A Weekly View from the Foothills of Appalachia
February 20, 2000 #171
by: Doug Fiedor
E-mail to: email@example.com
Copyright © 2000 by Doug Fiedor, all rights reserved
This text may be copied and distributed freely
but only in its entirety, and with no changes
Previous Editions at:
Politically speaking, the Constitution is our midline -- the middle of the road, the center of our political spectrum. Which must mean, then, that those to the political right and left have deviated from our Constitutional form of government. Ergo, they are both wrong.
We have strict authoritarian legislators on the right who freely admit that they plan to use the full force of government to force the American people to behave in the moral manner they believe appropriate. We have strict authoritarian legislators on the left who freely admit they care nothing about morals but plan to use the full force of government to redistribute the wealth in order to promote socialism, "equality" and "diversity." Both of these political extremes are well entrenched in government today. And both have one common attribute: By inflicting the full force of government on the people, they admit that they are willing to send men with guns to kill those who do not conform to their wishes.
Yet, we still call that freedom.
Justice in this country has become little more than a joke. We're approaching two-million Americans in prison -- many for no more than possession of a little illegal drugs. But nothing was ever done to the original source of the drugs, those associates of government proven to have illegally smuggled in tons of cocaine and heroin for sale on our streets. The President(s) and Vice-President violated many campaign (and other) laws (felonies) but when confronted on the issue the Clintons called the accusers a "vast right wing conspiracy" and obstructed all investigations. The Vice-President fluffed it all off by either saying there was "no controlling legal authority" or lying. Yet, they are still in office because half of the Senate is so decrepit and senile that they could not sit through a proper impeachment trial if their lives depended on it.
Today, we see that government is a business. Like a business, laws (and justice) may be purchased by whoever has enough money to pay the law and rule makers. Some Americans think these payments are only in the form of campaign contributions, but that is not true. Many politicians and bureaucrats going to Washington as middle- class citizens end up millionaires within a decade. That would be impossible on their government salaries. Therefore, something else is obviously afoot. Bribes and payoffs are part of it.
And as far as the Justice Department goes, it's becoming public knowledge that it is far better to be a guilty wealthy person than an innocent poor person. The Justice Department no longer has any intention of protecting the rights of the people (unless they are politically correct special group rights). Trial has become an adversarial procedure. If prosecutors can get a conviction, they will. Guilt has little to do with it anymore. Government prosecutors have the full force, and treasury, of government to use to make their case. The accused must fend for themselves -- often after the prosecutors have intentionally stolen everything the accused have through the scam of "forfeiture" so as to insure the accused cannot mount a proper defense.
The Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency have been tasked with using their talents to spy on the American people and the people of the world for the benefit of the multinational concerns that contribute to the American political parties and candidates. Louie Freeh recently tried to get the FBI in on some of that via a request to Congress for more tax dollars under the guise of fighting online drug smugglers, spies and terrorists.
Justice wants permission to completely trash our Fourth Amendment right of private communication. So, Freeh hit a few of the hot buttons of the authoritarians in Congress and will probably get the permission. That's all it takes nowadays. "Campaign contributions" will be forthcoming from interested parties later.
Other than a small handful in Congress, there is no one there to protect the rights of the people. Our rights have become but expendable commodities in the scheme of things. For instance, from Denny Hastert and Trent Lott on the right to Richard Gephardt and Tom Daschle on the left, we see legislators conspiring to violate the Constitution by trashing our Second Amendment rights -- just to protect their cushy positions. Our unalienable rights have become but little more than political bargaining chips in Washington.
In this, an election year, we should be concerned that only a small handful in Congress have any intention whatsoever of honoring their oath of office to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Because, in order to "protect and defend" the Constitution they must first obey the Constitution. And, it's obvious, 95% of them do not.
Every State has a few of these stupid laws on the books. They're funny, in a sick sort of way. Mostly, though, they are an outward sign that we, the electorate, are not doing a very good job at picking legislators.
Here's definite proof that the people of Kentucky have elected their share of idiots to the General Assembly from time to time. Let's look at just a couple.
The Note from Mama Law:
No person owning or controlling a billiard or pool table shall permit, for compensation or reward, any minor under eighteen (18) years of age to play any game on the table, unless such minor shall have first displayed an identification card containing his name, age, photograph, and the signature of his parents or guardian. The minor shall keep such identification card on his person, and it shall be subject to inspection at any time by any peace officer. The person owning or controlling such billiard or pool table shall keep and maintain a registration book in which each minor shall sign. The person owning or controlling such billiard or pool table shall supply a blank identification card to each parent or guardian who makes request for same. Any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than ten ($10) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense.
-- KRS 436.320 (Passed 1893; Amended in 1954)
The Check your Snake Law:
Any person who displays, handles or uses any kind of reptile in connection with any religious service or gathering shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100).
-- KRS 437.060 (Passed 1942)
The Kentucky Critter Control Law:
No person shall sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange, display or possess living baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits which have been dyed or colored; nor dye or color any baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl or rabbits; nor sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange or to give away baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl or rabbits, under two months of age in any quantity less than six, except that any rabbit weighing three pounds or more may be sold at an age of six weeks. Any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500.
-- KRS 436.600 (Passed 1966)
And here is a new one, just proposed this year.
Let's call it the Religious Discrimination law:
Create a new section of KRS Chapter 186 to require all buggies propelled by animal power to obtain a vehicle identification number from the Transportation Cabinet prior to registering or operating them upon any public highway; require a buggy propelled by animal power to maintain motor vehicle insurance under the provisions of KRS 304.39-080; amend KRS 186.010 to change the definitions of a "motor vehicle," as well as a "vehicle," to include buggies propelled by animal power; amend KRS 186.412 to exempt the operator of a buggy propelled by animal power from providing a Social Security number when applying for an instruction permit or operator's license; amend KRS 186.420 to require a person to obtain a operator's license prior to operating a buggy propelled by animal power upon any public highway; amend KRS 189.200 to require all vehicles operated on a public highway to be equipped with rubber tires; require animals used to propel buggies to be equipped with rubber shoes.
A couple years ago, a very liberal local Rep. with a strong authoritarian bent decided that since he had a personal and family problem, there ought to be a law correcting the "problem" for all other people in the Commonwealth. And, darned if he didn't get his silly bill passed.
Some people, you see, were enrolled in the "Beer a Month" club where a company outside the State sends a sample of a different type of beer each month. The Rep., however, thought that was bad and so worked to ban the practice.
We replied to about eight members of the House and Senate, pointing out that the people have a right to contract for any legal product from any legal source. But, as we mentioned, the bill passed anyway. Most legislators we contacted recused themselves, as they agreed it was an unconstitutional violation of our right to free commerce -- which is protected in both the State and U.S. Constitutions.
Well, so agreed U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon of Houston when she held last week that the Texas State law barring the out-of-state shipment of alcoholic beverages directly to consumers violates the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution. That case was filed by three wine lovers.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the plaintiffs argued the law
discriminates against interstate commerce or has the effect of favoring in-state economic interests over out-of-state interests and therefore is a per se violation of the commerce clause.
The judge correctly agreed with that argument.
We should add here that this is an important concept to remember because it applies equally to all legal products sold in the United States, not just booze.
Every so often, even federal courts come out with a completely common sense opinion that coincides with the beliefs of the majority of the American people. Last month, the U.S. Supreme court did exactly that in Nixon v. Shrink (98 -- 963, 2000).
Justice David Souter wrote the majority (6 to 3) opinion for the Court saying that a 1994 Missouri law that restricts individual campaign contributions to $1,075 for candidates for statewide offices does not violate constitutional free-speech rights. Thus, in a nutshell, States may limit campaign contributions to some amount.
Justice Souter said that the limits in the Missouri law inspired public confidence in the system by preventing donors who make large contributions from gaining unfair influence. Large campaign contributions "reached at least the verge of bribery." Therefore, the law of the land currently is that limits on individual contributions to State political candidates do not violate free-speech rights because they probably help prevent political corruption.
Below are some interesting snippets from the opinion. The full case can be found at:
Thus, under the Buckley v. Valeos (424 U.S. 1, 1976) standard of scrutiny, a contribution limit involving significant interference with associational rights could survive if the Government demonstrated that regulating contributions was a means "closely drawn" to match a "sufficiently important interest," 424 U. S, at 25, though the dollar amount of the limit need not be "fine tun[ed]," id., at 30. While Buckley did not attempt to parse distinctions between the speech and associational standards of scrutiny for contribution limits, the Court made clear that such restrictions bore more heavily on associational rights than on speech rights, and thus proceeded on the understanding that a contribution limitation surviving a claim of associational abridgement would survive a speech challenge as well. The Court found the prevention of corruption and the appearance of corruption to be a constitutionally sufficient justification for the contribution limits at issue. ...
. . . there is no indication that those limits have had any dramatic adverse effect on the funding of campaigns and political associations, and thus there is no showing that the limitations prevented candidates from amassing the resources necessary for effective advocacy. Indeed, the District Court found that since the Missouri limits became effective, candidates for state office have been able to raise funds sufficient to run effective campaigns, and that candidates are still able to amass impressive campaign war chests. ...
The quantum of empirical evidence needed to satisfy heightened judicial scrutiny of legislative judgments will vary up or down with the novelty and plausibility of the justification raised. Buckley demonstrates that the dangers of large, corrupt contributions and the suspicion that large contributions are corrupt are neither novel nor implausible. The opinion noted that "the deeply disturbing examples surfacing after the 1972 election demonstrate that the problem [of corruption] is not an illusory one." 424 U.S., at 27, and n. 28. Although we did not ourselves marshal the evidence in support of the congressional concern, we referred to "a number of the abuses" detailed in the Court of Appeals' decision, ibid., which described how corporations, well- financed interest groups, and rich individuals had made large contributions, some of which were illegal under existing law, others of which reached at least the verge of bribery. The evidence before the Court of Appeals described public revelations by the parties in question more than sufficient to show why voters would tend to identify a big donation with a corrupt purpose.
In Buckley, we specifically rejected the contention that $1,000, or any other amount, was a constitutional minimum below which legislatures could not regulate. As indicated above, we referred instead to the outer limits of contribution regulation by asking whether there was any showing that the limits were so low as to impede the ability of candidates to "amas[s] the resources necessary for effective advocacy," 424 U.S., at 21. We asked, in other words, whether the contribution limitation was so radical in effect as to render political association ineffective, drive the sound of a candidate's voice below the level of notice, and render contributions pointless. Such being the test, the issue in later cases cannot be truncated to a narrow question about the power of the dollar, but must go to the power to mount a campaign with all the dollars likely to be forthcoming. As Judge Gibson put it, the dictates of the First Amendment are not mere functions of the Consumer Price Index. 161 F.3d, at 525 (dissenting opinion).
By: Craig M. Brown
About a month ago, Bill O'Reilly, the self- proclaimed "tough guy" for Fox News, conducted a segment on his show focused on unanswered questions about the mysterious death of Vince Foster. He wrapped up his show by proclaiming that he intended to stay on this issue until he got some straight answers. Since then, there has not been one mention of Vince Foster on the O'Reilly Factor.
During this time we emailed him with suggestions that if he was serious about uncovering the truth, he might interview Patrick Knowlton, Ambrose Pritchard or Linda Tripp, who was the last known person to see Vince Foster alive. Our queries were never answered. His silence made us wonder if his courageous independence wasn't somewhat exaggerated.
Now, at last, we have an answer to why O'Reilly suddenly went silent on the subject of Vince Foster. In an article in the Chattanooga Times and Free Press on February 7, columnist Reed Irving quotes O'Reilly as saying that the government is far more powerful than the press and that anyone reporting what they don't like can be destroyed by a single phone call. This statement belies the "give me your best shot" demeanor that O'Reilly likes to display in public. Despite his claims that, "I'm the boss on my show and nobody tells me what questions to ask," Brave Bill seems to go a little wobbly when it comes to stepping on the wrong toes.
The ratings that O'Reilly brags about will go through the roof when he gets a spinal injection and brings Knowlton and Pritchard on his show to tell what they know. Somebody needs to do it and we'll be waiting.
Note: Doug tells it like it really is -- Frank and honest.
Forest Glen Durland
You are encouraged to read author Doug Fiedor's newsletters.
His newsletters are passed along to many.
Newsletters are on this web site at
(This is Forest in northern California)
Back to the Heads Up Contents Page
Go to the Heads Up Index
Back to the Money Is Unreal Contents Page
Back to the uhuh home page
** uhuh **
The President said he is reducing taxes.
Congress says they are balancing the budget.
uhuh. Sez who?
and Force Congress to
Kick the Debt & Taxes Habit with
$$ Money System Honesty for Us People. $$
We demand the whole truth with an honest viewpoint.
Don't send money. Call Jo(e) Congress and send letters.
Forest Glen Durland, CEO. 14675 1/2 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070-6081
Voice: (408) 867-4410; Fax: (408)868-9446; Click here for email.
Web Home Page: www.uhuh.com