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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 25, 2007 7:16 PM. The previous post in this blog was So what is Kate Brown up to?. The next post in this blog is Urban renewal without the urb, cont'd. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Amerika -- soon you won't recognize it

Last week, we had a thread going on the longest-lasting damage perpetrated by George W. Bush. Those of you who didn't say the Supreme Court appointments ought to check out what the Chimp appointees brought us today. Let's see -- if government violates the separation of church and state, there's no recourse in federal court. The feds can finesse the Endangered Species Act by laying off enforcement to the states. Teenage kids can be kicked out of school for holding up a sign that says something inane like "Bong hits for Jesus." And any campaign finance reform you try to pass can easily be circumvented with thinly veiled attack ads that purport to be about "issues," rather than candidates.

And that's all in just one day! We've got another 20 or 30 years of this to go. Enjoy, America. "Let's put a clown in the White House -- what difference does it make, as long as he cuts my taxes?" You are about to find out.

Comments (17)

The constitutional answer to "too much free speech" as identified in McCain-Feingold is more free speech, not less. This particular ruling should be celebrated.

"This particular ruling should be celebrated."

Buy media stocks.

Never understood the whole 'money is free speech' thing... it basically legalizes corporations as citizens with voting rights. Or equates each donated dollar as a vote, in a roundabout way. It's time for publicly financed elections for senators and the president's office so we don't have to rely on an overly partisan SCOTUS to draw seemingly obvious conclusions.

I don't know how congress believed Bush's appointed goons wouldn't vote the way they are now. What, they didn't believe their voting or personal record before their very eyes?

I'm scared for our country.

Today it was Power 4, Little Guy 0. What heroes we have in the black muu muus.

The issue is not so much "money as free speech" (if you think about it, money enables, or limits, free expression) as it is that the court gives constitutional rights (in particular, the First Amendment right of freedom of expression) to corporations.

ohhhh yeah, the Supreme Court. With all of the other foul ups from this crew, one tends to forget about the gift that will keep on giving long after the fun and games stop in the oval office.

I think 20 or 30 years to get rid of this bunch may be optimistic, given the advances in health care we've seen (that is, at least for those who have health insurance).

Look how long Strom Thurmond was propped up in the Senate.

As one who values the idea of separation of church and state, I'm not fond of the outcome in that case -- but it seems to me that on very narrow technical grounds, it was correct.

Your summary about "government" violating that separation is overbroad; what the court found (essentially) is that the executive branch is not necessarily restricted by the First Amendment. It does say, after all, that "Congress shall make no law..." And indeed, in this particular case, Congress didn't.

The executive branch is not "government"? Nice hairsplitting. See you in the gulag...

Don't forget in M37, the side with the most money and the big out of state money LOST.

thanks
JK

Of course the executive branch is government. But, despite what Bush would like to believe, the executive branch is not the entire government. So your implication that there is no recourse in federal court if "government" violates the establishment clause is, as I said, overbroad.

In any event, the establishment clause as written doesn't protect against all of government having anything to do with religion. It protects against Congress specifically from making a law that would establish a state religion.

Again, I'm not especially happy about the actual outcome. But that doesn't make the reasoning of the court any less sound.

And, one remedy that would certainly be constitutionally sound (if not politically viable, alas) would be a Congressional prohibition against the executive branch spending any money on any activity that promotes faith-based groups over secular groups.

despite what Bush would like to believe, the executive branch is not the entire government. So your implication that there is no recourse in federal court if "government" violates the establishment clause is, as I said, overbroad.

Please don't belabor this. That is the most ridiculous, and dangerous, pile of manure since WMD.

In any event, the establishment clause as written doesn't protect against all of government having anything to do with religion. It protects against Congress specifically from making a law that would establish a state religion.

Completely and utterly irrelevant to the jurisdiction question, which is what this case (like this post) is about.

When 6 or 7 delinquent morons wearing "Goth" clothes decide to follow your young female student around public school (ala Vito's kid from the Sopranos), let them know that this harrassment is free speech.

When two losers from the school wear T-shirts glorifing recently famous school mass-murderers, and have the locker next to your kid, rest assured the courts will hear the refrain of freedom of expression.

I ran a Boys Club for 8 years in Newark, and have been a Prosecutor for 26 years. The majority of adolescent violent criminals give off warning signs before they commit the atrocities that destroy lives. Look at VT and Columbine. The signs were there, but he schools felt powerless to stop them.

This whole free speech in school situation defies logic when it comes to student safety.

That's why the answer is to send your kids to Catholic Schools. They can throw the animals out.

The majority of adolescent violent criminals give off warning signs before they commit the atrocities that destroy lives.

It's a lo-o-o-o-ong way from "Bong hits for Jesus" to violent crime. But if the principal doesn't like your kid, he can just make that stretch and kick him or her out of school. Next you'll be telling me that a kid telling the principal "I don't like you" is the first step to premeditated murder.

Unfortunately, the "dissent = security threat" construct may be the Bush administrations most lasting contribution to American culture.

"dissent = security threat" sounds like a Nixon specialty.

I full well agree with you, Jack, and fuller.

You are onto something in your construct (of sarcasm), "a kid telling the principal "I don't like you" is the first step to __fill_in_the_blank_with_dire_ending__." Not sarcastic or funny at all, I believe addicted mindlessness in TV watching is the gateway drug to prevelant sexual theatrics, prevalent violence histrionics, and, in individual example cases of the pandemic: demented, ideologically fixated, injust Court rulings in imperiousness.

It is farther from deliberated Justice than you have portrayed.

I also disagree in less than full amount. At the 'toss off' of a spite: "We've got another 20 or 30 years of this to go." It is natural, and habitted, to make conversational references such as '20 to 30 to 40 years' futures, in all manner of things, (Court longevity, e.g.), and even remarks such as 'in the coming century,' (perhaps 'global warming,' e.g.)

I used to casually say such things, too. Now I have gotten sensitized to the reflexiveness of saying them, in keeping circulated, and thus 'normal,' the denial of including the known accurate information in our future 'projection' thoughts we say to each other. Ever since I've looked up the information, and, what is known of it says we have almost used up all the crude oil on Earth. There is much disagreement on How much? and How long? is left, but there is complete agreement that, whenever it is that oil is gone, the condition of it is absolute -- things are not going to go on like they used to, things are never going to be as they were for the last century, in all facets of society -- commerce, government, science and arts, religion, food,clothing,andshelter.

By my account that less than 20 years of oil remains, at the rate it is being consumed on Earth; and simply applying that knowledge in this one (silly?) instance, I disagree we are going to endure this Supreme Court "another 20 or 30 years." I recognize this is a niggling disagreement, but, hey, just saying ....


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