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the end is near

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    Dock, great, at least you understand and accept what is wrong here. The point I made in the past is that in this country people are being manipulated already at school that the Constitution as it is, is "fantastic" and they should "obey" it all the way.

    The mistake in actual teaching, should be that the teachers themselves should be taught that is is only an "base" law, but does not cover everything. Daily life requires lots of "laws" which are not covered by the Constitution, which should actually be done by "proper" Amendments/additions. Since only a few Amendments were written in 300 years and some Amendments are also again outdated like the horrible written "gun"and "impeachment" one, then you can't rely on "case law" only. Also if the "people" here refuse to make "laws" applicable to Presidents (and the higher functions) and define in it what his/her limits are, then you are asking for an "dictatorship". Like I said it is the "awful" corrupted legal system here which prevents proper updates, because as usual "money" is involved. So if this vicious circle is not "broken" then our laws stay as convoluted and will not be adapted to the times. All the "zillion" lawyers here are the "obstructors" ; if the laws would be properly done, then they would be out of work.

    I don't want to be negative, but I fear that even Biden is not capable (or is "blocked") to do something to "fix" it such way that no one like Trump ever can become President again.

    Thus my prediction is that even in 2022 and 2024 we keep running into the same shit as now, because 45% of the population wants the Trump types, because they never had any "proper "education", because the teachers are neither proper educated either related to "governing".

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    Dutch, The constitution is constantly adjusted to suit the needs of the people that own it. The fact that the first amendment has been distorted to allow the money class ability to buy the laws they want through lobbyist needs to be changed. When Democrats became affluent they dropped reinforcing the benefits of institutional capitalism in favor of winner take all single event capitalism. GREED!!! The value of stocks and companies was no longer growth and income but inflated values to promote the sale of stocks. The real value of average DOW portfolio is about $190. But the publicised average is about 30,000. WTF . Now that Trump is defeated the value of the country needs to be reflected in earnings not inflated numbers like 30000 designed to influence sales. Catering to creating billionaires has to be shifted to living wage jobs. Making one trillionaire is not worth denying healthcare and living wages.
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    Sorry Chet, the Constitution is seldom adjusted; only a few times in history (about 1 in 10 years) via an"Amendment"; for the rest there are 'local" State laws and "laws" created via "Case laws". Sorry it is an convoluted mess created by a "zillion" lawyers and "judges" here. If I compare that with Europe, there you have to "search" for an Lawyer; here just about every other person is an lawyer. Also over there the "base law" is an "living" document which is continuously updated to the times, for which you don't have to research much , like as for "case laws". At a certain time in "centuries" the piles of "paper" will get too high to even find what you are searching for, such blocks the courts to act quickly on any "case". Again an self inflicted wound by partially copying the British system. At least the Canadians did it right.

    Yes of course here "greed" is involved; ever seen an"poor" lawyer here. Sorry again the "system" we have, is bound to fail, because our "base laws" are stagnant and will create more and more problems in the future. Like the "impeachment" which Mc Connell had to "design", like the "pardoning" craziness, like no limits for Presidents, like incompetence and still you can't fire such guy, like filling your pockets with tax payer money as you like, like the "corrupt" way people here are elected; example the Supreme Court. I could go on and on, if people here can keep electing crooks, because the laws and "systems" allow such, then this country is ripe for an whole slew of "dictators" in the future. Ask Trump.

    Our laws are full with "holes" and the rich, via their lobby, profit from it and actually "dictate" the course of this country.

    They wanted Trump and got him; Trump also proved that you can walk right over any laws written here without much effort.

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    In 2014 on this website I wrote a blog article: The Supreme Court's Judicial Activism role in Campaign Finance Reform

    You don't have to read it. It gets into the details of how corporations became to be recognized as "people" under the law although there is no mention of corporations at all in the Constitution. But I also wrote about how the later Supreme Court 5-4 decisions have overturned prior Supreme Court decisions. Here are some extracts:

    1976: Buckley v. Valeo: In this landmark case, the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1974 including provisions that limited expenditures by campaigns, individuals and groups, and by a candidate from personal funds. The court's decision was a recognition that money counts as speech, since "virtually all meaningful political communications in the modern setting involve the expenditure of money." The case was the first in a chain of decisions over the next 38 years that allowed corporations, organizations and rich individuals to use their money to influence elections.

    2010: Citizens United versus the Federal Election Commission: Justices Scalia and Kennedy, supported now in their 5-4 majority decision by conservative Justices Thomas, Roberts and Alito, not only reversed the court's 1990 Austin, Michigan decision but also rolled back parts of McCain Feingold as restricting free speech. Essentially the court prohibited the government from restricting political independent expenditures by corporations, associations and labor unions. Justice Stevens was particularly incensed by the reversal on the Austin, Michigan case, and within his 90 page dissent he chastised the court for expanding the scope of the arguments beyond what was being specifically litigated in Citizens United.

    Stevens writes somewhat sarcastically, "Our colleagues’ suggestion that “we are asked to reconsider Austin and, in effect, McConnell ,” ante , at 1, would be more accurate if rephrased to state that “we have asked ourselves” to reconsider those cases." Stevens goes on in his dissent:

    "The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Court’s disposition of this case.

    "Congress has placed special limitations on campaign spending by corporations ever since the passage of the Tillman Act in 1907…The Court today rejects a century of history when it treats the distinction between corporate and individual campaign spending as an invidious novelty born of Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

    ". . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their 'personhood' often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.

    2011: Arizona Free Enterprise PAC v. Bennett: On June 27, 2011, the Roberts Supreme Court made another egregious ruling (again 5-4) to throw out a provision of Arizona’s 13 year old well regarded public campaign financing system. The concept for matching funds in Arizona has several well documented positives that seemingly avoid the legal pitfalls of the free speech arguments...or so it seemed. Note that in 1976, an earlier Supreme Court in Buckley vs Valero upheld public financing as Constitutional. Times have changed and the make-up of the court has changed.

    Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion that the Arizona law was unconstitutional because it “plainly forces the privately financed candidate to ‘shoulder a special and potentially significant burden’ when choosing to exercise his First Amendment right to spend funds on behalf of his candidacy.” For many legal scholars including the ACLU, the Roberts opinion defied logic.

    Justice Kagan didn't mince her words in writing the dissent: “Except in a world gone topsy-turvy, additional campaign speech and electoral competition is not a First Amendment injury... Arizona, remember, offers to support any person running for state office. Petitioners here refused that assistance. So they are making a novel argument: that Arizona violated their First Amendment rights by disbursing funds to other speakers even though they could have received (but chose to spurn) the same financial assistance. Some people might call that chutzpah.”


    I'll leave it at that. The point I was making in 2014 was that the Supreme Court has been highly politicized in their interpretations of the Constitution, and that prior Supreme Court findings can serve as precedent for other cases only until they are challenged again in the courts. Later Supreme Court rulings can overturn prior Supreme Court decisions and can even engage what is termed "judicial activism" -- going beyond the remit of the case to make law.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?

    Oh and for those interested, I wrote another article in 2014: Campaign Finance Reform going nowhere fast

    The point I made then is that attempts to fix our campaign finance laws will not go anywhere as long as Republicans oppose those fixes. I complained then about all the money pouring into campaigns. Today we cannot find any comfort in the fact that the $7 billion spent in the 2011 -- 2012 campaign has increased to something like $14 billion spent in 2020 and still counting. The Supreme Court set this scenario up by their 5-4 successive decisions. If the American people in prior elections had voted intelligently instead of emotionally, we would not be in this fix with a highly polarized Supreme Court.

    "We have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo

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    Yes Schmidt, you clearly pointed to all the "wrongs" here. Again you show how an country refuses to get money out of "governing, let alone "elections". I hope one day you can tell me how this will end. Actually show me an nice "graph" how over time with each election the "pile of money" used to do it has grown. Slowly but surely it will be as an "stock market" and "crash".

    You can't run any country this way, ask Nigeria or Venezuela, which you know. Britain may collapse as well looking at their stupid politics and getting out of the European Union. I would hate to stand in Biden's shoes.

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    OK, please pardon me if I ramble.

    The first problem to lay to rest is that the constitution is a set of laws. It is not. At least not in the sense of laws as passed by legislatures. It is a document that describes and lays out the methodology of a government that is born of and is to operate allegedly by the will of the people who are being governed. In essence, it is supposed to be government by the governed. That being said it is not that and it never was. There are some laws in the document such as the bill of rights and the amendments which provide structure for certain circumstances and cases. Beyond that? It forbids certain things such as bills of attainder. It permits and indeed was created to allow for the federal government to pass legislation which becomes laws for the country. Yes, yes, there are limits but even these are vague.

    What is crucial to realize is that the founders did NOT believe in democracy. That word has been tossed around with people claiming we are a democracy and people claiming we are not and the government was never intended to be a democracy. Jefferson and Adams corresponded throughout their lives and a term that arose was "accidental aristoi" which means, imo, an aristocracy whose purpose or who obtained the ability to place themselves in government by constitutional means to run the country. Jefferson, iirc, had an image of the gentleman-statesman meaning an aristoi that took seriously a duty to be in government and lead ( my thoughts here) a benighted people forward while preserving a social structure which kept people in their place including those deemed "the other" such as slaves, immigrants of different cultural and racial backgrounds. We must recall that the founders were, for the most part, better educated by far than the common person. They were also people of their times to a degree which is bullshit as there were abolitionists in the 1700's. They simply chose a path to create a government which meant NOT dealing with slavery. If they had the country would have fractured immediately. That being said the failure to resolve slavery has been a problem for centuries and will continue to be.

    As to laws, the review, abolishment and alteration are important tools.

    Regarding the political economy, the country has over the course of centuries created a rigid class structure which is likely to continue for a very long time. Upward social movement was, for a time, possible but has become far less so. Wealth inequality is a danger as are reactionary forces arising to changing demographics. Behind all that is the continued rise of China, the potential instability caused by Russia and climate change.

    Due to the rise of reactionary populism I give the country 30-50 years, max.

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    Lonely, excellent reply . Your points are correct and show what I meant related to that this country because of its "stagnant" base law, will stay in lots of turmoil. That is why in Europe they made the base law an "living document" which gets updated all the time. So the "laws" stay up to date. Here, because of "they know it better" on this "island", they like to do things rather more difficult, so the lawyers can make their fortunes. Just look at the circus of "impeachment" and "elections", then looking from the outside towards this country, then you belief that they are absolutely "nuts" in their way of governing. Why have an "President" without "rules" and "limits"? I don't think Trudeau of Canada or Rutten of the Netherlands can do what Trump does. I've been in all kind of countries around the world and worked with all kinds of governments, but here the "system" is an horrible failure by design. Throwing in "religion" makes the "system" even worse. Now with the "virus" the only ones exempt are the churches who can have large gatherings because they are "essential?" Wow. It can't get any crazier than that. Sorry the "virus" does not know an people created "god". If people going to "church"; and then they die because of the "virus", it is again an self inflicted wound. Like I've said a million times, there should be "separation" of "church"and "State". Any country who injects itself with "religion" in governing, since centuries have become failures. Read history. Ask Iran, ask Israel, ask Iraq, ask Afghanistan, Indonesia. etc. and don't forget France and Spain. Yes "religion" is an curse on "humanity" on this tiny globe, it always has been. Millions of people have been killed because of it. Lots of countries have changed to more "common sense", but here it only gets worse because of the "island" mentality here.