Church Commission findings? <br>
3.According to Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and Wm Arkin in their Top Secret America report, there are 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies engaged in security work similar or associated with the CIA.   Who has oversight?  Who confirms their directors and directions and budgets, and how frequently?   What is the aggregate cost… and why is this budget “black”?
4. Senator Ron Wyden’s question as I roughly recall:  If our government decides to kill a citizen, does it supply a courtesy call as to why?   And who, apart from the President and those in his chain of command selects and approves these assassinations?
5. Is there concern about assassinations in other countries by US agents without the constitutionally required letter of Marque and Reprisal granted by the Congress (not the executive branch)?  If not, why?
6.Who, if anyone in government, is concerned about going to war without a declaration, as required by the constitution?   What is the significance of the oath or affirmation that office holders and service personnel take to preserve and protect the constitution?    Does that refer to the physical object, or the  meaning of the words contained in it?  (trying to keep my questions light, like Sn. Wyden.)
7. What has been the cost to the United States of fighting famous CIA alumnus such as Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and Manuel Noriega, in lives and money, not to mention opportunity cost?   What has been the cost of conflicts with lesser known alums.   Any idea of ongoing and future costs?   Who monitors the fallout of the 1,271 government, and 1,931 private agencies?…. or is this as I fear, divided between numerous Congressional committees fighting for turf.  Who gains by this disorganization?
8. The drone boom is currently a lucrative area of development when there are few opportunities in this post crash economy.   How long before drones will, as all inventions do, return upon the United States, both government and civil society.   How long will these new threats harm our country?     Is our collective investment in this in the long term security interest of the US, or like the H bomb, a moral albatross which will fester in time?   Is this the security job equivalent to a self licking ice cream cone?
9. If a declaration of war were to be written,  to  provide an outline of what victory might look like, is short, what we want….. what would it say?
10. Since this is the intelligence committee, and while great expense is proffered surveilling the wide world, and yet because of our disjointed economy, banks and hedge funds are selling great swaths of America overseas.    Is this intelligent?  In the national interest?

Patriot Act renewal shreds your rights

This from the New York Times:

“The deal to extend the powers(of the Patriot Act) without changes followed negotiations between the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, and Republican leaders including the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and the speaker of the House, John Boehner.  “
  This was over the objection of Judiciary Chair  Senator Patrick Leahy and any civil rights group that has read the constitution, which the  Patriot Act shreds.
If you are happy with wire taps without warrant, and targeted assassinations, among other affronts.   Do Nothing.
If you are offended and recognize your rights are eroded by an act passed in the 2001 as 9-11 hysteria was at its peak..  then write your Senators and Representative. and demand that the Patriot Act  be allowed to sunset, as it was written.
I list the text of the Forth Amendment below to remind you of what many veterans have fought and died to protect, and what our leaders are now signing away: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. “
And what that means is no one can search your stuff, including papers, computer and cellphone without a search warrant stating what they are looking for.
Removing that, and you are subject to a shakedown by anyone with a uniform.
So write!

Frank-Dud Finance Dance

When is a law not a law?  When it is a bag over your head.

The Financial Regulation Bill.. aka The Frank – Dodd Bill is 2,315 pages requiring 399 rule-makings and 47 studies by yet unconstituted commissions. One familiar with the ways of Washington DC would see this as a tremendous opportunity to lean on lobbyists and the “legal community” to fund the next election cycle.   But fix the financial system: no.

The good part (politically) is the consumer protection agency, although it is housed at the Federal Reserve, is a gesture toward lessening the retail end of getting screwed.   Un-addressed is getting a wholesale screwing, leaving the too big to fail crowd in control… and it is not a big group: Goldman-Sachs, Morgan-Stanley, Bank of America, and Wells-Fargo.
They call the shots, get the money at Zero to 1/4 of one percent interest and loan it out at….5% if you are annointed and the sky is the limit if you are not.  They buy up small banks one after another.

Meanwhile the “high frequency trading” world is un-scathed, with hedge funds trading in the milliseconds. Sorry about your pension being on the down-side of the next ‘flash crash’.

Some wag has mentioned that CEO’s have difficulty relating to stockholders that own their stocks for less than 60 seconds.

A question that arises from this is: What is property?   What is ownership…. when everything is transitory and momentary. It is a grave question that casts light on the shadow banking concept: Hedge Funds, derivatives and all.  When eveything is owned momentarily, as a trading chip, and the ultimate bag man is the taxpayer….. why are we still projecting ownership on the banks?  They Blew It!  We picked up the pieces.  So why do we think the banks own everything?  Perhaps it is habit.   They are the authors of the chain-letter, but neither  are they authors, nor creators of  productive activity.  They have been seen as the permission keepers,  and have been granted the power to create money, via loan creation, which is authorized Not by the Treasury, but by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.  Arrgh.  I am entering the swamp of history.   I cannot here deeply illumine you on this simple but elusive point, namely, that beyond the gold, and silver standard as we have been since FDR and Nixon; money has been created only by the creation of loans and that had been done, not through the US Treasury which only mints coins, but the cartel of the ‘money center’ banks mentioned at the top of this article.      Oh, and the interest to pay on the loans, that is not created, thus our constant need to ‘grow’.  And when loans end (due to default or the loan gets paid off), that money  that was created: ends,  it is un-created..

I confess, I cannot explain the whole financial charade to you in one post, but can recommend a book that can, namely:  Web of Debt, by Ellen Hodgson Brown.   Interestingly written, historic, and a story well told.

Anyhow  we seem to be entranced in the projection of authority, of (phantom) ownership.


It is the banks that own the houses, becaused they borrowed the money from the Federal Reserve system at less than one percent and loaned it out at 5 to 19%, while the builder built it ( at a fraction of the sale cost) and the banks then sell that monthly cash flow to some sucker in the the ‘securitized’ world, perhaps your pension.    OK,  if I say any more  all our brains will hurt.

Let is be said that the Frank-Dodd bill, is not close to law, for nothing is settled within the devils in the details 2000  plus pages, except 399 rule makings yet to make. I would suggest making contact with your senator or representative and say you want a 100 page bill that separates banking from trading, that breaks up banks that are “too big too fail” and thus too big to govern,  and to prohibit derivatives beyond the first degree. (yes, I will explain this later)

Business will not prosper, until the game is unrigged.

Tune in to a subsequent post for insight into the world of derivatives.