Constitutional Illiteracy is at Epidemic Proportions

I ran across this column yesterday in the Washington Post that was written by Anne Applebaum. Here’s a little background on Ms. Applebaum from Wikipedia:

Applebaum was born in Washington, D.C. Her parents are Harvey M. Applebaum, a partner in the Covington and Burling law firm, and Elizabeth (Bloom) Applebaum, of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Applebaum has stated that she was brought up in a “very reformed” Jewish family.[5] Her ancestors came to America from what is now Belarus.[6] She graduated from the Sidwell Friends School (1982). She earned a BA (summa cum laude) in history and literature at Yale University[7] (1986), where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. As a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics she earned a master’s degree in international relations (1987).[8] She studied at St Antony’s College, Oxford, before moving to Warsaw, Poland, in 1988 as a correspondent for The Economist.

Obviously an accomplished woman and seemingly well educated. With her top notch education and her life’s experience how is it possible that she is so ignorant when it comes to the U.S. Constitution? I surmise it’s because she is in fact well educated on the Constitution but that her education was based on bad information and/or propaganda.

The third paragraph is where the problem starts. Here it is:

Thanks to the quirks of our Constitution and the vagaries of our politics, the result is that all three branches of the U.S. government are dominated by minorities. In the White House, we have, for the second time in less than two decades, a president who did not win the popular vote. He was elected thanks to the electoral college, a system originally designed to block demagogues, but which no longer does. Electoral college delegates are not independent, as they once were; instead, they vote as their state party chairman decides. The effect is to skew the result.

The Electoral College system is not designed to block demagogues. Instead the system is designed to temper the popular vote and prevent corrupt foreign powers from meddling in the election. No electors can be from the Senate or House of Representatives and are directly elected by the voters in each state. She is correct in that the electors are no longer independent. That is the fault of corruption within our political parties that rigged the system to their advantage in all but two states (Nebraska and Maine are the only ones with independent electors). Originally electors were to be appointed by each state legislature in any manner they chose (that’s where the problem came in allowing political parties to change from appointment to direct election). If there is any change to be made to the Electoral College system it would be to return it to independence where electors have to vote in the manner that their district demands and not the mass population of the state. With the “winner-take-all” system small congressional districts are denied their voice because of the overwhelming populations in the major cities.

This next paragraph is just a gross misunderstanding of what the Senate is and who it is supposed to represent.

For many years now the Senate, our senior legislative body, has been grotesquely out of line, too. The 40 million people who live in California get the same two votes in the Senate as the 740,000 people of Alaska. The 20 million people of New York state get the same two votes as the 755,000 of North Dakota. A system created in the 18th century, originally designed to protect smaller states against the larger ones, now has the opposite effect. The inhabitants of rural America have a far louder voice in Congress than the inhabitants of urban America, well out of proportion to their numbers. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the confirmation of Supreme Court justices.

As originally designed the Senate is not supposed to represent the people (that’s the function of the House of Representatives) instead the Senate’s roll is to represent each state. This is the reason why there are only two senators from each state. Each state has an EQUAL voice in the government and is supposed to act as a more deliberative body that will slow down the passions of the people in order to prevent mob rule.  Senators were also supposed to be chosen by state legislatures and not directly by the people.  Ms. Applebaum, with her Yale education, surely must know this. How can someone be so ignorant of the role of the Senate?!?

Now we move on to the roll of the Supreme Court.

The minority-dominated Senate and the minority-elected president have now chosen Justice Kavanaugh. And, thanks to his appointment, our Supreme Court may well cease to reflect the views of the majority, too.

The Supreme Court is not supposed to reflect ANY views. They are supposed to interpret the law as passed by Congress and signed by the President. That’s why the judiciary is independent and appointed for life. They can remove themselves from public opinion and decide disputes based on the law and not on the opinion of the majority of the people. The judiciary, as a branch of government, was also originally viewed as the weakest branch of the three. The reason it was seen as the weakest is because the judiciary had no power to pass legislation nor any power to spend money. They were only to judge the application of the laws. Only in modern times did the court obtain extraordinary power and that’s why political groups that can’t get what they want through legislation turn to the courts to try to bend precedent in their direction.

Tyranny of the majority was a definite concern and it is why the founders of the nation made our form of government a republic and NOT a democracy. A republic was thought to take a more cool and calm approach to government and less susceptible to the whims of the majority.

When they were writing it, the authors of our Constitution were worried about the tyranny of the majority, not the tyranny of a minority. But two centuries after the fact, they have achieved the opposite effect. If the coming midterm elections do not reverse at least one and preferably both of the houses of Congress, that minority will have two years to entrench its power further, through gerrymandering, voter registration laws, court appointments, even changes to electoral law. And then all bets are off as to whether minority rule can ever be reversed.

What Ms. Applebaum says in the paragraph above is utter nonsense. If anything, the last election included, shows the system is still working as designed. If we didn’t have the electoral college system in place the election would have been decided by the 100 largest counties in the nation (which include most of the major cities). Most of the rest of the country would have been totally ignored and disenfranchised.

There are 3,100 counties in the United States. Hillary Clinton won only 500 to President Trump’s 2,600.  In my opinion, if the Electoral College didn’t abide by state’s winner-take-all electoral votes system, Hillary Clinton’s loss would have been massive. President Trump was extremely lucky to have pulled off the win that he did given that more people are moving to cities than rural areas.

It’s fine to feel like a loser when you’ve lost. But it’s not okay for someone, who is supposed to be highly educated, to spread such drivel.

Anne Applebaum in the Washington Post

 

President Trump is more correct than the media on Hurricane Maria death toll.

President Trump is more correct than the media on Hurricane Maria death toll. President Trump tweeted that the death toll from Hurricane Maria was between 6 and 18 when he left the island and the media is now touting that the true number of dead is about 3,000. Where did this giant number come from and which number is correct? According to the Washington Post, both President Trump and the new reported number are correct. How?

Direct deaths cause by the hurricane was set at 64 for the better part of the past year. President Trump could be correct in his tweet that the number of dead was 18 max when he left.

For much of the past year, the government had formally acknowledged just 64 deaths from the hurricane, which ravaged much of the territory and destroyed critical infrastructure.

The government of Puerto Rico, not being satisfied with the death count, commissioned a study to see how many people may have died INDIRECTLY from the aftermath of the hurricane. The phrase the media is using is “2,975 excess deaths” in the 6 months after the hurricane hit.

Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico led to a spike in mortality across the U.S. territory, with an estimated 2,975 excess deaths in the six months after the storm made landfall in September 2017, according to a sweeping report from George Washington University released Tuesday.

The government of Puerto Rico on Tuesday embraced the GWU estimate as the official death toll, ranking Maria among the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

So the magic number of 3,000 or more accurately 2,975, is an entirely made up number. It’s merely an estimate of the number of people that “may have” died as a result of complications or lack of access to medicine or some other cause that could possibly be related to the hurricane.

The GWU report has a limitation: It does not specify how people died. It is a statistical study based on death records and expected mortality rates. The researchers said they hope to conduct a more detailed investigation in the future.

“We can come up with a hundred different hypotheses,” said Lynn Goldman, dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health. She offered as an example the long-term lack of electricity, which prevented the use of some medical devices. “What we don’t have is the ability today to tell you these are the factors that caused this.”

In essence, President Trump is more correct than the media. 18 is a lot closer to 64 than 3,000. Fake news?

Read more in the Washington Post

Maybe this is why Trump calls CNN “fake news”.

Maybe this is why Trump calls CNN fake news. In this story, that was linked on the home page of CNN’s web site, CNN reports that, “Most Think Trump Will Lose in 2020”.  In the video on the web site they never bother to mention that the poll they’re referencing was taken in May of 2018. Today is August 16, 2018.

Is it real news or fake news to report on a poll taken in May and pass it off as if it is current? Opinions change rapidly and it leaves me wondering if there was a more current poll that shows the opposite.

See it for yourself at CNN

US media outlets depend on our national ADD when reporting on President Trump

US media outlets depend on our national ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder in case you didn’t know) when reporting on President Trump. They are counting on the fact that few of us will watch the entirety of any of President Trump’s press conferences. How do I know this? Because I watch the press conferences and then read the reporting. Before I go any further take the time to watch the Trump/Putin press conference in Helsinki. It’s a little over 45 minutes but at least you’ll see and hear it for yourself.

There was nothing new in this press conference other than President Trump citing the “Pakistani gentlemen” that were working for Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I haven’t seen that put forward in the press and it was still largely ignored by most media reporting on the press conference. There was a brief mention of it in the Washington Post’s editorial but it was poo pooed as a right wing conspiracy theory.

Here are the editorial headlines that do not describe what I saw.

Chicago Tribune: Trump dances to Putin choreography

The Wall Street Journal: The Trump First Doctrine

The New York Times: Why Won’t Donald Trump Speak for America?

The Washington Post: Trump just colluded with Russia. Openly.

The editorials contain some truth and some accurate quotes but they are not entirely in context nor do any of them really convey the truth of the press conference. They are painting  a picture of a President that is under the thumb and controlled by Russia when in reality this was Trump being Trump. Self promoting and bombastic while also poking his opponents in the eye.

Today’s Supreme Court decision is a victory for liberty, freedom of association, and freedom of speech

If President Trump was good for anything he was good for placing Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. Without that appointment the decision today would not have happened and labor unions would have been able to continue to strong arm people into supporting the unions’ political causes.

This one decision (and the slashing of regulations across the board) makes me glad that Trump was elected President over Hillary Clinton. A President Clinton would have turned the Supreme Court further into making law where it doesn’t exist instead of applying the laws as written.

The confiscation of one person’s rights to serve another is never justified.

The anti-union National Right to Work Foundation, which funded the challenge, predicted the ruling would free more than 5 million public employees from supporting their unions.

For the unions, which traditionally support Democrats, the ruling will mean an immediate loss of some funding and a gradual erosion in their membership. Union officials fear that an unknown number of employees will quit paying dues if doing so is entirely optional.

The ruling is likely to have a political impact in many states where these unions have been strong supporters of the Democratic Party.

Read more from the LA Times.

A license plate, a tweet, and how utterly stupid we’ve all become.

More proof that we are doomed as a society. We’re primed to be invaded and taken over by almost any outside threat because our navel gazing has reached epic proportions. I think those are enough clichés thrown into a couple sentences.

On Tuesday, Twitter user @petegaines posted a picture on Twitter of the license plate “1488” and questioned why the state issued it.

“Hey @ILSecOfState why do you allow Nazis to get Nazi slogans on their Tesla’s personalized license plates?” @petegaines tweeted.

That number is a combination of two figures celebrated by white supremacists. The first two numbers stand for “14 Words” and references the slogan, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” The second two numbers, 8 and 8, represent the eighth letter in the English language — H — and when put together are meant to stand for “Heil Hitler.”

And what is the response from the State of Illinois?

Officials with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office said state records only go back to 2002, but show the plate was associated with another person who shares the same last name as the current plate holder, who took over the number earlier this year.

Family heirloom or not, the plate’s days are numbered.

“We are going to pull the plate,” said Dave Druker, secretary of state spokesman. “We checked with the Anti-Defamation League and they confirmed those numbers are associated with white supremacy. So our plan is to reach out to (the plate holder) and offer him another license plate.”

And the guy who has the plate that was kept in his family?

The plate holder said that can’t happen soon enough.

“I’m going to be storing the car until I can get the plates changed,” he said.

He just rolled over to the fascists.

I used to have a license plate, “TITAN 88”, would that get me in trouble today with some tweeting asshole? The plate was our neighborhood football team and 88 was my number. The 88 was for a favorite player on the Dallas Cowboys not for Hitler. Why are people so fucking stupid?!?

From the Chicago Tribune. 

Don’t blame the FCC for breaking the Internet blame the EU and the GDPR

Don’t blame the FCC for breaking the Internet blame the EU and the GDPR. Most likely you’ve never heard of the GDPR. Why? Because American media hates the Trump Administration and the Trump appointed Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai.

So-called “net neutrality” never existed and was never implemented as planned by the Obama Administration. So, you’ve never experienced what people are calling “net neutrality”.

The GDPR, however, went into effect on May 28, 2018. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and it is the brain child of the fascists in Europe who want to kill American businesses that dominate the World Wide Web and the Internet. As proof, on May 29th many web sites that were based in the United States put up the following page (or something similar) to any IP address originating within the EU.

If crap like this isn’t breaking the Internet I don’t know what is.

What is the stupid GDPR? Here’s a link to a description in Wikipedia. Here is a link to a PDF of the actual regulation from the EU. It’s 88 pages of total bullshit strictly aimed at targeting American companies.

With the GDPR it doesn’t matter if your connection is fast, slow, metered, or un-metered.  It’s all about the data.

And what about the data? What’s so damned important about your data. What data are we talking about anyway? What web sites I visited? My location information? Who the hell cares? Plus, if you don’t know by now that nothing in this world is truly free you need to exit the planet. Do you think that Google’s, Facebook’s, Microsoft’s, or Amazon’s servers run for free? No, you have to pay for them in some form or fashion.

In the cases of Google and Facebook most of their revenue comes from advertising. That’s how they provide you a service. When you watch TV do you think that the people selling the advertising don’t have demographics on who watches the shows? Ever heard of Nielsen? That’s why you can watch over-the-air television for free. The TV stations sell advertising.

Now, who do we really need data protection from? It’s the government not private or public companies. It’s the government that you don’t want to let know what web sites you visit or your location. Why? Because the government can try to shut you up if you want to protest them. They can figure out who the opposition is and where they are. All Google and Facebook want to do is profit from advertisers selling you stuff. So they would like to optimize the ads you see so they’re more effective.

This has been a long and rambling rant because I’m so sick and tired of Americans and Europeans being mad about the FCC and “net neutrality”. The EU already broke the Internet and they will continue to do so. Their efforts are aimed at extorting American companies and controlling the citizens of the EU.

Let’s make 21 the national age of consent

The age of consent across the world.

If you’re old enough to enlist in the military, which is currently 18, then, to me, you should be old enough to take part in any legal activity that any other consenting adult may partake.  But you’re not. So-called vices are unavailable to you, such as drinking alcohol and smoking. Now with the latest kerfuffle regarding raising the age to purchase a firearm to 21 there is another lawful, and Constitutionally protected right no less, activity that is proposed to be taken away from people we call adults.

If we are to do this why not be consistent and raise the age of consent for everything to 21… Including enlistment in the military. If people don’t have the maturity to educate themselves on firearms as a civilian then they certainly don’t have the maturity to decide to give up their life for their country either.

Here’s a list of things that I would make illegal until a person turns 21:

  • Military Enlistment
  • Selective Service (Military Draft)
  • Smoking
  • Drinking Alcohol
  • Purchasing Firearms
  • Voting
  • Driving
  • Marriage
  • Employment
  • Consent to contract
  • Consent to have sexual intercourse
  • Impregnation (Male and Female)
  • Parenting (If a child is impregnated and carries to term that person must give up the child for adoption)

I’m sure there’s lots more I’m missing but I think this is a fair list.

In the United States we have failed our children…

In the United States we have failed our children… but not in the way you might think.

We’ve failed to teach them what this country is all about. It’s not about “justice”. It’s not about “fairness”. It’s not about “equality”. It’s not about “safety”. This country is not about anything that will keep you safe and help you sleep well at night.

Instead, this country is about LIBERTY. It was founded in revolution to obtain LIBERTY. The liberty to live your life the way you see fit as long as those liberties do not infringe upon another.

This country is NOT a democracy. It is a REPUBLIC. It was set up as a republic because the founders of the nation where students of history and knew that democracies don’t last. They kill themselves through the tyranny of the majority. The majority tend to run roughshod over the minority (minority of opinion not race) with little thought to their natural rights.

The Bill of Rights is not a list of your rights. It is a protection of your natural rights. Your natural rights are the rights to which all humans are born. The Bill of Rights is there to say what the government CANNOT take from you or do to you. This Bill of Rights does not exist anywhere else in the world and we’re extremely fortunate it was codified in the Constitution of the United States.

In this country where we have our natural rights there are times when people, for whatever reason, will violate the rights of another. It is inevitable. During these time we must enforce our laws and do so in as blind a manner as humanly possible.

Public school no longer teaches the promise of this country and the near perfect system that was envisioned by our nation’s founders. Our founders were not perfect. They were human men like any other of their time. But, their flawed human nature does not negate the genius of their philosophy of government. They didn’t agree on everything but they did agree on the promise of individual liberty.

Over hyped memo is such a waste of time

Yes, it is a waste of time, but, it’s only 4 pages long so if you don’t read it and instead base your opinions on what you hear in the news you’re being irresponsible.  Here’s a link to the  over hyped memo.

The funny thing is that the Democrats and the media were deathly afraid of this thing getting released to the public and they spent the entire week laying landmines in our brains about how this memo is misleading and inaccurate. The Republicans were no better by over hyping this thing as if it was going to blow the doors off the special counsel’s investigation into “Russian collusion” with the Trump campaign prior to the election.

The things in the memo have already been alleged in the court of public opinion. What we need to see or hear is the testimony before Congress that proves the allegations. Otherwise THIS IS A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME!

I can’t wait for the Democrat’s memo which promises to be 10 pages long and probably praises the FBI and Justice Department and calls them consummate professionals only interested in seeking the TRUTH.