Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Are We Seeing the End of The Rule of Law?

This is a great country, unlike most its very foundation is based on people being free, and all people regardless of class being treated equally. The very fact that I can write this blog, and editorialize about current events is proof of that. Because this country was founded on the Rule of Law, everybody being equal, every citizen has the right in this country to freedom of the press. The government doesn’t get to determine who the press is, who can publish, or what ideas may be published. In this country if you have the means to publish you are allowed to publish. For generations that has meant that those who could afford to own or hire a printing press (or later radio and TV stations) were the only people who could exercise that right. Everybody for generations had the right, just not the means. Now virtually everyone with a cell phone is a TV reporter, and because every public library has computers with access to the internet there is literally nobody who doesn’t have the means to publish their ideas, views, and news. Truly today we have freedom of the press. Our rights as defined in the Bill of rights are extensions of the Rule of Law.

I have a relatively famous friend, if you’ve seen an action movie in the past few decades and if you bother to read the credits, you’ve seen his name, Flint Eagle. Flint is a happy gregarious man who enjoys life, and in general makes everybody around him feel good. We we’re bussed from redneck orange groves to a high school situated in the middle of a Greek enclave located in the deep south. The grandson of a famous professional wrestler, Flint is a Native American half breed stunt actor and driver who has managed to earn a living at playing. Because we were friends in the past, I’ve made a habit of trying to watch movies he’s in. Just so I can say “I know that guy, I remember when he was a scrawny kid,” yada yada yada. So trying to catch up on all of Flint’s movies, some are very bad Zombie movies, others are summer blockbusters like The Hulk, I had to sit through the HBO John Adams mini-series where he did stunts. Even trying to escape the cares and worries of what’s going in the world, I’m lead back to US politics. Watching John Adams it struck me as odd how different John Adams was from our current President.

In his closing arguments defending British soldiers who shot into a rioting crowd killing 5 colonists, he said, ” "The law, in all vicissitudes of government, fluctuations of the passions or flights of enthusiasm, will preserve a steady undeviating course; it will not bend to the uncertain wishes, imaginations and wanton tempers of men." None of the soldiers was convicted of murder. Thus setting up the foundation that regardless of class and circumstance, no man is above the law, and all men are to be treated equally before the law, even against popular condemnation. The US from its beginning was founded on the Rule of Law.

President Obama on the other hand “informed” BP, that they would forgo their rights to due process, and give the government billions of dollars to pay claims for damages due to the Gulf oil spill. BP has not been proven to cheat anybody, or evade its responsibility for the damages it’s caused. BP is not refusing to pay legitimate claims. They got caught taking shortcuts to save money and time, and appear to be willing to pay for the damages that their risky actions caused. They have made over 25,000 claim payments for over $63 million already and repeatedly insist they will pay all legitimate claims. Their actions to date have not shown any attempt to evade their liability. BP is a group of people (stock holders), and as such those people have rights. Including property rights as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of our Constitution which says, "No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Obama’s extortion of Billions of dollars of stock holder’s money clearly violates the Fifth Amendment, and puts Obama’s dictates above the rule of law.

Maybe if Obama like John Adams started every day with a flagon of hard cider, he’d mellow out a bit and like the lawyer he is, uphold the rule of law. How very different the lawyer presidents Obama and John Adams are. John Adams while fighting for self rule fought to defend British soldiers because he believed in the Rule of Law.

Rule of Law: Definition - Absolute predominance or supremacy of ordinary law of the land over all citizens, no matter how powerful. First expounded by the UK law Professor A. V. Dicey in his 1885 book 'Introduction To The Study Of Law Of The Constitution,' it is based on three principles that (1) legal duties, and liability to punishment, of all citizens, is determined by the ordinary (regular) law and not by any arbitrary official fiat, government decree, or wide discretionary-powers, (2) disputes between citizens and government officials are to be determined by the ordinary courts applying ordinary law, and the (3) fundamental rights of the citizens (freedom of the person, freedom of association, freedom of speech) are rooted in the natural law, and are not dependent on any abstract constitutional concept, declaration, or guaranty.

Obama by arbitrary official fiat took the property of citizens without due process(40% of BP shareholders are us citizens). If we the people allow this to continue, all of our rights are in jeopardy of being eliminated or overruled by arbitrary official fiat or government decree.

All of our unalienable rights are based on a very few very old principles, primarily the Rule of Law. Taking the property of another whether through theft, extortion, or fraud is wrong. Because we have lawyers we have to have lots of laws hammering down that principle. Based on the Rule of Law, a thief, whether rich or poor, whether black or white or brown or yellow or freckled, whether male or female or transgendered, whether politician or ordinary citizen is supposed to be treated the same. Why is Obama’s extortion of BP stockholders future and current earnings above the law? If the government deny the right to due process to one of the biggest corporations in the world what’s to stop it from denying any right to anybody? Obama, like Don Corleone, made an offer; BP couldn’t refuse. I wonder what “horse’s head” ended up in BP’s Bed?

The press, be it a little read blog, or CNN, under the rule of law should be treated the same legally. The government is actively trying to eliminate citizen journalism. A “free press” was good and grand when only the rich could afford to publish and the voices and ideas of “small people” were just a little background buzz. Like the Industrial revolution which made complex machinery, indoor plumbing, and luxury products affordable to virtually everybody, the information revolution has made publishing and the press affordable to everybody. This means the elite no longer have access and means to control the press, and to what information the public at large is exposed. “Great” journalists like Dan Rather and Helen Thomas have been put to pasture because rich elites no longer control the press. Before the information revolution, the recording of Helen Thomas’ anti-Israel rant would have been squelched and used by powerful elite to sway her writings. Matt Drudge is proof of what one person free from the editorial control of the rich elite can do. President Clinton was impeached because of freedom of the press and all publishers of the press, be they large or small, being treated equally under the law. Because of the Rule of Law, a nobody pounding away on a computer in the public library is now free to expose government and corporate abuses, no longer is the news limited to what editors, beholding to the powers who pay them, say is the news.

If we ignore the rule of law, as Obama is with BP and did with GM, then all of our rights, like freedom of the press, freedom from unreasonable search and seizures, free speech, and freedom of religion can be taken away without due process or accountability. I mean, if the rule of law is ignored, we’d start seeing people arrested and locked up for talking about religion in public and the police seizing their video cameras so the government can hide or lie about what happens. (oops that happened in Michigan over the weekend CLICK HERE)

Our leaders are very frustrated over the Rule of Law, free press, and the Constitution in general. It keeps getting in the way of their dictates. The free press is keeping Pelosi from pushing through legislation to squelch political speech. Obama while campaigning lamented that the constitution gets in the way of making significant changes. Because a free press, free speech, and a liberty minded populace is making it difficult to create “law”, the elitists are resorting to arbitrary government fiat, and granting bureaucracies wide discretionary powers, to avoid accountability and constitutional restrictions. By ignoring the Rule of Law, Obama is abusing the rights of all citizens, not just BP. He is our president not our King, he is not above the rule of law.

The end of the Rule of Law is happening in the USA, why are we tolerating it?

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