Attention Democrats

Attention far left Democrats and all the rest, of you Democrats, who are too afraid of the far left or to hungry for power to stand up for America. Stop insulting me, stop ridiculing me, stop trying to run my life, stop trying to take away my freedoms and stop endangering me and my loved ones.

I know that you have never met me, don’t know me and don’t even know I exist. I am not famous, not rich and not powerful, but I am one of the slightly under three hundred million Americans that you are harming. I am one of the little people that you think are too ignorant to know what is best for themselves. One of the little people that you think has to be led around by the nose by superior people like you. One of the little people that, as far as you are concerned, doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things. I am one of the idiots that believe in things like, morals, values, freedom, kindness, helping others, fair play, courtesy, manners, dignity, respect, caring for one’s family, etc.. One of the idiots that loves his country, believes in his country and is proud to be an American. One of the idiots that celebrates the Fourth Of July, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and yes (horrors), even Christmas.

I am a moderate who has some liberal beliefs and some conservative beliefs. I dislike far right fanatics as much as I dislike far left fanatics. I believe in God but, I don’t believe in trying to force everyone or anyone else into believing in God. I believe in freedom of speech (As long as it doesn’t harm anyone.) and I believe in freedom of thought. I have never, until recently, wrote letters to the editor or wrote political articles. Even though I am a Republican, I have always voted for the best person for the job. I have, in the past, voted for Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Your actions, however, have left me no choice other than to, from now on, vote for anyone who opposes Democrats. I may dislike the far right but the far left scares the heck out of me. The far left and those that support them are going to, if not stopped, cause the downfall of this great country.

I am fed up, hopefully like many others, with you trying to tell me what to think, when to think and how to think it, what to say, when to say it and how to say it. I am fed up with your use of lies, half truths, propaganda, rumors and ridicule. I am fed up with your use of celebrities and sychopants, to spread your lies, half truths, propaganda, rumors and ridicule, in order to gain control over the rest of us.

I am fed up with you and your puppets disparaging our President (When you insult our President, you insult the office of the President, thereby insulting America. When you call the President stupid you are calling everyone who voted for him stupid because, they voted for a stupid President.). When you ridicule the President, any President, whether it be President Bush, President Clinton or any other President you are harming America by giving fuel to our detractors and enemies. This endangers my loved ones and therefore scares me.

I am fed up with your attacks on the wars in Iraq and Afganistan. All you are doing is aiding our enemies by making them believe that, if they can last long enough, we will cut and run, leaving them to do as they wish. You are prolonging the war against terrorism and causing additional deaths among our troops. I’m not saying that we can win the war against terrorism (There will probably, almost, always be some form of terrorism.) but, I am saying that you are making things worse. You are also endangering my loved ones and that scares me.

I am fed up with your attempts to force the appeasement of countries like Iran, Syria, China, Russia, North Korea, France and others who would like nothing better than to witness our demise. This endangers my loved ones and therefore scares me.

I am fed up with your fighting for the rights of criminals and terrorists while ignoring the rights of victims and of our society. Your attempts to make victims or heroes out of people like Stanley Williams, the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the terrorists imprisoned in Iraq, Saddam Hussein, gangsta rappers, drug addicts, illegal immigrants, Michael Jackson, O.J. Simpson and anyone convicted of murder who is sentenced to death, insults victims and their loved ones. It also endangers my loved ones and that scares me.

The only thing that scares me more than the far left is that many people in this country are buying into your lies and propaganda because they don’t know anything about history (And now some schools have decided to stop teaching American History prior to the Civil War and many other schools don’t even require the study of World History.) and they obtain most of their information from sound bites, celebrities and others that you have duped who spout your propaganda while calling it entertainment.

America is a great country and there may still be time to overcome the far left’s attempt to take over and rule our country. In order, however, to stop the far left we have to wake up, we have to stop believing that just because someone is a celebrity and speaks for the far left, that he or she is an authority on the governing of this country. Celebrities are not smarter or more informed than we are, they just have a bigger soapbox than we do. Think of this, if a celebrity is dumb enough to be taken in by the far left, he or she is too dumb to be telling us what to think. We have to use a little logic and start thinking for ourselves. We have to start teaching our children to think for themselves and not to believe everything they see and hear on television. Most of all, we have to start speaking out. We have to start voting, not just for what we believe in but, against what we don’t believe in. We have to start paying attention to what is going on around us and we have to start sticking up for ourselves and for our way of life.

Senate Elections 2014: Democratic Seats To Watch

In this year’s senate elections, democrats have 34 seats that are not up for re-election. Of the 21 seats that are up for re-election, just 9 are considered uncompetitive. Here are some of the most competitive seats that require the party to work extra hard:

Colorado

Mark Udall, a democrat is the current senator and was elected with 53% of the votes in 2008. Udall is 64 years old and seeking re-election. He is going to face Cory Gardner who is a very powerful republican nominee. In addition to facing Cory, Udall will also face Gaylon Kent, a libertarian party nominee.

Lowa

Tom Harkin, a Democrat is the current senator and he has been at the position for the past five terms. What makes the race competitive is because Harkin will not be seeking re-election. Congressman Bruce Braley is the Democratic nominee and he will be facing Joni Ernst, the republican nominee. Although Doug Butzier died on the plane crash on October 13, 2014, his name will still appear on the ballot paper.

Minnesota

In 2008, there was greatly competition between Al Franken (the current senator and a democrat) and Norm Celman, a republican. It’s expected that there will still be great competition in the state as Franken seeks re-election. Franken will face Mike McFadden, the republican nominee and Hannah Nicollet of the independence party of Minnesota.

New Hampshire

Jenne Shaheen, a Democrat was elected with 52% of the votes in 2008. She is 67 years old and she is seeking re-election. She is going to face stiff completion from Scott Brown, a republican nominee. Brown is very competitive as he represented the neighboring Massachusetts in the Senate from 2010 to 2012.

North Carolina

The current senator is Kay Hagan who was elected with 53% of the votes in 2008. He beat the incumbent republican Elizabeth Dole. Hagan is 61 years old and he is seeking re-election where he will face Thom Tillis, the republican nominee and the state house speaker. Hagan will also face Sean Haugh who is the Libertarian nominee.

Conclusion

These are some of the red states that pose major challenges to the democrats. For the party to win the seats, it needs to put its strategies in place and ensure that it works with the people. While the party has major hurdles to climb, there are a number of states such as Delaware, Hawaii, Ilinois, Massachusetts, New jersey, and New Mexico that are considered to be safe.

The Right To Lie

Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech

First Amendment US Constitution

The Right to Lie under the Bush doctrine is in actuality a right protected by the US Constitution under the right to free speech. Close and critical reading of the US Constitution’s First Amendment clearly shows that the right to free speech is not restricted to just the truth.

Free speech, like all rights granted and guaranteed by the Constitution’s Bill of Rights is an unabridged right, e.g. unfettered, and as such extends equally to truth and falsehood alike.

Thus the continual lying, i.e. “mispeaking”, of President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Press Secretary Tony Snow is not only a long political tradition, it is at long last, a guaranteed Constitutional right extended to all Americans including the President and all the President’s men and women.

The Right To Lie, according to the Bush doctrine, is an even more fundamental right than habeas corpus, granted under English common law during the reign of Henry II in the 12th Century; though more recently abridged by US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales regarding those held at Guantanamo Prison in Cuba, a nation known for state oppression and being therefore without the benefit of constitutional rights and law.

In truth, the Right to Lie is part and parcel of a long overdue rebalancing of the American political landscape. American-style democracy is still in its infancy and much remains to be perfected.

One of its longest standing and most egregious imbalances has been the inability of political leaders to claim de jure the Right to Lie, a right traditionally claimed and practiced by the common people de facto with absolutely no compunction whatsoever.

This has led to a critical imbalance in the American political landscape. With Presidents unconstitutionally held to a higher standard than the people, there has developed a gap between the two, a gap that now threatens the foundation of liberty itself.

The long overdue overhaul of democracy by conservative Republican think-tanks (sic a place where thinking tanks) extends the Right to Lie to the Presidency itself and therefore to all those who serve it, e.g. the Vice-President, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, the Department of Homeland Security, the FDA, the EPA, the USDA etc.

Now perhaps the American people will no longer have to be subjected to US government officials testifying under oath that they do not recall “this or that”. It is clear that the apparent inability to recall is merely a legal ruse to avoid future charges of perjury. What has been less clear is that it has been necessitated by the heretofore obstructed and fettered constitutionally protected Right to Lie.

The American people will now be far better off for the truth to be once again made plain–that Presidents and all who serve them can and do lie. Let the honest truth, the truth and nothing but, ring free and clear!

America, America

My country ’tis of thee

How did this come to pass

How did this come to be

From Democracy to Omniocracy

Clint Eastwood recently plunged into the murky political pond with his statement, “Extremism is so easy. You’ve got your position, and that’s it. It doesn’t take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right, you meet the same idiots coming around from the left.”

Is it easy to be an extremist, and is the political scale truly circular, so that the “far right” clasps hands with the “far left”? Does the left-right continuum serve as a constructive paradigm upon which society can be structured?

Today’s “extremists” are in good company: Jesus, Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Baruch Spinoza all bore this label at one time. Jan De Witt and his brother Cornelius–17th Century Dutch politicians–were hacked to death by the populace, largely due to their “radical” and “unsavory” political perspective. Their crime? They were proponents of democracy. Their body parts were displayed in storefronts all over town.

Who shall we call extreme? The vigilantes who did the lynching? The shopkeepers who showcased the body parts? Or the De Witts with their pro-democracy stance?

Do “extreme” beliefs emanate from a mechanical thought process, as Eastwood suggests, rather than an intense philosophical journey? It arguably requires reflection and hypercritical analysis to defend ones theories against the cloned, echoed and mass produced opinion of the common folk; it requires conviction to risk social ostracism and other forms of retaliation.

The “approved” or popular view is more likely to be perfunctory. Why think when one can plagiarize? Why go out on a limb when one can cling onto the tree or never climb in the first place?

Eastwood may view those on the “far right” and “far left” as moralistically shrill, as manifesting a tone level of fear and anger. Perhaps this is how the “right” and “left” overlap or come full circle in his mind. But this is a gross generalization, since the “extremes” are subjective and the political continuum fallacious.

Suppose we accept the commonly accepted paradigm of a left to right political continuum, as Eastwood offers. If we define the “left” as the group that protects the voiceless, the powerless, and the forgotten, then the natural progression would be to protect the truly voiceless – animals and nature.

Nonhumans are excluded from our political system, without representation. They have no standing in court; yet corporations do. In fact, nonhumans are virtually omitted from the conversation in our anthropocentric and speciesist society.

A move “left” arguably means to move away from Democracy–which is really just a rule by the elite (humans)–to an Omniocracy (which I describe as a government of, by and for all living beings). The European Union has added nonhumans to their Constitution, as have Switzerland and Germany. New Zealand, India and Reggio Emilio, Italy have outlawed using animals in ways we normally think acceptable in the U.S. (boiling lobsters alive, keeping fish in small bowls, vivisection, etc.).

We are trailing behind other nations, but it would be difficult to sell a Constitutional amendment to our “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” country at this time. It would be easier to convince certain states. You may be thinking what would stuffing a few extra words in a state Constitution really do. Well, words are a powerful tool and an important start.

Lastly, does this move to the left spit us out on right? Probably. One could argue that traditional “right” politics prompts a gap between the rich and poor, thus culminates in the rule by a few, such as corporations. To implement policies that foster the idea that nonhuman species have value “in and of themselves,” a “top down” government or rule by a few (although not corporations) again seems required.

People are self-interested (as are all species) thus cannot be expected to vote against their desires. Legislators, however, are different (or should be) because they attain self-worth from helping others, being fair and inclusive, and consulting the “big picture.” There will naturally be conflicts of interest between species and individuals; but government’s job–in an omniocracy as in our current system– will be to mediate and arbitrate these “disputes.”

We are taught democracy is the most inclusive, just and beneficent political system in the world. It is time to re-evaluate. Successful ideas advance through three stages: first ridicule, then discussion, finally adoption. I say we begin the discussion to which Eastwood’s words have provided a starting point.

Are We Supposed to Have a Democracy?

Who thinks the United States has a democracy? Well we are not supposed to, even though we do. Go read the Constitution and tell me how many times it talks about a democracy. I’ll be waiting when you get back.

Did you have fun? Was that your first reading of the supposed Supreme Law of the United States? Well don’t feel bad you aren’t the only one. Anyways at least now you know the answer to the above question, which is 0! The Constitution never mentions a democracy. That’s crazy right? Especially since you learned about how amazing our democracy was throughout school. Well, the United States is actually supposed to be Republic. What’s the difference you ask? Simple, a Republic adheres to a charter (the constitution) and in a democracy people make the decisions through voting. So in a Republic nothing can be done that does not adhere to the Constitution.

That limits the power of everyone, mainly the government because the founders knew politicians would continuously chase more power, which they have done and obtained. This is not possible with a charter because it is illegal. On the other hand though in a democracy, people can make any decision through voting. Do you remember when the mosque was being attempted to being built near ground zero? Everyone was flipping out about it and no one wanted to allow it to happen. Well, the majority of people opposed it from being built, so some people wanted to get it stopped. Under Democracy this would happen no problem. People would go vote on the issue and they would have stopped the mosque from being built because the majority opposed. This would obviously not be abiding by the First Amendment and Freedom of Religion, but because the majority support the cause it’s okay.

How about this then, let’s say the majority of Americans hate Justin Bieber. Everyone talks about it and decides they don’t want to listen to him sing anymore, so they are going to vote to have him executed. Well everyone shows up and votes and unfortunately for Bieber the majority of his fans are not even old enough to vote, so he loses. So he is put to death because the ‘majority’ in a ‘Democracy’ wanted it to happen. Is this okay? I don’t find it okay regardless of what the democratic system came up with. There is a reason the founders did not set us up with a Democracy, they knew a Democracy would eventually fail. Just because a majority makes a decision does not make it right. Of course the poor are going to vote for higher taxes for the rich. And we know the wealthy are a very small minority, so of course everyone will pick on them and make them pick up the financial burden. People will always vote for whatever will benefit them the most and that is a horrible system that will not work. The only way liberties can be protected is under a charter, not a democracy. Here are some quotes from people smarter than I, hope you learned something.

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” – Thomas Jefferson

“In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.” – Aristotle

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Democracy is the road to socialism.” – Karl Marx (heard of him?)

Intrusion In Judicial Powers – Endangering Constitutionality

Introduction

The Supreme Court is the ultimate repository of all judicial powers at National level by virtue of it being the Summit Court at the Pyramidal height of administration of Justice in the Country and as the upholder and interpreter of the law and Constitution of India and defender of the fundamentals at Rule of law as observed in P. RamachandraRao v. State of Karnatka. Administration of justice derives its strength only from the people’s confidence in the system the loss of confidence can lead to instability and threaten the edifice of democracy. Maladministration and non governance would invariably affect the people’s rights, giving rise to judicial intervention.

Separation of powers is one of the components of basic structure. As against executive power, Checks and balances are exercised by the Judiciary and the Legislature. But against the Legislature, it is exercised by the Judiciary. The executive and legislative actions are amenable to severe public criticism and their actions may be a doom’s day and incur public wrath resulting in overthrowing them out of power. The legislature is accountable for the actions of the executive, since virtually the party in power controls the executive. However, the Higher Judiciary is amenable to impeachment which is seldom resorted. Unlike executive and legislative actions, the judicial action is not amenable for criticism of such tone and tenor, in view of contempt of court laws.

The basic design of the Constitution is premised on the principle of separation of powers introducing the system of checks and balances. Conceptually, there is no difficulty in demarcating the respective functional areas of three principal organs of the State-the legislature the executive and the judiciary. Functionally, however, in the course of dispensation of justice, At times, situations do arise that require collection of an executive or removing some legislature lacuna. V.R. Krishna Iyer, Hon’ able former judge of the Supreme Court of India, has elegantly expressed his views on this grim and bizarre situation in one of his works thus:

The Indian experience with regard to the Executive, Judicative and Legislative instrumentalities over four decades has been one of exploitation darkening into misgiving, misgiving deepening into despair and despair exploding as adventurist violence. The categorical imperative for stability in democracy is, therefore, to see that every instrumentality is functionally kept on course and any deviance or misconduct, abuse or aberration, corruption or delinquency is duly monitored and disciplinary measures taken promptly to make unprofitable for the delinquents to depart from the code of conduct and to make it possible for people, social activists, professional leaderships and other duly appointed agencies to enforce punitive therapeutics when robed culprits violate moral-legal norms.

It would be relevant here to mention that the Supreme Court has always asserted as the most confidential organ of the state. Ever since the independence the Sanctum Sanctorum of justice has reaffirmed the common man’s faith in the judicial system of the country, let it be any sphere of the welfare scenario from harsh agrarian reforms to expansive innovative interpretation of the Art. 21, scrapping the attempts to overturn the democracy, maintaining the secular character of the constitution, implementing social security charter, sustainable development etc.

The present paper is the modest attempt towards highlighting the various problems which came to fore from the executive and legislature in the form of intrusions and overburdened judiciary and lapses in effective administration of justice.

2 Separation of powers

The Constitution of India envisages separation of power between the three organs of the Constitution so that the working of the constitution may not be hampered or jeopardized. The thin and fine line of distinction should never be ignored and transgressed upon by any of the organ of the Constitution, including the judiciary. The rigid perception and practice can be given a go by in cases of “abdication of duties” by one of the organ of the Constitution. Thus, the judiciary can interfere if there is an abdication of duties by the legislature or the executive. For instance, if the legislature delegates its essential and constitutional functions to the executives, it would amount to “excessive delegation” and hence abdication of the legislative functions by the legislature. In such cases, the theory of separation of powers would not come in the way of judiciary while exercising the power of judicial review.

In India, the doctrine of separation of powers is not adopted in its absolute rigidity, but the ‘essence’ of the doctrine with the doctrine of constitutional limitation and trust implicit in the scheme was duly recognised in the Delhi Laws case, Separation of judiciary from the executive is mandated in Article 50 of the Constitution, with the independence of judiciary as a necessary corollary as observed in Chandra Mohan v. State of U.P., To promote the objectives of Art.50, the doctrine of separation of powers was elevated to the status of a basic feature of the Constitution in Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narain, wherein it was observed, thus:

“… the exercise by the legislature of what is purely and indubitably a judicial function is impossible to sustain in the context even of our co-operative federalism which contains no rigid distribution of powers but which provides a system of salutary checks and balances”.

This concept is now a recognised part of the basic structure of the Constitution, and is at the core of the constitutional scheme as was held in State of Bihar v. Bal Mukund.

The status of modern state is a lot more different than what it used to be. It has evolved a great deal from a minimal, non-interventionist state to an welfare state, wherein it has multifarious roles to play, like that of a protector, arbiter, controller, provider. This omnipresence of the state has rendered its functions becoming diverse and problems, interdependent and any serious attempt to define and separate those functions would cause inefficiency in government. Hence, a distinction is made between ‘essential’ and ‘incidental’ powers of an organ. According to this differentiation one organ can’t claim the powers essentially belonging to other organ because that would be a violation of the principle of separation of powers. But, it can claim the exercise of the incidental functions of another organ. This distinction prevents encroachment of an organ into the essential sphere of activity of the other.

It is the exercise of incidental powers only which has made executive grow everywhere in this social welfare state. It has assumed a vital role but, it has not usurped any role from any other wing. It just happened that the other two organs, namely, judiciary and legislature, became unsuitable for undertaking the functions of this welfare state and as a consequence the functions of the executive increased. As controller and provider, the judicial processes were very time consuming and the legislature was overburdened with work. Therefore, it was in natural scheme of things which made the administrators end up performing a variety of roles in the modern state including those of legislature and judiciary too, to an extent.

Though, just like American Constitution, in Indian constitution also, there is express mention in the Indian Constitution that the executive power of the Union and of a State is vested by the constitution in the President and the Governor, respectively, by articles 53(1) and 154(1), but there is no corresponding provision vesting the legislative and judicial powers in any particular organ. It has accordingly been held that there is no rigid separation of powers. Although prima facie it appears that our Constitution has based itself upon doctrine of separation of powers. Judiciary is independent in its field and there can be no interference with its judicial functions either by the executive or the legislature. Constitution restricts the discussion of the conduct of any judge in the Parliament. The Supreme Court and the High Courts has been given the power of judicial review and they can declare any law passed by parliament as unconstitutional. The judges of the S.C. are appointed by the President in consultation with the CJI and judges of the S.C. The S.C. has power to make Rules for efficient conduction of business. It is noteworthy that Article 50 of the constitution puts an obligation over state to take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive. But, since it is a Directive Principle of the State Policy, therefore it’s unenforceable.

In a similar fashion certain constitutional provisions also provide for Powers, Privileges and Immunities to the MPs, Immunity from judicial scrutiny into the proceedings of the house, etc. Such provisions are thereby making legislature independent, in a way. The Constitution provides for conferment of executive power on the President. His powers and functions are enumerated in the constitution itself.

The President and the Governor enjoy immunity from civil and criminal liabilities. But, if studied carefully, it is clear that doctrine of separation of powers has not been accepted in India in its strict sense. The executive is a part of the legislature. It is responsible to the legislature for its actions and also it derives its authority from legislature. In India, since it is a parliamentary form of government therefore, it is based upon intimate contact and close co-ordination among the legislative and executive wings. However, the executive power vests in the President but, in reality he is only a formal head and that, the Real head is the Prime minister along with his Council of Ministers. The reading of Art. 74(1) makes it clear that the executive head has to act in accordance with the aid and advice given by the cabinet.Generally the legislature is the repository of the legislative power but, under some specified circumstances President is also empowered to exercise legislative functions. Like while issuing an ordinance, framing rules and regulations relating to Public service matters, formulating law while proclamation of emergency is in force. These are some instances of the executive head becoming the repository of legislative functioning. President performs judicial functions also.

In certain matters Parliament exercises judicial functions too. It can decide the question of breach of its privilege, and in case of impeaching the President; both the houses take active participation and decide the charges. Judiciary, in India, too can be seen exercising administrative functions when it supervises all the subordinate courts below. It has legislative power also which is reflected in formulation of rules regulating their own procedure for the conduct and disposal of cases.

Therefore, it’s quite evident from the constitutional provisions themselves that India, being a parliamentary democracy, does not follow an absolute separation and is, rather based upon fusion of powers, where a close co-ordination amongst the principal organs is unavoidable. Thus, every organ of the government is required to perform all three types of functions. Each organ is, in some form or the other, dependent on the other organ. The reason for the interdependence can be accorded to the parliamentary form of governance. followed in our country. Except where the Constitution has vested power in a body, the principle that one organ should not perform functions which essentially belong to others is followed. In re Delhi Laws Act case, wherein, it was held by a majority of 5:2, that, the theory of separation of powers is not part and parcel of our Constitution. It was also held that except for exceptional circumstances like in Art.123, Art.357, Art.213, the powers of legislation shall be exercised exclusively by the Legislature.

3. Doctrine of Judicial Review

Under Article 13 of the Constitution of India, the higher judiciary has been equipped with the power of Judicial Review, thereby expressly mandates, the Courts to do, is to consider the validity and legality of each and every executive and legislative action. Hence, every State action has to be tested on the anvil of rule of law and that exercise is performed, when occasion arises by reason of doubt raised, in that behalf in the Courts. This power of Judicial Review as exercised under Article 32 and 226 by Supreme Court and High Courts respectively has been declared to be an integral and essential feature, constituting part of basic structure of the Constitution.

The well established Constitutional principle of existence of power of ‘Judicial Review’ and its need was indicated by Chief Justice Marshall in Marbury v. Madison has pointed out that “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what law is”. The foundation of ‘Basic Structure’ as laid down by Judiciary in Keshwanand Bharti v. State of Kerala, is in one way or other is the actualization of the ‘security wall’ around part III of the Constitution.

What does the principle of Basic Structure of the Constitution mean? Speaking jurisprudentially the Constitution of a country represents the grund norm, the basic norm -Comprising of fundamental principles, laying down the foundation of a civil Society. However when we refer to the basic structure of such a basic document, we seem to mean that we are essentially thinking of some fundamentals of the fundamentals, or some basic features of the basic document.

During the past more than three decades since the inauguration of the principle of basic structure in 1973, the SC has invoked and applied this principle in several cases, but often experiencing the difficulty about the true scope and extent of this principle, necessitating the intervention of the constitutional benches. Mention may be made of the following cases in which the principle of basic structure was closely examined and worked out like Indra Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain, Minerva Mills v. Union of India,Waman Rao and Others v Union of India, Bhim Singh v. Union of India. In these cases, and many more thereafter, attempt was made to expound the Basic Structure Principle and provide some measure of concrete basis for its application, but, nevertheless, the position still remained hazy- perhaps the same as was depicted by Mathew J. in Indira Nehru Gandhi’s case the concept of basic structure as brooding omnipresence in the sky, apart from specific provisions of the constitution is too vague an indefinite to provide a yard stick for the validity of the ordinary law. More or less, this situation with varying degree of emphasis, continued to prevail till the judgement of SC in I.R Coelho in which the nine judge constitutional bench have attempted to lay down the concrete criterion for the application of the basic structure principle. The matter dealt with by the Supreme Court by the bench of nine judges can be summarized as: Whether a Constitutional amendment, amending the Ninth Scheduled that damages or destroys the basic structure of the Constitution, can be struck down? Whether an enactment which has been struck down by court as violative of fundamental rights can be included in the Ninth Schedule?

By applying the ‘right test’ if any infraction is found to affect the basic structure then such law would not get the protection of Ninth Schedule. Where any Ninth Schedule law has already upheld by the apex court it would not be open to challenge again. However, if a law held to be violative of part III rights, has subsequently incorporated in the Ninth Schedule after 24 April 1973 then it would be open to challenge on the ground of ‘basic structure’ the relevant extracts of judgment may be mentioned here:

“The power to grant absolute immunity at will is not compatible with the basic structure doctrine and, therefore, after April 24, 1973 the laws included in the Ninth Schedule would not have absolute immunity. The validity of such laws can be challenged on the touchstone of basic structure such as reflected in Article 21 read with Article 14 and Article19, Article 15 and the principles underlying these Articles… Insertion in the Ninth Schedule is not controlled by any defined criteria or standards by which the exercise of power may be evaluated. The consequence of the insertion is that it nullifies entire Part III of the Constitution. There is no constitutional control on such nullification. The supremacy of the Constitution mandates all constitutional bodies to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. It also mandates a mechanism for testing the validity of legislative acts through an independent organ, viz. the judiciary….”

Legislations to oust the Jurisdiction of the Court

A. 39th amendment, insertion of 329(A)(4),329(A)(5) to validate election in all respects, not to be challenged in any court struck down in Raj narain’s case.

B. 42nd amendment, insertion of 368(4), 368(5), no constitutional amendment to be challenged, no limit on the amending, repealing power struck down in Minerva mills.

c.323A(2)(d),323B(2)(d) struck down in L Chandra Kumar’s case as were to ousted the jurisdiction u/Art.32, 226.

Over Ruling the Judicial Decision by a New Legislation

Whether the legislature has the competence to enact a new law or amend an existing law so as to nullify or render ineffective a Judgment of the court. Art. 141 of the Constitution provide that the law declared by the SC shall be binding on all the courts within the territory of India. Art. 141 therefore incorporate the principle of Stare Decises. Further Article 144 of the Constitution declares that all the authorities civil and judicial in the territory of India shall act in aid of the Supreme Court Though Article does not use the words executive and legislature, However, the term “authorities” referred to in Article 144, is enough to point out the intention of the Constitution framers that the other organs of the state have to walk in harmony with the Supreme Court and to abide by decisions.

One of the cases in the series pointed out that legislature can not declare a judgment of the Court to be of no effect. It was held that the court of law can pronounce upon the validity of a law and declare the to be null and void if it was beyond the legislative competence of the legislature or it infringed the rights enshrined in part three of the constitution.

Judiciary’s independence being the basic structure of the Constitution can not be undermined by passing a legislation to render ineffective a judgment or order of the court or asking any body not to obey the orders of the court. Apex Court in Municipal Corporation, Hyderabad v. New shrock Spg and Wvg. Co. ltd observed that no legislature in this country has the power to ask instrumentalities of the state to disobey or disregard the decisions given by the courts.

The question regarding the competence of legislative to set aside the orders of, the court was an assertion of the consideration before the apex court in Indian Aluminum Co. v. state of Kerala, in this case the state legislature had passed the Act validating the collection of tax, declared earlier by the court to be invalid. Court held that the consistent thread that runs through all the decisions of this court is that the legislature can not overrule the decision or make a direction as not binding on it but has the power to make the decision ineffective by removing the base on which the decision was rendered, consistent with the law of the Constitution and the legislature must have competence to do the same.

Relying upon the recommendations of the Mandal Commission and SC’s directions in Indra Sawhney v. Union of India the reservations were introduced for other backward classes in the Central Government jobs, thereby excluding reservations in promotions and put 50% ceiling on the reservations, the Govt. again strike back by the 77th Constitutional amendment to article 16(4A) was introduced and reservation was introduced in promotions also, and 16(4B) was introduced to make the judgment invalid and excluded 50% ceiling and carry forward rule was propounded. To negate SC’s mandate by 85th constitutional amendment promotions in reservations with ‘consequential seniority’ was granted, although these amendments have been upheld in k Naagraj v. Union of India

JUDICIAL ACTIVISM

Since the hoary past, there has been a lively debate on the role of judiciary in the present scenario. ‘Judicial Activism’ has emerged as the pivot around where such debates revolve. But due to one or the other reason the controversy about its definition has not been resolved. There are perhaps two major causes behind it. First, the term ‘judicial activism’ takes on vastly different parlance depending upon who is using it. Some politicians termed it as ‘Judicial Anarchy’, ‘Judicial Overactivism’ and ‘Judicial Despotism’.Albeit, in the eyes of some critics, the Indian Judiciary is also acting as a ‘third chamber’ and a ‘super executive’. Some scholars deny the very existence of the term. They are of the view that the judiciary is doing its plain duty and nothing more. Kuldeep Singh, J., former judge of Supreme Court of India blazed this new trend. Some other ‘legal-eagles’ steered the same course and referred to judicial activism as a ‘myth’ or as a ‘farcical term’.

It has to ensure that any law passed by the legislature is in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution and, it has to assure the citizens the effective implementation of these laws without executive’s move beyond its powers.

Judicial activism, in fact, is not distinctly separate concept from usual judicial activities. The expression ‘activism’, lexically as well as in ordinary parlance, means ‘being active’, ‘doing things with decision’ and the expression ‘activist’ should mean ‘one who favours intensified activities’. In this sense every judge is, or at least, should be an activist, as Justice Krishna Iyer observed, “Every judge is an activist either on the forward gear or the reverse. “

The centre’s legal position in this case, as filed in an affidavit before the Supreme Court was that “the Court is not to inquire – it is not concerned with – whether any advice was tendered by any minister or council of Ministers to the President, and if so, what was that advice. That is a matter between the President and his council of Ministers”. In other words, according to the government’s view, the Council of Ministers could advise the President to pass any order (irrespective of its merits); the President had no option but to accept that advice under the Constitution; and the Court had no right to examine whether the action of the executive was legal or not. After hearing the arguments, in October 2005, the Supreme Court gave a summary verdict declaring the action of the government to dissolve the Bihar assembly as being “unconstitutional” and unreasonable. The Court, however, did not order the revival of the old assembly as fresh elections had already been announced by the Election Commission and were scheduled to take place after a few days. The Court’s verdict caused considerable public embarrassment to the government since the decision to dissolve the Assembly was taken by the President at a very short notice on the advice of the Union Cabinet.

Keeping in view the recent political developments at the Centre and in the states, we are firmly of the view that, on balance, the long term interests of the public and the ordinary citizen are safer if the Supreme Court continues to be the watchdog of India’s democratic conventions and final arbiter of the constitutional validity of any law or action approved by the legislature or the government of the day. It is no accident that the political pressure to limit the powers of the judiciary and declare Parliament as being “supreme” and representative of the will of the “People of India” is the strongest when a coalition government of parties with varying agenda is in power or when the political survival of the undisputed leader of the majority party is threatened. In these circumstances, political survival becomes more important than the legal merits or demerits of a case. The above view is not meant to detract from the great merits of the Parliamentary system of government in unifying India and giving us the freedoms that we, as the people, cherish. Thanks to the resilience and vibrancy of this system, India is now the world’s largest functioning democracy, with a free press, freedom of speech, freedom to join or leave political parties, and free elections in which the largest number of voters in the world cast their votes and choose their government. Without doubt, for all of us, unlike our counterparts in a large part of the developing world, these freedoms constitute a tremendous personal, social and political gain of which we can be justly proud.

The Wall That Separates Democracy and Autocracy is Thin and Flimsy

A government may be constitutional, but not democratic. Authoritarian government is democratic but non-constitutional, sometimes also referred to as “simple unchecked democracy.”

Absolute democracy has been extremely precarious and cannot survive in the modern era. Such kind of regime has rapidly failed resulting to chaos, civil wars, widespread lawlessness and violence. Absolute democracy has been buried into oblivion now that diverse authoritarian fills have been consented.

Democracy exists where the principal leaders of a political system are selected by competitive elections in which the bulk of the population has the opportunity to participate. Democracy however, must not be defined in terms of election alone, neither it be bounded on election that must be contested in order to be democratic.

Authoritarian regimes have become generic, where there is no contested election or in the absence of pluralistic democracy, all other political systems are authoritarian.

The existence of authoritarian ideology is not without justification. It is believed that authoritarianism exists as an indictment of democracy, the alleged incompetence of democracy and the average man. Authoritarianism filled in society where democracy is not unfeigned, where there is inequality and poverty.

In a modern day autocracy, the state is governed by a leader of a political party or a dictator. Iraq formerly under Saddam Hussein, Italy under Mussolini, Syria under Hafez al-Assad and Korea under Kim IL Sung are other totalitarian governments.

Under this system, the economy is centrally controlled by the dictator, including mass communication and weapons of destruction. Total subjection of the individual to the purpose of the party and the state, characterized the nature and existence of the system.

Time and again, more authoritarian forms of government will come and fail. However those that endure the test of times with patterns toward narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor, then and only then that there is true democracy.

A government may be democratic but where there is corruption, injustices, and poverty is not democratic at all. In form, maybe it is, as there is the existence of competitive election, but in reality, it is autocracy.

Autocracy may be democratic as when the leaders are genuinely committed to their avowed objectives indicative of the democratic character of a regime in whatever form it may be. A narrowing of the gap between the rich and the poor is identified as the most authentic indicator of the democratic character of a regime.

A true democracy is one in which the working men are assured of their right to work and know that nobody can kick them out into the gutter to starve to death! Indeed, it is not the form of government that matters; what counts is the essence of its existence.

Whether it is democracy, dictatorship, fascism, totalitarianism, it is always the leaders of the country that determine policy of a state and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. The people can always be brought to the conjuring of the leaders. It operates the same way in any form of government. Clearly, the wall that separates democracy and autocracy is thin and flimsy.

Democracy in Action

Popular sovereignty is the concept of government originated by the people for the benefit of all the people. When all American citizens have the power to vote for elected representatives responsible for the creation of laws this is democracy in action. Limited government means that these elected representatives can only act with the consent of the American people.

The American government is comprised of three branches. These are the legislative, executive and judicial branches. Each branch operates under the concept of separation of powers. The judicial branch interprets the laws and the executive branch executes the laws passed by the legislative branch. A system of checks and balances limits the authority and power of each branch of government.

The United States Senate is one of two bodies of the legislative branch. Voters in each of the 50 states elect two Senators to six-year terms. Each Senator should be at least 30 years old, have been a citizen of the United States for nine years and a resident of the state from which they are elected. According to the United States Constitution, members of the Senate approve Presidential appointments of ambassadors, cabinet members, heads of most federal executive agencies, justices of the Supreme Court and other federal judges. Prior to passing legislation, Senators meet in committees. The Vice President of the United States serves as the President of the Senate and votes to break a Senate tie on legislative issues.

The House of Representatives is comprised of 435 voting members proportionally elected every two years according to the population of each Congressional district throughout the 50 states. In addition to representing the people of each congressional district, representatives introduce bills and resolutions, present amendments and serve on committees. The Speaker of the House presides over the congressional representatives. The party with the highest number of elected representatives votes for a majority leader. Minority party Congressional members select a minority leader. Other leaders in the House include assistant leaders and party whips. Whips assist the majority and minority leaders in the management of the legislative agenda for each party on the House floor.

The President of the United States serves as head of state, Commander-in-Chief of the military units that are part of the Department of Defense and has the authority to act upon other powers of the executive branch. The President enforces legislation passed by Congress and appoints all Cabinet members and heads of the federal agencies. The Chief Executive has the power to sign into law bills passed by Congress or to veto Congressional legislation. The President of the United States has the power to negotiate and sign treaties with foreign nations and uses this power to extend pardons and issue executive orders. The Vice President is part of the executive branch and assumes the duties of the President when the President is unable to perform presidential duties. The Cabinet is included in the executive branch and is comprised of the heads of 15 executive departments.

The Judiciary Act of 1789 established 13 district courts, three circuit courts and a Supreme Court. The President of the United States nominates the Supreme Court justices and the Senate votes to confirm these nominations. By law, a Supreme Court term lasts for one year beginning the first Monday in October and continuing to the first Monday in October of the next year.

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States making the final judgments on any judicial decisions. The court’s power of judicial review means that the court is responsible for monitoring the role of each governmental branch. The Supreme Court is the final judge in all cases involving laws passed by Congress and has the power to determine if the Constitution will permit these laws. The Supreme Court may limit the power of both the legislative and executive branches of government in addition to protecting the civil rights and liberties of American citizens though its power to repeal unconstitutional laws.

Our "Play Doh" Constitution – In Health Care Debate Obama Changes the Meaning to Match His Needs

“For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.”

~President Barack Obama, September 2009

Back when Barack Obama and the Dems were trying to sell their massive health care overhaul to the American People, they were feverishly insistent that the individual mandate to buy government approved health insurance was absolutely not a tax.

America is typically not too keen on tax increases. We especially don’t like higher taxes when we believe they are being wasted. Now, with 6 out of 10 voters “lack[ing] faith in the president to make the right decisions for this country,” is one of those times. Moreover, we really, really don’t like tax hikes when someone gives their word that there won’t be any. We used to call it the “Read My Lips” moment. As soon as you utter the words you better be prepared to live up to them or pay the electoral consequences.

President Obama already had his “Read My Lips” moment saying, “If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime.” Then came health care. He argued it wasn’t a tax increase. The words of the legislation said differently. Page 29 of the Democrats health care bill says, “”The consequence for not maintaining insurance would be an excise tax.” But in the face of their own words, Democrats continued to argue that mandating individuals purchase insurance or pay a fine to the government was anything but a tax.

Now, facing a challenge as to the constitutionality of their scheme, Democrats it seems are ready to begin singing a different tune. As the New York Times reports,

Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.

The sudden flip-flop in arguments signals some doubt amongst the administration in their constitutional claims. David Rivkin, former Justice Department Lawyer during the Reagan and Bush administrations, has argued from the start that the Commerce Clause, albeit broad in scope, doesn’t apply to the health care reform bill. The Supreme Court has said that the “commerce clause is limited to economic activities that substantially affect interstate trade.” The healthcare mandate does not regulate an activity at all, rather it regulates inactivity in that simply being a citizen of the United States would trigger it.

Even the CBO has weighed in on the act, saying in 1994 that,

“A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful resident in the United States.”

Perhaps sensing a losing argument the administration has changed its course, deciding to swallow its pride and admit the individual mandate is a tax. This, the administration argued would allow them more sweeping powers to regulate commerce. As the New York Times explained,

Congress can use its taxing power “even for purposes that would exceed its powers under other provisions” of the Constitution, the department said. For more than a century, it added, the Supreme Court has held that Congress can tax activities that it could not reach by using its power to regulate commerce.

So when it was politically unpopular for Democrats to call the mandate a tax – it wasn’t a tax.

Now that they need to defend the mandate in court – it is a tax.

Democrats don’t really do consistency. But what this comical double-talk does show is that Democrats have an uncanny knack at making the means justify the ends. When it was time to sell the public on health reform, the President and his party were willing to say whatever they needed to in order to shore up public support. People don’t like a tax? Tax is out. What do people like? Universal health care? Ok, we’ll go with that. So long as their bill passed, Democrats couldn’t care less if they fudged some definitions and deceived the American People into supporting it.

Moreover, it may not be a winning argument. Randy Barnett, constitutional law professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, argues that

“Calling this a tax does not change the nature of the “requirement” or mandate that is enforced by the “penalty.” ALL previous cases of taxes upheld (when they may have exceeded the commerce power) involved “taxes” on conduct or activity. None involved taxes on the refusal to engage in conduct. In short, none of these tax cases involved using the Tax Power to impose a mandate.”

In other words regardless of whether you call it a “tax” or a “penalty” the health care law is still an unprecedented expansion of the Constitutional powers of the federal government. Nevertheless, the Democrats decision to view the Constitution as an after-the-fact nuisance to overcome, rather than a guideline to crafting their policy, is troublesome.

People who are so willing to stretch the meaning of the Constitution, so willing to say anything to pass their bills, so unconcerned with the rule of law do not belong in office. Our Constitution deserves better. Americans deserve better.

By Brandon Greife, Political Director

http://speakout.crnc.org/blog/2010/07/20/bending-the-constitution-obama-administration-now-calls-individual-mandate-a-tax/

A Treatise on Open Government

There are an increasing number of quiet rank-and-file Americans who are now resolving, in their minds, that the standing U.S. President is not a king, or unilateral decider of war and peace, and does not have constitutional powers greater than that of the Congress and the Supreme Court. I was talking a few days ago to a learned veterans’ law judge, in Washington, DC, about the Article 1, Section 8 powers which Congress, over the last ninety-five years, has delegated to the Executive Branch without constitutional amendment. He heartily agreed with me that any power reposed upon the Legislative Branch by the Framers could not be arbitrarily shifted to another branch of the federal government without consent of the people, that is, if the American nation is still, as according to Abraham Lincoln, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

He also agreed with me that any act of Congress, subsequently signed into law by a standing President, that removes one of the specific Article 1, Section 8 powers from the purview of the Legislative Branch, is unconstitutional on its face. This particular veterans’ law judge also lamented the fact that most graduate attorneys from most of the noted law schools, know very little about the U.S. Constitution when they complete their required studies. For some reason, the most tenured law professors, at such universities as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia, are teaching the young legal minds of tomorrow that everything is fine and dandy in the federal government, that there are no real imminent problems of constitutional law facing the nation.

How absurd it is for the 110th Congress, comprised mostly of lawyers, to debate the constitutionality of, for example, an executive surveillance policy, such as wiretaps and cyber-snooping circumventing the FISA Court, of how it infringes upon the 4th Amendment rights of American citizens, and give full credence to long-time laws that have been basically unconstitutional for the last ninety-five years, such as the Federal Reserve Act. It’s as though the arrogant, supposedly educated, pundits of the federal bureaucracy consider the American people incapable of determining, on their own, what is right or wrong, that any type of unconstitutional law can be passed under the noses of an apathetic electorate. The egregious conduct over the last nine-decades of a few scurrilous elected and appointed federal officers, by their success in pulling-the-wool over the eyes of the American voters, making them believe that whatever act Congress passes, and that the President signs into law, is legally and constitutionally binding, has really changed the course of history for the worse. It has been successful in turning a democratic constitutional republic into a plutocratic oligarchy, or a nation ruled by a very wealthy few under a permutated constitution.

Carefully consider that the current Democratic and Republican nominees for President are all millionaires, very wealthy and affluent people, and that none of them are daringly caring enough to openly admit that there are some fundamental things very wrong with the basic operational framework of the federal government. They are cunningly skirting, in their campaign rhetoric, the basic cause for the symptoms of bad government, which they emphatically say that they want to change. For it was the philosopher, Aristotle, who quipped in the 9th Century B.C. that the basic form of an entity, such as government, determines directly what derives from it, that impurity breeds impurity, error derives error, and evil derives evil. A governmental status-quo is meaningful only to those businesses and individuals who benefit from it, and the current status-quo, a nation where 98-percent of the wealth has been engineered to reside in the hands of the affluent 2-percent of the population, is only benefiting the wealthy. Yet, this has happened through subtle, seemingly legal, changes in the democratic infrastructure of the American republic. As the highly respected television journalist Bill Moyers, emphatically wrote, in his 1988 book “The Secret Government,” the shredding of the U.S. Constitution, and democracy, has occurred in the wake of the rise of the imperial presidency. In the book’s afterward, Moyer’s wrote,

“When the founders of the American republic agreed on the Constitution, they determined the kind of nation this was to be. It was not to be the home to arbitrary power. The rules would see to it. The playing field of government was to be level, and the three players – the executive, legislative, and judiciary – would be guided by ethical and constitutional constraints. Each was empowered to blow the whistle on the others if they failed to play by the rules. Thus the Constitution is essentially a procedural document; the Framers did not prescribe future policies for the country by the manner of choosing what those policies should be. For example the Constitution does not say the United States cannot go to war. As Edwin Firmage, professor of law, former White House Fellow, and constitutional scholar, explains in his “War Powers and the Doctrine of Political Questions,” “the Framers understood that the reasons for going to war must be left for every generation to work through within the political branches of government. Whether the United States should go to war and under what conditions are political questions. But the way to go to war is not. The Founders put that in the Constitution, our basic book of rules. They gave Congress (and only Congress) the power “to declare war and to grant letters of marque and reprisal” (government commissions authorizing privateers to seize enemy vessels).”

In the same vein, the Framers gave Congress (and only Congress) the power to coin money and to determine its value, along with seventeen other non-transferable powers. The 18th clause of Article 1, Section 8, popularly called the elastic clause due to how it has been cunningly stretched way out of proportion as to its intended purpose, states very clearly that Congress has the power to effect any law that is, both, necessary and proper to the execution of the Article 1, Section 8 powers. The word necessary is the linchpin for understanding the Framers intention for inserting the clause into the Constitution. Necessary is defined as that which is essential to a particular function. A particular law might be conveniently expedient to the pragmatic execution of a legislative power, but it has to be more than that to be constitutional, it has to utterly essential to the execution of the legislative powers. This very logical caveat clause, created by the Framers, was intended to severely limit the number of unnecessary laws which would improperly expand the power of the federal government, especially the Executive Branch.

A secret illegal government almost always flourishes in secret and through illicit undisclosed acts. Perhaps the concerted, but hardly publicized, statements of several families of 9/11 victims carry home the impact of undisclosed government behavior, in the wake of the 9/11 Commission Report. One private lawyer, the husband of a wife killed in the WTC tragedy, quipped in 2007 that “if all of the relevant material evidence against the Bush administration, not properly considered by the 9/11 Commission due to Executive Branch non-disclosure, were brought before a federal grand jury today, an indictment against the U.S. Executive Branch, especially the White House, for orchestrating the carnage that resulted from the WTC, and Pentagon bombings, would certainly be rendered.” This general attitude has been shown, and expressed, by more than 160 victims’ families.

Moreover, in 2005, a national poll was taken of 2,000 U.S. middle-class working citizens which revealed that 72% of the responders fully believed that the federal government had a substantial hand in the 9/11 tragedy. So, if this has been an overwhelming consideration among the American people, why hasn’t the evidence been assembled, for the sake of justice, by those “faithfully” executing the laws comprising the federal criminal code? Why haven’t the media earnestly published what is, apparently, important news about probable federal involvement in the 9/11 debacle? People, for some reason, today joke about the Nixon White House of the early 1970s, when its basement was secretly turned into an illegal enforcement division of der fascist Fuhrer, Richard M. Nixon, for the express purpose of carrying out blatantly illegal covert operation against the American people. Presently, the media, and administration touting pundits, are convincingly making it seem to the republic that another Watergate, and Iran-Contra, could never possibly again occur.

Another consideration about the federal government, that every eligible voter should ponder, is that, of the 100 U.S. senators in the 110th Congress, 82 of them have a net worth of, at least, a million dollars. The remaining 18 are very close to being millionaires. Of the current members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 123 of the 435 representatives are worth more than a million dollars. Of the remaining 312 representatives, 85 % have holdings of over $700,000. Rep. Jay Inslee, of Washington State’s First Congressional District, was elected to the House when he was a county prosecutor, making under $60,000 per year.

In ten years time, having been re-elected three times, Inslee is now worth between $96,000 and $565,000. I personally think that his ten-year financial boon was primarily due to the $130,000 per year raise he got just by being elected to federal office. Of course, Inslee just didn’t get up one morning and decide to run for the federal legislature. He was first approached by some very prominent, and financially affluent, corporate officers who thought that their multi-million dollar multi-national businesses could benefit from his representation in Congress. Contrary to popular belief, Inslee, as well as the other 434 representatives in the House, didn’t pay for their first election, and subsequent re-election, campaigns. They might have contributed a token ten-percent, or less, of the total costs, but most of the monies came from affluent contributors who lobbied for their influences in Congress.

As may be surmised from the foregoing facts, term limits for U.S. Representatives and Senators are not such a bad idea. George Will wrote an outstanding book, a treatise on the imperative of requiring term limits, entitled “Restoration.” In his work, Will made substantial arguments against allowing millionaire senators, and representatives, to secure their re-elections through the money wrought through special interests. The deliberative legislative process is greatly hampered by long-term senators and representatives catering to the whims of the standing presidential administrations and the money offered by special corporate lobbyists . Of course, Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain are wealthy affluent politicians who command the public interest through the key substrate of political success, taught in Poly Sci. 101, which is name recognition bought with the mother’s milk of politics, money.

Honesty, integrity (doing what you say you will do), and legality no longer play a concerted role in getting a person elected to federal, and state, office. For what the voters don’t know about Obama, Clinton, and McCain may be much greater than what they do know, courtesy of the very skewed media. For example, disgraced ex-New York Governor Spitzer, husband and father, was probably purchasing the services of high-dollar call girls at the same time he was prosecuting pimps, prostitutes, and organized crime as New York Attorney General. Common sense dictates it all didn’t begin in the Governor’s Mansion. Had someone threatened to expose him to the public then, no telling what he would have done to protect his illicit personal interests. Nonetheless, Spitzer is worth well over a million dollars, and his public disgrace is, to him, negligible compared with what money can buy for his future.

I recall Lincoln’s profound words, said at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in November 1863, when he solemnly stated, “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” I suppose that same thing may be say of the nearly 4,000 GIs who have perished in a totally unnecessary and unjust war in Iraq. How about the near-4000 killed on 9/11? If the majority of the concerned U.S. citizens resolved today to put a stop to unconstitutional government, there is nothing on earth that the controlling 2-percent of the population could do to stop it. The power is, and will remain, with the will of a majority of the American people.