Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Oh, the Irony

Oh, the Irony
©2012 Ross Williams

Headline: Egypt to Try 19 Americans

Article Synopsis:
Nineteen Americans were arrested and imprisoned by Egypt last week over their roles in pro-democracy activities within Egypt’s borders. Among the 19 is the son of ex-Republican IL ex-Congressman Ray LaHood, Obama’s Transportation Secretary. Egypt has arrested 43 foreign pro-democracy activists, mostly from North America and Europe, and the West is none too happy about it. The West is also puzzled. The US may rethink its nearly $1 billion yearly foreign aid to Egypt.

Should-a Listened: What have I been saying? Hosni Mubarak was a “dictatorial tyrant” [boo hoo] who never arrested foreign pro-democracy weenies, for they weren’t a threat – he arrested islamist hotheads, for they were. After he was overthrown by Egypt’s pro-democracy weenies and the government was turned over to the scary Egyptian military, foreign pro-democracy weenies still weren’t arrested – only Egyptian pro-democracy weenies were arrested ... when they rioted.

After Egypt’s democratic parliamentary election was held and turned the country over – democratically – to the islamist hotheads, only then were foreign pro-democracy weenies arrested. Pro-democracy activists are now seen as dangerous to the democratically-elected Egyptian parliament, which now pulls the strings of the Egyptian military, which is ostensibly still in command.

Of the 498 seats in Egypt’s parliament, almost 50% belong to one party of islamist hothead, the Muslim Brotherhood, parent organization to Palestinian Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad terrorist groups. Sadly, this party is called “moderate” by the imbeciles of the Western press. The Salafi party – the party of Wahabi sect Sunni, which founded al Qaida – owns over 20% of the 498 seats. This party is called “extremist” by Western press, which condescended to use the term for someone besides American Tea Party fiscal conservatives.

In between the “moderate” Brotherhood and the “extreme” Salafis are two other islamist hothead parties of middling temperament which together push the total islamist hold on the Egyptian government to roughly 80%. It is under this 80% islamist democratic control that foreign pro-democracy activists are seen as a threat and were arrested.

The political party belonging to the Egyptian pro-democracy weenies who overthrew Mubarak...? They have 7 parliamentary seats. Not seven percent; seven. Out of 498. About one-point-five percent.

Conclusion: It would be very easy to draw parallels here between Egypt’s 1.5% and their 80%, and the dreams and ambitions of our own facile and farcical “1%” and “99%”. I could very simply – and accurately – declare that the majority of any sufficiently large population either doesn’t know what they want and choose fools to give it to them, or they want stupid and draconian things and choose tyrants to be despotic over them. But that would be too easy. I’ll let everyone conclude that on their own.

Headline: Ginsburg to Egypt: Don’t Use US Constitution as Model

Article Synopsis:
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg opined in Cairo recently that Egypt’s new parliament, tasked with writing a new Constitution, should not use the US Constitution as their template. While promoting the US Constitution as the world’s oldest constitution still in existence outside of a history museum, she prefers various other nations’ Constitutions – such as Canada’s and South Africa’s – as well as various charters on human rights. “A Constitution is only as good as the people who live by it,” she told Egyptians.

Knock Me Over with a Parchment Document: Ginsburg very [in]famously declared that as a US justice in the highest US court in the US, she would not and could not be held to US definitions of proper governmental bearing when deciding cases of US law ... in US courts ... in the US; she would use foreign ideals if she saw fit. She has also [in]famously polluted her rulings with those foreign ideals not supported by the US Constitution.

While she may be correct that US Constitutional ideals were not written precisely enough or accurately enough, and that other nations may have learned from us and written certain things better, there is one and only one allowable way to include those ideals into our law and that is not by having a self-righteous ideologue inaptly catapulted onto the Supreme Court sidestepping Constitutional requirements and imposing them all by her lonesome. It is by proposing changes to our Constitution and acquiring the super-majority necessary to ratify them.

Anything less is dictatorship, a tyranny of the minority ... which is what we rebelled against in the first place.

Ginsburg would have been better off declaring that Egypt should not use the US Constitution as the model for their own because two of those imprecisely and inarticulately written clauses in ours have been used for well over a century as an excuse by Congress and the courts to do whatever it wants to, whenever it wants to, and because it wants to:
1] the Tax and Spend clause, and
2] the Interstate Commerce clause.

Egypt’s government doing what it wants, when it wants just because it wants is no different than what they’ve had forever, and recreating this imperious governmental prerogative would not be an improvement. It’s not like Ginsburg could be accused of spilling the Dirty Little Playbook of unelected activist judges, or anything; she went out of her way to declare that she’s equally comfortable using other nations’ laws which have no standing in the US to decide cases before her, which is two steps of imperial prerogative beyond deliberate misreading for expedience sake.

Conclusion: The one thing she said that is undeniably, unequivocally true: a Constitution is only as good as the people who live by it. And since our Constitution is not lived-by by our government, whether made of Democrat or Republican, elected or appointed or – in the case of Ginsburg, apparently – anointed, our Constitution has officially been declared the toilet paper than many have suggested it’s been for decades.

Headline: Obama to Use Super PAC

Article Synopsis:
In 2008, Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, called “Super PACs” “a threat to our democracy” and there was a federal law which limited who could donate money to one. In 2010, a US Supreme Court decision declared the Super PAC funding law unconstitutional. In 2012, President Obama is imploring donors to keep Democratic party Super PACs funded on pace with Republican party Super PACs. ...for our Democracy is at stake.

Goose, Gander, Pot, Kettle: A “Super PAC” is a means for amorphous blobs of American money to spontaneously form themselves into checks written to Madison Avenue advertising agencies to pay for slick ads castigating and demonizing a politician. A Super PAC cannot be directly tied to any candidate and cannot take advice or direction from any candidate. The last Democratic Congress under Bush passed a law that prohibited certain institutional holders of large wads of money from donating unlimited money to a Super PAC – and ironically, those prohibited were those who typically favored Republicans; the ads they paid for would have castigated and demonized Democrats.

Among the groups prohibited from unlimited donations were the Chamber of Commerce, manufacturing trade groups, industrial trade groups, and the like. Curiously not prohibited from making unlimited donations were those groups who typically favor Democrats and whose ads castigate and demonize Republicans ... such as: labor unions, the financial industry, the American Trial Lawyers Association, and foreign governments. When Super PACs were prohibited by law in 2007 just in time for the 2008 presidential election, it was effectively Republican Super PACs that were prohibited, and Candidate Obama had a vested interest in believing they were a threat.

In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that you can’t allow some amorphous blobs of money to have “freedom of speech” while disallowing other amorphous blobs of money from having the same right; Republicans thus have the same right to make Super PACs. So now, with Republican Super PACs outcollecting Democrat Super PACs by four-to-one, and Obama being powerless to stop them, he is pleading with his adherents to empty their wallets on his – but not really his – behalf.

Conclusion: Money doesn’t have freedom of speech. That is a scold used by Democrats to criticize industry groups making political advertisements, and they are correct about this. People have freedom of speech, and if a person with money wants to buy an ad castigating and demonizing a politician, then he needs to put his name on it and air it. Let the audience decide whether the president of the Chamber of Commerce criticizing government regulation that eliminate jobs is a better or worse sell than the president of ATLA justifying the McDonalds coffee case.


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