Thursday, October 27, 2005


My blog is worth $29,356.08.
How much is your blog worth?


The short-sighted deviationists within Our Noble Lame Duck's own party have now bludgeoned the sensitive feelings of Miers the Martyr until she fled in tears back down the hall to her office. It is time for the only President we've got to eschew compromise, and appoint someone who will be a truly effective and fearless battler for upholding the most important legal precedent now under fire. And I have the perfect choice for him to make.

The decision in question is Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company. Supposedly, that 1886 case ruled that corporations were legal persons, with full Constitutional rights. Actually, that was not part of the decision. It was a passing comment by one justice, which was enshrined as official by the court reporter who wrote up the case. (By convenient coincidence, he was a former railroad company president himself.) This alleged precedent has thus far been spared serious challenge, but the growing power of multinationals is sparking a movement to overturn it, as seen in Thom Hartmann's book Unequal Protection. One presumed lefty writes:
Up until the New Deal, many laws regulating corporations were struck down under the "equal protection" clause of the 14th Amendment -- in fact, that clause was invoked far more often on behalf of corporations than former slaves. ...it'd be nice to have a clear-cut ruling, say, that limiting campaign contributions by big businesses doesn't mean you're restricting their First Amendment rights.
Nice for whom? Only for the collectivist looters who DO want to restrict those rights. Another rages:
The doctrine of corporate personhood creates an interesting legal contradiction. The corporation is owned by its shareholders and is therefore their property. If it is also a legal person, then it is a person owned by others and thus exists in a condition of slavery -- a status explicitly forbidden by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. So is a corporation a person illegally held in servitude by its shareholders?
Their attempt to mock the extreme consequences of this idea only show their own failure of imagination. Yes, we do want to unshackle those superior beings from their bondage. Contrary to short-sighted commenters, Bush is not patterning his administration on that of McKinley, or even that of The Great Liberator himself by a Lincolnesque unleashing of corporate capital. He envisions a modern version of Matthew 21:12-13:
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Corporations are in fact the next step in the intelligent design of the universe. Unlike we mere mortals who exist only as a presursor to bring them into existence, much like the fleeting polyps who yet leave behind vast coral reefs visible even from space, corporations are Platonically pure and perfect and immortal. They are the mightier ones to come after us, whose shoes we are not worthy to unloose. The idea that mere commissioned salesmen can profane the sacred towers of Wall Street by claiming to auction these superior beings piecemeal through marketing "shares", can only bring to mind scenes of ancient cannibalism.

Let us not shrink from the leftist attempt at "reductio ad absurdum". Let us rather have the courage of our convictions, and follow through on all the other implications of the headnotes of Santa Clara. If corporations are persons, then they are not only covered by the 14th Amendment, but by all the rest of the Constitution as well. Needless to say, the 2nd Amendment, with its reference to "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" must mean that companies can also have all the weapons they can afford -- all firms, not just the Blackwaters or Pinkertons. This could give a whole new meaning to "corporate plane", and open a huge new market for defense contractors.

That 14th Amendment also defines citizens as persons "born or naturalized". That would seem to preclude corporations from being citizens. But consider Article I, Section 9:
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight....
Yes, this was intended to cover slaves, but it also makes it clear that states can allow such persons as they like to migrate here and be naturalized. Therefore foreign corporations could become citizens by moving their home offices to America. Since the 14th Amendment bans unequal treatment under law, and it came later and therfore overrides the original Article I, then native corporations therefore must now be eligible for citizenship too. This is an example of the kind of creative thinking we want to see on the Supreme Court.

But wait, there's more!! Article I says the Congress is chosen by the people. That means corporations get to vote. It also provides that the House of Representatives is apportioned on the basis of "the whole Number of free Persons". Once the Supreme Court, with its new Justice I am suggesting, does liberate the companies from their servitude to so-called "stockholders", they will also be free and counted. Admittedly, the next clause, which only provides for counting three-fifths of "all other persons" may be used to reduce the extra seats in Congress based on the number of corporations in a given state. Nevertheless, I suspect that at least Delaware and New Jersey should each get one more member in the U.S. House, and several other states may pick up seats as well. This is all to the good.

To me, the most exciting change produced by this new theory of Constitutional interpretation is that corporations, being persons and citizens, therefore are eligible to serve in Congress themselves. Since the Supreme Court ruled (in Buckley v. Vallejo, 1976) that "limitations on the amount of money candidates spend in their campaigns are unconstitutional because they abrogate the candidate’s first amendment right to free speech", then a company which runs for Congress can spend all it wants. No more corrupt campaign contributions!!

Furthermore, Article III on the judiciary doesn't even require citizenship of federal judges. That means corporations themselves are eligible to be on the Supreme Court -- and that leads to an obvious choice. For the impending vacancy at Sandra O'Connor's chair, the President should nominate this person.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


(Why not? I'm just as ignorant of the facts as anyone else on the web....)

The big loser when Fitzy finally speaks will be the prosecutor himself. If he indicts Rove, the right will trash him (and I mean serious Swift Boating, not that silly mid-term memory loss that Senator Kay Bailey Hypocrisy tried). If he doesn't indict Rove, the left will condemn him (finally facing reality that there is no Santa Claus). Damned from both sides, and with plenty of reasons from each.

The big winner in this is the new head of the Fed. He's sneaking in while no one is paying any attention at all. Doesn't anyone remember "follow the money"?

But, wait, you say -- I didn't say who gets indicted for what. Right, because it really doesn't matter. When it's all over, no one will go to jail over this. (Someone may later for something that gets uncovered as the trial goes on, but not over the leak or cover-up.) That will be so even if there are no pardons.

This over-hyped circus is just like one of Zaphod Beeblebrox's huge distractions to keep everyone from noticing what the real rulers are doing. It does not cease to amaze me how right and left bloggers complain that the public pays attention only to silly things like missing white women or actress romances when this important crisis is burning. Hogwash. The people know very well how little difference this game makes to their own lives. Wake me when there's something real to worry about.


Over at Dean's World, Esmay points out a snarky catch by James Taranto of some establishment pragmatism, or as he might put it, willful blindness. Taranto quotes from the Waah! Post:
Scowcroft, in his interview, discussed an argument over Iraq he had two years ago with Condoleezza Rice, then-national security adviser and current secretary of state. "She says we're going to democratize Iraq, and I said, 'Condi, you're not going to democratize Iraq,' and she said, 'You know, you're just stuck in the old days,' and she comes back to this thing that we've tolerated an autocratic Middle East for fifty years and so on and so forth," he said. The article stated that with a "barely perceptible note of satisfaction," Scowcroft added: "But we've had fifty years of peace."
James then injects some historical reality:
Now let's see. Between 1953 and 2003, here are the Mideast wars we can think of off the top of our head: the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, the two Palestinian intifadas against Israel, the Algerian Civil War, the Yemen Civil War and two Sudanese civil wars. That doesn't even count acts of terror against non-Mideastern countries, from the Iranian invasion of the U.S. Embassy to the attacks of 9/11.

What do you call someone who describes this as "50 years of peace"? A "realist."
One witty denunciation of Scowcroft came in comments at Dean's from contributor TallDave:
IIRC, Scowcroft was also one of the people insisting we could not allow the Soviet Union to collapse.

Most of the so-called "realists" lost sight of the primary reason we were opposed to the Soviets: freedom, not stability.
Sadly, this is another case of people misunderstanding each other because they have very different goals. Consider two different businessfolk, both interested in maximizing their profits.

It may well be hypothetically true that, in the long run, the best way to make the most profits is with economic freedom for everyone, even if that means wiping out totalitarian looter states. That, however, has very little to do with my gains from stock options in the near future. In the short run, the best way to make the most profits for those big corporations already sitting on top of the heap is with political stability. Messing with the status quo opens too many doors to possible newcomers competing with you. The reason Scowcroft was always a favorite of Our Noble Lame Duck's papa was that the ex-General was always clearly on the side of maintaining things as they are, regardless of how many Gulags that required us to ignore.

To quote an old saying (or should I say a distant alternate future one?) by Mayor Salvor Hardin, "Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right." Naturally, I am -- as always -- defining "right" here as "what is best for the super corporations". Starry-eyed idealists whose hearts are bleeding for liberty are ever an irritating speed bump to those of us really on the inside of the big boardrooms. Brent only meant "no wars where the U.S. sent in American troops". Few firms other than soon-to-be ex-Veep Cheney's old stomping ground are raking in the gains from the Excellent Iraqi Adventure, hence Scowy's sour grapes.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


(Found at A Preview Of The Miers Confirmation Hearings.)

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Karl exploits a typo, in "A Pallor From Her Cell" at À bas l'entropie!

Friday, October 14, 2005


Scroll down to "A Mad Bovine Pie" at À bas l'entropie!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


In a typical burst of leftist outrage over some New Orleans police doing a Rodney King-style arrest with severe prejudice, Kevin Hayden of The American Street rants:
It's never okay for the police to beat an unarmed citizen older than 60. Never. Or does someone have an example of a time when police rightly beat an unarmed senior?
I felt compelled to reply:
Actually, the cops were just low on blood sugar because looters had emptied all the donut shops. It's the "no twinkie" defense. But if you really want an example, one all you liberals probably support, here's one from an unpublished memoir:

The three of us wore our state police uniforms to visit his rancho, in a palm grove on the Pilcomayo, near the Tinfunque wetlands preserve. His guards accepted that we were just there to collect our monthly bribes, and let us into his inner sanctum. With the trust we'd built up over months, we convinced the old man we had vital information from an informer about a spy in his household taking money from the Israelis. He sent his personal servant out to listen to us.

Then we barricaded that thick old door of Spanish oak, and began systematically kicking him to death. "This can't be!" he choked. "We checked to make sure none of you had any Jewish blood!" "That's right," said Esme, "but my father was a Gypsy," and he stomped on the liver-spotted hand. "And mine was Polish," added Nitsky, with a boot to the kidneys. Herr Schicklgruber turned his bloody dying eyes to me with a question. As I crushed his face, I said "Mine was gay."


They start with the inevitable:
Who's there?
Harriet Miers.
Harriet Miers who?
Then they go uphill(?) from there. Found at Buffalo Wings & Vodka, via The Agitator.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Rove will appear voluntarily, but during tomorrow's session, Rove will be pressed about issues as to why his accounts to the FBI and grand jury have changed, or evolved, over time.

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