“Free” Speech At The “Free Speech Forum” (October 22, 2018)

Posted in First Amendment, Freedom / Liberty on October 22, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “They advertised the ‘Free Speech Forum’ as ‘a gathering open to everyone and anyone committed to free, open, unfettered and unbounded discussion of any and all topics and concerns’ and in the very fine print noted ‘(except topics and concerns that are too complex, painful or difficult to address as determined by the unfettered discretion of the Committee)’.”

J          “Calling it the ‘Forum After The Forum’ is intriguing and inviting.  I am intrigued; I feel invited.  ‘A gathering open to everyone and anyone committed to free, open, unfettered and unbounded discussion of any and all topics and concerns including but not limited to topics and concerns that are complex, painful and difficult to address’ sums it up.”

. . .

J          “There is no entry fee to the Forum, but there is a cost.”

. . .

K          “I hate to see folks doing to themselves what we try so hard to keep the government from doing to us.”

J          “You must make both gigs to find out what cannot be discussed and then to find out what must be discussed.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “NFL Protests:  Celebrating And Revering A Great American Tradition (September 25, 2017)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The Smith/Norman/Carlos tableau is a cross between the Statute of Liberty and the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima

If you want to know who controls you, consider those you are not allowed to criticize

Free Speech, why not?

Free Speech, what good does it really do if it is enslaved?

Third Annual Noble Prize In Jurisprudence (October 15, 2018)

Posted in Noble Prize in Jurisprudence, Supreme Court on October 15, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “A prize dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the work of someone who or some organization that really knows something about jurisprudence and the impact of courts, judges, lawyers and police on the lives and livelihood of ordinary citizens.  Someone who lives the conviction that men and women should establish and respect some norms and standards that are promulgated clearly to all and enforced equally in favor of and against all.”

J          “Someone who advances the Rule of Law and stuff like that.  I like it.  The law schools are vacant deserts of inbreeding and infighting that gestate little legal gamesters.  But they do surprise and do apparently house two dozen hundred (2400) courageous professors willing to take a public stand against an unqualified individual nominated for the Supreme Court.  And yet the bench remains a magnet for wankers who played the legal game profitably and perpetuate the game for the benefit of the judges and a few lawyers.  Is anyone qualified in America?  Is someone outside American eligible?  Give the nod again to another underappreciated and overworked public defender who somehow managed to make a difference and call it good.”

K          “We should.  Remember that they were included in the group of individuals who received the award two years ago.  The recipient of the third annual Noble Prize In Jurisprudence . . . is another group . . . you got it . . . the cohort of courageous law professors willing to take a public stand against an unqualified individual nominated for the Supreme Court.  Many of them hail from the corporatist law factories such as Yale, Harvard, Chicago and Virginia and may have jeopardized their careers by taking a stand.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Second Annual Noble Prize In Jurisprudence (October 16, 2017)”, “First Annual Noble Prize In Jurisprudence (October 17, 2016)” and “Award Deadlines (Livelines?) (July 25, 2016)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

e-mail to a group who shared their concerns with Senator Murky about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh written after she failed to vote “no” despite expressing some reservations:

Were we played?  Were we conned?  Were we duped?  Were we punked?  Were we chumped?

Someone said weeks ago that the only certainty in the confirmation process is that BK will be confirmed at the end of the process.  Everything else is just staged theater.  One thing and only one thing mattered to me – did Murkowtowski vote “no” on the nomination? 

Someone asked yesterday and someone else contended today that everything was just a staged show.  A comment from someone still haunts me:

          I don’t give Murkowski any credit either – she got the greenlight from her leadership to vote “no” only after it became clear that Manchin would nullify her vote.

          Collins and Flake played their usual coy act then voted straight party line as always.  Collins undoubtedly received sufficient promise of support in her next election or some other incentive, and Flake was voting for his post-office employment in the right-wing lobbying/consulting/think tank world.

In one of my seven substantive letters to her (often copied to Collins and Sullivan), the letter on August 18 concluded with a challenge:

          A few years ago, the original vote card tallying the Senate vote on the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that passed in 1964 was displayed at a National Archives exhibit down the street from your shop.  For all time, there are check marks under “No” next to Ernest Gruening’s name and next to Wayne Morse’s name. 

Flake is as advertised.  Murkowski and Collins elected to fail.  So much for electing more women in politics and expecting a positive difference.  Same new same new.  We cannot fail not to elect them in the next go round.

Third Annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics (October 8, 2018)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Economics, Economics Nobel, Nobel Prize, Noble Prize, Noble Prize in Eco-nomics on October 8, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “An award dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the work of someone on the planet who really knows something about eco-nomics.  Eco-nomics is about making and sharing; e-con-omics is about taking and stealing.”

J          “The Noble Prize in Eco-nomics is a delightful and playful replacement for the discredited and misnamed ‘Nobel’ Prize in Voodoo E-con-omics.  And I get it.  You get what you reward.  You need to reward what you want to get.  Who gets it this year?”

K          “The recipient of the third annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics is . . . Ellen H. Brown who writes and speaks about money, banking, financial reform and the need for publicly run banks.  A lawyer and political candidate, Ms. Brown is the founder and president of the Public Banking Institute, a nonpartisan think tank researching and advocating for the creation of publicly run banks.  She has authored twelve books including Web of Debt and The Public Bank Solution, speaks regularly on these topics and crafts the “Web of Debt Blog.”  Her considerable corpus of work is undergirded by the conviction that eco-nomics should be concerned with pursuing the public good not just producing goods.”

. . .

J          “The ‘Nobel’ Prize in Voodoo E-con-omics is given by the Swedish Central Bank to someone who advances the interests of the central bankers or at least does not threaten them.  Their selections are not surprising.  Ellen Brown is number ‘n’ on the central bankers’ list of possible recipients.” 

K          “Bill Black is a co-number ‘n’ on the central bankers’ list of possible recipients.”  

. . .

K          “The Committee also examined and considered the pioneering work of Professors Mark Skidmore and Laurence  J. Kotlikoff who have contributed immensely and without enough credit to tracking and analyzing federal expenditures that are not on the books or part of the public discussion.”

. . .

[See the “Intergenerational Financial Obligations Reform Act” (INFORM Act), “Has Our Government Spent $21 Trillion Of Our Money Without Telling Us?” in “Forbes” by Laurence Kotlikoff and Mark Skidmore dated December 8, 2017 and “Heretics welcome!  Economics needs a new Reformation” in “The Guardian” by Larry Elliott dated December 17, 2017.]

[See the e-commentary at “Second Annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics (October 9, 2017)”, “First Annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics (October 10, 2016)”, “Announcing The First Annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics (May 2, 2016)”, “Award Deadlines (Livelines?) (July 25, 2016)”, “From e-con-omics to eco-nomics? (August 1, 2011)”, and “Skip the Nobel in Economics (October 6, 2009)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The life cycle of American business:  Engineers build, salespersons sell, hedge funders loot

When what is known as “e-con-omics” transitioned to “behavioral economics,” the undertaking should have been moved from the department of religion to the department of psychology.  The undisciplined discipline does not require its own department.

Boycott banks; support credit unions

The Illegitimate Institution Unpacks After “Beach Week”:  Time To Start Packin’ The Court (October 1, 2018)

Posted in Courage, Courts, Supreme Court on October 1, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “There is a cancer in the current Court.”

J          “The current Court is the cancer.”

. . .

K          “I do believe Dr. Blasey Ford.  I do not believe Brett Kavanaugh.”

J          “I do not believe Brett Kavanaugh.  I do believe Dr. Blasey Ford.”

. . .

K          “Thomas has confirmed the claims of those who claimed that he is unqualified.  He doubled down on the incompetence out of spite.”

J          “Gorsuch is occupying the ‘Stolen Seat’ without any reservation or compunction.”

K          “And the ‘American Psycho’ is set to assume the third illegitimate seat.”

. . .

K          “Why not?  The argument is that if you do it, they will do it.”

J          “So be it.  Something must be done.  Do it.  Pack it.”

. . .

K          “Only a few Americans realize that the appointments are not for life, they are ‘during good behaviour.’  They are behaving badly.  They need to go.  The Democrats need to present a coherent vision and future and then start impeachment hearings against the illegitimate Justices.”

J          “But the Democrats are weak, effete, feckless and craven.”

. . .

J          “Kavanaugh is ethically obligated to recuse himself from any case involving the Democratic Party, the ACLU, any left wing group broadly defined, voting cases, partisan gerrymandering cases, claims involving Presidential immunity and authority, the Environmental Protection Agency and global climate change, immigration, and other issues.”

K          “Or Roberts must preclude him from participating and deciding.  Someone needs to keep track of any cases in which he participates and later when the forces of light are in control to issue an omnibus order holding all of the holdings void ab initio.”

J          “Each failure to recuse himself is a separate impeachable offense.”

. . .

J          “He observed that if you gave some credence to packing the Court, you would not get into Yale.”

K          “That’s the heart of the problem.  That’s the game in America.  Kavanaugh was angry and frustrated that the ordinary people did not understand that because he got into Yale, all his sins and transgressions were forgiven.”

J          “Secular redemption in today’s America.  Perhaps part of a comprehensive solution is to close Yale and to close Harvard, convert the dorms into low income housing and use the funds to create a great educational institution open to individuals with intellect and integrity and the oft-forgotten . . . character.”

J          “And closed to those who do not have character.”

. . .

K          “Any chance that the Senate will do right?”

J          “Not.  A.  Chance.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Is Kavanaugh Qualified? (July 30, 2018)”, “KavaNaugh(t): Naught.  Oh, and Happy Women’s Equality Day! (August 27, 2018)” and the e-commentary under the Categories “First Monday In October” and the “Supreme Court”.]

Bumper stickers of the week: 

Kavanaugh Calendar:  June 5, 1982:  “Achievment Tests”

B     E     A     C     H          W     E     E     K

Five Red Robes Trump Four Blue Robes

My child is a courageous law professor

The Truth has no statute of limitations

My daughter is a courageous Alaska lawyer

“What goes around, comes around”  Brett Kavanaugh

Partisan Gerrymandering:  From Ballots To Bullets?  Oh, And Happy National Voter Registration Day! (September 24, 2018) 

Posted in Partisan Gerrymandering, Politics, Supreme Court, Voting on September 24, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “‘Don’t bother me,’ opined the Chief (Justice) to the Indians.  ‘I closed the doors to the Supreme Court.  If you want to change polity, you must resort to bullets not ballots.  My Supreme Court is in business to help big business, it is not in business to help little people,’ proclaimed the Chief.  ‘The game is gamed.  The franchise is foreclosed.  The ballot box is buttoned up.  Go away.  Go home.’”

J          “He does not get it.  ‘In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience,’ observed Stokely Carmichael.  We have a problem.  And he gets it.”

K          “A (Supreme) Court without a conscience.”

J          “In a Country without a conscience.”

. . .

K          “If Roberts and gang do not want to protect the public against partisan gerrymandering, they should resign and let someone else do the job.”

J          “They like the money.  They like the power.  They like to impose their will.”

. . .

K          “I vote for the ballot.”

J          “I second the vote.”

K          “Now we need to get the Chief to focus on protecting the ballot rather than promoting the bullet as the means to bring about peaceful change.”

J          “He just does not get it.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Sweet Senate Alabama (December 18, 2017)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week: 

Vote

“Those who make peaceful revolution [resolution] impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”  John F. Kennedy (Ted could have polished/improved/cadenced the statement by saying “peaceful resolution” rather than “peaceful revolution”.)

Coups d’état, Bail Outs And Bail Ins:  Clio’s Diary/Chronology.  Oh, And Happy Constitution Day! (September 17, 2018)

Posted in Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System on September 17, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “September 15 is the ten year anniversary of the Great Financial Coup d’état of 2018.”

J          “We. Just. Will. Not. Learn.”

. . .

Recent Coups d’état:

2000:  Political coup d’état – by the Republican judicial branch / Supreme Court, Inc. when it rejected the franchise / election and counting of votes by citizens, appointed Bush, Jr. as President, set in place subsequent coups d’état and cemented the dominion of the Kleptocracy to supplant a democracy.

1999 – 2008:  “Pogo” participation by the populace in the Economic coup d’état – by the ordinary people who lost their senses, judgment and perspective with considerable encouragement by the powers that be that be very powerful.  The populace invested money in companies that could not even promise blue sky, pursued returns that were inconceivable and “rented” homes they could never afford.  The people unwittingly participated in and ratified the insanity and criminality.  Blame is everywhere.

2008:  Economic coup d’état – by the Democrats and Republicans in the executive and legislative branches who cooperated in looting the public fisc for the benefit of the few / 1 % / Kleptocrats at a devastating cost to the public and in particular innocent and uninvolved future generations who must finance the at least 4.2 Trillion dollar ($4,200,000,000,000.00) giveaway.  Give or take.  Probably give another 1 Trillion dollars to the number that was given away.

2016:  Populist coup d’état – by a demagogue Republican President / executive branch buffoon and charlatan who fooled a genuinely angry, frightened and desperate public to vote for him and installed an oligarch and his oligarchy to run the Kleptocracy.

2017:  Judicial coup d’état – the Supreme Court, Inc. is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party, Inc. occupied by Five Red Rich Republican “Catholic” Corporatist “White” Boys . . . And All By-Products Of The S.I.C.

2018:  Judicial coup d’état – the coup de grace in the making.

Recent And Projected Bail Outs And “Bail Ins”:

1998:  Banks/Wall Street bail out Long Term Capital Management

2008, September and October:  Federal Reserve bails out Banks/Wall Street.  See above.                                        

20__:  International Monetary Fund (IMF) bails out Federal Reserve; Taxpayers bail out or “bail in” the Banks/Wall Street.

20__:  God bails out the International Monetary Fund (IMF); No one bails out Taxpayers.

20__:  God files Chapter 11 Reorganization; Taxpayers file Chapter 7 Liquidation.

. . .

[See “In 2008, America Stopped Believing in the American Dream” in “New York” Magazine by Frank Rich dated August 6, 2018.]

[See the e-commentary at “Futile Efforts (September 29, 2008)”, “A Bleak Day:  The Trillion Dollar Tragedy (October 6, 2008)”, “Bailouts: Out; Bail Ins: In; Slowly Boilin’ The Frog (April 15, 2013)”, “Globalizing The Bail In (July 8, 2013)”, “September 15, 2008 – The Date That Should Live In Infamy (September 16, 2013)”,“‘Bail Ins’ Are Globalized; ‘Bail Outs’ Are Bailed Back In; No Bail For Bankers (December 29, 2014)”, “Punt, Pass And Kick:  The End Is Far (February 24, 2014)” and “They Can Print Money (November 2, 2015)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

So, help us God, so help us God.

Judges:  Conflicts Of Interest And The “Self—Interested Empathy Theory” Of Judicial Decision Making (September 10, 2018) 

Posted in Abortion, Fourth Amendment, Law, Rule of Law, Supreme Court on September 10, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “A judge shows all-consuming ‘empathy’ for pensions and will use all of the powers at his or her disposal at any and all costs at any and all times and in all and any ways to protect his or her pension.”

J          “So they are too ‘empathetic’ about pensions?”

K          “Exactly.  They are way, way too ‘empathetic’ and have a conflict of interest that precludes them from addressing such matters neutrally, but they address such matters first and foremost.”

. . .

K          “By contrast, judges are given nearly free health care and can flash their ‘judge badge’ if any dispute arises over coverage.  However, when a private citizen encounters a judge who has no experience with criminally intransigent health insurance companies, the judge rules for the insurance company.”

J          “And thus judges make asinine comments in court such as ‘How could the health insurance company make a mistake in coverage because it is their job to know what is covered and not covered’ and then dismiss the case and sanction the injured and uninsured party.”

K          “Indubitably.”

. . .

K          “When it comes to Fourth Amendment protection for cell phones . . . .”

J          “Justices have cell phones.”

K          “Justices have cell phones, but some of them are so cocky that they are above the law that they don’t have to stoop to relying on the mere Fourth Amendment.”

. . .

K          “How many of the Justices flirt with personal pregnancy?”

. . .

K          “The only way to engender empathy is to put the judges in the shoes of the populace or to put the populace in the robes of the judge.”

J          “The latter is more promising.”

K          “Law is too complex and too important to be left to the lawyers and the judges.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Pensions, Conflicts Of Interest And The Illinois Supreme Court (June 1, 2015)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

There is no law, there is only ideology