Gun's don't kill people. People with guns kill people.


"No body could have done a better job than Obama, with the economy he was handed —including me!" —Bill Clinton—

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Price of Apathy Is Losing Our Freedom

The Federalist No. 10

Titled: The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection

Was published in: The Daily Advertiser
 on Thursday, November 22, 1787Written by James Madison To the People of the State of New York:

AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union (a political unit consisting of a number of states or provinces with the same central government), none deserves to be more accurately (done with care) developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction (special interests). The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice (of special interests).

He will not fail, therefore, to set a due value on any plan which, without violating the principles to which he is attached, provides a proper cure for it.

The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils (by special interests), have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished; as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious (superficially plausible, but actually wrong ) declamations (deliver words or a speech in a rhetorical or impassioned way).

The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models, both ancient and modern, cannot certainly be too much admired; but it would be an unwarrantable partiality, to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side, as was wished and expected.

Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties (special interests), and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.

However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation, the evidence, of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. It will be found, indeed, on a candid review of our situation, that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments; but it will be found, at the same time, that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes; and, particularly, for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements, and alarm for private rights, which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. These must be chiefly, if not wholly, effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations.

By a faction (special interests), I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction (special interests): the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.

There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction (special interests): the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.

It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease.
Liberty is to faction (special interests) what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction (special interests), than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

The second expedient is as impractical as the first would be unwise. As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves.

The diversity in the faculties (an inherent mental or physical power) of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable (impossible to overcome) obstacle to a uniformity of interests.

The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.

The latent causes of faction (special interests) are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts. But the most common and durable source of factions (special interests) has been the various and unequal distribution of property.

Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction (special interests) in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government.

No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time; yet what are many of the most important acts of legislation, but so many judicial determinations, not indeed concerning the rights of single persons, but concerning the rights of large bodies of citizens?

And what are the different classes of legislators but advocates and parties to the causes which they determine? Is a law proposed concerning private debts? It is a question to which the creditors are parties on one side and the debtors on the other. Justice ought to hold the balance between them. Yet the parties are, and must be, themselves the judges; and the most numerous party, or, in other words, the most powerful faction (special interests) must be expected to prevail. Shall domestic manufactures be encouraged, and in what degree, by restrictions on foreign manufactures? Are questions which would be differently decided by the landed and the manufacturing classes, and probably by neither with a sole regard to justice and the public good.

The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling with which they overburden the inferior number, is a shilling saved to their own pockets.

It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to the public good.

Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. Nor, in many cases, can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations, which will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may find in disregarding the rights of another or the good of the whole.

The inference to which we are brought is, that the causes of faction (special interests) cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects (regulation).
If a faction (special interests) consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote.
It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution.

When a majority is included in a faction (special interests), the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens. To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction (special interests), and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed.

Let me add that it is the great desideratum (prerequisite, something that is needed) by which this form of government can be rescued from the opprobrium (harsh criticism) under which it has so long labored, and be recommended to the esteem and adoption of mankind.

By what means is this object attainable?

Evidently by one of two only. Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time must be prevented, or the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression. If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. They are not found to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals, and lose their efficacy in proportion to the number combined together, that is, in proportion as their efficacy becomes needful.
From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction (special interests).

A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.
Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.

Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union (a political unit consisting of a number of states or provinces with the same central government).

The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.
The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.

Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose.

On the other hand, the effect may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages (votes), and then betray the interests, of the people.

The question resulting is, whether small or extensive (large) republics are more favorable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal; and it is clearly decided in favor of the latter (the large) by two obvious considerations:

In the first place, it is to be remarked that, however small the republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that, however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number, in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude.

Hence, the number of representatives in the two cases not being in proportion to that of the two constituents, and being proportionally greater in the small republic, it follows that, if the proportion of fit characters be not less in the large than in the small republic, the former will present a greater option, and consequently a greater probability of a fit choice. (The larger the republic the more likely to find a fit number of representatives.)

In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters. (The larger the republic the less likely that immoral men will be able to be elected and work their will with determent to those they represent.)

It must be confessed that in this, as in most other cases, there is a mean (a choice equally far from two extremes), on both sides of which inconveniences will be found to lie. By enlarging too much the number of electors, you render the representatives too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests; as by reducing it too much, you render him unduly attached to these, and too little fit to comprehend and pursue great and national objects.

The federal Constitution forms a happy combination in this respect; the great and aggregate interests being referred to the national, the local and particular to the State legislatures.
The other point of difference is, the greater (larger) number of citizens and extent of territory which may be brought within the compass of republican than of democratic government; and it is this circumstance principally which renders factious combinations less to be dreaded in the former than in the latter.

The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression.

Extend (enlarge) the sphere (government), and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other.

Besides other impediments, it may be remarked that, where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonorable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust in proportion to the number whose concurrence is necessary.

Hence, it clearly appears, that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of faction (special interests), is enjoyed by a large over a small republic, -- is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it.

Does the advantage consist in the substitution of representatives whose enlightened views and virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices and schemes of injustice? It will not be denied that the representation of the Union will be most likely to possess these requisite endowments. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest? In an equal degree does the increased variety of parties comprised within the Union, increase this security. Does it, in fine, consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here, again, the (size)extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage.

The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction (special interests) in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.

In the extent and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists.


Commentary: The new capital R Republicans of today are the factions of which James Madison spoke in his essay. Madison knew that there is safety in numbers, large numbers. The Neo Republicans represent the very factions that Madison warned us about. Their most specious (superficially plausible, but actually wrong ) declamations (deliver words or a speech in a rhetorical or impassioned way)—that we should have a small government answerable to a few powerful men—are according to Madison the very things that have destroyed past republics.

Why would anyone (faction) who claims to love this country—founded on the ideas of enlightened and moral men—twist our history in such a way as to negate the very words of those who wrote the documents upon which the Nation was founded?

Are they ignorant or malicious? To what ends and purpose? So they can as, Grover Nordquist, said "drown our government"—of the people by the people and for the people—"in a bathtub." Who is so anti American they would utter such treason? Yet he was a top Republican adviser to President, George W. Bush, who said The Constitution was, "just a g-d damn piece of paper"—a piece of paper—he had sworn to protect and defend against all enemies both foreign and domestic.

The rich in this country already control 95% of the wealth of this Nation, control the "so called" political debate and have bribed a large percentage of our "representatives" What do they want now? Our Homes? The rate of bank foreclosures in this country is obscene.
They use "specious declamations" about issues that inflame passion to divide us and conquer us. Why?
When I am lied to I want to know why? I consider it a slap in the face, an insult of the highest order. In history the rich have always wanted unlimited power to exploit the weak and powerless. America was founded to end that kind of tyranny. Why are you helping them do it?
The people in Egypt rose up in pursuit of freedom an equality, it should be a reminder of what we are losing—as we slip into becoming a nation of serfs ruled by a growing plutocracy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

America:The United States of Plutocracy.

In American history an indentured servant was typically a young, unskilled laborer who came to America under contract to work for an employer for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for their ocean transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of their indenture. They included men and women; most were under age 21, and most became helpers on farms or house servants. They were not paid wages.

There is a new insidious form of this old custom running rampant in America. More and more Americans are so far in debt to banks—that are charging exorbitant interest rates—that they will never get out of debt. America is no longer the home of the free‚—we are shackled by the chains of debt imposed on us by the banks with the total cooperation and full participation of our so called "representatives."

In a 2005 memo to investors of the "plutocratic class" Citibank executives suggested that America already is a —government run by the wealthy for the wealthy—plutocracy and that their new investment strategies should use that information to their advantage to maximize their future profits.

They went on to say that:
"The heart of plutonomy, is income inequality. And Societies that are willing to tolerate/endorse income inequality, are willing to tolerate/endorse plutonomy. These ends were accomplished by capitalist friendly government's and tax regimes, deregulation, free trade, and globalization that re-arrange's global supply chains with mobile well-capitalized elites and immigrants, greater financial complexity and innovation." Remember credit swap defaults were so complex that even Harvard educated traders were at a loss to explain them. They went on to say: "Perhaps one reason that societies allow plutonomy, is because enough of the electorate believe they have a chance of becoming a Plutoparticipant. Why kill it off, if you can join it?" "In a sense this is the embodiment of the "American dream"

Their main fear was that it could all end if the people ever woke up and voted out the people who are the guardians of the plutocracy. "The first, and probably most potent, is through a labor backlash. Outsourcing, off-shoring or in-sourcing of cheap labor is done to undercut current labor costs. Those being undercut are losers in the short term. While there is evidence that this is positive for some workers it is also clear that high-cost substitutable labor loses."

"Low-end developed market labor might not have much economic power, but it does have equal voting power with the rich. We see plenty of examples of the outsourcing or off-shoring of labor being attacked as “unpatriotic” or plain unfair. This tends to lead to calls for protectionism to save the low-skilled domestic jobs being lost. This is a cause championed, generally, by left-wing politicians."

Commentary: Its time to bring their fears about a "peasant" backlash to fulfillment. I urge you to boycott their banks, quit buying at Wal-Mart, form credit unions that give interest free loans, and vote out every Republican or Democrat that supports the financial exploitation of America. Call for the nationalization of the Banks starting with the Fed. Abrogate all free trade treaties that exploit this nations labor force. Tax corporations and the mega-wealthy. Remove all tax breaks for all so called "American" global corporations that ship jobs overseas.

Its time to take back our country.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Bigger the Better

The Republicans obsession with a small un-intrusive government—so that their real constituency the uber-rich can work their will in economic affairs without consequence—on one hand—flies in the face of their intrusive micro management of our personal freedoms, that are in direct conflict with our human rights as spelled out in our Constitution—on the other.

They railed at any idea that businesses should have any meaningful regulations that safeguard against a collapse of the banking system while paying their fair share of taxes, and at the same time they were "enraged"—that the banks needed to be bailed out—when in fact, the bailout was orchestrated by them for their friends on wall street—after they led a decades long campaign that gutted the regulations that had held banks in check for decades, and when democrats tried to restore sanity and reform they voted against those reforms to a man. Enraged, really?

Yet those self same avowed small government shills have no problem interfering with a woman's right to control her reproductive life, or denying the rights of gays to legalize a union with the person they want to spend their lives with, or hampering the free speech of someone who wants to burn the flag as a protest against the excesses of our government and its destructive policies abroad, or suspend habeus corpus for the purpose of torturing those they deems "terrorists" or insinuate that this nation is a "christian nation" which would be quite a shock to the Founders, who deliberately called for separation of church and state in the first amendment, or spying on its citizens without a warrant. And now they want to abrogate the 14th amendment in the state of Arizona by denying citizenship to people born in this country whose parents are not citizens.

All amendments it seems are fair game to them except for the 2nd amendment which gives their more fanatical and increasingly unstable "ditto-head" followers the impulse to shoot the representatives of the opposition on sight—because they have incited them with their hate-filled rhetoric—much like the Nazi incited hatred of the Jews, liberals and gays prior to the take over of Germany.

To say that Republicans are opportunists and use peoples fears as political fodder to divide us—is to give opportunists a bad name. They are far worse. Their agenda does real damage to the Constitution and undermines our freedoms.

They have twisted history, lied, cheated and have stolen elections. This is not a new political scenario—undermine the government at every turn while exerting greater and greater control over peoples personal lives. The Nazi did it in the 1930's and 1940's and unless we are vigilant the new American fascists will do it here as well.

Contrary to popular opinion—the threat is not from the liberal left, but from the fascist right.

The founders were clear that a big robust government is the best defense against any one party or faction trying to take control and work its will for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many and spelled it out in the Federalist #10.

The Republican small government mantra is diametrically opposed to that wisdom and is a big lie—told in order to subvert the Constitution and the government that stands between you and their predatory natures. Ask yourself, If markets are the best most efficient way of producing wealth and stability—as they claim—why do they fail so often? In truth, the markets are a ponzi scheme run by rich men who think nothing of robbing you blind, because they have no allegiances to this country—only their own greed—why do they ship jobs overseas? Because they put their profits above your welfare! Why do they rail at paying taxes? Because they put their profits above this nation! A small government leaves us weak and defenseless against the powerful and the rich who would exploit us.

They could care less about you, jobs, gays, the flag, or abortion they use those issues to turn you against your own self interests.

Commentary: The Nazi used the German people in a similar way and in the end destroyed them and their nation. The problem is this time there won't be an America that comes to the rescue. We will have become what our fathers and grandfathers of the "Greatest Generation" fought against.