Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ethics in public life

Can you have ethics and a public life?

Some at the Colbert comedy routine were afraid to laugh for fear of being disinvited to another get together.

Well, if you're afraid of having a good time, why would anyone want to be invited or attend?

They would rather have the illusion of power as a slave, than powerfully assert their right to live free.

Update: Note at bottom for ConyersBlog.

* * *

Colbert did a fine job, and there are some unconfirmed rumblings that the audience was rather amazed and laughing loudly. Some have mentioned that the audio systems was one that cancelled things out, so the public didn't hear the background "noise" -- the real laughter at the President for his recklessness and war crimes.

But let's look at the real issue: The Neo-Cons are doing down. And the public has six months to make them go down harder.

* * *

Let's talk about the mess the government's in. We have clear laws, but people aren't following their oaths.

What's needed is some better indoctrination and consequences for failing to honor your oath.

I'm not talking about slaps on the wrists by the poodles in the Congressional "ethics" committee. No, there need to be some real consequences. I'm talking revamping the oversight system, changing the way that Congressional conduct is adjudicated, and looking at standards of conduct that go beyond simple oversight issues for the Congress to "self-govern."

Rather, we have a system of separation of powers. Although there may be rules -- about what the House can or cannot do -- there need to be some consequences when those rules are not enforced; or when the standards of conduct are not enforced; or when the Congressional conduct -- as is the case now -- is at odds with the Constitution.

From this perpsective, when one fails to do what one should -- assert one's oath to protect the Constitution -- that is not simply a matter of the House rules. Rather, it is -- or should be -- a high crime.

Madison spoke about this in Federalist 78. The legislature may not exercise judicial power. At the same time, the Constitution also affords the House the power to make and enforce rules. However, this does not mean that the House -- through a decision to not enforce the rles -- may through inaction, assent to a violation and destruction of the document from which it derives its power.

Such a paradox is no different than the President saying that whatever he does must be legal because he's the President. In the case of Congress whatever they fail to do cannot be legal: They are not judges to decide that the President's conduct is legal; nor do they have the power to assent to illegal violations of the Constitution. Rather, they are criminals and in active support of this President's illegal rebellion against the rule of law. This is otherwise known as a Tyrant.

* * *

Congress has an important role in the military. It sets rules.

Our current military leadership is following illegal orders.

What's needed is some better indoctrination on the laws of war above and beyond 5100.77. I'm talking better screening of potential applicants.

Think about today's "leaders." Most of them entered after the 1970s. We need to consider looking at the screening process. Namely, we have a mess on our hands in 2006: What's needed is a review of the types of screening and indoctrination this crew went through in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

We need to look at the laws of war training, their oath f office training, and how well they are taught to assert the rule of law, and defy illegal orders.

Yes, this is basic stuff, things they "should have" have been drilled into their heads in the wake of the 1940's Nazi problems in Germany.

Today in 2006, it looks as though we're bearing the fruit of this poor training.

It doesn't really matter why. What's most important is that we quickly recognize what the problem was in the 1970s, and make sure we start planting better seeds in 2006. Let's hope we do a better job today, otherwise in 2026 they're going to have a bigger mess on their hands.

That's what America needs to do -- of the many things -- between now and the November 2006 election: Figure out what needs to be done, improve things, and better self-govern. We can ill afford to let this fascism continue or be allowed to continue either this year, or in future generations.

The goal should be to focus on solutions, and a modernized system of self-governance that addresses these issues:

  • Illegal use of US resources

  • Secret CIA and intelligence operations at odds with domestic laws

  • Failure to report the placement of explosives inside the WTC

  • NSA employee and contractor knowledge of illegal government orders

  • Bogus/worthless assurances of "immunity" for clear war crimes and violations of the Constitution

  • Defective legal counsel and a failure to timely assert the rule of law

  • Congressional malfeasance on issues of war crimes, exporting lawlessness, all the while failing to assert those "goals of Democracy" at home

  • Congressional failure to assert the rule of law over a wayward Executive

    Call it what you want. The goal going forward needs to focus on what needs to be done to prevent these abuses. Clearly, when the statutes are ignored, and Congress fails, there need to be some backups. These need to be institutionalized. Not simply so that the Constitution is protected today, but so that future generations do not have to endure one day of similar non-sense. Think of this: It's 2006, fully the fifth year of this fascism.

    This is ridiculous. We need to figure out how to solve this problem.

    One approach is to write a new Constitution and strip the Congress of the discretion to "act or not act" on issues of War crimes and Presidential violations of treaties and human rights. Rather, these issues should be something that the courts can independently review, investigate, and bring charges: They are "higher than high crimes."

    Another approach is to have regular public discussions and lecture series. Also, candidates for various military institutions and service academies – which require Congressional nomination – should be required to write essays on various critical legal and Constitutional issues confronting the nation today:

  • Provide potential candidates lists of books and material to review

  • Discuss case law and case studies during mock interviews

  • Compel candidates to quickly review regulations, the Constitution, and provide on the spot answers to various questions related to the oath of office, the system of laws, and how they might react in various situation

  • Then test them: Do they really mean what they say; and are their “public comments” really what they are willing to do?

    The point isn’t to confuse the issue. The point is to make it well known to American educators, parents, and students: The nation has a problem, and we need to solve this problem: A failure of self-governance. We can ill afford to keep doing what doesn’t work, all the wile planting the same seeds from the rotten harvests of yesteryear.

    Think of the shockwaves the launch of Sputnik in 1957 sent into American schools. Suddenly, there were new questions about science, math, and other high sciences. The same needs to apply to the legal system, oaths of office, and the Constitution.

    The time to have another 1957-like debate is at hand: How are we going to ensure our system of self-governance is instilled as a core principle, not something that the Nazis in the RNC derivative organizations can hijack, ignore, then cast to the winds. What we sew in 2006 will be what we harvest in 2030. We need to get this right. Perhaps we need to do what the Germans did after WWII: outlaw certain types of discussion, organizations, and topics which are at odds with the rule of law, our Constitution, and our way of live.

    There are laws protecting the President. There can also be similar laws – requiring swift public accountability – for similar attacks on the Constitution. Today, we protect the right of President’s to violate the law; and suppress the rights of others to comment on those violates. This needs to end, and there need to be rewards for the opposite: Presidential accountability, and public discourse on the pressing issues of the day.

    * * *

    The US has two problems right now: By failing to assert the rule of law, and engaging in war crimes it is communicating that it is no longer entitled to sovereignty. Foreign military units may well be patrolling US streets if the US government fails to assert the rule of law. Under international laws, foreign military powers may lawfully intervene to protect a domestic population from abuses by their own government. This is called a humanitarian intervention.

    The second problem is that we have clear patterns of abuse, war crimes, and "higher than high crimes," but Congress isn't interested. It's time for the public to begin collecting evidence of war crimes, and making these lists known. The goal here isn't to create a blacklist, but to make it known that where the US government refuses to investigate, adjudicate, and force others to assent to the rule of law, the public is fully capable of cooperating with international judicial bodies that can do the same.

    US citizens -- through the government treaties on human rights -- cannot be barred from communicating what they learn, or what abuses of powers are occurring. Whether the US government chooses to ignore that, or the US Attorneys and prosecutors decline to prosecute isn't the issue. The fact is that the war crimes are real, and this system of governance is insufficient.

    We have two options: Create a clearing house to collect this information on our own; or -- by our choice to do nothing -- consent to international inspectors who are going to collect this information and report it to more responsible oversight and adjudicators. It comes back to the issue of self-governance. If we don't do it, others are doing to.

    The US is a rogue nation, it's leaders are war criminals, and the systems of self governance and laws has broken down. The world may choose to do nothing; but if American citizens sit idly by and refuse to lawfully collect evidence and do what has to be done to assert the rule of law, then the US shows that outside intervention is not only permissible, but required.

    The US has crossed the line. It is no longer a sovereign nation. It's government has openly declared illegal war on its citizens. And it's system of self-governance has not only failed, but it is proposing to export this failed system to other regions of the world. No longer can the US citizens and world sit idly by. The US is a spreading cancer, it is not only dangerous to itself and its system of laws and governance, but it is continuing to mandate that the world embrace this barbarism.

    Those days are over. It is now time to send a clear message to the American government employees: You need to either lawfully remove yourself form this illegal enterprise; or you may lawfully face reciprocal violations of the same laws you violate.

    America's leaders have chosen to wage war against their own citizens; while at the same time they choose to talk and respect the laws of those abroad they supposedly are "fighting." This leadership isn't fighting for anything. It is fighting against accountability.

    American citizens need to remain alert, vigilant, and hopeful: This sad chapter in American history is coming to a close, but it is not over. The work to be done includes collecting the evidence of war crimes, identifying the specific contractors, US citizens, and government personnel who have unlawfully supported these illegal war crimes, and then to turn this evidence over to competent legal professionals.

    Sadly, the American system of jurisprudence has failed. It remains to be seen how many more Americans are betrayed before the world community recognizes what needs to be done: The US needs to be labeled what it is -- It is an outlaw nation that has to be tamed.

    Americans may have to pay a heavy price in terms of suffering. The issue is whether Americans are willing to assert the rule of law at home, or whether they want to export their lawlessness abroad. The world community can see the cancer. Let's hope the patient voluntarily agrees to cooperate before the cancer becomes life threatening. This is a home grown problem, but not something Americans or the world need to be concerned will be an ever-present state of affairs. Rather, the way forward is to remain confident that through lawful action the free people of the world can force the American government to assent to the rule of law.

    * * *

    UpdateAfter I wrote the above, I came across something which Reed will get a laugh at: More FDs--tL apologists. "We won't sign anything because we're already doing it." Gag! Look who's saying, "No credibility" -- She's from FDs--tLake.

    Maybe when those who get paid to take oaths actually stand by ethics and laws, I might think about voluntarily agreeing to the same standards. Until then, its the job of the Government to show us they are serious, and the blogosphere can't be held to a standard which this nation refuses to assent.

    The days of "I expect you to be nice to me, no matter how arrogant I am" are non-starters. Sometimes the only way to deal with the arrogant is to take away what they most value: Whatever they value. I will not give up any right I have to lawfully reciprocate against those who refuse to do what they demand of others.

    If you agree to this 'standard of conduct" do so without any expectation that anyone else will follow it. There is no effective enforcement mechanism. Rather, despite the existing statues, this government and "leadership" openly defies the laws, and compels others to "meet obligations" all the while this "leadership" shows it is not serious in meeting what they get paid to do: Their oaths of office.

    * * *

    FDS--TLake Watch:

    Even at FDL, where jane has volunteer comment moderators, this has led to problems with overzealous and innappropriate bannings.Silverback 3:49 PM

    * * *

    Atrios may find he has to soon eat his words:
    It isn't liberal bloggers who regularly compare their political opponents to traitors and terrorists.

    A. Exhibit A: [No, they just ban them Click ]

    B. Exhibit B: They just change their words [ Reed well points out the abuses: Comment 37 Comment 31 Comment 17 Comment 38 Comment 19]

    B. Exhibit C: Take a look at this: Jane points fingers at herself:
    All they are capable of is wavering between ham-fisted brutality and self-righteous pecksniffery. They are outrageously pretentious and their bubbles so easily burst. . . . completely incapable of coming back at them with anything other than unimpressive, humorless thuggery. [ As reporeted by Anonymous 7:45 PM

    Reaction to this quote:

    That FDL quote is a joke, but then there is just a tons of tons of BS over there . . .Post something at FDL that jane doesn't agree with, it will get wiped off that comment board so fast your head will spin! . . .The faux "liberal" crowd that will not tolerate real liberal or progressive views are the ones that are silencing discussion and maintaining the great divide across people that share common interests. Anonymous 7:56 PM

    I used to post on FDL, but even that is getting to be too much. They also delete dissenting posts there, unless they are the level of dissent even Bush would tolerate Dredd Scott 8:49 PM

    * * *

    You've been well warned about the problems and issuees with FireDogS--tLake and the risks for Yearly Kos.

    The issue is going to be whteher there are more lies. Recall the outrage over these deceptions at another conference, a foreshadowing for what Yearly Kos and Hamshwer are all about