Archive for the ‘Legal’ Category
It’s going to be illuminating to see whether the government appeals the big ruling on judges’ pay that was handed down last week at Washington. The case is called Beer v. United States. The Sun has written about it here and the editor of the Sun here. The plaintiffs are Judge Peter Beer and a rainbow coalition of some of the most distinguished judges on the federal bench. They have just won a ruling that prohibits Congress from suspending a system of automatic pay increases designed to protect their honors from inflation.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, handed down the ruling on Friday. The ruling hasn’t received much coverage in the press, though — at least in our view — it’s one of the most important cases of our time. The reason is that it has to do not only with the question of need for Congress to keep its promises and the need to attract a first class judiciary but also the question of constitutional money.
The judges turn out to be a special case because it is unconstitutional ever to diminish their pay. This is American bedrock that was laid down by the Founders because of the British tyrant George III. The king made judges dependent “on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries,” as America’s revolutionaries put it in the Declaration of Independence. So it was written into the United States Constitution that the compensation of judges “shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”
In Beer, the judges sued under that clause after Congress suspended automatic pay increases it had established to protect their honors from inflation. What the appeals court just ruled is that Congress, in suspending the automatic pay increases, diminished the judges pay, particularly because when Congress legislated the automatic pay increases, it also established limits on the outside income judges are permitted to earn.
More broadly, at least by our lights, the ruling says, in effect, that the legal tender laws don’t apply to judges’ salaries. That is, the court is suggesting that, at least in the case of judges, 100,000 dollar bills will not suffice in 2012 for a contract to pay $100,000 that was entered into in, say, 2000. The Appeals Court packed its opinion with some prime language from the founding era.
“[N] othing can contribute more to the independence of the judges than a fixed provision for their support,” the Court quoted Alexander Hamilton as writing in 79 Federalist. It noted that at the constitutional convention at Philadelphia, where the Founders sat that summer in 1787, James Madison urged that variations in the value of money could be “guarded agst. by taking for a standard wheat or some other thing of permanent value.”
Madison’s wheat gambit was rejected, the court noted, and Founders did not tie judges pay to “any commodity.” Quoth the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: “The framers instead acknowledged that ‘fluctuations in the value of money, and in the state of society, rendered a fixed rate of compensation [for judges] in the Constitution inadmissible.’” It was quoting 79 Federalist again. It noted that the constitutional convention voiced concerns “to protect judicial compensation against economic fluctuation.”
It turns out, though, that the historical record is clear what the Founders thought dollars were. They used the word “dollars” twice in the Constitution. By a dollar they meant 371 and ¼ grains of pure silver or a 15th as many grains of gold. That’s the way Congress defined a dollar in law under the Articles of Confederation and the way Congress defined it in law in the first Coinage Act of the constitutional era.
The idea that a dollar could be worth a different number of grains of silver or gold at the end of a contract than it meant at the beginning of a contract would have horrified George Washington and nearly all of the other Founders (Benjamin Franklin, a printer, had a vested interest in paper money). So would the idea that the dollar would be permitted to decline over a decade to but a sixth of the number of grains of gold at which it was valued at the start of a decade. That is what has just happened in America.
The court deciding Beer didn’t get into legal tender per se. But the legal tender question is the elephant in the courtroom, so to speak. If a dollar can’t be diminished for judges — that is, if the legal tender laws are not good enough for judges — why should they be good enough for the rest of us? If they are not good enough for the contract between the government and judges, why should they be good enough for contracts between private parties?
Or, to put it another way, the rest of us folk might as well beamici as the courts start to grapple with constitutional money. The diminishment of their salaries has driven the federal judges nearly to distraction, and understandably so, precisely because they are honest men and women. The chief justices — most recently Chief Justices Roberts and Rehnquist — have been warning about it for decades. The Great Scalia issued an impassioned warning about the problem here in New York just the other day.
We don’t know whether the Supreme Court will be asked to hear an appeal of Beer. If it is asked, it may decline. But if the nine are asked to take a final look at the case, the question for them to start thinking about is less the promises of Congress — although breaking such a promise is enough of a diminishment for us — and more about the meaning of money. The fact is that Americans are just as upset about the harm being done to them by fiat money as the judges are.
Link to full Opinion: Beer v. United States
A federal crackdown is proceeding quietly against bankers accused of systematically defrauding states, local governments and non-profits.
Since 2009, federal authorities have secured 19 convictions or guilty pleas as part of the investigation, including seven since April. The cases have put a spotlight on the municipal bond market, an esoteric corner of the finance world where prosecutors say Wall Street firms have repeatedly used inside information to pad their bottom lines at the public’s expense.
“[T]hese complex, seemingly uninteresting backroom deals have a real impact on taxpayers,” Richard Weber, head of the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal division, said following the convictions of three former UBS bankers last month.
So let me ask the silly question that nobody is asking – have these deals been unwound or have the guilty institutions been forced to cough up every single dime of ill-gotten gain back to the municipal government that got bilked, including all the fees from the fraudulent scheme and every dollar of excess interest resulting from the bid-rigging?
Or did the beneficiaries get to keep some or all of what they stole and did the taxpayers get and are continuing to get financially raped?
I remind everyone that in the case of Jefferson County Alabama the 400% sewer and water bill increases remain even though some of the people involved were prosecuted and convicted.
If the taxpayers were not made whole and the institutions that were involved were not forced to remit to those taxpayers every single dime of ill-gotten gains, with interest, along with every dime of fees they “earned” through these fraudulent deals then in point of fact the crime still did pay even if there have been a few limited prosecutions of “the little people” at the bottom who were involved.
I’m going to reprise a Ticker from 2011-10-18, which you can read here if you want the original, but in a political context.
There was once a nation that was comprised of fish. The fish lived in a pond that was 64×64 in size, or 4096 square units of surface area. As with all fish they survived on dissolved oxygen in the water, which came to the water by exchange with the atmosphere above. Plants grew in the water, receiving their energy from the sun while recycling the waste emitted by the fish as nutrients, and the fish ate the plants. All was well in the nation of fish.
But the economy of fish was limited by its growth. Some of the bottom where the fish lived was rather rocky, and not much suited to cultivation of aquatic plants. Some of the bottom was fertile, and beneath still more were various rare and natural treasures, such as energy sources that the fish could use for manufacturing.
One day a bright fish that worked for a bank called “Goldfishbank” got the idea that since plants were food, and more growth is better, the nation would be served by faster “growth.” He introduced to the pond a species of lilly that reproduced very rapidly. In fact, it produced a new lilly once each day. He began by placing just one lilly of one unit of size, or 1/4096th of the surface of the pond, in the water.
The next day there were two, and the fish nation cheered. Then four, and the fish nation demanded that this fine fish be President. Then eight, and all was even better in the world.
There were, however, some fish that became alarmed, for they had not been sleeping in school. They knew, as well, that their very survival depended on the exchange of oxygen with the air above, and that absent this exchange all of the fish would surely die.
The great prosperity that appeared to flow, however, led the scholars to be shouted down.
Unfortunately the great prosperity resulted in the price of fish dwellings, foods and fuels rising precipitously. The credit created by all of this growth, which had heretofore appeared to be impossible, made everyone feel wealthy. After just eight days what was 1 lilly had become 128; both great and permanent prosperity appeared to have blessed the fish.
Two days later the pond was 12.5% covered with lillies.
But in the middle of this prosperity there was much corruption and theft. The interest rates charged to lend money were corrupted by some of the fish banksters, who reasoned that they were merely making very smal changes in what they reported, and due to the leverage they employed, reaping billions of profits. This they did by stealing pennies from each fish per day. Nobody would jail them.
There were other fish that were involved in lending for dwellings, and they too scammed the public. Some of the lenders collapsed, yet they paid only small fines while most of the fish suffered monstrous losses, with many losing their homes.
Still other parts of the fish economy were involved in health care, and they got laws passed to make differential pricing, cost-shifting and other monopoly behavior protected, for this was their way to riches. Soon the fish nation spent twice as much on health care as a percentage of its economy as all the other fish nations, but all these monopoly protections, enacted into law, were not seen as the corruption they were.
Unemployment became a problem and the fish nation saw its standard of living decline. This was puzzling, for the proponents of the new lily had said that such prolific growth would lead to permanent prosperity. There were many who claimed that the lily was simply not prolific enough, and that means must be found to spur even more lilies to grow.
The three major political parties sparred over the unemployment and economic malaise. The two largest ones offered that taxes should be increased on the most-fortunate fish and that taxes should be decreased for all fish, respectively. But neither put forward a plan to cut down the size of the government, which was sapping an increasing amount of the economy.
The third party decided to state that it should cut the size of the government by 43%. But it refused to address the main growth drivers of the government, that being the medical industry’s special protections. Nor did that party appear to give a damn about all the scams and frauds, which had stolen monstrous amounts of wealth from all the fish.
Soon the political debate within that third party turned to whether fish should be able to smoke pot, which was currently prohibited under penalty of law, and whether a fish named Steve should be able to marry one named Larry. Some fish believed this was a civil right and of the utmost importance, while others believed it was Satanic.
Yet these were the only points of political debate on which this third party focused, instead of on the financial institutions that had skimmed off all the “prosperity” that had been promised to the fish nation by the Goldfishbank and others in the financial industry, along with the medical industry that had lobbied for their special protections and which were bankrupting the fish nation’s government.
A few of the third party analysts saw that in point of fact the lily issue was soon to kill all the fish and the entire fish nation economy. They were poo-pooed and called alarmists, for the sun was still visible in the sky above, and their rising stridency was called “divisive” or that “if you simply changes your approach you could actually influence people.” They were even told that their commentary was “self-righteous.”
But that commentary, labeled “divisive” and in fact dismissed with “that ends our conversation and damages both our working relationship and friendship” was based the simple fact that while just 12.5% of the pond was covered, the entire fish nation was only three days from extinction, and the last two days had been wasted arguing over gay marriage and dope smoking instead of addressing the impending and mathematically-certain disaster.
How many people know that today is not the birthday of our nation in terms of the war of Independence, nor the day on which peace was achieved, free of British rule?
Rather, it was the day that a handful of brave men stood and affixed signatures to a document we call The Declaration of Independence.
I wish to quote it, in full, and annotate it in the context of the present day.
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
It is only fair to tell people why you are driven to tell the present government to “Go to Hell“, and challenge them that should they refuse to let you be in peace, you will, if necessary, endeavor to send them to Hell before they do so to you.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
It was held that you are not entitled to happiness — only its pursuit. That is, there is no guarantee of success in human endeavors. Indeed, it is often the attempt that is as rewarding, or nearly so, as the achievement itself.
— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
Government has no power that the people do not consent to. Any such taking of power by government is illegitimate.
— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Should government take powers without consent of the governed the people have the right to rise and alter or abolish that government, through peaceful means if possible, but through force if necessary.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Men and women are, for the most part, unwilling to commit to the most-serious of change and its potential consequence. This is a good thing and aligns with the best outcomes for the people in the general sense.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
It is not just the right of the people to rise and demand that government cease abusive practices, it is the duty of the people to do so.
— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
Gee, where have we seen this of late? Barclays anyone? Rigging LIBOR is just part of it. Despite claims that “Nobody committed any crimes” (ala Gary Johnson and President Obama) the fact of the matter is that the government has jailed people for rigging the price of cardboard boxes! Yet banksters have laundered money for drug cartels, ripped off each and every resident in an entire county (Jefferson County), committed hundreds of thousands of admitted counts of perjury with robosigned and otherwise defective affidavits and assignments knowingly presented to courts (which, incidentally, they’re still doing in that they’re presenting affidavits claiming that a particular entity owns a given mortgage while fully aware that they don’t) and now, it turns out, they riggedthe largest interest-rate market base used in worldwide commerce, in concert and intentionally so as to skim off profits from their derivative contracts.
The common word for most of this, under any rational examination, is RACKETEERING. RICO is a law that was put in place to bust gangsters who conspired among themselves and with others to rig various contracts and steal from people on a pretty-much continual basis.
But when banks do it nobody will jail them.
And incidentally, Barclays has suggested that The Fed knew the banks were rigging LIBOR and did nothing about it. This means that under any reasonable interpretation of the law, if this is true then The Fed was complicit and therefore the institution and those within it should be held personally and corporately to criminal account.
Or how about GlaxoSmithKline, which was just fined $3 billion for a long-running scam in which it both promoted drugs off-label and failed to report safety data that put people at risk?
I note that $3 billion is less than 3% of GSK’s market capitalization and under 7% of one year’s revenue. Despite pleading guilty to criminal charges not one individual has been charged or imprisoned and the firm can, and will, simply add the cost of the fines to the price of its products, forcing you, the patient, to pay for its criminal conduct.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
You mean like Obamacare?
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
What need of a Representative House (or Senate, in this case) when you simply ignore the constitutional requirements thereof (specifically, to pass a budget)?
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
Ditto. Oh, as for those invasions, what of the TSA’s invasions of the people?
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
Who needs to be naturalized? In the US you need only steal your way into America and under Obama you can then steal from everyone else — forever! Oh, and lest you think this is just a Democrat problem, you’re wrong. The Republicans won’t put a stop to this crap either, and neither will Gary Johnson, allegedly-Libertarian, who thinks it’s just fine that 20 million people began their life in the United States by committing a criminal act as their very first act upon entry to the country!
What a nice standard we set for expected behavior (and we then are surprised when thuggery becomes, for many, a way of life?)
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
What the hell happened with Roberts? I don’t recall anyone (yet) suggesting articles of Impeachment for him, although he damn well ought to be for his torture of the Constitution in upholding PPACA.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
You mean like the TSA?
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
You mean like the Drug Warriors who have raided state-licensed and approved marijuana dispensaries?
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
Not yet….. I don’t think, anyway.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
“What is the UN” for $200 Alex.
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
Oh, gee, the list here is too long to compile in a reasonable form. NDAA, The Patriot Act, PPACA, TARP and on and on and on.
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
What is forcing States to assent to everything from driver license requirements (e.g. REAL ID) to drinking ages (21) to the former “double nickel” speed limit?
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
See above, plus PPACA.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
You mean like raiding the wrong house, which can and occasionally has resulted in the cops shooting innocent people?
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Yeah, the people said 300:1 NO to TARP. John McCain and Obama, along with Congress, said this to the people:
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
So let’s see….
Theft and fraud en-masse, at a scale dwarfing all other crime by citizens, committed by banksters and other corporate interests, including drug companies.
Intentional and admitted criminal conduct by both in multiple cases, including criminal conduct that has caused death and severe injury.
Intentional concealment by government of unlawful activity (“Gunwalker”) that also has led to death of innocent citizens and peace officers.
Sexual assaults on a daily basis of persons doing nothing more than attempting to travel, without articulable suspicion or probable cause (the TSA.)
and much more (like we need more?)
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Hmmmm…. not yet.
And, I hope, not necessary.
But on this 4th Day of July, 2012, let us all remember exactly how America was born. Tax rates that were one tenthof today’s, along with usurpations and abuses that were trivial compared to that suffered by the people of this nation today on a daily basis.
Yet those usurpations of 1776, truly trivial in scope and oppression compared to that which we suffer today, led the people to rise and demand that government cease and desist, and when it refused, they took arms and expelled that government, replacing it with one of their own design.
In 1776 nobody was imprisoned for consuming (or growing) a plant.
In 1776 nobody had their breasts and genitals groped simply because they attempted to travel within the boundaries of what was to become The United States.
In 1776 nobody questioned your right to ride a horse or operate a carriage for your own personal conveyance upon the roads of the day.
In 1776 you decided when to pay a doctor, and you were never compelled to pay for someone else’s attendance by a physician or stay in a hospital.
In 1776 government did not routinely protect the firms responsible for more than one quarter of all gross domestic product from ruin and personal imprisonment of their officers and employees when they committed gross offenses of theft, fraud and even caused death among the population.
In 1776 nobody needed a permit to fashion, sell, or possess a firearm.
In 1776 nobody needed permission to speak, or to assemble upon the public square.
In 1776 nobody was forced to pay someone else’s debts to which they had not consented or were related to.
Finally, in 1776, free of all of these usurpations of today, the American middle class was alive and well, and our nation-to-be enjoyed a standard of living that, on a comparable basis, was arguably the best in the world. Free enterprise provided true upward mobility for anyone of sufficient desire, wealth was for the most part yours to keep once lawfully acquired with tax rates a tiny fraction of what is assessed today, the right to protect oneself and one’s family was unquestioned and the right to personal travel using the means common to the day on an unfettered basis formed a key part of the mobility and vitality of our nation-to-be’s people and business ventures.
Lacking all of the technological marvels of the day and having none of the modern conveniences and knowledge of science, medicine and industry, we were far more free, far more prosperous on a comparable basis and actually had a reason to look forward to the next morning with more, rather than less, freedom in our future.
So as you gather around the BBQ, play on your boats and drink beer with your friends on this 4th of July, please take the time to contemplate what life was really like in 1776, what it is really like today, and why you, I, and everyone else continue to consent to the abuses and usurpations that are shoved down our throats by the thugs in both industry and government.
Perhaps that will add a bit of sobriety to your celebration.
Just when you think that things can’t get more stupid in my old town of Chitcago, the political folks open their mouths and remove all doubt.
When asked about the “gap” between law enforcement and the black community, McCarthy reached back 400 years for an answer.
“It’s a big issue. It’s a long time coming. We’ve done a lot of things wrong in policing in this country. I’m willing to admit that,” said McCarthy. “But this goes back 200-300 years to the time when Pilgrims came here and things developed from that, the African American experience in this country.”
But the Pilgrims weren’t the only people being blamed for the violence. The superintendent also laid blame at the feet of America’s finest and inferred – without actually stating it – that white police officers are the problem.
But playing the race card is equally stupid.
But for decades, vast sums of money have been poured into poor communities on Chicago’s South and West sides.
Where has the money gone?
It’s been stolen. See, economic empowerment, starting with the removal of incentives to be a thug (and yes, getting rid of the drug war would be a big help) isn’t really on any of these people’s agenda. It’s far more profitable to blame “whitey” and repress the people, then claim that you can “fix it” if just a bit more freedom (and a lot more money!) is sacrificed on your unholy altar.
Instead, how about this idea: The City of Chicago recognizes the 2nd Amendment. In full. Be a thug, you might get shot. By a law-abiding citizen who answers your thuggery with a couple of 1,000 fps hunks of lead hurled at your center-of-mass.
Senseless violence? Oh there’s plenty of that. And plenty of stupid too. Like Heaven Sutton. Where do I start with that? A kid selling “candy” at 11:00 PM in the middle of an area known for gang activity? Really, candy? What sort of candy was she selling, may I ask, and to whom?
Who knows if the alleged gang-banger is really the person who shot the kid; it appears from what I can determine that this was a “two gangs in one place, someone starts blasting” incident. Am I surprised? Oh hell no, not when only criminals have guns — everyone else who is law-abiding has been disarmed by Constitution-ignoring — that is, a lawless – government!
Of course the gang-bangers don’t care if it’s “illegal” to carry (and use!) a gun — that’s why we call them criminals. The first rule of being a criminal is that you don’t give a damn about the law. The second one appears to be that you pick up a “hot” pistol and that you’re prepared to use it.
When you really need someone to put a stop to the asshole waving a pistol around and shooting people with it right damn now the police will be there in 5 minutes — or 10, or 20. Just dial 911 and the hearses will be be right over to carry off the dead.
It wouldn’t take very long for this crap to stop were Chitcago to stop being stupid and make legal Constitutional Carry. See, gang-bangers may be many things, but none of them are really all that interested in being DRT (Dead Right THERE), which is exactly what they would be were that change to be implemented.
The fact is that the law-abiding citizens radically outnumber the gang-bangers and while more dead bodies is not a good answer to any particular problem if there are going to be dead bodies due to the acts and decisions taken by gang-bangers I prefer ex-gang-bangers instead of ex-7 year old girls.
In the meantime, until and unless Rahm pulls his head out of his ass (which, incidentally, is unlikely to happen — ever) nor is it likely that the residents of Chitcago will demand that the Jackass-in-Chief abdicate and be replaced by someone who actually read the Bill of Rights my recommendation is that everyone avoid Chitcago. Don’t do business there and definitely don’t visit and spend money.
You’re an unarmed target and that’s exactly how the thugs – and City Government – like it.
Discussion (registration required to post)
But remember folks, Nobody committed any crimes (according to Gary Johnson, Obama and, I suspect, Mitt(ens) Romney.)
Last week, in response to an Overstock.com motion to unseal certain documents, the banks’ lawyers, apparently accidentally, filed an unredacted version of Overstock’s motion as an exhibit in their declaration of opposition to that motion. In doing so, they inadvertently entered into the public record a sort of greatest-hits selection of the very material they’ve been fighting for years to keep sealed.
For the un-initiated in this issue, Overstock went after virtually everyone in the big banking world, particularly Goldman, when their stock was shorted into the dirt. Their allegation was that the firm (and others) were counterfeiting their shares by selling short shares they never owned and couldn’t locate for a borrow. In effect they were representing more shares in the market than existed, which is exactly identical to counterfeiting them in terms of economic impact, exactly as if you ran off some extra $100 bills on your office copier.
But what shows up here? Hubris and utter contempt for the law.
“Fuck the compliance area – procedures, schmecedures,” chirps Peter Melz, former president of Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp. (a.k.a. Merrill Pro), when a subordinate worries about the company failing to comply with the rules governing short sales.
And against this backdrop we’re supposed to expect that these very same banksters give a damn about the effective counterfeiting of United States currency that takes place when they emit unbacked credit, especially when the latter isn’t considered an offense (but ought to be) while the former is and they thumb their noses at the regulations?
None — absolutely none — of the contenders in our Presidential contest will talk about this. Yet this issue — the counterfeiting of financial assets, some unlawfully and some “legal”, are how they fleece you, the common man, intentionally disadvantaging you as an individual and enriching themselves.
I will not support and in fact will and do actively oppose and will attempt to insure the defeat of any and all political candidates for a federal office who refuse to address this issue head on and deal with it, irrespective of party affiliation. I take this position because as a Libertarian I have signed the Libertarian oath which states:
I do not believe in the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.
That includes fraud, and counterfeiting in all of its forms, whether recognized as felonious or not, is fraud.
We will not find solutions to our economic mess until we face what has been done and what is being done today, honestly examining the procedures and actions of these individuals and firms, stopping the abuses and holding the malefactors to account.