Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And Screw John Ashcroft Also, While We're At It

Today is Wednesday, 25 February 2009.

Follows a comment on my column of yesterday, and thank you "ranting and raving", because you are not --- you speak plain truth:

ranting and raving has left a new comment on your post "Happy Marbury v. Madison Day!":

To keep you apprised of what your State Legislature thinks of the judicial branch (and I apologize in advance for the length of this comment):

Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee [who is a lifelong lawyer - HH], alleging that the Oklahoma Bar Association has lobbied against tort reform and for abortion, is pressing SB997 which would make membership in the OBA voluntary for Oklahoma attorneys. Never mind that the OBA was created in 1939 by order of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and is part of the third branch of government. (Who cares about constitutionality?) Never mind that the dues paid by Oklahoma attorneys pay for things that the Legislature would doubtless still require (e.g., attorney discipline, continuing education). [Okie Repugnicans would require discipline and education? --- dream on! - HH]

An aside: the "lobbying" for tort reform was pointing out U.S. Constitutional issues; the lobbying for abortion is an outright lie.

Our Republican representatives are also pressing for a state constitutional amendment to require the OBA to submit all rules for approval of the Legislature, including professional conduct, Supreme Court Rules, District Court Rules and Rules of Judicial Conduct. Another constitutional amendment would require all judicial appointments to be subject to the consent of the Oklahoma Senate. I can't wait to see the results of those amendments, our legislature is already such an efficient and effective body.

Do you think the Legislative Branch wants to eliminate the Judicial? It's fairly clear they want to eliminate lawyers. There are numerous other bills pending that affect the legal profession and the rights of citizens in the judicial system.

While most people I know would rail at their compensation for egregious injury being arbitrarily limited, and would loudly proclaim their rights to an attorney in a criminal proceeding, it's so popular to hate all lawyers that I fear few will even make a peep about the proposed bills in the legislature. And when lawyers object, the majority of Oklahomans will sneer at "trial lawyers" and applaud the efforts of Coffee and his cohorts.

[Yes, Mr. Repugnant Republican: let's rid ourselves of all the lawyers, including you, and establish a real Uncle Joe Stalinist legal system: Ms. and Mr. Okie, do you wish to stand naked before a system where no one defends you, where the judge, the stooge of The State, is beholden only to The State, and Devil take the hindmost?]

I really don't understand how our elected law-makers have so little respect for the law and those who make the legal profession their lives' work. [mayhap corrupt pricks? - HH] And while I don't think being a lawyer should be a requirement for being a legislator, our laws would be less convoluted and more sensible (not to mention just) if there were a few more legislators who actually understood the law and its consequences, and weren't just pushing their own agendas.

I will be contacting my Senator and Representative in an attempt to reason with and educate them. I know I'm out of step, foolishly admiring, say, Thurgood Marshall, the ultimate trial lawyer before he became a Supreme Court Justice.

Hope you don't mind my use of your blog for a little rant and rave. Anyone who would celebrate Marbury v. Madison day (besides being a scholar) must have an appreciation for the law.

Funny: I'm a sort of Emma Goldman old-school anarchist in many ways, which means, as a bridge to the Promised Land, I'll appreciate the temporary tolerance of certain rules of law.

And Mister Coffee, a damn weak blend if you ask me, wants to control the Judicial Department, hell, boy, one day, ya'll term limit out, and, just maybe, your worst enemy runs the Senate and approves the judges. And then where be you?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Marbury v. Madison Day!

Today is Tuesday, 24 February 2009.

Golly, is it already that time again? Yes, indeed. On this date in 1803, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling in Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137.

From the opinion: “It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.” This ruling established the principle of judicial oversight of the Executive and Legislative Departments (or branches, as we now call them), including the responsibility and duty to annul unconstitutional acts.

This anniversary complements nicely my arguments of yesterday. Absent judicial review, the Executive and/or Legislature might indefinitely imprison any non-citizen (and, by logical extension, any citizen) by merely deeming them an “enemy combatant”, thus reducing them from persons with human rights, to the status of nullities at the complete mercy of the State.

That the Obama regime would endorse such action, joining such proponents as W. Bush and Joseph Stalin, is an abomination whose stench rises to heaven.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Ford, Not a Lincoln?

Today is Monday, 23 February 2009.

One of the central uncertainties about Obama during the campaign was his actual foreign policy stance: would he reveal himself as just another liberal-at-home-but-frequently-imperialist-abroad Democrat?

The answer seemed to gain focus when he appointed Robert M. Gates to continue as Secretary of War. Gates, a career CIA thug who was up to his eyeballs in the Iran-Contra crimes, and Director of Central Intelligence under H. W. Bush, was touted as a choice of continuity. Continuity of what: incompetence, failure, and crime? Why not Rumsfeld or Cheney, also experienced Secretaries of War?

Now, consider “Exhibits A- ”.

These noncitizens of the USA/USE, “captured” (i.e., kidnapped) off USA/USE soil by the USA/USE military, and detained off USA/USE soil, were labeled by the W. Bush regime as “enemy combatants”.

The W. Bush regime argued in federal courts that “Exhibits A- ” have no right to any access to USA/USE courts, including to contest their labeling and confinement, and may be imprisoned without any rights, for any period, including forever, at the pleasure of the President.

On Friday, the Obama regime Department of “Justice” agreed: “Having considered the matter, the government adheres to its previously articulated position”.

Everyone, whether citizen or not, kidnapped and imprisoned any government, deserves the basic human right of a day in an impartial and just court, wherein that government must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. Obama would do well to recall that the USA/USE is signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

But perhaps, to Obama, “Exhibits A- “ are not human beings, but no more than slaves.

Have we indeed elected, to borrow a phrase from former President Jerry, a Ford, not a Lincoln?


Die Weisse Rose

Today is Sunday, 22 February 2009.

The White Rose (Die Weisse Rose) was a nonviolent resistance movement of students and a professor of philosophy and musicology at the University of Munich. They produced and disseminated leaflets denouncing fascism and the war from June 1942 until their betrayal in February 1943.

On this date in 1943, the first of their number, Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans Scholl, and their comrade, Christoph Probst, were beheaded.

All honour.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

In Memory: Malcolm X

Today is Saturday, 21 February 2009.

Malcolm X was murdered on this day in 1965.

"Bring flowers to the rebels failed".

The lives of justice we try to live, are our flowers to you.

Friday, February 20, 2009

In Memory: Socks

Today is Friday, 20 February 2009.

Just received the flash that Socks, the White House cat during the Clinton regime, was euthanized today after a long battle with cancer.

Here at MoB, we're big lovers of critters. Spay. If you have the means, adopt a homeless critter. Always be only kind to them, for all they want is to love you and be loved.

New York Post: Not Fit Upon to Poop

Today is Friday, 20 February 2009.

"They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill".

I tried to put the actual New York Post editorial cartoon here, but seems it's blocked.

The foregoing is the operative phrase; the visual is two white cops, one of whom has just shot dead a chimp.

Post line: it's not racist. Let's just forget the long American history of portraying African-Americans as apes and monkeys. And the not-subtle nexus of Obama and the stimulus bill.

And forget the fact that, as any New Yorker knows, the Post under Rupert Murdoch's control has been the newspaper of "coloreds in cuffs".

As any decent New Yorker knows: the Post isn't fit to wrap a fish or be crapped upon by a canary.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thank You, Updike

Today is Thursday, 19 February 2009.

"Tossing and Turning"

by John Updike

The spirit has infinite facets, but the body
confiningly few sides.

There is the left,
the right, the back, the belly, and tempting
in-betweens, northeasts and northwests,
that tip the heart and soon pinch circulation
in one or another arm.

Yet we turn each time
with fresh hope, believing that sleep
will visit us here, descending like an angel
down the angle our flesh's sextant sets,
tilted toward that unreachable star
hung in the night between our eyebrows, whence
dreams and good luck flow.

your ankles. Unclench your philosophy.
This bed was invented by others; know we go
to sleep less to rest than to participate
in the twists of another world.
This churning is our journey.

It ends,
can only end, around a corner
we do not know
we are turning.

Perhaps that was the corner
I saw beyond,
Knew from youngest age I was turning:
Poets, children, sorrow, joy ---
"Mad Ireland hurt him into poetry"
Every lover who ever hurt me ...
And I hurt you ...
It wasn't lethal hurts, just the foolish fumbling kind ...
I'm glad for all the hurt
For love is worth it.

Around every corner, death peeps at us.

I will be a spy in the house of death.

Life and love is our sword:
We'll conquer you yet.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Don't Heil for Me, Hugo Chavez

Today is Wednesday, 18 February 2009.

There are some on the Left who are applauding the Venezuelan referendum which has just made Hugo Chavez eligible to run for President forever. They argue that he is bringing “socialism” to the country, and that the leadership of an indispensable caudillo is a regrettable, but necessary, interlude.

I believe it was De Gaulle who said, “The cemeteries of the world are littered with the remains of “indispensable" men.”

We’re also supposed to drop the Chavez back-story down the memory hole. Sure, he came to public notice as just another thug military officer attempting a right-wing coup to replace a corrupt oligarchic dictatorship with a corrupt junta dictatorship, but we must let bygones be bygones.

Granted, more income is flowing to many of Venezuela’s numerous poor, but in the context of a top-down political system that doesn’t trust the masses to direct their own destiny.

The politics of Chavez are the politics of Juan Peron. The megalomaniacal egotism of Chavez outshines even Evita Peron, and, unfortunately, Hugita hasn’t had the decency to die of cancer.

Hugoismo isn’t socialism, but merely a (thus far) softer Stalinism. No nation needs a Big Man to beat the people into the Promised Land.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Farewell, Blossom

Today is Saturday, 14 February 2009.

HH, once upon a time, was honoured to produce Blossom Dearie in a civil rights concert.

Sweet as her name.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Obama, Kidnapping, and Torture

Today is Sunday, 1 February 2009.

Has Obama, acting by executive order, decided to continue "extraordinary rendition", i.e., the criminal kidnapping of alleged "terrorists" and their secret imprisonment and interrogation, often by torture, either by CIA or compliant foreign governments?

Read here:

Obama should clarify the fly in the ointment: what do "short-term" and "transitory" mean?

If extraordinary rendition is regarded as legal by the USA/USE regime, then no one, including American citizens, are safe from being kidnapped and "questioned" by any government.

If Obama wants believable change, he should immediately repudiate the neo-Stalinist practice of extraordinary rendition.