commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for the ‘police powers’ Category

The Individual Freedom Reclamation Amendment

Thinking about how religious people in the US, from diverse traditions, can reclaim our Nation from corporate control, led to a search of Catholic encyclicals.  One thing that keeps popping up in Catholic social justice – identical to things I have heard from many fellow Witches – is the dignity of the human person.  Although not widely known,  several encyclicals starting with Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum make it clear that the Roman Catholic Church opposes US-style capitalism just as much as it opposes socialism. In fact, it opposes any economic or political system which violates the dignity of the human person.  Given that many Baptist and Evangelical churches were deeply involved in the civil rights movement, I would think that many Protestants share this belief as well.

As the current pope has put it:

“the market has prompted new forms of competition between States as they seek to attract foreign businesses to set up production centres, by means of a variety of instruments, including favourable fiscal regimes and deregulation of the labour market. These processes have led to a downsizing of social security systems as the price to be paid for seeking greater competitive advantage in the global market, with consequent grave danger for the rights of workers, for fundamental human rights and for the solidarity associated with the traditional forms of the social State.” – Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate

One problem in the Western world is that corporations – in legalese, “non-natural persons” – are recognized as persons by the legal system. This enables large amounts of capital to be used in ways no human person could muster: to control media, depress wages, and eliminate the “social security” net (not speaking solely of the US agency called “Social Security”.)

To restore the dignity of the human person as superior to capital – as is the belief of many Pagans, as well as many Christians – I think the following Amendment to the US Constitution might be appropriate:

ARTICLE (?).
1. No Right, stated in this Constitution, shall apply to persons other than Natural Persons, unless specifically granted to persons other than Natural Persons.

2. Section 1 of this Amendment shall not apply to the Powers of Congress as enumerated in Article I, Section 8 of this Constitution.

3. For the purposes of this Constitution, and all laws and regulations made subject to it, the phrase “limited Times” or other like phrases shall be construed as one-third of the average lifespan of a Natural Person citizen of the United States. Said lifespan shall be calculated on a decennial basis by the Social Security Administration or successor agencies; if said agencies cease to exist the national Census shall be modified to determine said lifespan.

4. Sections 1- 3 of this Amendment are curative and shall apply immediately to all treaties, laws, and court decisions now standing.

Quote Updates 9/22

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT):
“If an institution is too big to fail, then that institution is too big to exist.”
http://sanders.senate.gov/

Walter Kittredge (1863):
“Many are the hearts that are weary tonight, wishing for the war to cease; many are the hearts looking for the right, to see the dawn of peace.”
http://www.merrimackhistory.org/Walter%20Kittredge.htm

Anton Szandor LaVey:
“It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable.”
http://www.satanicchurch.com/content/9-sins.aspx

Brendan Cathbad Myers:
“When most pagans think of ethics, they usually think of the Wiccan Rede — a highly utilitarian idea which has nothing to do with virtue. I’d like to change that.”
http://www.wildideas.net/cathbad/

Ken Sanzel:
“Not every story has a point. Sometimes you just bend spaghetti to watch it break.”

Decisions, decisions

My father died some months ago, and although I had determined – through consultation with attorneys – that no civil attorney would take the case, the rest of my family was not convinced. (No civil attorney would take the case because in the State of NJ, civil punishment against a doctor who commits gross malpractice is considered a “windfall” for the survivors, and therefore punitive civil damages are outlawed in NJ.) I believe that – if investigated by the prosecutor – a case could be made for some degree of manslaughter against at least two of the doctors involved in my father’s so-called care, but I agreed with my sibs to hold off on bringing it to the attention of the prosecutor’s office until they double-checked. Not only did they not double-check on their own, but they brought my mother along so that she’s in no shape to go through an interrogation again any time soon.

So now I’m ready to request prosecutorial investigation, as soon as I clear it with my employer (I work in government.) And of course my mother is all for letting my dad’s murderer off the hook, and I have a feeling my sibs will be as well. (Never mind how many cases the doctors screwed up before and how many people they may kill in the future: with no civil punitive damages, incompetent physicians only have to worry about cases where the patient survives with complications or is responsible for supporting minor children.)

One friend suggested that I meditate on it for a while, as the argument over bringing it to the prosecutor will probably sever all my family ties. (Never mind it’s what my father would have done if my mother had been treated similarly.)

One melody came to the harp, the words are:

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His father’s sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
“Land of Song!” said the warrior bard,
“Tho’ all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!”

Words of a UU hymn also came to mind:

Once to every soul and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Then to stand with Truth is noble,
While we share its wretched crust,
Ere that cause bring fame and profit,
And ’tis prosperous to be just.

Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet ’tis Truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong;
Then it is the brave one chooses,
While the cowards stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue
Of the faith they had denied.

If I do not pursue this, all that I am is a lie. I deny my own existence.

“With tragic joy he knew that this cusp was his, not Jill’s. His water brother could teach, admonish, guide – but choice at a cusp was not shared. Here was ‘ownership’ beyond any possible sale, gift, hypothecation; owner and owned grokked fully, inseparable. He eternally was the action he had taken at cusp.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

How can a victim of a police officer get a fair criminal trial?

Prosecutors work regularly with the police.

So how can you expect prosecutors to work against police, such as in New York City?

You can’t.

Maybe it’s time the Sullivan Law was extended to the NYPD.

Ness County KS Sheriff recommends throwing people into the street based on unapproved behavior

A 35-year-old woman living with her boyfriend developed a severe phobia of leaving the bathroom.  He indulged her, brought her food and clothing changes, but she eventually sat on the toilet too long such that it got attached to her gluteus.

So now the ever-compassionate Sheriff Bryan Whipple is recommending that the boyfriend be charged for not forcing the woman to leave the bathroom.

I hope the County Attorney has the sense not to comply with the Sheriff’s wishes.  Meanwhile, Kansans, you’re on notice: if you have a person acting oddly and living in your household, you should throw them out, because otherwise your kindly local Sheriff might decide to charge you with abuse for feeding, clothing, and otherwise taking care of them in the manner that they – and not the local Communists, I mean Sheriffs – wish to live.

Boycott Jamaica and Hedonism II

Unless you’re a gay-basher and like to beat gays to a pulp, because Jamaica is the happy hunting ground for such people – and by bashing I’m not talking about nasty names, I’m talking about attempted murder being not only OK but encouraged by many Christian ministers on the island.

More information here.

New Orleans: Open for business, closed to people

Sure, they’re getting the businesses rebuilt, but they’re tearing down the four largest neighborhoods and having the New Orleans Thug Department taser and pepper-spray the affected residents.

Can we get our Federal relief money back? I’m tired of business/corporate welfare coming above people.

I’ve sent the following letter to my congresscritter:

========

To the Honorable Christopher H. Smith:

CNN reports this morning at

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/12/20/neworleans.protests/index.html

about how they’re tearing down four major communities in New Orleans, but the citizenry trying to attend the meeting was assaulted by so-called police officers.

New Orleans is trying to promote an image of “business as usual”, which implies to me that the Federal aid sent down there went primarily to business instead of to people.

I’m tired of corporate/business welfare being handed out by the Federal Government, especially when there are people who want to rebuild their lives – and are not permitted to return to their homes, then blamed for their homes being in disrepair!

Is there any way to put a sanction on Federal aid to the State of Louisiana to recoup the money misspent by that state on attacks of the lower-middle-class?