Day: March 5, 2011

Correction! Arizona In 2011 Is Both Mississippi And South Carolina!

The author has already labeled Arizona, with its anti immigration legislation targeted at Latinos and Hispanics, as the equivalent of Mississippi in its treatment of African Americans in the 1960s.

Now, Arizona must also be compared to South Carolina, with its threat of nullification of federal laws and the Constitution, which went on from the 1830s with John C. Calhoun, all the way up to Fort Sumter and the Civil War in 1861!

It is extremely ironic that just as we are about to commemorate the tragedy of the Civil War’s beginning on April 12, we now have the Arizona State Senate passing legislation declaring the power to nullify federal laws and the US Constitution if they do not like what is being done!

This idea of defiance was supposed to be settled by the Civil War prosecution by Abraham Lincoln, and also supposed to be resolved by US National Guard intervention in Arkansas in 1957 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and in Mississippi and Alabama in 1962 and 1963 by President John F. Kennedy!

Now, however, State Senator Russell Pearce of the Arizona legislature is promoting defiance of the federal government, not only on immigration matters and the health care law, but also on anything else that he and his followers believe is unconstitutional!

Apparently, they have learned nothing from history, and the reality that only the Supreme Court can declare actions of the executive and legislative branches unconstitutional!

To advocate anything else is TREASON, subject to prosecution by the federal government if action is actually taken, and if need be, Presidential control of the state National Guard to enforce federal laws and federal court decisions, just as in the South in the 1950s and 1960s!

Anyone living in Arizona should be ashamed of what their government leaders are advocating, a path that would lead to chaos and lawlessness and abuse of power by state outlaws, and it might be necessary at some point to enforce federal law by intervention by Federal authorities!

Hopefully, before we get into that kind of crisis, cooler heads will prevail, as states may not defy the US Constitution and be allowed to get away with it!

This is a warning to Governor Jan Brewer, State Senator Russell Pearce, and other radical right wingers: Shape up or else suffer the consequences of disobedience of constitutional law!

The Ultimate Hypocrisy: Union Busters Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, And Sean Hannity Are AFL CIO Union Affiliated Members!

For the past two and a half weeks, since the beginning of mass protests in Wisconsin against Governor Scott Walker’s plan to eliminate collective bargaining for most public employees, the biggest critics of labor rights have been talk show hosts on radio and Fox News Channel, including Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity.

All three have made the average listener or watcher think that the public service workers in Wisconsin and nationally–teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses, librarians, sanitation workers, prison guards and others–are radicals, free loaders, extremists, etc. who are being grossly overpaid and gaining unjust pension and health care plans. They have been supporting the right wing attempt led by the Koch Brothers and other corporate interests to destroy the labor movement, which brought about the growth of the middle class.

But it has been proved that all three talk show hosts are, themselves, members of an AFL CIO Union affiliate, AFTRA, which is the acronym for the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists!

These demagogues make millions upon millions of dollars annually, and spew forth lies and propaganda! They have no shame, and are cocky and arrogant!

They find it easy to condemn teachers, who speak and communicate more hours per week than they do, but actually are having a real effect on young people, preparing them for all kinds of occupations, and also for being better human beings. Where would we be without our teachers, who are often unsung, but have a greater impact on more people than any other profession or field of work?

They find it easy to condemn police officers and firefighters who risk their lives every day! They find it easy to attack nurses who save lives every day. They take for granted the efforts of sanitation workers, prison guards, librarians and others who do important public service every day!

They show lack of respect for those on the government payroll who make our lives better every single day, and are NOT adequately recompensed!

What do these talk show hosts contribute? They promote hate, division, lies, propaganda, deception and confrontation, while enriching themselves with their spewing of “hot air”! They contribute NOTHING positive to the future of America, and they have the gall and hypocrisy to gain benefits from a labor union, and yet condemn labor unions and support corporate attempts to destroy the middle class, in their mad dash to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, and displaying lack of social responsibility to anyone other than their own greed and selfishness!

Presidential Challenges To The Power Of The Supreme Court: From Jefferson To Obama

As the author reflected on yesterday, the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration as President of the United States and his taking the oath of office from Chief Justice Roger Taney, he thought of the tremendous rivalry which existed between the Taney Court and Lincoln regarding the Dred Scott Case of 1857, which asserted that a slave was property and could be taken anywhere in the nation by his or her slave owner.

And the recognition of rivalry and opposition by many Presidents to the Supreme Court during their terms of office came to mind.

Thomas Jefferson was a great rival of his cousin, Chief Justice John Marshall, and bitterly opposed the Court’s decision in Marbury V. Madison, which established the concept of judicial review. Jefferson also tried very diligently to remove Associate Justice Samuel Chase by impeachment from the Supreme Court, which ultimately failed in 1805.

Abraham Lincoln bitterly disagreed with the Dred Scott V. Sanford case of 1857, and was a constant rival of Chief Justice Taney during the years of the Civil War, as Taney and his Court made efforts to weaken Lincoln’s war powers until his death in 1864, an event applauded by many members of Lincoln’s Republican Party.

Theodore Roosevelt often spoke of the need to transform the Supreme Court, and specifically called for a constitutional amendment to limit the tenure of Supreme Court Justices while campaigning on the Progressive Party line in 1912, and was critical of Supreme Court decisions that he thought were bad for the nation.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was highly critical of Supreme Court decisions that limited the New Deal programs, and advocated a “reorganization” of the Court in 1937, which would permit the appointment of six new Justices, one for each Justice over the age of 70, a plan called an attempt to “pack the Court” by its critics who defeated it.

And now, Barack Obama has been highly critical of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United Case, which certainly both Roosevelts would have joined him in opposing the unlimited power of corporations to contribute to political campaigns, an idea which became law in the Progressive Era, and now has been upended after nearly a hundred years by the John Roberts Court!

So challenges to the power of the Supreme Court have occurred under many Presidents, and most specifically, under those in the past considered to be among our greatest Presidents–Jefferson, Lincoln, TR, and FDR. Barack Obama is joining great company indeed!