Zera's Blog

A Citizen's View from Main Street

The Madison Protests: It’s Not About the Money



Over the past few years, I have likened the ideologica­l divide to a political civil war. The Democrats still embrace the Federalist view of government while the republican­s now embrace the anti-Feder­alist perspectiv­e.

“The accumulati­on of all powers, legislativ­e, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary­, self-appoi­nted, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
James Madison, Federalist 47

I am hoping that in this attack on the working class, people see the republican­s as going a bridge too far. That this turns into a Ft. Sumter moment for working America.

The country cannot function with this much conservati­ve extremism and hostility. The checks and balances have all broken down. The country is in decline. The political conversati­on has become all about picking sides and bundled agendas. We are facing a Constituti­onal crisis.

We need a major event. Something to rally around. Something that can push us past the propaganda­. Something that can be used to make us take a serious look at ourselves and our future.

9/11 involved an external threat. It was irrelevant to a constitutional crisis.

We have two diverging interpretations of the Constitution. The liberal view is a more principled interpretation, which has benefited the general welfare of the country far better but still needs better definition of it’s limitations. The conservative view is a more literal interpretation, which is more appropriate to a sparsely populated isolationist society with an agrarian economy. Conservative policies have done real harm to this country for decades, and threaten to make our current problems insurmountable.

We need an event that will lead to something like a town hall constitutional convention. A widespread and in-depth public conversation on what we want and need the Constitution to mean. Only then can we decide with confidence how we want to enforce or amend it.

Ignoring the Constitution, or pretending it says something it does not, are not options in a nation of laws.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

February 21, 2011 Posted by | Budget, Direction, Economics, Government, Labor, Unions | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is the Chamber of Commerce a Subversive Organization?


The more that Corporate America can reach across the border for cheap labor, unprotected resources, and tax shelters, the more they insulate themselves from the American people and the American economy.

The more their interests come in conflict with the interests of the American people, and therefore conflict with government for the people.

It is disturbing to see how many support what are effectively foreign interests instead of the interests of the country. Some are already owned by Corporate America. Others aspire to join them – but with only 4% upward economic mobility, it is generally a vain hope.

Government is the tool we the people have to oppose the otherwise overwhelming power of big business. It is no surprise that they go to any lengths to take that tool away from us.

The working class are the ones who truly need to take back the country.
Take it back from the oligarchs and corporatists.
Take it back from the theocrats and propagandists.
Take it back from fear, prejudice, and ignorance.

Take it back to government of the people, by the people and for the people, because we the people are the ones who ultimately bear the burdens of failure – every failure, regardless of source.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Campaign Finance, Capitalism, Economics, Elections, Government, Labor, Regulation | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Citizens United


Citizens United.

The United States Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Building

Conservative activist judges defied precedent and judicial restraint to give unrestrained political speech to corporate entities and special interests without regard for the chilling effect on free speech for natural citizens. Roberts and Alito violated some of the very principles they claimed (during their confirmation hearings) made a good judge.

There is much I would like to say on the subject, but Justice John Paul Stevens has already said what needs to be said far more thoroughly and in greater detail than I could ever hope to. With difficulty, I condensed part of his dissent into what I devoted a whole page to.

Citizens United

Just for a taste, he  said things like:

The basic premise underlying the Court’s ruling is its iteration, and constant reiteration, of the proposition that the First Amendment bars regulatory distinctions based on a speaker’s identity, including its “identity” as a corporation. While that glittering generality has rhetorical appeal, it is not a correct statement of the law.

and

The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution (SCOTUS).

and

Essentially, five Justices were unhappy with the limited nature of the case before us, so they changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law.

and

The unnecessary resort to a facial inquiry “run[s] contrary to the fundamental principle of judicial restraint that courts should neither anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the necessity of deciding it nor formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied.”. Scanting that principle “threaten[s] to short circuit the democratic process by preventing laws embodying the will of the people from being implemented in a manner consistent with the Constitution.”

It is easy to take a few sound bites out of context, stripping it of it’s full and intended meaning. In my excerpt, I strove to remain faithful to the dissenting opinion of Justice Stevens,  and the length shows it. The result only covers a portion of the dissent, and I recommend reading the whole dissent. If you do not  have the time, at least start with my excerpts on my “Citizens United” page.

October 23, 2010 Posted by | Citizens United vs FEC, Government, SCOTUS Rulings, Supreme Court | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Michele Bachmann Raises Record $5.4 Million In Three Months


Her support has nothing to do with her qualifications as a Representative and everything to do with her notoriety. She is a standard-bearer and symbol for the far right, a leader of their extremism and embodiment of their ineffectiveness and irresponsibility in matters of true governance.

She believes that we should be a theocracy, and her success is a testament to the incompatibility of theocracy and democracy. Christian fundamentalist money loves her.

She wants to dismantle government of the people in favor of corporate domination, no matter how irresponsible and destructive that is. Corporate money loves her.

Her district has the highest foreclosure and unemployment rates in the state. Little of her money comes from actual constituents.

She has formed a Tea Party Caucus in the House, and effectively dared republicans to join or else. She is accumulating power without any real accomplishment behind it. She says and does anything for political gain. She is the embodiment of what is wrong with American politics.

Those who vote for her fall into three categories:
1) Those who share her extreme ideology. They will vote for her no matter what.
2) Hardline republicans who vote the party no matter the candidate. Long-time republicans are starting to defect in her case as she becomes too extreme for them to accept anymore.
3) Those who don’t pay attention to politics and just vote the party or the name they remember or the ad they believe. A few facts make all the difference for them.

Michele Bachmann is antithetical to our survival as a country. She is pro-religious persecution and pro-corporatocracy, and anti-everything else.

  • Anti-worker
  • Anti-consumer
  • Anti-environment
  • Anti-freedom of religion other than hers.
  • Anti-civil rights that offend her personal prejudices.

Her economic policies have never worked, even for her, yet she clings to them like stone tablets.

She is exactly the sort of politician that we need to get out of government.

More on 2010 Elections
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

October 15, 2010 Posted by | Campaign Finance, Candidates, Capitalism, Constitution, Direction, Elections, Government, Religion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharron Angle Makes Light Of Media Timidity: ‘If The Press Comes Knocking, Don’t Say Anything’



The Tea Party claimed that Washington was not listening to the people. One primary victory and they fully adopt the founding justification for their party.

They have not yet been elected and they are already turning their backs on the non-sycophant majority of America.

They have already proven they will not build a responsive congress. The good news is that we do not have to throw them out, all we have to do is keep them out.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

October 11, 2010 Posted by | Candidates, Direction, Elections | , , , | Leave a comment

Meg Whitman’s Campaign Rocked With More Domestic Drama As Ex-Nanny Backs Up Housekeeper


When our forefathers gained independence from England and formed the United States, they eschewed both the forms and trappings of aristocracy. We were to be a country of the people, not kings or lords or bishops. Such is the extent to which we rejected aristocracy that the Constitution explicitly forbids the government from granting titles of nobility, and designates the chief executive as “President” – deliberately rejecting the title of “Lord” or “King” as was common at the time.

Meg Whitman represents a domestic insurgence of that aristocracy so antithetical to our founding principles. The names of the titles may have changed, but aristocracy has come to America nonetheless. They are now called CEOs and COOs and Directors instead of Princes and Lords, but their grip on the levers of power is the same.

Follow the money.

Whitman is putting more of her personal wealth into this race than the vast majority of Americans will ever see in their lifetimes. Are we to believe that she is so philanthropic that she would spend such sums for the chance to help the poor and the middle class? Is there substantial evidence of this in her past actions? How much evidence to the contrary exists? How much would this contradict the principles of her party?

It is easier to believe that she seeks to subdue California, and cause it to submit to the will of the aristocracy.

This is in no respect why we had a Tea Party so long ago.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

October 7, 2010 Posted by | Campaign Finance, Candidates, Elections | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Joe Miller Tepid Again With Palin Endorsement, Says She’s Qualified Constitutionally (VIDEO)



Wally the Beerman is Constitutionally qualified to be president. All you need is a pulse and an old birth certificate. Although conservatives seemed to prefer a Panamanian birth certificate to a Hawaiian one.

The real question is if the republicans can field a candidate willing to put the Constitution ahead of the Bible as the highest law of the land. I don’t see that happening. Their religious test is too much a part of the party ideology.

Oops, there goes the Constitution.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Elections | , , , | Leave a comment

Pelosi On Polarization In Congress: ‘After The Elections It Will Be Better’


I have to disagree with Pelosi. I think that the more seats republicans gain, the more they will shift from obstructive to destructive behavior. It is what they have been campaigning on, and is about the only thing they say that I believe.

They will try to institute policies that have already been proven to fail, yet they cling to them like stone tablets.

Their contempt for government demonstrates no inclination to improve anything. Their goal seems to be a return to confederation, where the federal government is impotent and the individual states are too small and weak to contend with Corporate America.

I expect two years of filibusters, poison pills, damaging obstruction, and divisive antagonism. The self-destruction of Congress serves the anti-federalists, but not America.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Direction | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Angle Suggests Free Market Could Solve Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage


Sharron Angle’s pronouncement shows a curious lack of understanding of the subject. I attribute this to too many talking points and too few white papers.

During the 2008 election, McCain put forth a reform plan tat failed to show basic understanding of the concept of insurance, the complexities of health care, sound business practices, and human nature. In short, it could not have worked.

Nevertheless, republicans have clung to those ideas ever since – including Sharron Angle.

The insurance companies created the problems that necessitated reforms. They had things the way they wanted them, and it would be insane to think they would make meaningful changes on their own. Especially changes that favored consumers.

She makes about as much sense as a first down in the fifth inning.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 22, 2010 Posted by | Economics, Health Care, Regulation | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Right Nation 2010 In Chicago: Glenn Beck Headlines, Journalists Not Invited (VIDEO)


Fear-mongering seems to be what passes for honor in his world. The free press, as the eyes of the people, is critical to a healthy democracy – what we are seeing here more closely resembles a conspiracy. I call them Fifth-Column Republicans.

We have a clear choice here:
Fiscal conservatives would have us submit to the power of money and the authority of unelected officials – Corporatocracy – under the baseless belief that, without government, problems will fix themselves. This is the path of taxation without representation.

Social conservatives would have us submit to their fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, in defiance of the Constitution and the core principle of our founding – the “Great Experiment” – that people could govern themselves well, independent of king or clergy. They believe they have a divine right to rule the rest of us. They do not. I call them The Religious Reich.

The Tea Party is driven by emotion, easily manipulated. I name them Political Vigilantes. They want to “take back” their country without understanding what that truly means. You cannot solve a three-dimensional problem with one-dimensional thinking, but they have been kept focused on the one dimension and do not perceive where their actions could lead. The freedom they seek, they instead surrender to Corporate America – which will disavow their support and betray their hopes. Caveat Emptor.

Then there are the Democrats, who have been demonized for doing what they were elected to do: make the hard choices – albeit clumsily and inefficiently.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Candidates | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

%d bloggers like this: