Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘laws’

GOP: Laws Do Not Apply To POTUS Trump

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 30, 2019

Where in America can you, I, or anyone, go to be immune from the law?

It’s a “trick question,” or… is it?

And yes, it’s a VERY serious question; in fact, it is an argument of which – believe it, or not – Federal Appeals Court Judges are considering the merits.

POTUS John Adams (1735-1826) c.1800-1815, painting by Gilbert Stuart (175-1828)

One simply can’t imagine the notion – that in our nation, a nation of laws, and not of men, that anyone could be above the law – and yet… here we are.

In February 1775, John Adams published a collection of essays entitled “Novanglus” – popularly known as the Novanglus Essays – where the idea that foundling nation which became “The United States of America” was a nation of laws, and not of men – was first known to be expressed.

James Harrington, oil on canvas, feigned oval, circa 1635, on display at Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley

Historians argue that the idea, or thought, was almost certainly derived from James Harrington (1611-1677), an English political philosopher, whose most renown work, “The Commonwealth of Oceana” (1656) was owned by Adams (3rd edition-1747), contains his signature on the title page, and is found in The John Adams Library of Boston Public Library, and may found online here:
https://archive.org/details/oceanaotherworks00harr/page/n5

On page 38 of the work, in the essay entitled “Oceana,” Harrington wrote in part that,

“Government, according to the Ancients, and their learned Disciple Machiavelli, the only Politician of later Ages is of three kinds: The Government of One Man, or of the Better Sort, or of the Whole People: which by their more learned names are called Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy. These they hold, though their proponents to degenerate, to be all evil. For whereas they that govern, should govern according to Reason, if they govern according to Passion, they do that which they should not do. Wherefore as Reason and Passion are two things, so Government by Reason is one thing, and the corruption of Government by Passion is another thing, but not always another Government: as a Body that is alive is one thing, and a Body that is dead is another thing, but not always another Creature, though the corruption of one comes at length to be the Generation of another. The Corruption then of Monarchy is called Tyranny; that of Aristocracy, Oligarchy; and that of Democracy, Anarchy. But Legislators having found these three Governments at the best to be naught, have invented another consisting of a mixture of them all, which only is good. This is the Doctrine of the Ancients.”

So it seems almost certain that Adams derived that idea from James Harrington, but it was Adams’s use of the phrase which popularized it. Of note, Adams also wrote the clause “government of laws, and not of men” in the Declaration of Rights drafted for the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780.

Continuing…

In pertinent part, Adams wrote in Novanglus Essay No. VII, that,

“If Aristotle, Livy, and Harrington knew what a republic was,
the British constitution is much more like a republic than an empire.
They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men. [emphasis added]
If this definition be just,
the British constitution is nothing more nor less than a republic,
in which the king is first magistrate.
This office being hereditary,
and being possessed of such ample and splendid prerogatives,
is no objection to the government’s being a republic,
as long as it is bound by fixed laws,
which the people have a voice in making,
and a right to defend.
An empire is a despotism,
and an emperor a despot,
bound by no law or limitation but his own will;
it is a stretch of tyranny beyond absolute monarchy.
For,
although the will of an absolute monarch is law,
yet his edicts must be registered by parliaments.
Even this formality is not necessary in an empire.
There the maxim is quod principi placuit legis habet rigorem,
even without having that will and pleasure recorded.
There are but three empires now in Europe,
the German or Holy Roman,
the Russian,
and the Ottoman.”

George Santayana

The aphorism written in 1905 by philosopher/author George Santayana in The Life of Reason, vol. 1: Reason in Common Sense, seems apropos here:

“Those who cannot remember the past
are condemned to repeat it.”

And so, that begs the question…

How could we have possibly gotten to this so very corrupted point?

Samuel Johnson

Again, let the words of the wise guide us, because when ideas or thoughts are repeated, it re-emphasizes their importance.

Renown lexicographer Samuel Johnson (1709–84) expressed that idea as much in Rambler No. 2 (24 March 1750) when he wrote in part that,

“Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.”

It is of unimaginable necessity that it is incumbent upon us to recollect this saying made by a GOP Presidential nominee candidate upon the campaign trail heading toward the Republican national convention:

“I could
stand in the middle of 5th Avenue
and shoot somebody,
and wouldn’t lose any voters…
okay?
It’s, like, incredible.”

POS45

–– Donald J. Trump, then-candidate for the Republican nomination as President, at a campaign rally 23 January 2016 at Dordt College, in Sioux Center, Iowa

On October 23, 2019, William S. Consovoy, an attorney defending Trump against a suit filed by the House of Representatives seeking his tax returns, told the three-judge panel (en banc) of the Second United States Circuit Court of Appeals that Trump was LITERALLY immune from ANY type of prosecution.

Judge Denny Chin asked Mr. Consovoy, “What’s your view on the Fifth Avenue example? Local authorities couldn’t investigate, they couldn’t do anything about it?”

Mr. Consovoy replied, “I think once the president is Read the rest of this entry »

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America First!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 18, 2019

Let’s not mince words: I believe in a STRONG Federal government.

Period.

While no government is perfect, ours is becoming “a more perfect union” because of the Federal government, which is comprised of “we the people.”

It has rarely become more perfect because of states’ actions. It has been Federal actions which have unified the 50 states under a common banner – the Constitution.

As evidence of that, one only need look to history for examples.

It was the Federal government that abolished Slavery.

It was the Federal government that gave women the Right to Vote.

It was the Federal government that gave 18-year-olds the Right to Vote.

It was the Federal government that gave Blacks the Right to Vote, and the Civil Rights Act.

It was the Federal government that gave same sex partners the Right to Marry.

It was the Federal government that struck down anti-miscegenation laws.

It was the Federal government that protected children from sexual predators worldwide.

It was the Federal government that protected underage women from sexual exploitation in pornography.

It was the Federal government that protected Prisoners from sexual abuse.

And, it was the Federal government that protected people from housing discrimination.

The list is longer, but by now, you should get the point.

Government is NOT “the problem” – contrary to what Ronald Reagan said in his first Inaugural Address when he proclaimed that “government is the problem.”

For if government was the problem, then the solution to that problem would be the abolition of it – and that is anarchy, the absence of government.

So, the Federal government is not your enemy.

Because YOU are the Federal government.

YOU are “we the people.”

And in our nation, the people have the power, so… power to the people – right on!

Again, our nation is by no means perfect, but we are becoming a more perfect union because of what we do.

One of our nation’s enduring principles is equality under law, as ensconced in the 14th Amendment which states in pertinent part that in Section 1, that,

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States,
and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,
are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;
nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property,
without due process of law;
nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction
the equal protection of the laws.”

“Due process of law…”  and “equal protection of the laws.”

Those two clauses have been instrumental in bringing equality and the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity since the 14th Amendment was ratified July 9, 1868.

So tell me, please why it is that blatant injustices like this still exist?

KC family had full-time jobs, but no one would rent to them. Can a proposed law help?
https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article237281324.html

Until Tiana Caldwell was diagnosed with a second bout of ovarian cancer last year, her family’s finances and housing were stable. She had no idea they would be homeless within months.

She started treatment, and the bills piled up quickly. She and her husband, Derek, fell behind on their rent, and that summer they were evicted.

Tiana Caldwell and her family were evicted while they struggled to pay the rent as well as her medical bills from her ovarian cancer treatments. Because of that eviction, landlords refused to rent to them. Finally they have found a stable home. Jill Toyoshiba JToyoshiba@kcstar.com

“At one point, I did maybe think it would be better if I didn’t make it,” said Caldwell, who is now in remission. “I just couldn’t stop fighting, even when I thought that maybe that was what was best.”

After the eviction, the family was marked. The blemish on their record made landlords wary of renting to them, even though she and her husband held full-time jobs. After months of searching, they found a home and moved in, but on their first night, sewage backed up into the bathtub and toilet. Caldwell said the house was declared uninhabitable. The family was homeless once again.

For about six months, they lived in cheap hotels or stayed with her husband’s relatives. They tried to keep life as normal as possible for their 12-year-old son, AJ, but some things — like having his friends over — weren’t possible.

“He wasn’t able to do any of that, and he couldn’t tell anybody why because he was ashamed,” Caldwell said. “He didn’t want his friends to know.”

Caldwell’s family is just one of 9,000 households who face eviction each year in Jackson County, a rate housing advocates say is a crisis.

She joined KC Tenants, the organization pushing Mayor Quinton Lucas and the City Council to adopt a tenants bill of rights. …

In his State of the Union address January 11, 1944, late, former POTUS Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed a Second Bill of Rights, saying in pertinent part, that: Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Sessions: Suitable Or Not For United States Attorney General?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Is Republican Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III suitable to be United States Attorney General?

Some say “yes,” others say “no.”

Let’s examine his record – it should speak for itself.
The legal term for that concept is “res ipsa loquitur.”

1.) Sessions said of the SCOTUS decision in Shelby County v. Holder (570 U.S.___(2013)), an Alabama-based case which gutted important parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that “Shelby County has never had a history of denying voters and certainly not now,” even though Shelby County’s history of discrimination is well-documented and ongoing when in 2008 the small town of Calera in Shelby County drew a gerrymandered voting map which excluded their only Black councilman out of office.

Gerrymandering Explained, by Steven Nass - original post here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203407721984998

Gerrymandering Explained, by Steven Nass – Each square represents a precinct. See original post here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203407721984998

Before Calera’s local elections in 2008 the town had redrawn its city boundaries which – even though the town’s Black voting-age population had grown from 13-16% – eliminated the only majority-Black district which had been represented by Ernest Montgomery since 2004, and decreased the voting-age Black population from 71-30% by adding three overwhelmingly White subdivisions while failing to include a large surrounding predominately Black-populated neighborhood.

The United States Department of Justice objected to Calera’s actions, and notified City Officials, who defied the DOJ’s orders and held the election anyway which caused Mr. Montgomery to lose the election by two votes, of which he said “they voted against me because of the color of my skin.”

2.) When Sessions was Alabama Attorney General he supported the “separate but equal” policy ensconced in Alabama’s 1901 Constitution in Amendment 111 which to this day deprives impoverished children in Alabama of a right to public education because public support for school funding collapsed after its passage, and since the early 1990’s created enormous funding disparities in school systems statewide which remain, despite legislative attempts to remedy.

3.) Sessions voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (Public Law 103–322).

4.) Sessions is a fierce opponent of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973(a)) and called it a “piece of intrusive legislation.”

5.) Sessions voted against Read the rest of this entry »

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What are taxes for? Who should pay them? Should you pay more, or less?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 31, 2015

Kroger Tools for Schools Drive sign

Kroger Tools for Schools Drive sign

It infuriates me to see signs & posters like these, because THAT is what taxes are for!

And, if there aren’t enough taxes collected from the wealthy (and obviously, there aren’t), then we see “drives” and other collection points like this.

Just this evening, in conversation with my neighbor, she shared with me about how her co-worker – a young, single mother – recently confided in her, and said that she didn’t earn enough money to make ends meet – to pay the rent, keep the lights turned on, and feed her family and that she regularly has to go to a local food pantry (which itself often runs out of food because the need is so great) to augment her meager ability to purchase food – and that she, herself, didn’t have supper because she chose to feed her children, instead.

My neighbor remarked, Read the rest of this entry »

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Tennessee may modernize antiquated beverage alcohol laws

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tennessee has some very strange and peculiar laws regarding the regulation of beverage alcohol, most of which remain rooted in the Prohibition Era, and in in fear.

And, true to form, it would be no wonder that Baptists – the arch-conservative religious political right wing activists of the right wing party – are directly involved in efforts to keep the state mired in the antiquated bad old days of yore.

Tennessee is unique in the regard that state law forbids sale of wine except in state-licensed liquor stores. To clarify, the state of Tennessee has an unusual combination of laws that forbid sales of wine in any other type store save one that sells liquor. Further, sales are prohibited on Sunday. Beer, however, is able to be sold in grocery stores… but only if the ABV (Alcohol By Volume) is under 6%.

Alabama once had a similarly prohibitive content law, along with bottle size restriction – which severely limited the sales of domestic and imported craft/micro brew beers and ales. Alabama no longer has such prohibitive limitations.

And then, if one considers the implications of that law – mandating the sale of wine be exclusively limited to sales in liquor stores – the state actually sanctions the liquor enterprise itself, rather than being a neutral, regulatory body. In Tennessee there are no state-operated liquor stores as there are in Alabama. To have a state-run enterprise is not contradictory to the free market, because the state is a direct competitor in the market, which frequently has the lowest priced products, because taxes are the markup/profit margin for the state. Contrasting that model with the private retailer, the private retailer must make a profit atop the taxes which the state charges (after they purchase from the state at a wholesale cost – the same cost the state sells to the general public), thus increasing the retail price above what the state sells it.

Supporters and opponents of a bill that would let grocery and convenience stores sell wine undertook one final push to sway Tennessee lawmakers Monday ahead of a make-or-break vote in the state legislature.

Liquor store owners, grocery store operators, wine shoppers, a sheriff, an addiction specialist and a minister were among the people allowed to testify at a special hearing held a day before the Senate State & Local Government Committee is to vote on the biggest rewrite of Tennessee’s liquor laws in decades. Members guarded Read the rest of this entry »

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FaceBook jokes aside, are there GENUINE dangers in Social Media?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 11, 2012

Slowly, but surely, there is a resounding “YES!” which is beginning to reverberate throughout the nation, in response to that question.

Recently, news reports have emerged that FaceBook‘s lawyers are seeking a way around the “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998.” Mr. Zuckerberg’s opposition to COPPA is well-known. In a May 2011 interview with CNNMoney writer , when asked how he would deal with COPPA, said “Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process. If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works. That will be a fight we take on at some point.”

[Ed. note: The COPPA may be read here: http://www.ftc.gov/ogc/coppa1.htm]

That federal law, in essence, forbade (that is, made illegal) any effort by an online entity from collecting personally identifying information from children.

And, true to form, there will doubtlessly be laws enacted, and court cases decided that deal with issues of commerce, privacy, First Amendment rights, and other certain freedoms that we as people freely exercise.

Doubtless as well, those pushing the limits will be corporations – those “artificial” persons, which – according to the United States Supreme Court – also have the EXACT SAME RIGHTS as any real person.

And then again, there’ll be the TEA Party/Republican radicals that scream “too much government, too much regulation, smaller government, less regulation – let the free market decide!”

In essence, not only have you already become a commodity that is bought, sold & traded (think “slavery” – yes, I’m dead serious), but you will soon no longer have any rights to control the invasive eavesdropping/electronic surveillance/stalking that the companies perform against you while you peruse their websites or use their software. Suffice it to say, the information they collect about you is not yours, but rather theirs.

And just so you’ll be aware, this FaceBook problem is not exclusively limited to the United States.

Before closing this commentary, I’d like to let readers know that there are several good browser add-ons that assist privacy efforts. Among them are “HTTPS Everywhere” – by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and “DNT+” – by Abine. Of course, Aurora by Mozilla/Firefox is a more secure browser than either Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Apple’s Safari.

I encourage you to also read the Consumer Reports article on FaceBook privacy which follows this item.

ADDENDUM Tuesday, 26 November 2013:

F.B. (Fluff Busting) Purity (FBPurity.com) is an anti-spam, browser extension / add-on that lets you clean up and customize Facebook. It filters out the junk you don’t want to see, leaving behind the stories and page elements you do wish to see. The list of story types that FBP hides is customizable to your taste. It alters your view of Facebook to show only relevant information to you. It removes annoying and irrelevant stories from your newsfeed such as game and application spam, ads and sponsored stories. It also hides the boxes you don’t want to see on each side of the newsfeed.

Wising Up to Facebook

June 10, 2012, By

WHAT’S the difference, I asked a tech-writer friend, between the billionaire media mogul Mark Zuckerberg and the billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch?

When Rupert invades your privacy, my friend e-mailed back, it’s against the law. When Mark does, it’s the future.

There is truth in that riposte: we deplore the violations exposed in the phone-hacking scandal at Murdoch’s British tabloids, while we surrender our privacy on a far grander scale to Facebook and call it “community.” Our love of Facebook has been a submissive love.

But now, not so much. In recent weeks it seems the world has begun to turn a jaundiced eye on this global megaplatform. While that may not please Facebook’s executives, it is a good thing for the rest of us — and maybe for the future of social media, too.

The recent history of the Facebook phenomenon has been a serial bursting of illusions.

Most conspicuously, there was the

Read the rest of this entry »

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Get government out of our daily lives!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 14, 2012

This morning, as I was going about my morning routine, it occurred to me in that process that I am Read the rest of this entry »

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A note on Illegal Immigration

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 7, 2010

An old Social Security card with the "NOT...

Image via Wikipedia

The following is one of the typical e-mail “you must do something now!” kind of messages that so many of us receive in our e-mail in boxes.

In such typical fashion, they are either contain a type of ‘the world is going to end’ (and soon, if you don’t act now!), or either “the sky is falling!,” type of message.

While the motivation for the message, or the idea behind them may – at times – be worthwhile, often the delivery is suspect.

Following is the message, and – NOT TO BE MISSED – is …Continue…

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Sex, Drugs & Rock-n-Roll, “I want my MTV,” and… the end of Titty Bars.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 16, 2010

Ever been to a strip club?

It’s almost a “who hasn’t?” response.

We see them on teevee and in the movies, so if one has never been, it’s almost as if they have, even if they haven’t been physically.

Even Huntsville, Alabama – a conservative, strongly religious, Republican-leaning state, and Huntsville, it’s most highly educated city – has strip clubs.

Otherwise and sometimes known as titty bars, and a variety of other pseudonyms, the venues are typically bars or lounges where alcohol is served to predominately male patrons by female employees, and whom quaff their brews while seated together in a dark room watching a female dancer gyrate to various popular musical tunes, accompanied by various stages of disrobing.

Sometimes, depending upon locale and local or state law, the female dancers may be required to wear “pasties” which are opaque adhesive coverings which cover their areolae and nipples. Sometimes also – again, depending upon state and/or local law – alcohol may or may not be served, though it frequently is consumed on premises.

Typically, the dancers will be …Continue…

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