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|New Legislation Points to Global Governance - Page 2|
|Commentary/Politics - Editorials|
|Written by Kathleen McCarthy|
|Friday, 21 May 2010 08:29|
Page 2 of 2
In truth, whether Democrats or Republicans control either Congress and/or the administration, there has been a steady decline in American politics, economies, laws, and ethics, as well as the general well-being of citizens, for at least the past two decades. The fact is that this degradation is one long continuous string of ever more corrupt policies/legislation that serves special interests over those of the American people, regardless of which party controls the Congress or administration.
The current financial crisis. Lack of sensible immigration control. Unholy alliances between corporations and the public sector, such as Wall Street cronies occupying key government positions, including those with vital regulatory authority (e.g., ex-Halliburton employees occupying the two highest positions at the Minerals Management Service, which is the regulatory agency for oil drilling and collection of royalties from drilling). Obscene lobbying and campaign financing that unduly influence legislation. And justices/legislators/administrators without the will to enforce laws already enacted, or create new laws with teeth that would ultimately discourage crime in Washington and Wall Street. All point to the need for Americans to take back the control of our bloated, inefficient, yet ever-expanding government before our national identity is lost forever.
What kind of circular logic justifies giving more control to a government that proves time and again it is incapable of managing even the most fundamental responsibilities as enumerated in the U.S. Constitution? The lack of respect for Americans in government today is best illustrated by last week's meetings held by members of Congress with both U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to discuss Arizona's new immigration law. In both cases, these two individuals, who hold two of the highest law-enforcement offices in the country, admitted they had not bothered to read the 17-page document that is Arizona's newly signed legislation on immigration. This law reflects the federal law on immigration and falls under the purview of both offices, and both have expressed harsh disapproval of it, Holder going as far to say that he would seek some legal remedy against Arizona over it. Yet they had not even bothered to read it prior to being confronted by a panel on the matter. Can you imagine getting away with this level of incompetence or insubordination in your job? What manner of leadership would stand for such blatant lack of judgment?
Which brings me to the latest horror by Holder, who has proposed a statutory amendment to Miranda under the guise of a "public safety exemption." It would allow authorities to arrest citizens suspected of being domestic terrorists without having to exercise Miranda rights. Holder goes too far this time. Currently, military laws cover every possible scenario for prosecuting terrorists, both internationally and domestically. The only reason Holder (representing the Obama Administration) is interested in matching this authority in civil court is to exercise the same military force against American nationals that they suspect of "belligerent" conduct. It is an outrage, completely anti-American to its core and, if successful, a chillingly dangerous threat to our liberty. Call your Congressman and warn him that this public-safety exemption is unacceptable. Voters have a window of opportunity between now and November, because we actually have some clout. Use it.
Meanwhile, Napolitano is flexing her authority in an effort to seize five acres of a family-owned dairy farm at the Vermont-Canada border, where the little used Morse Line Port border crossing (two cars every hour -- approximately 40 cars per day) is scheduled for a $45-million overhaul. The renovation would require an additional five acres of the Rainvilles' farmland, for which Napolitano has offered the family $39,000 under the threat of eminent domain, which allows the government to take private land for public use. However, eminent domain requires that the use be legitimate, public, and for fair market value. All three miss their mark entirely. The border crossing is so rarely used as to be mostly irrelevant, making a far better case for its closing altogether. There are plenty of other crossings that can handle the relocated traffic. Additionally, Napolitano's offer of $39,000 is a long way from fair market value. Nothing about this latest government intrusion makes sense, nor does it remotely reflect the spirit of the law. Furthermore, it utterly threatens a family's livelihood for a mere five acres that has no business as part of the renovation to begin with. This is just another version of governmental theft. As Americans we need to stand against these actions because but for the Grace of God it could be you or me.
What really needs to occur in this country is a revitalization of civic participation, a restrengthening of the 10th amendment (states' rights), and for everyday Americans to run for office to get things back on track. There are presently 540 members in the 111th Congress -- 99 Senators and 431 Representatives. We currently have 130 Congressmen serving in D.C. who have been there more than 18 years, 68 who have been in office 24 years or more, and 44 career politicians who have occupied seats for more than 30 years, four of which are 40-year-plus veterans. This must change if we are to have any hope for an overhaul of D.C. The sad truth is that our legislators rarely write the bills they sponsor. Legislation is mostly written by lobbyists and activists, then massaged by legislative staff to ensure that the bills conform to House/Senate rules. Eventually these bills make it to the legislators themselves for introduction and processing (committees, debate, amendments, voting, and a thousand other procedural sideshows if the bills aren't fast-tracked for signing into law).
Citizens can begin with a less-grueling commitment by running for local and state seats. In Iowa's June 8 Primary, there are 47 seats with people running unopposed. This is a travesty! We must fill these positions with family, friends, and neighbors willing to serve long enough to get things on track. And those good enough to run must be supported by those of us who can help with our particular competencies, such as research, financial analysis, legal analysis, fundraising, marketing, public relations -- all from a grassroots effort so as to avoid the machine that defines the two-party leadership that cares more about gaining power than holding their candidates accountable to the Constitutional principles each swears an oath to uphold.
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