Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sometimes Satire is Impossible

 A few weeks ago I posted a short FlipBook of quotations from Chairman Joe.  In recent days Memes have popped up that cause me to question the satirical accuracy of the FlipBook.  

It's not satire if it's real...

Herewith therefore FlipBook and Memes.



Read the FlipBook Here:
https://fliphtml5.com/hdrue/owwd





UPDATE -- THE FALL OF KABUL

The US retreat from Afghanistan shows us that the Imposed Head of the Regime was wrong about another entry in Chairman Joe's Little Red Book.  The Taliban did not need jet fighters and nukes to send the foreign troops away.  

Afghanistan, the Graveyard of Empires.  Defeated the British Empire twice in the 19th Century, the Soviet Union in the 20th and the USA in the 21st.  Perhaps it will be China's turn next.  The only conqueror who sort-of-succeeded was Alexander the Great and he did so by marrying an Afghani princess...





Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Meme Wars

 THE MEME WARS

With Memes the Medium is the Message
“The Politicos So Misconstrues Reality That
Their Memes are Never Dank Enough to Reach the Soul...” JG

-----------------------

We know from 20th Century media guru Marshall McLuhan that "the medium is the message..." [1] 

The medium that carries the information is its own message. That seems especially true of our 21st Century hyper-connected Internet virtual reality. The sign both contains the meaning and becomes the meaning. [2]

Political discourse is morphing into Meme Wars, and sometimes into street battles. The symbol becomes the meaning.

For example, consider the image of the US Capitol surrounded by barbed wire.

An Unintentional Meme

Even without words, a powerful message is displayed. The contrast between the Dome of the Capitol, an image rich in associate meanings such as the Sovereignty of the People and representative democracy contrasts with the barber wire which conveys an opposite meaning.  Thus, the image embodies the tension between the image and the significance that defines the concept of the Meme.

I recommend reading Josh Weltman's book Seducing Strangers. [3] In it he makes a fascinating observation, one of many, starting with a term from Aristotle's Rhetoric, "Enthymeme." [4]

He connects the term to Internet "memes" -- a word that was originally a play on the term "gene." [5] A meme is an idea (embodied as a catchphrase, image or the like) which spreads throughout a society in a fashion not unlike the way genes spread through a population. Or like viruses are said to spread.

The point he makes is that there is a certain pattern to the use of Internet Memes that makes them powerful persuasive tools.  "If the first part... confuses, the second part must explain. And if the first part explains, the second part should confuse." [6]

Aristotle's Enthymeme is a logical construct where the "first term" of the syllogism is assumed to be understood by the listener.  The second and third terms of the argument are more persuasive since the first is already in the minds of the listener.

For Internet image memes this can be generalized to: If the image confuses (or shocks, or astounds or amuses = surprises) then the words should explain; if the image explains, the words should surprise.

An Advertising Meme

To a degree the image above is an example of the process. The retro-image is typical '60s California and carries with it the whole meme complex of California Living.  The words pull it into the present, starting with the then current year date and become a warning to those doing business in California that the changing rules will impact them and require attention.

The average attention span of the average Internet user is very short. Just seconds. [7] Notice mainstream TV, for example. The editing cuts (especially for ads) are often the length of a heartbeat, sometimes two or three. Hardly ever more.

Thus the Internet Meme, with its rhetorical tension between image and word, is an ideal tool to get the message through the medium and into the minds of your audience -- in the concise form needed by modern attention spans.

Internet communication is becoming a battleground of memes – a virtual Meme War. This is especially true regarding political opinion communications.  The carefully orchestrated censoring of Internet legacy media (such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook) which (shades of Apartheid) “banned” thousands of users (including your author) due to their political opinions, just prior to the 2020 USA elections, is widely seen as an attempt to control the election results by preventing the exposure of the way the elections were rigged. [8] During the same period that the legacy media were driving hundreds of millions away uncensored platforms such as Telegram.org experienced exponential growth. [9]

A good example of how Memes are used to organize political activism can be seen in the World Wide Demonstrations occurring every other month since March 2021, targeting the COVID Declared Pandemic masking, lockdowns and increasingly mandated Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) inoculations.

With the legacy media banning all mention of the Worldwide Demonstrations the organizers focused on using Telegram.org to coordinate.  The main Worldwide Telegram chat has 58,000 subscribers. [10] Every nation and many provinces, states and local communities have Worldwide chats as well.  This small group of people from across the world have orchestrated increasingly large and coordinated events, involving up to a hundred nations with some cities hosting hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, defying lockdown and masking mandates.

 

Under the powerful memes WWG1WGA (Where We Go One We Go All), “One Day Everyone Together” and #WeWillAllBeThere images are created that convey the world-wide scope of the effort. Note the use of the hashtag (#) which is itself an Internet Meme, originally intended to enable easier Internet searching of social media.  It now conveys the concept that what follows is a label that relates to meme-like communication. It becomes a meme of itself, thus both violating and confirming the semiotic concept of a sign that signifies something other than its self.

What makes a “good” (effective) meme? Why did my young interlocutor assert that the "Politicians" (Presumably in contrast to the Patriots) can’t meme?

He says it is because they have a highly distorted perception of Reality (in the Misean sense). Now I agree that statists of all stripes misperceive Reality, believing that collective nouns (like party, class, nation, corporation) can engage in Human Action.  They cannot, as Mises showed – only individuals think, plan and act. [12]

Misperceiving the basic nature of our social interactions must distort the human action that results from the dissatisfaction triggered by the misperception. Truth is a precondition for effective human action.

So what does Truth have to do with meming? Can a false meme be effective?  Is “propaganda” simply false meming?

Since the Internet meme is usually built on the tension between the image and the word, if either is false to the communication sought to be made, the power of the whole to communicate is diminished. But what if the person offering the communication wants to communicate a lie?  Then the rhetorical structure of the meme can be seen to be a two edged sword.

In ancient Greece rhetoric could be used to defend truth or to deny it.  To utter grand philosophic ideals, or to condemn Socrates to death.

My Millennial Connections tell me they call what is happening The Meme Wars. Some of the most popular online groups are built around what are called "Dank Memes." [11] The more dissonance between the image and the words, the better. And so it goes.

If the image astounds, the words explain. If the image explains, the words astound...

-----------

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_medium_is_the_message  - "The medium is the message is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in any message it would transmit or convey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived."

[2] “In semiotics, a sign is anything that communicates a meaning that is not the sign itself to the interpreter of the sign. The meaning can be intentional such as a word uttered with a specific meaning, or unintentional, such as a symptom being a sign of a particular medical condition. Signs can communicate through any of the senses, visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or taste. .... the sign as a triadic relation as "something that stands for something, to someone in some capacity"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sign_(semiotics)

[3] Workman Publishing, 2015 - ISBN 978-0-7611-8495-9 (Co-producer of the TV series, Mad Men)

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthymeme  - "An enthymeme (Greek: ἐνθύμημα, enthumēma) is a rhetorical syllogism ... used in oratorical practice."

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_meme  - "In 2013 Dawkins characterized an Internet meme as being a meme deliberately altered by human creativity—distinguished from biological genes and Dawkins' pre-Internet concept of a meme which involved mutation by random change and spreading through accurate replication as in Darwinian selection."

[6] Weltman, - see page 25.

[7] http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/  - You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish

[8] https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/reuters-68-percent-of-republicans-say-election-was-e2-80-98rigged-e2-80-99/ar-BB1b8mzp

[9] https://www.theepochtimes.com/telegram-experiences-massive-growth-in-january-90-million-new-users_3668448.html

[10] https://t.me/worldwidedemonstration

[11] https://www.facebook.com/groups/1715753248636816/  [Gary Johnson's 2015 Dank Meme Stash was on Facebook but no longer accessible. A newer example of a libertarian-oriented meme stash is at https://t.me/toalibertarian  -- here is a collection of memes from that site:

               

Subtle is better...

[12] At the very end of Human Action, Mises warned us all - https://mises.org/library/human-action-0/html/pp/936

 

“Man's freedom to choose and to act is restricted in a threefold way. There are first the physical laws to whose unfeeling absoluteness man must adjust his conduct if he wants to live. There are second the individual's innate constitutional characteristics and dispositions and the operation of environmental factors; we know that they influence both the choice of the ends and that of the means, although our cognizance of the mode of their operation is rather vague. There is finally the regularity of phenomena with regard to the interconnectedness of means and ends, viz., the praxeological law as distinct from the physical and from the physiological law.

 

The elucidation and the categorical and formal examination of this third class of laws of the universe is the subject matter of praxeology and its hitherto best-developed branch, economics. The body of economic knowledge is an essential element in the structure of human civilization; it is the foundation upon which modern industrialism and all the moral, intellectual, technological, and therapeutical achievements of the last centuries have been built. It rests with men whether they will make the proper use of the rich treasure with which this knowledge provides them or whether they will leave it unused. But if they fail to take the best advantage of it and disregard its teachings and warnings, they will not annul economics; they will stamp out society and the human race.”

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Ninth Circuit Ignores Second Amendment

Ninth Circuit Goes Back to English Law in the Middle Ages, Says Pre-U.S. Law in Hawaii Allows State’s Open Carry Restrictions

A federal court denied a challenge to Hawaii’s prohibition on the open carry of firearms in a lengthy and scholarly opinion released Wednesday — finding that Hawaiian law and practice both predate and supersede a broad application of the Second Amendment.

“Hawai‘i law began limiting public carriage of dangerous weapons, including firearms, more than 150 years ago — nearly fifty years before it became a U.S. territory and more than a century before it became a state,” the opinion explains in language foreshadowing the method of inquiry and eventual ruling in favor of anti-gun regulation.

https://lawandcrime.com/second-amendment/ninth-circuit-goes-back-to-english-law-in-the-middle-ages-says-pre-u-s-law-in-hawaii-allows-states-open-carry-restrictions/

So we now make Constitutional decisions that restrict the Second Amendment based ignoring the Bill of Rights!

"The thorough (and admittedly non-exhaustive) historical inquiry, necessarily long and time-consuming, begins by invoking 'a series of orders to local sheriffs that prohibited ‘going armed’ without the king’s permission' which were promulgated by “King Edward I and his successor, King Edward II.” The final laws cited in this section are two explicit prohibitions on the public carrying of firearms which were upheld by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1876 and 1882."?

That means the very reason for the Second Amendment -- the British King's efforts to deny Americans our right to keep and bear arms (as in Concord and Lexington) becomes precedent to ignore the Amendment! 

This absurdity is followed by a reconstruction era Arkansas court, before the 14th Amendment jurisprudence developed, denying the right. What remains of the Amendment if I cannot go about armed?

The alleged conservative majority on the Supreme Court needs to clearly announce that our individual right to keep and bear arms trumps state restrictions, no matter how old the legal error which allowed them may be. Once we had a Federal Common Law until SCOTUS said it never was... 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Tribunals of Conscience

Private Tribunals of Conscience
Their History and Why They Matter
Ralph Fucetola, JD

Support the Efforts of the Tribunals
www.MarshallsofConscience.com

Tribunals of Conscience and Crimes Against Humanity

Over the past century and more, various private Tribunals of Conscience have focused the moral judgment of humanity in situations where official bodies have either failed to hold violators of human rights to account or have been themselves the perpetrators of horrific acts that shock the conscience.

These nongovernmental, private expressive associations must be distinguished from international legal tribunals, such as the Nuremberg Tribunals and the International Court of Justice, which are examples of multinational courts established by governments under international law to try cases of making war and of war crimes.

International Criminal Tribunals

Discussing the impact of International Criminal Tribunals, a recent paper from the Netherlands noted,

“The idea that a ruler’s power cannot be absolute, that there must be standards beyond the ruler to protect his citizens, has become the foundation stone of international human rights law. But the idea of international criminal law, and international criminal tribunals, goes a step further. In the extreme case where the ruler commits or condones crimes against his people, it takes not only the formulation of norms, but also the administration of punitive justice out of his hands and up to the international level, even to the point where he himself can be tried on criminal charges. . . .

Yet the symbolic power of international criminal tribunals may be far greater than their legal authority and capacity would suggest. In the cases of Georgia and Kenya, the threat of an ICC investigation appears to be spurring national investigations. Above all, in the former Yugoslavia and in the situations the ICC is currently investigating, the existence of the investigations has given local civil society actors room to discuss "difficult subjects" related to the recent past, such as the occurrence of massacres, the use of mass rape as a political instrument, the use of child-soldiers, and the issue of accountability in whatever shape.” [1]

Crimes Against Humanity

International Law is ambiguous with regard to Crimes Against Humanity (CAHs).

“Unlike genocide and war crimes, which have been widely recognized and prohibited in international criminal law since the establishment of the Nuremberg principles, there has never been a comprehensive convention on crimes against humanity, even though such crimes are continuously perpetrated worldwide in numerous conflicts and crises. There are eleven international texts defining crimes against humanity, but they all differ slightly as to their definition of that crime and its legal elements.” [2]

While the phrase “Crimes Against Humanity” (Class C Charges) was used in the post-World War II imposition of “victors justice” against CAH perpetrators on the losing side, “the charge of crimes against peace was a prerequisite to prosecution—only those individuals whose crimes included crimes against peace could be prosecuted by the Tribunal. In the event, no [independent] Class C charges were heard in Tokyo...” [3]

The failure of governments to respond to public concerns regarding CAH necessitates and justifies private persons constituting themselves into private associations for the purpose of condemning violations of basic humane standards.

Before the earliest Tribunals of Conscience there were several important international campaigns which contained elements later developed by the Tribunals.  These include campaigns against slavery which started even before the beginning of the 19th Century. Often led by concerns of conscience, by religious libertarians such as the Quakers, the anti-slavery movement included a major element of the Tribunals:  the public condemnation of acts seen as immoral. [4]

Similarly, private commissions of investigation were established to oppose the horrific abuses in the Congo during the early 19th Century when that territory was a personal fiefdom of the King of the Belgians.  Slavery enforced by brutalities, including dismemberment, was widely condemned and various private campaigns, often led by clergy, investigated and condemned the violations of humanitarian standards.  It was one of those campaigns where the phrase “Crimes Against Humanity” was first used. [5] Later the phrase was used in reference to the genocide against Armenians by the Ottoman Empire. [6]

Tribunals of Conscience

Various nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have sought to define “Tribunals of Conscience”. 

The National Lawyers Guild, for example, has posited the following:

“A Tribunal of Conscience is a People’s Tribunal. Such tribunals date back more than six decades to the era of the Russell Tribunal on US war crimes in Viet Nam and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of People (Algiers, 1976). They provide an alternative forum for those who find no recourse in the formal institutions of the state or the international community. They are the place where the people judge the crimes of the state, not where the state judges the people.” [7]

Perhaps the earliest self-denoted Tribunal of Conscience was that convoked by B. Russell and J-P. Sartre regarding the War in Vietnam, in 1966.  After two public sessions in Europe the Tribunal published a strong condemnation of United States' actions in Vietnam in 1967.

Russel quoted Robert H. Jackson, the Chief Nuremberg Prosecutor, in justification of the establishment of the Tribunal:

“If certain acts and violations of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them. We are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.” — Justice Robert H. Jackson [8]

The Russel/Sartre Tribunal encouraged subsequent private efforts:

“Additional tribunals have been conducted in the following decades on the same model, using the denomination Russell Tribunal. E.g., The Russell Tribunal on Latin America focused on human rights violations in the military dictatorships of Argentina and Brazil (Rome, 1973), on Chile's military coup d'état (Rome, 1974–76), on the situation of Human Rights in Germany (1978), on the Threat of Indigenous Peoples of America (1982), on Human Rights in Psychiatry (Berlin, 2001), on Iraq (Brussels, 2004), and on Palestine (Barcelona, 2009–12).” [9]


These efforts have also continued beyond the Russel/Sartre model. The “Permanent Peoples' Tribunal was established at the behest of a member of the Senate of Italy in Bologna in the late 1970s.  It has held 46 sessions regarding separate Crimes Against Humanity over the ensuing decades. [10] These sessions have reviewed situations involving CAHs primarily against peoples who are not recognized as “nations”, such as the population of Western Sahara or the Kurds, who live in several Middle Eastern nations.

Recent Developments

Other Tribunals of Conscience have included the 2009 Agent Orange Tribunal of the International Democratic Lawyers Association [11]; the 2020 Belmarish Tribunal regarding the persecution of Julian Assange [12]; and the 2019 China Tribunal which states:

“The China Tribunal is an independent people’s tribunal established to inquire into forced organ harvesting from, amongst others, prisoners of conscience in China and to investigate what criminal offences, if any, have been committed by state or state-approved bodies, organisations or individuals in China that may have engaged in forced organ harvesting. “ [13]

During the 2020-2021 period of the “Declared Pandemic” the Natural and Common Law Tribunal for Public Health and Justice was established to hold the perpetrators of what the Tribunal found to be the “Genocidal Technologies Pandemic” accountable.  It entered a formal judgment against various state-actors, politicians, businesses and NGOs for their various roles in triggering the false-flag “pandemic” and rushing “unavoidably unsafe” vaccines, including novel class of “gene altering” injections into production and deployment. [14]

Humanity Benefits from Tribunals of Conscience

“What”, the skeptic may ask, “is the value of private Tribunals of Conscience to humanity?”

We live in a world where the promise of global peace and prosperity has become a distortion used to empower globalist elites with their demonstrated eugenocidal agenda (most recently, through the Declared COVID Pandemic), where relations among nation-states resemble the brutal behavior of thugs -- a true Hobbesian international order. The new religion of this world is Statism, the worship of the institutions of the States, including their judicial institutions and administrative indiscretions.

As the lack of intellectual viability of Statism in its various racial, religious, national, international, bureaucratic, imperialist and other forms becomes increasingly exposed and become, perhaps, increasingly irrelevant in an economically globalized, blockchain-enabled, post-singularity world, an alternative to state-sponsored "justice" is needed.

The juridical subjects of International Law, "International Actors," include nation-states (even micro-states like the Vatican), a certain few private associations (like the Red Cross or Sovereign Knights of Malta), and international agencies like the UN along with its associated institutions (such as certain privileged NGOs and "specialized agencies" -- WHO and FAO, for example). Not included in this list are actual private persons, natural or cultural Nations, even juridical persons such as private associations and registered corporations.

The humans and human organizations with which we usually interact are missing from the globalist structure of international relations.

We individuals do not exist in the currently dominant Statist view of international law.

In the eyes of Globalist International Actors, we real people and our private associations are little more than disregarded entities. This state of affairs is entirely unsatisfactory to humane individuals.

Consider the long march of human history and how treating individual humans as objects led us to endless millennia of Statist imperial warfare, culminating the 20th Century's killing fields and nuclear incinerations.

Consider the historic role of Statism in the imposition of what libertarian philosopher and lawyer Lysander Spooner saw as the Great Monopolies: the horror of slavery, vicious state churches, the legal "incapacities of women" and the King's trade monopolies – all Statist institutions which have repeatedly perpetrated Crimes Against Humanity.

How can humanity trust the very Statist institutions which have so violated humane standards, by committing Crimes Against Humanity to exact meaningful justice for their own misdeeds, no matter how egregious?

Even as the vicious old concepts, chattel slavery, religious and racial bigotry, institutionalized inequality of women and various others, have become anathema to civilized people, the very concept a "sovereign" State, not subject to the same rule of law that applies to private persons, must also be rejected. States and their political elites must be subject to true Justice or there is no Justice.

Clearly, that justice will not come from the very source of the criminality.  Private persons of conscience must take the lead to expose and publicly condemn Crimes Against Humanity.  This is the role, which is of inestimable value to humanity, of Private Tribunals of Conscience.

----------------

[1] https://www.academia.edu/4171788/International_Criminal_Tribunals

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimes_against_humanity

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Military_Tribunal_for_the_Far_East#Charges

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimes_against_humanity#Abolition_of_the_slave_trade

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimes_against_humanity#First_use

[6] https://www.armenian-genocide.org/Affirmation.160/current_category.7/affirmation_detail.html

[7] www.inquirycommission.org / https://www.nlginternational.org/report/Final_Preliminary_ITC_Verdict.pdf

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Tribunal

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Tribunal#Subsequent_Tribunals

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permanent_Peoples%27_Tribunal#List_of_sessions

[11] https://vn-agentorange.org/edmaterials/paris_2009_tribunal_decision_2.15.10.pdf

[12] https://popularresistance.org/the-belmarsh-tribunal/ 

[13] https://chinatribunal.com/

[14]  http://www.peaceinspace.org

Also to be posted at:
International Journal of Natural Health, Science and Policy
http://www.inhere.org/international-journal-of-nhsp/


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Trump's Last Stand?

 


WHAT WILL THE SUPREME COURT DO?
Here is a Link that Reports SCOTUS Actions
https://certpool.com/conferences/2021-02-19

22 February 2021 UPDATE:  Election Cases denied Certiorari with Justice Thomas writing dissenting opinions.  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/relatingtoorders/20

----------

On 19 February 2021 the Supreme Court will consider granting Certiorari (accept the cases onto its docket) for several of the pending presidential election fraud cases, including the cases brought by Sidney Powell and Lin Wood.  These include the Georgia and Pennsylvania cases.  If 4 of the 9 justices agree to accept the cases then the Court must hear them.  If 5 of the 9 agree with the plaintiffs that massive election fraud occurred then the remaining question is what remedy will the Court impose. The Court can refuse to consider the cases (if no justice want to discuss the case, it is automatically dismissed under Rule 46), grant immediate Certiorari or request a BIO, a Brief in Opposition, and consider the request for Certiorari later.

There is a scenario in which D. J. Trump may still return to the White House in triumph.

But to understand how, we need to start in 2018 when Chief Justice Roberts wrote the Opinion in the case of Abbott vs Perez. [1]  This was a Texas electoral fraud case in which, as we have also seen this year, the trial courts refused to hear any evidence of fraud. When the case got to the Supreme Court the Chief Justice wrote that the Court could determine whether there had been fraud, or not, even in the absence of evidence presented in the courts below, by taking judicial notice of the actual voting statistics which are part of the public record.  The court does not need to know the who or how of the fraud to determine whether or not there was fraud. In the Perez case the Court looked at the voting records and decided there had not been fraud.  

This means if the Court decides to take on the presidential election fraud cases, those cases can proceed rapidly to a decision based on the public record of anomalous shifts in the votes among the candidates in the "key states."

That there were anomalies is widely accepted:

"This report studies 8,954 individual updates to the vote totals in all 50 states and finds that four individual updates — two of which were widely noticed on the internet, including by the President — are profoundly anomalous; they deviate from a pattern which is otherwise found in the vast majority of the remaining 8,950 vote updates…" [2]

However, it will be up to the Court to finally determine the outcome of the 2020 election.  Assume that 5 justices decide there had been fraud.  What is the proper remedy?

Will the Court simply say, try again better next time?  Or will the Court determine that the contested State electoral votes are invalid and no candidate received a majority of the electoral votes?

In that case there was no president after January 20th, and no vice president either.  That has two astounding results. 

First, the Speaker of the House would be Acting President. The Senate would be divided 50/50 with no presiding officer to cast any tie breaking vote.

Second, the choice of president falls to the House which under the Constitution has until March 4th to choose a president from among the top electoral vote getters.  Each state gets one vote. Since the Republicans have a majority of the state delegations to Congress, they can easily choose Trump.

The divided Senate gets to choose the new vice president from among the top two electoral vote getters.  I suspect the evenly divided Senate will not be able to choose a vice president before the March 4th deadline. 

After that date the office would be vacant and the new president would have authority under the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution to nominate a vice president, subject to Congressional approval..

And that is how Nancy Pelosi might end up as Acting President for a few weeks, succeeded by the once-and-future President Trump.

----------

[1] I wrote about the Perez case here:  https://vitaminlawyerhealthfreedom.blogspot.com/2020/12/was-2020-election-legitimate.html

[2] https://wentworthreport.com/2020/11/25/high-quality-statisical-analysis-anomalies-in-vote-counts-and-their-effects-on-election-2020/

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Speaking the Unspeakable: The First Amendment & Violent Overthrow


Is it Lawful to Advocate Violent Overthrow of the Government?

The legal system of the American Federal Republic, arising from the libertarian principles of the Declaration of Independence, has a number of unique features, not widely shared in practice in other large nation states.

These include, preeminently, the First and Second clauses of the Bill of Rights -- the guarantees that the government will be strictly limited regarding our most important personal liberties.

The Founders of the Federation were gentlemen who were among nearly the last generation to receive a classical education, including literacy in Latin and Greek, with an emphasis on the history of the Roman Republic and its convoluted legal system.  They intended that the American Republic was to be established on a stronger tradition of law, the English Common Law, than had been possible for the Romans.  The Romans did not keep their republic -- rather, they lost their republican liberties, becoming mere subjects of an imperial system -- also a clear and present danger for Americans.

When Benjamin Franklin was asked, at the end of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, what type of government was being planned, he is reported to have said, "A republic, if you can keep it."

The Founders knew history and determined the new American Republic would not make the mistakes of the earlier republics.  Here, we were promised, the rule of law would restrain the power of politicians.

Thus the Bill of Rights, with its First Clause asserting the individual's right to free speech and communication, religion, association and petition and its Second Clause recognizing the individual's right to keep and bear arms (which is what guarantees the First) were imposed on the new government through general popular support as amendments to the original Constitution of 1787.

The American legal system developed based on a fundamental law in which the Legislative Power is told it "shall make no law" regarding certain subjects:  the subjects listed in the First and Second clauses. These have, as the Supreme Court earlier remarked about the First, a "preferred position" in our legal system.

This introduction leads me to the purpose of this blog entry.  These strong Constitutional Protections have actual application in the case law.  For example, regarding (IMHO) one of the most difficult areas of First Amendment jurisprudence -- the area of extreme political speech.  

Specifically, the question is, when is it  lawful, under American jurisprudence,  for an individual to engage in speech actually calling for the violent overthrowing of the government.  

The events of 6 January 2021, when large numbers of citizens visited the Capitol to "speak truth to power" and Congress reacted with fear and loathing, abandoning the Capitol, show this is not just an academic question.

Yes, the courts have considered this question.  Given the history of the revolutionary movements of the 19th and 20th Centuries, there is well developed law regarding this question.

That law was aptly reviewed by President Trump's lawyers in their Brief against the Second Trump Impeachment.  

The full Brief is here:  https://www.45office.com/images/uploads/Final_Trump_Trial_Memorandum.pdf

Below are several pages from the Brief which review the cases on Advocating for the Overthrow of the Government [emphasis added]. Based on the case law, my conclusion is that it is lawful to advocate even the "necessity" of the use of violence to overthrow the government.  A speaker may even "incite" violence against government, so long as incitement to immediate violence does not occur. 

"The fatal flaw ... is that it seeks to mete out governmental punishment ... based on political speech that falls squarely within broad protections of the First Amendment. Speech and association for political purposes is the kind of activity to which the First Amendment offers its strongest protection.125 Restrictions placed on freedom of speech are evaluated “against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”126 

Thus, “[o]ur First Amendment decisions have created a rough hierarchy in the constitutional protection of speech” in which “[c]ore political speech occupies the highest, most protected position.”127 The Supreme Court has further acknowledged that “[t]he language of the political arena . . . is often vituperative, abusive, and inexact.”128 A rule of law permitting criminal or civil liability to be imposed upon those who speak or write on public issues and their superintendence would lead to “self-censorship” by all which would not be relieved by permitting a defense of truth. “Under such a rule, would-be critics of official conduct may be deterred from voicing their criticism, even though it is believed to be true and even though it is in fact true, because of doubt whether it can be proved in court or fear of the expense of having to do so . . . . The rule thus dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate.”129 In only a few well defined and narrowly limited classes of speech may the government punish an individual for his or her words.130

Even political speech that may incite unlawful conduct is protected from the reach of governmental punishment. Indeed, “[e]very idea is an incitement,’ and if speech may be suppressed whenever it might inspire someone to act unlawfully, then there is no limit to the State’s censorial power.”131 The government may not prohibit speech because it increases the chance an unlawful act will be committed “at some indefinite future time.”132 Rather, the government may only suppress speech for advocating the use of force or a violation of law if “such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”133

In Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court formed a test that placed even speech inciting illegal conduct within the protection of the First Amendment.134 In that case, a leader of the Ku Klux Klan was convicted under an Ohio criminal syndicalism law.135 Evidence of his incitement was a film of the events at a Klan rally, which included racist and anti-Semitic speech, the burning of a large wooden cross, and several items that appeared in the film, including a number of firearms.136 The leader of the protest proclaimed that “[w]e’re not a revengent [sic] organization, but if our President, our Congress, our Supreme Court, continues to suppress the white, Caucasian race, it’s possible that there might be some revenge taken. We are marching on Congress July the Fourth, four hundred thousand strong.”137 

The Court held that, “the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit [the government] to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”138 The Court explained that “the mere abstract teaching of the moral propriety or even moral necessity for a resort to force and violence, is not the same as preparing a group for violent action and steeling it to such action.139

Thus, under Brandenburg and its progeny, government actors may not “forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”140 Absent an imminent threat, therefore, it is expressly within the First Amendment to advocate for the use of force; similarly, it is protected speech to advocate for violating the law..."

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125 New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 269 (1964)(The First Amendment “’was fashioned to assure unfettered interchange of ideas for the bringing about of political and social changes desired by the people.’” (quoting Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476, 484 (1957)).

126 Watts v. United States, 394 U.S. 705, 708 (1969) (quoting New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964)).

127 R.A.V. v. St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377, 422 (1992( Stevens, J., concurring); see also Hill v. Colorado, 530 U.S. 703, 787 (2000)(Kennedy, J., dissenting)(“Laws punishing speech which protests the lawfulness or morality of the government’s own policy are the essence of the tyrannical power the First Amendment guards against.”); Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, 588 U.S. 310, 349 (2010)(“If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”)

128 Watts, 394 U.S. at 708 (distinguishing between “political hyperbole” and “true threats”) (citing Linn v. United Plant Guard Workers of America, 383 U.S. 53, 58, (1966)).

129 New York Times, 376 U.S. at 279.

130 Gooding v. Wilson, 405 U.S. 518, 521-22 (1972). 

131 Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Reilly, 533 U.S. 525, 580, 121 S.Ct. 2404, 2435, 150 L.Ed.2d 532 (2001)(emphasis added)(quoting Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652, 673, 45 S.Ct. 625, 69 L.Ed. 1138 (1925)(Holmes, J., dissenting)).

132 Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coal., 535 U.S. 234, 253–54 (2002)(quoting Hess v. Indiana, 414

U.S. 105, 108 (1973)(per curiam)).

133 Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 447 (1969) (emphasis added) (per curiam).

134 395 U.S. at 447.

135 Id. at 445.

136 Id. at 445-46.

137 Id. at 446.

138 Id.

139 Id. at 448.

140 Id.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Is the End of the USA Unthinkable?

A Texas State Rep wants Texas to leave the Union again [1] and become an independent nation again. [2]

Maybe the second time's the charm...

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." -- United States Declaration of Independence

For the first time in a century and two thirds we face the real prospect of irreparable differences among large geographic areas of the United States of America. Many fear that we are on an irreversible path toward a civil war between the over-populated coastal urban centers and the food and fuel producing interior regions they depend upon.  

This civil war would be a struggle for control by the urban elites or autonomy for the interior regions. The electorate appears nearly evenly divided, with no clear majority, although the Regime Party currently looks like it holds all the levers of power...

This time it must not be like what happened in 1860/65 when the Federal Government destroyed dozens of American cities and about a million and a half Americans died in the war and subsequent famine (mostly, BTW, former slaves) during a failed attempt to split the Federation.

Would people support an Institute for Peaceful Secession which would study how peaceful secession and dismantling of the Union could occur?

The Institute could study relatively peaceful examples from history, like the Czechoslovak "Velvet Revolution" and the break-up of the USSR or British Empire.

What would we actually have to do to peacefully replace the United States of America and its authoritarian legislative, judicial, executive/military bureaucracy with true guardians for our liberties? 

Maybe that new structure could be called the American States' Common Market or the New American Confederation.

Americans would most likely need a free trade treaty among the States. This could include joint international border controls, but free internal travel and trade for citizens of the States.

That was the original concept of the Confederation that existed before the Constitution and is within the purview of the Declaration of Independence which reserves to the people the "...right, [the] duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

But the first step toward making a New American Republic a reality would be studying and publicizing how to do it peacefully.

A bit over twenty-five years ago the largest government on earth, that of the USSR, disappeared nearly without warning. 

Many areas, like Ukraine, which had been part of the empire since the 1700s, became independent nations again.  

Just a few years before that the head of the Red Army bragged that the "correlation of forces" had shifted decisively to the USSR and against the West.  We all know what happened and the suffering of millions as the old regime collapsed without any planning.  

While the peoples of the former USSR are now much better off than before, it took a quarter century for them to be able to enjoy the freedoms they had at least partially regained.

We could face similar horrific hardship unless we plan for the devolution of the Third Republic (the First was under the Continental Congress, the Second was under the Articles of Confederation and the Third is under the often violated Constitution of 1787).

There is already a private body known as the Uniform Law Commission which can serve as a model. It developed the Uniform Commercial Code among other model state laws. [3] 

Another approach would be for those States, like Texas, that are distressed by the CCP-backed Coup of 6 January, when Congress was panicked into approving the stolen election, to demand the convening of the Convention of the States to revise the Constitution of 1787, as provided in that document. [4]  That body could reform the Federal System and perhaps preserve the Union.

Comments?

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[2] Texas Declaration of Independence, 1836  https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5872/m1/1071

[3] "The Uniform Law Commission, also called the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, is a non-profit, American unincorporated association. Established in 1892, the ULC aims to provide U.S. states with well-researched and drafted legislation to bring clarity and stability to critical areas of statutory law across jurisdictions"  https://uniformlaws.org/home

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Free Douglass Mackey

 Blogger Known as "Ricky Vaughn" 
Arrested by Feds for 2016 Thought Crime
#FreeRickyVaughn

[Douglass Mackey] A Florida Man Arrested 
Over 2016 Election Memes Designed To "Trick" Hillary Voters  


Beware of "Speaking Your Mind" in the Banana Republic formerly known as the United States of America.


 Apparently the Regime Department of Justice believes this is a crime. Note carefully the words used.  Emphasis added to show that the Regime seeks to criminalize speech and association in violation of the (former?) Constitution, and especially the First Amendment, which the Supreme Court during an earlier political era had held to have a "favored" position in the legal system of the aforesaid Republic:
  "Starting in at least 2015, MACKEY participated in numerous Group DMs. These groups, which at times included dozens of individuals, and at times had overlapping membership, served as forums for the participants to share, among other things, their views concerning how best to influence the Election. Among other things, MACKEY and the members of these groups used the Group DMs to create, refine and share memes and hashtags that members of the groups would subsequently post and distribute."

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/florida-man-arrested-over-2016-election-memes-designed-trick-hillary-voters