Tuesday, June 28, 2016
In many regards, both Jackson and Trump were considered bigoted by many people. Jackson was not only a slave owner, but he was a huge advocate for breaking treaties and forcing Native American tribes to conform to American laws and customs or be forced to live West of Mississippi. Meanwhile Trump wants to suspend immigration of Muslims to the U.S. and wants to have tighter border security as well as deport as many illegal immigrants as possible. Neither man is a bigot, both have these philosophies because they believe strongly in the sovereignty of the United States and wanted to protect it from potential enemies and dangers. Many Indian tribes formed alliances with Spain and or England. Since Spanish and English colonies bordered on the United States, Jackson saw this a threat to our union. His solution was to remove any tribes that failed to conform to our customs. Similarly, in the war on terrorism Trump sees unsecure borders and Muslim immigrants as potential threats (at least until our immigration system does a better job of screening incoming immigrants). Trump also views illegal immigrants as people who have taken jobs from Americans, taken taxpayer money, failed to pay taxes, and worse yet some are criminals who traffic drugs and make us less safe. This to Trump and many Americans is viewed as unfair and needs to be corrected. Both men were against political correctness when it comes to protecting the union. Jackson did not hate Indians – he raised an orphan Indian boy. And, of course, slavery was a harsh reality in the American South at the time. Even so, many Southerners did not trust Jackson. As Southern states (especially South Carolina) talked of succession from the union, Jackson believed in keeping the union together over all else, including the issue of slavery. Trump does not hate Muslims or Hispanics – his employee payrolls can prove that fact. The sad state of affairs in the political realm - one thing is certain – opponents will always paint foes as an extremist to win elections. Jackson and Trump merely took on difficult political issues that divide Americans whereas opponents are too afraid to take on such controversial issues seeing it as political suicide. This illustrates a major difference between an elite Washington insider and an outsider. Both Trump and Jackson have the media and chaos in common. The media follows Trump everywhere. Jackson understood the importance of good media press and created his own administration newspaper. Every place Trump speaks is loaded with protestors and violence. Jackson’s administration could not get along and he had to replace his cabinet after 3 years (unheard of at this time). Former cabinet members continued to quarrel and even threatened to kill each other in duels following their dismissal from the administration. Jackson is the first president to have assassination attempts against him. Trump is one of the few presidential candidates to have secret service protection during the primary season. Both Trump and Jackson brought the value of entertainment to election campaigns. Jackson is the first president to openly campaign among the masses attending parties and parades. The campaign even wrote a song to promote its candidate that was played on campaign stops. Of course Trump and his antics has provided full entertainment value for the media while providing him free air time across the country. Trump proclaims “America First!” time after time on the campaign trail. Unlike other Republicans Trump wants to focus on protecting our sovereignty from home and not afar. Trump does not want to get tied down in foreign conflicts or even worry about foreign countries at the expense of Americans. Similarly, Jackson defended the union from potential succession of South Carolina. South Carolina was angry about tariffs which they thought were unfair to Southerners at the expense of the North. Hence, South Carolina believed in the concept of “nullification”. Nullification would allow states to pick and choose which laws passed by congress that it would enforce. Jackson, a Southern man (actually born in South Carolina), fought to protect the union (America First). This seems like a concept that is followed by all politicians, but it is not. Politicians do what is best for them and their constituents first and foremost. Doing what is best for America is far down the list. ObamaCare is a good example of a law that treats every American differently depending on what state you are from, if you work in the private or public sector, what demographics you belong to, and if you belong to a union. This is not America First, it is me first and the hell with everyone else philosophy. But since Jackson and Trump are outsiders, they have no ties to the political sphere that would force them to make corrupt decisions.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
There are some similarities between the Trump and Jackson political philosophies as well as the election process. The two men obviously were vastly different in many aspects since they lived two centuries apart, but we will focus on the similarities. Most historians have a favorable view of Jackson despite his growing the power of the executive branch. The verdict is still out on Trump if he is able to pull off the upset and beat Clinton. Both men were vastly successful in their fields – Jackson as a military general (he did other things as well such as being a lawyer) and Trump as a businessman. Yet, both men have been criticized for being dumb and uncouth. Jackson had no formal education and was often seen as being barbaric on the battlefield especially against Native Americans. Although Trump is highly educated he is not a quick thinker on his feet and despite this major flaw tends to give unprepared remarks that more often than not come off the wrong way. Both Trump and Jackson are victims of their vast egos and this arrogance makes them come off as being unpolished and dumb. Both men are family men and will surround themselves by family in the White House including placing them in important roles in the administration. Both men are considered outsiders to the Washington elites. The first six presidents in U.S. history came from Virginia or Massachusetts building a “good old boy” system of politics. Jackson not only broke this trend (Tennessee) he replaced over 10% of all political appointees (over 10 times more than the first 6 presidents combined). Jackson also vetoed more congressional bills in his first two years of office than the previous six presidents combined – illustrating his outsider status when compared to the Washington elites. Although Jackson had some political experience in Washington, he viewed the system as mostly corrupt and did not trust entities such as the Federal Bank – he saw the bank as providing favors to politicians. Jackson was also not a fan of campaign financing because he saw it as a means to foster corruption with quid pro quo actions. Conversely, Trump did not accept any campaign money for his primary run, but realizes he would probably have to accept more for the general election to overcome the war chest of funding Clinton will have. Trump is truly an outsider if you consider he has never held a political office, but no doubt Trump has given large sums of money to politicians probably expecting favors in return. Trump has clearly stated he does not trust politicians and Washington has to be cleaned up and made more efficient. Although the Jackson presidency was setting the groundwork for the future Democratic Party, many Trump policies are truly liberal. While women do not like Trump, he is probably the best Republican candidate for women in years. He not only has a great record of hiring women in important business roles, he has defended Planned Parenthood and wants more federal spending for women’s health. In fact, without Democrats voting for Trump in open primaries he may not have won the nomination outright. Some other policy similarities include taxes and the debt. Both Jackson and Trump want to pay down the debt and Jackson was the first to consider a progressive tax system seeing tariffs hit the poor the hardest. Meanwhile Trump, unlike many Republicans, likes our current progressive tax system and wants to tax the wealthy more. Trump, also unlike many Republicans, is not as much a state’s rights advocate as he is in a strong federal government, similar to the belief of Democrats and Jackson.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Obama explained why he does not use the term: Radical Islam. “It would not change anything in the fight against terrorism.” I could not disagree more. For some reason Democrats and liberals alike have a way of trying to change the meaning of words or reword phrases to be politically correct. There are many dangers in this type of behavior. For instance, the neighbors of the San Bernardino terrorists refused to call authorities about strange happenings because they were afraid they would be labeled as a racist (not only does Obama refuse to call Radical Islam what it is, what’s worse he race baits). If Obama called out Radical Islam, then maybe vigilant people would not be afraid to call authorities on Muslims. And just maybe the San Bernardino terrorist attack could have been avoided. If Nidal Hasan would have been labeled as a radical Islamic terrorist instead of his Fort Hood massacre being labeled as “workplace violence”, then maybe people would not cave to political correctness. Heck, anybody else other than a Muslim committing such an act of violence would be labeled as a terrorists – similar to the Charleston massacre (and rightly so). Obama shows his hypocrisy by calling out issues with Christianity time and time again. If he can call out one religion for its flaws then he must be consistent. This hypocrisy only polarizes and divides the American public. By failing to label Radical Islam then the solution to the problem fails to address the issue at hand. For example, the liberal solution to the Radical Islamic attacks in the U.S. is to have more gun control (never let a national calamity go to waste). Unfortunately, the gun control legislation proposed would not stop any attacks. It is also important to note, that most terrorist attacks do not even use guns. In other words, according to Obama and liberals, the Orlando attack was not the fault of Radical Islam, but instead it was the fault of our system that allowed the terrorist to legally buy a gun. Unfortunately, if the FBI did its job and followed through with dozens of complaints and the findings by Disney World, then the attack could have been avoided completely. Since we refuse to call Radical Islam what it is, it provides cover for law abiding Muslims. It allows Muslims to wrongly look the other way and fail to speak out against this extremist branch of their religion. Law abiding Muslims could be helpful in trying to identify terrorists and putting forth programs to help prevent terrorism. But since we fail to identify their religion, they do not feel obligated to defend their practices. By labeling something what it is, is honest, accountable, and responsible. What is wrong with that? One thing that Obama and Democrats have done – they have cemented the legacy of Bush. While Democrats (under Obama’s tutelage) use terrible disasters to divide and conquer the American public to get their agenda pushed through Congress whereas Bush united Americans following such disasters.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Taxes In Helvering v. Davis (1937) the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Social Security. This yielded Congress unlimited power to tax and spend on anything in the name of “general welfare”. This, without question, led to all the anti-poverty and welfare programs in American history. In NFIB v. Sibelius (2012) - (ObamaCare), the Court limited the commerce clause for the first time in 70 years, but unfortunately the ruling that healthcare can be mandated through a tax was a horrible decision. The question then becomes: What can’t Congress mandate through a tax? Nothing! Hence, this ruling yields a great deal of power to the federal government. First Amendment In Schneck v. United States (1919) the Court upheld the Espionage Act of 1917. In doing so, Schneck was imprisoned for handing out anti-war pamphlets during WWI. This was the first time the Court placed limits on free speech. Many liberals believe Citizens United v FEC (2010) is the worst First Amendment decision, but quite to the contrary, it overruled bad Court decisions limiting political free speech (campaign contributions) such as in Buckley v. Valeo (1976) and McConnell v. FEC (2003). Many argue that money is not free speech, but free speech includes freedom of expression (i.e. flag burning is Constitutional etc.) which includes how we spend money. Privileges and Immunities Clause Only one case was decided on the privileges and immunities clause in the Fourteenth Amendment in American history and that was the Slaughter House Cases v. United States (1873). Many scholars believe this was a horrible decision because it basically read the privileges and immunities clause out of the Constitution and that precedent has held up for nearly 150 years. Thus, the Court could have done a better job in striking down the butchers’ claims in these cases without eviscerating the privileges clause, but this was not a bad decision otherwise. The key here was the Court ruled in favor of the liberties of the people of New Orleans to protect them from Cholera and other diseases caused by bad sanitary practices by the butchers. Very rarely in bad decisions did the Court see the big picture in cases to protect the liberties of a majority of Americans over the few: Miranda, Roe, Obergefell, Kelo, Sibelius, Baker, etc. Diversity In Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), the Court essentially overruled the 1978 decision in Cal Berkley v. Bakke that ruled schools could not use racial quota systems for determining admissions. In essence, the Court gave the University of Michigan the right to discriminate by using skin color as a main determinant in the admission process. Contracts Clause In Home Building and Loan Association v. Blaisdell (1934) the Court wiped out the Contracts Clause of the Constitution by letting states alter contracts after the fact. The Court cited unusual circumstances caused by the Great Depression as the basis for its decision. Extenuating circumstances is never an excuse for judicial activism to set bad precedents. Eminent Domain (Takings Clause) Both Kelo v. New London (2005) and Tahoe Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (2002) have set a very bad precedent. In essence, the government can take (confiscate) any property it sees fit to increase tax revenue (even to take from the poor and give to the wealthy) and not properly compensate prior owners. In Bennis v. Michigan (1996) the Court ruled it could confiscate Tina Bennis’s car without due process because her husband used the car to sleep with prostitutes and it was a crime scene. There are dozens more poor or bad decisions made by the Supreme Court over the past 200 plus years. But the above is a pretty good representation of the Courts shortcomings and judicial activism.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
In breaking down the worst Supreme Court decisions, they have be categorized into groups: civil rights, substantive due process, elections, commerce clause, taxes, first amendment, privileges and immunities clause, diversity, contracts clause, and eminent domain (takers clause). Many of these cases have already been discussed in detail in prior articles over the years. Civil Rights No question that Dred Scott (1857) and Plessy (1896) are two of the worst decisions in Supreme Court history. But the good news is each of these decisions have been overruled by the Court in cases such as Brown v. School Board (1954). However, there are many civil rights cases that have never been overruled such as Korematsu v. United States (1944) which allowed the internment of 120 thousand Japanese during WWII. Buck v. Bell (1927) ruled it acceptable to sterilize adults with learning disabilities. Chae Chan Ping v. United States (1889) ruled the Chinese Exclusion Act was constitutional and Congress could control our immigration system anyone they see fit even if it is discriminatory. Miranda v. Arizona (1967) provided additional liberties to criminals, but fails to consider the liberties of the victims and future victims by allowing criminals to walk on technicalities. Substantive Due Process The Court, in many cases, used its imagination to read our Forefathers intent into the Constitution if they believed the issue at hand was “deep-rooted in American history”. Many believe Lochner v. New York was a bad decision but the liberty of contract was deep rooted in American history. The Court’s rulings using substantive due process in: Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) to view gay marriage as a right, Roe v. Wade (1973) to view abortion as a right, and Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) to view privacy as a right are all dangerous rulings because they set bad precedent. Griswold opened the door for Roe. Roe opened the door for Obergefell. The correct ruling in Griswold would have been to limit the government’s reach instead of making up a right that is not in the Constitution. None of the rights in Griswold, Obergefell, or Roe are deep-rooted in American history. The constitution explicitly defines those rights to privacy that are protected – not all rights to privacy. Elections Most view Gore v. Bush (2000) as the worst Court decision on elections, but it is not even close. There is no question that the standard’s being used to count votes in the Florida recount were broad, arbitrary, and inconsistent. Besides, the Miami Herald ran a piece that the outcome of the election was correct after investigating the state election count of 61,000 under-vote ballots (using the liberal intent definition – dimple chad, mark chad, etc.). In fact, Bush would have won by over 1600 votes instead of the 537 initially tallied. So the decision is Gore v Bush would not have changed history. However, in Baker v. Carr (1962) the Court ruled “one person, one vote” applies to the states even though our Constitution does not apply that principle to Senate or Presidential races. This ruling has changed history and provided more rights and liberties to urban dwellers over farmers and people living in less populated areas of any state. Commerce Clause The commerce clause interpretation during the FDR years expanded immensely. There were many cases yielding bad decisions during this era regarding the commerce clause, but the worst ruling was in Wickard v. Filburn (1942). The Court ruled in favor of Congress’s Agriculture Adjustment Act that placed quota limits on farmer production, and farmers could not go over the quota even if the excess was going to be used to feed the farmers family. This provided the government a great deal of power to not only control interstate commerce, but now intrastate commerce which is not listed in Constitution.
Sunday, June 5, 2016
There are dangers in changing definitions. The new definition of marriage is now: the union between two people based on the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell. Strangely, polygamist can use the same arguments used by the gay marriage movement to alter the definition of marriage to be: the union between multiple people. In fact, polygamy is more “deep-rooted in American history” and world history for that matter then gay marriage or abortion. This is what happens when people act quickly without thinking through rulings and decisions. This is what happens when the Court yields poor judgement and precedent. Here is a good explanation of the Court’s findings: “The Court listed four distinct reasons why the fundamental right to marry applies to same-sex couples. First, "the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy." Second, "the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals," a principle applying equally to same-sex couple. Third, the fundamental right to marry "safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation, and education"; as same-sex couples have children and families, they are deserving of this safeguard—though the right to marry in the United States has never been conditioned on procreation. Fourth, and lastly, "marriage is a keystone of our social order," and "[t]here is no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle"; consequently, preventing same-sex couples from marrying puts them at odds with society, denies them countless benefits of marriage, and introduces instability into their relationships for no justifiable reason.” So, why can’t these same findings or principles issued by the Court be used to further change the meaning of marriage to include polygamy? This was a major issue for Chief Justice Roberts in his dissent. I certainly have my issues with religion (not faith). I am not trying to defend religion over gay persons. I am merely trying to point out the dangers of bad decisions and setting bad precedents. It can lead to more bad decisions and more bad precedent. The biblical definition of marriage has been around a long time and no one was trying to be bigoted, it is a fact: You need opposite genders to procreate. Not every group, school, or organization is all inclusive – this does not mean they are bigots that want to discriminate. But we can say the NRA discriminates against non-gun wielding Americans; NAACP discriminates against Hispanics; The National Organization for Women discriminates against men; Religion discriminates against atheists; and so on and so forth. This is ridiculous, people and classes of people should be able to define their guidelines for enrollment into their organizations and for their rituals. A marriage license is not needed to insure families are protected. For instance, many companies recognize partners and their families to be included in the same benefit packages offered to married couples. There are very simple ways to compromise on this issue and to sit back and let it evolve over time. Unfortunately, this is not how the liberal mind or world works. And in their haste, they instead make dubious decisions that not only undermine the liberties of people they do care about, they create bad laws with ambiguous meaning to words that open up a plethora of problems down the road.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
One of the biggest duties of the diligent and loyal liberal is to change the meaning of words if they do not think they are “fair” – and marriage is one of them. The biblical definition of marriage is a union between two people of opposite genders for the purposes of procreation. Of course liberals find this definition biased or bigoted because it does not support the gay movement. The issue they have with the definition is obviously the part that says “opposite genders”. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court agreed with this liberal outrage in their 2015 decision: Obergefell v. Hodges. I have a great deal of empathy for the gay movement, but that does not mean it has to be hastily forced on all people by setting bad precedent through the bending of the rule of the law. That is exactly what happened. Obergefell v. Hodges is a terrible Supreme Court ruling and commits many of the same mistakes as the Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion. In Obergefell and Roe, the Court used substantive due process in its ruling. However, to use such measures, gay marriage and abortion must be “deep-rooted in American history”. Obviously that is not the case: gay marriage and abortion have been taboo throughout history. In Obergefell and Roe, the Court overruled statutes in all 50 states, including many liberal ones. In 1985, Ruth Bader Ginsberg called Roe a bad decision because it legislates from the bench and she felt that pro-abortion laws should have occurred naturally over time as voted on by the people of each state. By doing this, she felt, the gradual move towards an abortion state would be much less controversial. So what does Ginsberg do 30 years later, commit the same mistake that was done in Roe that she spoke out against. The right decision by the Court would have been to use the Tenth Amendment and let the people of the individual states determine the outcome of gay marriage and let it evolve over time. Over 80% of the states already support gay marriage, so it is just a matter of time before each state agreed. In Obergefell and Roe, the Court determined that marriage and abortion are fundamental rights. They came to this conclusion through the “Due Process Clause” and “Equal Protection Clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment. Once again, they used their imagination to conjure up some flaky way to say our founding fathers intended for abortion and marriage to be rights, but just forgot to write it in the Constitution. The Constitution clearly outlines our rights, freedoms, and liberties. If these are truly rights and the will of the people then the Constitution should be amended. In essence, the Court, has given more liberties and rights to women and gays at the expense of the unborn, spouses, and religious folks in its decisions on Obergefell and Roe. In Obergefell and Roe, the Court cites many cases in their majority decision. However, none had to do specifically with gay marriage or abortion. In Obergefell the court cites Loving v. Virginia which outlaws statutes that prohibit interracial relationships (This is exactly what the Fourteenth Amendment was drafted to prevent – racial bigotry, but it does not change the meaning / definition of marriage.) They also cite Lawrence v. Texas which states gay sexual relations are legal. Once again, this does not change the meaning of marriage. By the logic used in Obergefell and Roe, what would not constitute a right? Healthcare was also ruled as a right. If marriage is a right, then wouldn’t follow that divorce is also a right? Most pro-abortion women would never have an abortion. It makes absolutely little sense to make things a right that is not ideal, or something that everyone does not want or necessarily need. These are dangers of saying that a college education is a right or owning a home is a right. Over seventy-five percent of college grads are not finding work, but have built up a huge debt. And the government trying to get every American into a home led directly to the housing bubble and subsequent financial collapse in 2008. Rights, liberties, and freedoms are not forced upon the people, they are natural and common to every person.