Sunday, June 22, 2014


Decision time at the Supreme Court; this session ends June 30th and a series of decision will be handed down. As a liberal, the power of SCOTUS scares me. It is my opinion that those nine judges should scare all of the American people. They violates the most fundamental premise of American law; hence, American democracy, by being a conservative court; an adjective everyone knows and accepts without question because it is a fact. Every schoolchild knows that courts should make decisions according to written law not according to political ideology; that court, in fact all courts, must act above politics. They do not! They are decidedly conservative as shown by blatantly interpreting law after law to favor corporations over workers.

Political activism by the courts is particularly dangers in modern times because the Republican Party controlled House of Representatives have chosen “en mass” to destroy government functionality with an avowed pledge to destroy President Obama, which is a  pledge to destroy the democracy created so many years ago. Politicians no long represent their constituencies—“we the people”—but represent the party, which represents “big money”. Just as politics violates the court, this “big money” reality violates the second fundamental premise of American democracy. Therefore, it is obvious that corporate money has corrupted the entire political system, which is based on “one-man one-vote” in a fundamental way. What is even more frightening is that corporate money prevents congress from correcting the situation putting us in a down ward spiral.

I have spent a good share of my life living in and observing “third world countries”. Based on that experience, what I call “the travel magazine phenomenon,” fascinates me. Look at any travel magazine and you see pictures of beautiful landscapes, verdant jungles, five-star hotels with immaculate rooms, and white sandy beaches. As a low paid sailor, I sat in restaurant enjoying eating a steak in one of these hotels in Panama City over 60 year ago and looked down at what I had never seen in a travel magazine; it chokes me to this day. Judging by what I didn’t have, I considered myself poor but I suddenly realized what it meant to be poor. I was looking out over Scalia’s World.  As is the case in all third world countries, the money is all at the top, which is Reaganomics at work.

The slick colored photos printed on expensive paper in travel magazines do not show these things. People constructed their shelters by precariously balancing four pieces of “zinc”, which are what they call corrugated sheets of tin roofing because that is all they could afford or loot. The “houses” had three sides and a roof facing not a scenic river but an open sewer. The remaining side was a cloth sheet. There are no labor unions, there is no health care, old age poverty is evident, and occasional demented people are begging on the streets. This was Panama but I also saw a large prison cell in Yemen, on the Arabian Peninsula filled with men and boys but devoid of anything else but one plastic bucket; not even a toilet. In the streets of a large city in the Far East, I saw a demented appearing woman ignored by those around her while she pleasured herself. At one time, I walked on an extensive an artificial extension of land created by thousands of small boats in the harbor of Hong Kong where entire families were cooking and carrying out normal family functions; the lack of sewage was notable. They spent their entire lives in homes with less than one hundred square feet if living space. I once lived where I could support myself on 67 cents a day by eating rice beans and tortillas.

Think about our country; almost all of or ancestors came from such places and such circumstances. Eric Hoffer, the dockworker philosopher, once observed that content people are not the people who move. We came from people who left places like those that I just described. Now, we have labor unions, we have health care, we hardly ever see old age poverty, and demented people are for the most part in institutions. We fought long and worked hard for these things. We paid taxes to build these things. We somehow corralled out individual greed and became rich together. However, a few became richer than others did. Our one-man one-vote form of democracy has held the excessive greedy in check. We shook off the economic elite and royalty and were not willing to go backward. A rich person could enjoy his or her wealth without hurting others. However, a small number of them suffered from excessive greed; they wanted more and more and more, innate greed gone wild; they want to go back to the kind of society from which our ancestor came.

The Ronald Reagan, Mitt Romney, Sheldon Adelson, Koch Brothers, Warren Buffett, George Soros, the Walton family are examples. If you look at that list, you will see that some of them found the secret; corrupt democracy and they could “get” even more money. The third world exists because they did not have one-man one-vote democracy to control greedy people like some of these. Almost everyone knows that is what made America great, which also gave us Social security, affordable health care; one-man one-vote is why we have paved streets and live in big houses, and why we have institutions to house our mentally ill. We have all the wonderful things the government gave to us and does for us but also why the rich tell us to hate the government, the government is corrupt, hate paying taxes, hate Obamacare, hate minimum wage, hate social security, hate government regulations, but to love guns and God. It makes no sense; we are the government.

You say I am using scare tactics; that none of this is happening, and it can never happen, etc. Have you ever looked that the old plantation South and watched as it creeps North: Iowa, Indiana? No unions, people working for minimum wage but are still on welfare, soldiers, and their families living on food stamps, coal ash spills, contaminated river water, public schools where teachers have to buy paper and pencils to teach the children and students have to bring their own toilet paper while industries in those states do not pay taxes. Large numbers of people cannot vote but it is legitimate to suppress the votes in Scalia’s world. Where science is not taught in schools—did you know that in Georgia they believe that dinosaur farts is what caused climate change. North Carolina is where people elected and re-elected Jessie Helms for years to represent them; it seems unbelievable but they did it.

Scalia and his fellow justices with their newfound judicial power and activism seem driven by some unreasoned innate drive and are not capable of comprehending the consequences of their actions. They are putting us squarely on a path to third world style government, to putting our country in the hands of the economic elite; labor unions, poor wages, high unemployment, massive income disparity, health care, and education only rich people can afford, but workers cannot. Four sheets of zinc with an open sewer for a view is a long way off but try to send you child to college while you work for $7.25 per 36 hours per week. For get about college, try to afford to eat.    

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