Sunday, September 05, 2004

Truth And War

Adam Gopnik wrote an article entitled The Big One in the August 23, 2004 issue of The New Yorker about the causes and rationalizations for World War I. This bloody war had many justifications on both sides and all seem now to agree that it was an irrational, useless war, and that the thousands who died, died in vain.

He mentions a seeming paradox while the war was being fought: the more men died, the more urgently and desperately those financing, controlling and parenting the soldiers had to find a cause for men to die for and to justify the deaths of those who had already perished.

The rationalizations abounded: A war to end all wars. A war to defend liberal freedoms against authoritarianism. A war to make the world safe for democracy. A war to defend our women and children from rape and murder.

It is significant that Gopnik chose to write about this phenomenon as it applied almost 90 years ago when everybody involved is dead. Only when every human actually affected is dead can we look at the truth: The war was irrational and useless. We apparently cannot look at the truth when the deaths are still fresh in our minds.

It appears that while affected humans still live, the justifications for the deaths must be seen as valid and worthy. Humans simply cannot face the awful truth that the deaths are in vain. Humans cannot accept the truth that some humans may have grossly lied provoked a war and caused the deaths for financial or ideological or false theological reasons.

This may account for the strange passions about Kerry, the Swift Boat Veterans and Kerry’s telling the truth about the Viet Nam War at the time. Even though the chief architect of the Viet Nam War, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara now admits the lies that lead to a useless war and useless deaths, many of those veterans still alive who were actually involved cannot accept this truth.

This phenomenon may help to explain the strange lack of curiosity about 9-11. Most people simply do not want to know why Norad was shut down, who made the profits on stock market puts on United and American Airlines, what caused untouched WTC 7 to fall 7 hours after the twin towers fell, or why Bush has classified as secret every possible detail about those who aided or caused the 9-11 tragedy. This lack of curiosity includes prominent Democrats Lee Hamilton and Richard Ben-Veniste, the surviving firemen in the firehouse adjacent to WTC, and those in the adjacent Episcopal Church who treated the burns of workers weeks after the towers fell. We simply cannot face the fact that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were, of necessity involved in allowing 9-11 to happen or actually causing 9-11 to happen. Most cannot face the fact that our leaders could have been that lying, malicious and evil in causing 3000 deaths. We must find another cause for the deaths. We cannot see the leaders that we chose acting for secret malicious reasons.

The same phenomenon may account for the fact that most people support the Iraq war, when the President and all those around him lied to get us into the war, and when no WMD have been found, and when the war is an obvious quagmire probably worse than Viet Nam. We are again fighting for “democracy,” “freedom,” “ overcoming dictators,” and we seek a just revenge against somebody, anybody. Alan Penney, an American Editor for a Korean media company recently wrote:
“…1000 soldiers have now been killed in Iraq and to think that they have died for something dishonorable is too much to bear for most. That’s understandable. Who wants to believe that their son died because of oil and war profiteers?”

Jan Lundberg, in Culture Change e-Letter on Thursday 09 September 2004 wrote: “To most people in the U.S., any change that would disturb dominant society's definition of reality is frightening. In a stark portrait of an energy-deprived economic future, we lose our cars, computers, refrigerators, convenience foods, unending plastic objects, and most of the rest of modern life's accoutrements. To most watchers of TV news, this is not a realistic vision but a needless scenario of "doom and gloom."

Paul Krugman in NYT on 9-07-04 reviewed a new book by Chris Hedges, a veteran war correspondent, entitled WAR IS A FORCE THAT GIVES US MEANING. Quoting Krugman quoting Hedges: “’Lurking beneath the surface of every society, including ours, is the passionate yearning for a nationalist cause that exalts us, the kind that war alone is able to deliver.’ When war psychology takes hold, the public believes, temporarily in a ‘mythic reality’ in which our nation is purely good, our enemies are purely evil, and anyone who is not our ally is our enemy…..This state of mind works greatly to the benefit of those in power….The point is that once war psychology takes hold, the public desperately wants to believe in its leadership, and ascribes heroic qualities to even the least deserving ruler.”

Joe Bageant in an article The Covert Kingdom tells us of the beliefs of millions of born again fundamentalist Christians who support Bush, the War in Iraq and all of Bush’s policies because they see it all as predicted in the Bible. Israel must be established and maintained. Then Israel must occupy the Middle East as the return of Jewish Biblical Lands. Anyone who opposes Sharon is thus a tool of Satan. The combat death of the sons and daughters of these fundamentalists is viewed as a “holy martyrdom” who died implementing Biblical predictions, and protecting this country’s Christian values. Jesus will soon return to earth, take all believers with him to heaven, and wipe out the rest of the human race, Muslims, Jews, and all non-believers. This is the Armageddon predicted in the Bible that is now being implemented. These Fundamentalists can hardly wait.

Paul Tillich, a respected philosopher and theologian, taught that all humans have a profound anxiety about death and fate, about the unknown abyss of nothingness that follows death, about meaninglessness, and about guilt. We also have an anxiety about doubt. We deal with this profound anxiety in many ways: with depression, with happy optimistic talk, with phony inadequate views of God, with denial, and sometimes with anger and aggression. He taught that we need the courage to face all of this, and to choose to live despite all of this. In other words we need Courage to Be despite this profound anxiety. (The title of one of his most famous books.) It may be that Tillich provides some insight as to why we cannot face the gruesome causes of multiple deaths at the time that they are occurring.

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Slavery Roots of the Unconstitutional Electoral College

With the 2004 presidential election upon us, we must face the possibility or another selection of the President by his 5 conservative friends on the United States Supreme Court. We must face the possibility that the election will be stolen by modern day Tories using touch screen voting machines with no paper trail. Shall we again passively acquiesce or shall we resist? We urge here that it is our duty as sovereign voting citizens to resist with every means available to us.

Conservative “strict constructionists” should note that the Constitution gives the Supreme Court no power to deal with Presidential Elections. The Founding Fathers did not contemplate that the Supreme Court would declare laws enacted by Congress and the President “unconstitutional.” We sovereign voters never amended he Constitution to give the Supreme Court that power. The Supreme Court Justices arrogantly seized that power in the famous decision Marbury vs Madison in 1809. We the people passively acquiesced. Our sovereign ancestors made a big mistake. We sovereign voters made a similar mistake in 2000 by acquiescing in the arbitrary judicial selection of Bush as President in 2000 that overruled our majority votes. We have left the interpretation of our Constitution to lawyers.

Judges and Justices are always lawyers before they are appointed to the Courts. Both lawyers and Judges deal for most of their professional lives with the protection of individual property rights on a case-by-case basis. They thus have a narrow legalistic bias. They are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with our democratic sovereignty and concepts of equal protection of law. Lawyers who argue constitutional issues before the Supreme Court likely have a limited view of the concept of equality of voting power. We sovereign citizens suffer from no such professional biases.

The point of all of this is that the Constitution is our document, our guarantee of our sovereign power as voting citizens. It is our protection that we do not have to live by the law of the Jungle where persons with power and wealth always win. We cannot and should not accept the arbitrary rulings of corrupt Justices. The Constitution is our guarantee that our elected representatives, including Justices, are our agents and our servants. We, as sovereign citizens, have a right and a duty to interpret what the Constitution means for us. We can resist wrongful arbitrary undemocratic Judicial Orders by any means.

So let’s get ready with our position as sovereign voting citizens that the Electoral College is an unconstitutional relic of slavery that has fatal conflicts with our later amendments and precedents and that we have a sovereign right to elect a President by majority vote.

Everybody remembers the famous 3/5 compromise from the “Constitution” class in school. The founding fathers needed the ratification of the slave holding states in order to adopt the new constitution. There was a problem of representation in the House of Representatives. The South wanted its thousands of slaves to be counted for purposes of representation in the House. The North did not. So a compromise was reached: The thousands of slaves were each to be counted as 3/5 of a person. This gave the slave-holding states far more representatives in the House than there would have been if only the few white slave owners were counted. This same concept of counting the thousands of slaves each as 3/5 of a person was carried over into the election of the President. Each slave-holding state was given a larger number of electors by counting the slaves.

Until the Civil War, this enabled Southern States to have much Congressional power, much Congressional seniority, many committee chairmanships, a powerful advantage in the selection of president, and a very large voice in the selection of Supreme Court Justices such as those that could be relied upon to write the Dred Scott decision.

We sovereign voters have vastly changed the Constitution since then by Amendments and by well-established precedents of legitimate Supreme Courts.

In 1865, we sovereign voters freed the slaves with the 13th Amendment.

In 1868 with the 14th Amendment, we sovereign voters dictated that no State shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, and no State shall deny any person within its borders equal protection of law and due process of law. In Article IV Section 2 of the Constitution, we dictated: The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all of the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.

In 1870 with the 15th Amendment, we sovereign voters dictated that the right to vote for any office, state or federal, could not denied by the United States or by any State by reason of former slave status.

In 1913 with the 17th Amendment, we sovereign voters provided that United States Senators shall be elected by we the people instead of by the State Legislatures.

In 1920 with the 19th Amendment, we then sovereign male voters dictated that the right of women to vote for any office, state or federal, shall not be denied by the United States or by any State.

In 1964 with the 24th Amendment, we sovereign voters dictated that the right to vote for the President or any federal representative shall not be denied by the United States or any State by reason of the voter’s failure to pay a poll tax or any other tax.

In 1971 with the 26th Amendment, we sovereign voters dictated that the right of 18-year-olds to vote in any state or federal election shall not be denied by the United States or any State.

We sovereign voters provided in Amendment V of the Bill of Rights: “No person shall….be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”

From our position as sovereign voters, we give emphasis to parts of the Constitution that lawyers and Justices ignore. The very preamble of the Constitution supports the concept that we voters are sovereign: “We the people, in order to establish a more perfect union….do ordain and establish this Constitution…” Famed Chief Justice Marshall in 1819 recognized that we the people were sovereign in McCulloch v. Maryland:

“The government proceeds directly from the people and is ‘ordained and established’ in the name of the people…The government of the Union, then…is emphatically and truly, a government of the people. In form and substance, it emanates from them. Its powers are granted by them, and are to be exercised directly on them, and for their benefits…”

Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address reminded us that our nation was dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal and that ours was a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

For us as sovereign voters, the right to vote is a fundamental political right because it is preservative of all other rights. Because our nation is dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal for governmental purposes, every voter is entitled to an equal fractional share of the total voting power of all voters. The original theory and promise of the Constitution and now the actual words of our Constitution and our Amendments require equality of voting power, one-man one vote. Each of our citizens must have an equally effective share of governmental power.

The fatal unconstitutional vice of the Electoral College is that it denies this equal sovereign share of voting power. Under its requirements, a President is elected by a majority of the electors and not by a majority of the votes of all voters. The Electoral College heavily favors small states, because every state no matter how sparsely populated gets three automatic electors, one for each Senator and a House Member. This means that states that by population might be entitled to only one or two electoral votes wind up with three four or five electors. The voter in such a state with few voters has more voting effectiveness, more voting power, and more governmental power than a voter in a state with millions of voters.

We sovereign voters eliminated rationale for the Electoral College in empowering the slave states by freeing the slaves. While the original Constitution contemplated that each state could decide who got to vote, whether or not women could vote, and how much of a poll tax to impose, our Amendments to the Constitution have vastly changed all of that. Our Constitution is now truly of by and for the people, all people equally, with the political power to be determined by a simple majority of voters with equal voting power.

We should not passively acquiesce in any Judicial holding that there is no express constitutional right to vote for the President. Our right to vote directly for President underlies our concept of the Constitution and our Amendments. It implements the promise of the Constitution in the Preamble. Despite what the lawyers and Justices may say, we sovereign voters rendered the Electoral College unconstitutional when we adopted the concept of equal protection of law in 1870. The Electoral College was rendered unconstitutional because it denies us voters of equal protection of law, and of due process of law, the very foundation of which is equality of voting power. Our equal voting power is a fundamental part of our ordered liberty guaranteed by due process of law. Our equal voting power is far more vital than a privilege or immunity, and yet even equal privileges of each citizen are now guaranteed by our Constitution.

Our Founding Fathers were not stupid when they drafted our Constitution. We sovereign voters were not stupid when we ratified the Constitution. We all well knew that human beings are not in fact equal. Some are lucky, talented, aggressive, greedy and strong. Some have inherited wealth. Some have the power of a famous name. Despite this knowledge, we declared that for civic and governmental purposes “all men are created equal.” It is a vital part of our civic heritage that our government protect us all from those who are greedier, richer, stronger, more aggressive, luckier, or more talented that the rest of us. Without this governmental protection, most of us are vulnerable victims of those who have wealth and power. We are forced to live in a lawless jungle. Our lives, liberty, property and equality are lost to the stronger wealthier beings in the jungle.

We hope that Bush and the Tories will be defeated. However, even if Kerry wins the Presidency the vast concentrations of wealth and power that supported Bush also support Kerry. We have an immense job of re-education in the civic fundamentals in either case.