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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 23, 2011 12:14 PM. The previous post in this blog was Back east, they're starting to get it. The next post in this blog is Gang shooters head out to the Copper Penny. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why the Occupiers are out there

Because the story they were told in civics class turned out to be a lie.

Comments (14)

Jack - Corporations are people. How dare you threaten our status with your backhanded cynical comment. Keep it up and WE will cut off your access to the Internet. Your blog exists only because, right now, WE let it.

Next up...."Soylent Green is people". And you will consume it!

As an example the Portland Public school budget is 219 pages long and they don't actually produce any numbers till page 19. The total allocated is $681,185,950.00, that's a lot of money and it is the school board that lays out where that $ goes and to whom.
If you don't think that other side of the equation (unions,other favored groups) aren't in there going for that $ to further their causes, you've had one too many tall boys already.

Great read by David Sirota.
Excerpts:

...Big money is intent on owning every public institution from the White House to the schoolhouse. You need to know that if you ever think of running for office — and, as important, you need to remember it the next time you get your ballot.

It’s easy to delude yourself into thinking that the only elections that matter are celebritized presidential and Senate contests, and that local elections for your school board or town council or county commission don’t count. Clearly, that’s not the case. The most powerful people of all sure think those local races do matter — and they’re now willing to spend what it takes to exploit your apathy and rob those elections from you.

We need to keep that in mind, particularly in our next city council elections with Mayor and two commissioner's seats open. We will have to pay attention to any out of state money coming in and why, and where big dollars are coming from.

I might add my perception is that not only are our local offices viewed as important by big money, but also some environmental and other organizations. Something seems amiss when we have critical issues here and as much silence as we have had.

Well said clinaman. Voting for the right person is the only way to level the playing field, at least once every 2-4 years. Choose carefully and encourage good people to run for office. Get out and vote responsibly.

The Occupier camps ARE the new Hoovervilles. There will be more.

Politics ain't beanbag.

I am reading where churches in various cities in the US are offering places to camp for the occupy movement.
If this trend continues more people might be directly involved and the occupy folks could gain some real traction with an alliance with the various religious organizations.
What a revolution that would be! Will it happen? Even 92 year old Pete Seeger came down to NYC to march on his canes!

The Founding Fathers did not create a perfect document as many, most of the conservative, strict interpretation school, think.

Lobbying at all governmental levels is protected by the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution. The "...and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

As for money in politics = 1st Amendment right. This was legislated in by the US Supreme Court over a few precedents the most current being the Citizens United case.

When I was younger, I was of the strict intepretation school. Yet, seeing as how this line of thought when it comes to the US Constitution itself leads to activist judicial decisions, I am skeptical of both dominant schools of thought when it comes to the US Constitution.

Your "living document" types who tend to be more in line with Breyer and Ginsburg would render decisions haphazardly completely changing societal norms every 2 decades.

Your "strict interpretation" school whom Scalia and Thomas are famous (or infamous) for tend towards the reactionary and have shown to have ruled in such a manner that protects plutocrats and other monied interests.

I don't tend to generalize it so, but with the US Supreme Court ruling in such 5-4 manners, they tend to make caricatures out of themselves. Both the liberal and conservative factions of the US Supreme Court are guilty of this.

Possible solution? Have the US President threaten to pack the Supreme Court. The threat is enough to get them in line with reality and their noses out of some 200 year old text which has no bearing on today's issues.

Re: "This was legislated in by the US Supreme Court"

Killiana1a,

Could you expand upon the constitutionally mandated power of SCOTUS to legislate?

Thank you.

There is no power reserved to the judicial branch in the US Constitution for them to "legislate" per se. Hell, there is no explicit wording in the US Constitution which gives any court much less the US Supreme Court any power to rule over laws. Marbury v. Madison was when the US Supreme Court gave itself judicial review, which the vast majority of contemporary observers concede as if what explicitly written into the US Constitution. Yet, there is no explicit wording in the US Constitution giving the judicial branch the power to review laws to determine whether they are constitutional or not.

As for the situation at hand, money in politics, money as free speech has only become an issue so long as states and the feds have enacted campaign finance laws. Citizens United uses Buckley v. Valeo as precedent for why the current US Supreme Court views money in politics as a 1st Amendment Right.

The use of precedent be it 30 or more years is how the courts "legislate." Through stare decisis and the facts at hand, they come to their decision. In decisions like Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo, the decision to overturn law enacted by the duly elected representatives of citizens in our Federal Democratic Republic constitutes "legislation" from the bench.

Now, the obvious meme is what about civil rights? Blacks and minorities, if not for the US Supreme Court, would not have been given the right to vote well into the 1980s if it was not for the US Supreme Court. The Court got that one right, yet the Court is not infallible as we have seen with Dredd Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, and now Citizens United v. FEC.

You can debate 'money in politics' forever.

Or, you can ignore them all and learn how to survive.


Killiana1a:

Consider the possibility that it was meant to be so. We've been schooled that we have three co-equal branches, but there's more than a little evidence that the founders considered the legislative to be the preeminent branch. The idea was that tough questions were to be decided in crucible of political debate, by representatives answerable directly to the people, as opposed to the executive or the judiciary, neither of which are directly answerable to the people. Some, hell many, say, but but but, business interests and other interests shovel money into the process and gain influence to get their way. Well, yeah, duh. Those with the juice to control thousands or tens of thousands of jobs ought to have a serious hearing, don'tcha think? As opposed to a random crackhead on 82nd? The idea here is the money will pool with the serious and substantial players in the process. And it cuts both ways, for every corporate donor (which 0bama and the Dems get their fair share) there are union donations, Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, and others on the left who have accepted big money from the multitudes for the purpose of bringing influence to bear. And it all bangs out in the end. It's called pluralism. So, if you don't like the way things are or are going, find an interest, cause, or organization you like and agree with, and which has an effective lobbying arm, and make a donation. That's the best way to be heard.

Boycat,

We agree. I have been accused by friends and family of being a tyrannical majoritarian whose ideas would indicate I would favor a parliamentary system over our current presidential system.

I admit to being a majoritarian, but I do not favor a parliamentary system because parliamentary system as shown by Mitterand and Chirac in France, Kohl in Germany, and Thatcher and Blair in the UK can, if popular enough, stay in office for lengths of time comparable to inept dictators of third world countries.

I like regular, 4 year referendums on the executive branch, which parliamentary systems do not account for when they combine the executive with the legislative in the form of the prime minister.


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