El Gringoqueño

All a man needs out of life is a place to sit ‘n’ spit in the fire.

Category: Politics (page 2 of 3)

So the Gloves Are Off Are They

"Ms. Palin, you mentioned today that the ‘gloves are off.’  It puzzles me and I am curious."

"You betcha.  But why would you not get what we’re tryin’ to do?"

"Um, it’s just that, if the gloves were off, that would imply that the gloves were on at some point, right?"

"You betcha.  We’ve taken off the gloves, and we’re not holdin’ back.  We’re taking it straight to Obama.  We’re going to show the American people what we’re made of."

"Oh, okay, so here’s my question.  Did you wear gloves before?  If so, why?  Why were you wearing gloves when it seems the best method you have now determined is, in fact, sans gloves?"

"Well, the gloves are off now.  We mean business.  We’re gonna hit hard with our message."

"But before, when the gloves were on, you must have talked about it, right?  Were you possibly trying to match your opponent’s elevated tactics?  Did you think that it was classless to attempt to smear or ‘swiftboat’ your opponent?  You wanted to run a dignified campaign, rich in real substantive issues?  Did you believe that the road to the presidency was to be found on high not down low?  There must have been something in the merits of the ‘gloves on’ tactic.  Is this new ‘gloves off’ thing an indication that your ‘gloves on’ approach was failing because of a lack of substance?"

"I’m not going to answer that question.  You want me to, but I’m not.  I’m going to take our message straight to the American people.  You see, you’re smart, but the American people – they might just be dumb enough to buy it."

Community Organizer

There was much to be ashamed of during the Republican National Convention, but I’m just going to pick one moment to tear apart.  I think one is enough, and after I gut it and lay its entrails open, y­ou’ll see just what I’m talking about, just what the Republicans are offering.

Although I don’t consider myself a community organizer, I do work with a lot of the same needs in my community as Barack Obama.  I consider it a privilege to mentor and share time with youthful offenders from, what Americans would consider, the "inner city," people who come from the projects. 

In Puerto Rico our "projects" are not segregated in specific areas of the city, congregated and sequestered far from the day to day life of "normal" folks.  Our projects are everywhere, and they have all the same problems you find on the south side of Chicago.  The projects are controlled by gangs.  The police are out-gunned, out-flanked, and out-manned.  The residents of the projects have no where else to go.  They could try to get out, but where would they go?  They live on public assistance, their children exposed daily to violence, fear, and a culture that offers them the way out – run this errand, sell these drugs, lookout for the police, and you will have the flashy car, the jewelry, the girl, and the respect.  It is the only way forward for these kids, and it is why I meet them in prison, why I talk to them, why I have compassion for them, and contempt for the system that foments this aberration.

Barack Obama saw the same things I see every day.   He saw a huge community of lost potential, wasted lives of violence, drugs, and guns.  He saw kids not nurtured and edified, wrapped in the warm embrace of love, but cold hard shafts of steel forged in heat, anger, and fear.

I don’t know for sure, but I can imagine Barack Obama had the same calling I did.  He decided that the war on terror begins at home, and it doesn’t begin with "shock and awe" but with service to the poor.  Barack Obama began his life’s work in the trenches doing what Christians would call the work of Jesus.  If you consider yourself a follower of the ways of Jesus, and you are not actively seeking to serve the most miserable and lost of our society, you are not living the message.  How come you are not engaging, putting your lives at risk in response to the great gift you have been given?

But Barack Obama did. 

He risked himself to go into communities held hostage by apathy and neglect and dealt with fatherless households, lawlessness, poor infrastructure and public schools, and a host of other problems that "white America" only sees on television.  "Oh my goodness, that’s so horrible," they say, "I’m glad I don’t live there."  Barack Obama didn’t say that.  He rolled up his sleeves and got involved.

So that’s why I was so insulted when I heard Rudy Guliani mock him in such a disrespectful manner (quote msnbc.com). 

"You have a resume from a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a community organizer.”

He paused and then said, “What?” as if to express befuddlement at that job title.

Giuliani had eloquent body language — a dismissive half-shrug — as he said the words, “community organizer.”

Immediately the delegates on the convention floor burst into laughter and guffaws.

GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin also poked fun at Obama’s work as a community organizer, contrasting it with her own work as a mayor.

Don’t kid yourself.  It was not an off the cuff remark but conscious and deliberate.

If you consider yourself a Christian why would you ­laugh?  Jesus, was the son of a carpenter, a good Jewish boy with a bright future ahead of him as a respected tradesman.  He didn’t take that path though.  He threw it all away to spend time with the downtrodden, the cast out, the lost, and abandoned. He dedicated himself to a life of being a "community organizer."

And he got mocked too.

From Puerto Rico: I Cast My One and Only Vote for Barack Obama

I don’t think it will make much difference, as Hillary Clinton was heavily favored on the island today.  But I considered it an honor to have contributed something to a candidate that I think will transform the US Federal Government into an instrument of the people once again.

Why can’t I vote for him in the general election this fall?  It’s stupid, but it’s a Congressional thing. Protectorates are legal gray area… kinda like DC, but not.  We are US Citizens, technically live in the US, …but NOT. It makes no sense.  I could vote if I lived in Europe, but not in Puerto Rico.  Yet, if I am born in Puerto Rico, I am a US citizen.  I’ll leave you to ponder that.

But first, a short chat with Laura from last night.

"Hey did you see that Barack Obama is resigning his church?"  I remarked.

"He did? Wow, I bet black voters aren’t going to be happy about that." 

"I don’t know," I said,  "I think that they understand he’s doing what he has to do. He’s quiet, he’s not angry, he’s dealing with all this with maturity and grace.  It’s probably necessary in order for this whole issue to go away.  It’s the mature thing to do.  It’s like he has to kowtow to whitey, put his head down and endure indignities in order to achieve the prize of lasting change.  Up to now things aren’t so different than they were in the days of slavery.  Am I making any sense?"

"Yes," she said becoming animated. "It’s like Jackie Robinson integrating baseball.  He had to put up with all kinds of nasty behavior, but he let it roll off.  He didn’t fight back, he just quietly went about playing baseball as best he could.  He made his "blackness" a non-issue."

"Wow, that’s a great point, so here we are in the 21st century looking at beginnings of a painful integration of US politics.  How Barack handles it will set the tone for the future for good or bad."  I cracked a grin at the irony of it all.  Here’s a man trying to elevate the debate; there’s no blackness or whiteness but justice, honor, and integrity. And all anybody wants to do is to portray him and his "posse" as a bunch of radical angry black militants, and barring that, that he’s a closet Muslim.  They’re so desperate to character assassinate him, they even dig up a crackpot white Catholic priest and trot him out on youtube.

I sighed.  For now, mainstream America is still scared of the angry black man.  They see an animated, angry preacher who happens to be black and it scares them.  It’s an old and upsetting dynamic; the politics of fear, same ol’ same ol’.  It disgusts both Laura and me.  I hope it disgusts you too.

We voted for change today.  Please, America, let’s elevate the dialog.

Oh Come On, I Actually DO Like Obama

And here’s why:

First, I know he’s not going to enter into illegal wars.  I also like the idea that a leader isn’t the doer-in-chief.  He seems to realize that change comes from the bottom up, and that it is the role of the leader to inspire, nurture, or not get in the way.

I like that.

I also don’t think he has a problem sitting down at the table with Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and having a talk.  How can we turn down the tension, he would ask?  He realizes the strong nation reaches out, makes concessions, looks for peace, and isn’t afraid of diplomacy.  It is the weak nation that stonewalls dialog, refuses to listen, and uses the thread of force as a weapon of first resort. 

When I picked up my little dog Billy from the street, he was a nervous little crazy nut.  He was nippy and erratic, a little lunatic.  I reacted to him with anger and authority.  I tried to cow him into compliance.  It just made him more insane.  Then I realized if I spoke softly to him, stroked him gently, put myself on an even plane with him, he was much more reasonable.  It didn’t take anything away from me.  I knew I was still in charge, but if I could make him feel like he was a little bit more in control of his domain, it made all the difference.

I think Obama understands that.  He’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, well traveled.  I think those things give you a perspective on the world that makes you less afraid.

I’ve had discussions about the "illegals problem"  I always ask what is this problem?  It doesn’t seem to be a problem to me.  At some point, the erosion of the English language is mentioned.  I would ask again "Okay, so what is the ‘language problem’?  What is this problem? I need to know, because it doesn’t seem to be a problem to me."   Thinking the "problem" self-evident, we end up devolving into game saying and catch phrases gleaned from talk radio, until finally when all is exhausted, out comes the final appeal to authority,"they broke the law."

But it’s just fear, fear that they are bad, and they are bad because you don’t understand them.  I get the impression from Obama, that he sees lack of understanding as an opportunity to understand.  He may not be fully informed on all issues, but he’s not fearful about getting to know them.  He might not speak Spanish, or Farsi, or Arabic, but I think he’s willing to accept that those people are just like our people.  We aren’t that different.  And we shouldn’t be afraid.

That’s the key.  I’m sick and tired of politicians pandering to fear.  Elect the Dems and it’s a vote for terror!  Elect the Dems and dirty Mexicans will overrun the border, take your jobs, and marry your daughter!  Elect the Dems and the economy will stagnate further, turn to socialism and your lives will be over… or worse, be like Europe.

Bah!  Obama says, your future can be as bright as you want it to be.  He says, I’m not going to pander to your fears.  I’m going to be fearless.  I’m going to be a black man running for president in a still decidedly racist country.  I’m not afraid.  You shouldn’t be either.

What the republicans won’t tell you, and this is their dirty little secret:  Lowering taxes does not help the economy.  Raising them doesn’t either, but that’s neither here nor there.  The secret is this:  hope builds the economy.  When people have hope, when they see a future that looks bright, they create.  They build.  They grow.  That is why the economy booms.  Right now the economy is in the tank because people are afraid, and the current leadership doesn’t want to give up that tool of oppression and control.  A vote for McCain is a vote for fear, a vote for more foreign wars, more erosion of the Constitution, and a continued lessening of the collective national spirit.

Obama, I think, has this idealistic, audacious child-like hope, not dashed by fear, not crushed under the heal of bureaucracy.  The grownups at the table might snicker at his audacity, "Son, you just don’t get how the world works, do you?  Let the grown-ups handle things, okay?"

Obama, "And how’s that been going, hmm?"

Obama Was Not Right from Day One

I was surprised to find out today that Barack Obama isn’t being truthful about his Iraq War Voting record.  I know I know, I’m bummed.  I liked the guy.  Up until today I would have supported him.  Maybe I still do.  But I’m not so sure anymore.  How can people be so disingenuous about such big issues?  And why has no one else mentioned this.

Barack Obama may have opposed the war in 2003, but he never voted against it.  What?!  You heard me right.  He never actually voted against it.  Why?  How? Wha?

He didn’t vote against the war, because he didn’t become a senator until 2005, that’s why.  When the debate and vote on whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction, or whether or not we would go to war with Iraq, Barack Obama was a state representative (local state politician, not national), for the 13th District of Illinois.  He wasn’t there.  He was just a twinkle in his Senate seat’s pants.

What!?  How could this be?  Haven’t we heard about how he was right from day one.  What was day one for him?  How can you be right from day one when your day one didn’t start until January of 2005? 

If we are going to elect people on their ability to be "right" then elect me.  I said in 2002 there were no weapons of mass destruction.  I said we shouldn’t have gone in.  Check this post. I wrote that back in March of 2003.  I knew it was wrong.  Props for Obama as an armchair foreign policy quarterback, but it sure as hell isn’t anything upon which to base your complete campaign.

I like the guy, but if he wasn’t a member of Congress, he had nothing to lose by taking that position.  I had nothing to lose.  I had no authority.  He had no authority.  I had no access to classified intelligence.  He had no access to classified intelligence.

Now, as far as I’m concerned, Obama based his opposition to the war on a hunch.

Sounds remarkably like our current president, doesn’t it?

Do you, in fact, have any nukes at all?

A short skit to read in the style of Monty Python’s Cheese Shop

Bush:  As a member of the axis of evil and state sponsor of terrorism, Iran is actively seeking nuculer weapons.  

Press: Do you have proof?

Bush: Why of course we have proof.  It’s how this administration operates.  We operate in the realm of truth. Truth is – well – truth.  If it wasn’t truth, it would be lies, and we do not lie.

Press: May we see it?  This proof?

Bush: Well, it’s classified, but trust me.  We have it.

Press:  Well, I have here in my hand an intelligence report which details that Iran stopped its nuclear program in 2003.

Bush: Ah, I see.  Well, there is that, I suppose.  But I’m afraid it’s a bit overstated.  You see.  They WERE actively seeking weapons of mass destruction and may do so again.  If they restart, which is probable, they could have them in a few years.  They could then use them to attack.

Press:  You just told us that they were actively engaged in a program to build nuclear weapons.  We now find out that they stopped and are not seeking to build nuclear weapons.  How is that truth?

Bush:  Ah, well, I did say that, didn’t I.  Look, this President defines "thinking about building nuclear weapons" as part of the process of obtaining nuclear weapons.  You see, you have to think about it. That’s research.  Some of that research could go on in the heads of scientists.  Who am I to say that they are not thinking about it actively right now?  Can you say what they are thinking about?  They could be thinking about it.  And that’s enough for me.  It could be a threat to the US or our interests if the Iranians are thinking about building a nuclear weapon.

Press: …

Bush:  You see.  Thought leads to action.  If you are thinking about something, then you are actively engaged in the process of doing it.  It is my job as Commander in Chief to head off these programs of thought that exist to destroy the United States.  Would you rather that we go about our business while they think their dirty little terrorist thoughts?  I don’t think so.  That is why I reserve the right to think about attacking Iran for their dirty little thoughts.

What if it’s not just incompetence?

Recent changes in the tax code of Puerto Rico have caused me to rethink a long held opinion about the nature of our politicians. The Jenius, over at his blog, rightly predicts that the underground economy in Puerto Rico will perfect itself as taxation wriggles into all legitimate economic transactions. Small micro companies will just take what little business they have further underground away from the grabbing hands of government, and more of them will do it better.

Medium-sized brick and mortar shops will either shoulder the burden or pass the cost on to the customer. Either way with rising prices, already pinched consumers will be forced to buy from the lowest supplier, those 800 pound gorillas with their cheap global supply chains and volume discounts. If small business owners try to compete on price their already compromised position further erodes to the point of survival mode. They are then either pushed into gray areas of the underground economy or out of business entirely.

The big global players are already earning money hand over fist, and if their position is eroded only slightly by rising consumption taxes, they have a number of options. They can negotiate tax breaks for their local hiring, get government handouts to build new facilities, low interest loans, you name it. They have the clout and the cash to get what they want, whether it be cheap goods, cheaper labor, or cheap government.

So where does that leave us?

I always thought that bad government policies through incompetence or malice had an effect to drive out entrepreneurial spirit, to foment low level corruption, and give unfair advantage to large imported global players (pharmaceutical manufacturers, retailers, fast food, national chains etc). But now I’m notso sure it’s incompetence or even malice.

What if their aim is to kill off the last of the local companies for us, as a favor to pacify us and give us jobs, to give us what we want, to work for the man, and play on the weekends, to be kept, taken care of, and have no responsibilities? Maybe these politicians know something we don’t want to admit or care to face:

We want to be kept and taken care of.

We would rather work for Wal-mart than try to start our own business, and the best to which we can hope to rise, the pinnacle, the ultimate, is to be a general manager in someone else’s plant, to be validated by the higher power the foreign national, the colonial overlord.

I hope it’s just incompetence… although at this point I’d even take malice.

Please tell me I’m wrong, please Puerto Rico?  Tell me it’s not what we want.

The Last “War” of the United States

Ha! I was looking for information to clear up just what my status is as a veteran, having been mobilized for Iraqi Freedom in March of 2003.  We were on active duty for 89 days before Bush declared victory and sent everyone home.  Ahem.

So, because I’d like to know, I’m looking around for information about benefits (if any) to which I am entitled for my obviously worthless 89 days of active duty service in time of war.  I was wrong, dead wrong, it turns out. 

War it is not, never been.  Funny, it tastes like war, though.  I smack my lips.  It’s kinda bitter with a smokey flavor.  They call it a war, use it to justify "wartime" suppression of civil liberty and routine ass-wiping with the Constitution, but let’s not fight over little words, shall we.  We’ve got a war to fight.  WTF?! There you go again with the "W" word.  Geez!

Then I found this on the Office of Personal Management for the US Federal Government:

War Service Creditable for Veterans Preference.  In the absence of statutory definition for "war" and "campaign or expedition," OPM considers to be "wars" only those armed conflicts for which a declaration of war was issued by Congress.  The title 38, U.S.C., definition of "period of war," which is used in determining benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, includes the Vietnam Era and other armed conflicts.  That title 38 definition is NOT applicable for civil service purposes.

Thus the last "war" for which active duty is qualifying for Veterans preference is World War II.  The inclusive dates for World War II service are December 7, 1941, through April 28, 1952.

I blinked.  I read it twice.  So, the OPM for purposes of preference, only considers those that fought in WWII (The last declared war) to be veterans.  Those ranks are getting pretty thin, I’d say.

I read it again.  So what this is saying is that the last armed conflict for which the people of the United States had a say was WWII (I always knew that, but to see it put so bluntly was startling).  Put another way, the last time our duly elected representatives in Congress declared war was 1941.

Doesn’t that seem funny to anyone?  Funny, not in the "ha ha" sense, but funny in the "we’ve lost complete control of our country" sense.  From Truman, to Lyndon B, to Reagan to Bush Sr. to Bush Jr.  we have engaged in one "conflict" after another, all of which were deemed to be of "utmost" national importance, but not quite enough to get the endorsement of the American people with an official declaration of war.  These conflicts were important, we were told – important to whom?  Obviously though, they were not important enough for the failsafe vote in Congress to sanctify the "war."  Don’t worry your puny little minds with these big and complicated issues of "national security" we were/are told. 

We will protect you.

And don’t worry about the messy little details like Americans dying and being maimed.  It’s all for a good and noble cause, just not good and noble enough for a vote of the representatives of the people of the United States of America.  Details details.

How Many Articles Can I Begin with “Oh holy shit, they’re at it again”?

Imagine if you will a place where the boundaries between Legislative and Executive where blurred, wrapped, and crossed with the Judicial – a place of sound, a place of fury, and place signifying nothing.  You have just stepped off the boat one thousand miles southeast of Florida… somewhere into the Twilight Zone.

Tomorrow, in the semi-autonomous territory and commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a referendum will be held.  Imagine if you will in our parallel sister Twilight Zone where odd and bizarre things occur, if president of the United States, decided to hold a nationwide referendum.  At stake was the decision to change Congress to a unicameral assembly or change the form of government to a parliamentary system. 

Imagine it!  NOW!

What do you mean you can’t? 

What’s that?  You say that the president has only some limited powers over the Legislative Branch?  You mean he has veto power, which can be overridden by a 2/3 majority. You say he can set executive policy, govern the military, and write the budget?  Well, I guess.  Bush has overstepped his bounds on occasion, but even he has not tried to void the Constitution (well, without a good reason… okay, I’ll concede that too… sheesh).

So how would one go about changing the structure of the legislative branch of government?

First, the Congress would have to propose, debate, and vote on the change (2/3 majority in both houses).  Next step would be for 3/4 of the states’ legislatures to ratify that change.

I can’t imagine it’s too much different in Puerto Rico, but tomorrow, there is a referendum on changing the legislature from bicameral to unicameral.  Huh?  Wouldn’t it just be great that if every time the president didn’t like what Congress was doing he could call a nationwide vote and threaten to disband it?  What the?

Well the short of it is that in Puerto Rico the governor can’t do it either, but what he can do is propose to spend $4 million tax of tax payers’ money to execute what amounts to a poll.  If the people were to favor a unicameral legislature, the next step would be for the legislature to vote on it, then do whatever process is required to amend the Puerto Rican constitution.  Oh, yeah, but we have one more step here.  All changes to our constitution must be approved by the United States Congress.

The only reason for a vote tomorrow on this issue is pure and simple intimidation of the legislature.  It is nothing more than executive branch thuggery.  Personally, I couldn’t care less what system the legislature runs.  It couldn’t get any worse. 

But don’t kid yourself.  If anyone votes either yay or nay, it is a vote for the governor, a vote for intimidation, and a waste of money.  Don’t for one second think you’re deciding anything.  You’re just playing into the governor’s hands, perpetuating the folly, the circus, and furthering our decent into a banana republic.

Ah, but everybody loves a show.

Executive, Legislative, and Judicial, oh my!

There is method in the madness that is American politics.  Among all the posturing, partisan rhetoric, back-biting, and power struggles, there are some basic truths that I think have been forgotten through it all.

The US Gubment is broken down into three branches.  The Executive branch executes, that is, enforces laws, makes priorities and sets the tone.  The Legislative branch makes the laws according to the will of the people.  They are a body that represents a cross section of age, class, and culture.  They write the plan so to speak.  The Judicial branch is the final say through it all with the US Constitution and judicial precedent as its authority.

Think of the three branches as the hands on a clock.  The Executive, transient and ever changing with the whim of the people, is the second hand.  The Legislative, more measured less fickle, its movement almost imperceptible, is the ticking of minutes.  The Judiciary, conservative and lumbering is the ever steady indication of hours.

The President can effect change only through executive order or policy insomuch as it doesn’t break any laws.  Executive orders, such as a policy on gays in the military, may be removed with a stroke of one man’s pen.  Policy changes of that type could possibly change every four years.  Gays are in, gays are out.  The President can also decide which laws are important or not.  The business of the Federal Government is such that not all laws are enforceable.  Where are our priorities.  For one President it might be social services.  For another it might be immigration.  They are transient and subject to rapid change.  We have a saying back in Missouri.  If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.  The same goes for Presidents.

Why is the President such an important figure?  One: there is only one.  Two: in the big scheme of things seconds are important because they are the only thing that happens right now.

The Legislative branch is a slower beast.  If you look close enough at it, you can just barely see its movement.  Like VH-1’s retrospectives of the 70’s etc. you can only see how silly you were given the shift of a decade.  So it is with the Legislative branch.  It is made up of young and old, male and female, different cultures, different socio-economic classes, and political ideologies.  It is hard to get them to cooperate, to find an issue upon which they can all agree.  When they do, you can bet with a reasonable amount of certainty that it is the will of the people

And, damnit, I like it that way.  I want my Legislature to be slow, not too efficient, not too unified, not too smart.  I want them to reflect us, and our spirit is pretty constant – at least over the decades.  Change is good, but changing too quickly is disruptive.

The Judiciary has been in the news recently.  Conservatives decry "activist judges" as violating the constitution by forgetting their place as the creeping hours of the day.  I actually agree, but not for the reasons conservatives say.  Conservatives only complain when activist judges are doing things contrary to their wishes.  There are numerous "activist judges" with political and social agendas who run with the conservative posse.  These are the judges who proudly display the Ten Commandments in the courtroom and let religious or cultural values flavor their decisions.  Defendant living in sin?  Well perhaps you will not be looked upon as favorably. 

Frankly, I think most judges do the right thing though.  Teri Shiavo?  Mr. Judge says, "Sorry, doesn’t matter what my personal feelings are on this matter, and for the record, I don’t personally agree with the husband’s decision.  But according to Florida law, upheld by other courts and passed by the Florida legislature, this woman’s fate has already been decided by her legal guardian."  That’s it folks.  There’s no activism there.  I’m just a judge, he would say.  I don’t enforce laws.  I don’t make laws.  But I make sure that when I take that brick and place in in the construction of history it fits and will stand the test of time.  It has to fit with the other bricks.  It has to hold up to the specifications written by the building’s designers.  That’s a lot to do on its own.  I’m not interested in activism.  Leave that to the politicians.  I’m a curator.  I am the slow hand of time, sweeping deliberately ever forward.  You can build on that.  Do we have flaws?  Sure we do.  There where some gaping holes and errors in our decisions throughout the years, some of which took until 1963 to fix, but only because some judges, and I’m not naming names, Taney… ahem, couldn’t stop being activists, beholden to special interests.

Take this example.  This is the opinion and decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Scott v. Sandford case.

The Supreme Court dismissed the suit on jurisdictional grounds. Chief Justice Taney explained that the parties were not citizens of different states because the Constitution did not consider blacks to be citizens. The Chief Justice also added that the Missouri Compromise, which prohibited slavery and involuntary servitude in certain parts of the Louisiana Territory, violated the Fifth Amendment because it deprived slaveowners of their property without the due process of law.

Now that’s activism.  The US Constitution never said blacks weren’t citizens.  That fact is a convenient assumption based on the current values of the day.   He goes further to decide that blacks are not only not citizens, but neither are they people.  They are property, and as such the rights of property owners are protected by the Constitution.  Yikes.  That’s some activism sure enough, activism for slave owners.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."  Eventually slavery as a legal practice with the sanctioning authority of the Judiciary of these United States was abolished.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

The only problem with the 13th Amendment was that it was not a court decision. Maybe if there had been fewer activist judges in the land during the 19th century, we wouldn’t have had to write this thing. Hello? All men are created equal? These are men. Are they equal? End of story.

But I digress.  The judiciary should not be subject to the whims of current thinking.  They must be of studied character, dispassionate, and moreover taken to, at any time and in any situation, question everything they have ever believed or known.  All assumptions must be abolished and the building reconstructed piece by piece slowly and deliberately, like the slow moving hour hand. 

Or I could be wrong.  I dunno.

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