Tag Archives: Tennessee Valley Authority

33 Years (and one week) was a Long Ice Age Lifetime—May 11, 1980 to May 18, 2013—has been 33 Years and One Week

According to my old professor of Biological Anthropology, Erik Trinkaus, from whom I took several of the most amazing courses I ever had during my graduate career, Ice Age Humans (Neanderthals or Cro-Magnons) in France, Europe, and the Near East did not typically live as long as I have to date (53 years).  In fact, life expectancies were probably less than 30 years for both males and females, and if we have more burial data from older individuals, it is because anyone who lived beyond 40 was practically a godlike object of ancestor worship (OK, that’s my embellishment, not anything Erik ever actually said.  But for what Erik Trinkaus’ “thumbnail” summary opinion was, see an article which cited him in the New York Times, just for a casual and basically random example: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/science/11obneanderthal.html?_r=0).

So it is with shock, awe, and dismay that I realize now that I graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences at Tulane University 33 years and one week ago as of May 18, 2013.  That day is also illuminated by the following historical trivia:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

On this date:

Montreal, Quebec, was founded in 1642

The Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, began in 1863

Plessy v. Fergusson was decided in 1896

Haley’s Comet Passed by the Earth in 1910

Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1933

Apollo 10 blasted off in 1969

Mount St. Helens’ Volcano in Washington Exploded in 1980

I graduated from Tulane University on May 11, 1980, 33 years and 1 week ago today—Oh yeah, I guess I already mentioned that….

Montreal being founded was a good thing.  Montreal is a really nice city (lots of cute little French-Canadian girls up there, and the food is great too).   I hear Vicksburg was OK before the siege, but it got kind of boring afterwards.   As for the TVA—well, I have heard the TVA was such a success that they never dared to repeat it, which is just as well, because it was essentially just another Communist-Marxist-Stalinist 5 year plan that has now lasted 80 years…. Now that’s a REALLY long time for a 5 year plan to go on….. Aside from the Federal Reserve Banking System, the TVA is the United States Government’s largest “privately” owned corporation.  That is confusing, isn’t it: how can the U.S. Government own anything privately?  Well, the TVA is set up as a private corporation, it’s employees are not US Government employees, but it is wholly owned by the Government.  In other words, the TVA operates as even even more of a “private, closely held” corporation than (a) the Virginia Company, (b) the Massachusetts Bay Company, (c) the Hudson’s Bay Company, or (d) the British East India Company ever was until after the Sepoy Mutiny let to the annexation of India to the Crown as an “Empire.”  But the sole owner of the TVA is the U.S. Government, so it’s a private corporation owned by the largest and most powerful public entity (the U.S. Government) in the world.

Anyhow, I deeply resent the passage of time.   As “the Preacher, the son of David, King in Jerusalem” wrote in the Book of Ecclesiastes:

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

At least verse five gave Hemingway a good idea for a memorable title for one of his novels….some obscure travelogue about Spanish Bullfights in Pamplona.  I think there was a precociously slutty British socialite, a Rich American Jew, a War Veteran, a couple of drunken Scots, an underage Spanish Bullfighter who ends up with the aristocratic slut……

There’s also a holographic mirror at Antoine’s Restaurant in one of the private side rooms (in the New Orleans French Quarter on St. Louis) called “All is Vanity“—it’s a picture of an exquisitely beautiful young lady, probably a close relation of those French-Canadian girls from Montreal mentioned above, whose face when seen from a different angle turns into a rather frightening death’s head skeletal neck-on-shoulder with skull still in place.  And like unto that image, the inscription over so many rural Mexican cemeteries: “Aquí se Acaba el Orgullo Mundial” (Here Endeth Earthly Pride—compare also “Under the Volcano“—both the book and the movie).

As of the 33 years that have passed since my graduation Phi Beta Kappa, Magna cum Laude, from Tulane.  Well, “what profit” indeed have I to show for my labour?   I suppose I have learned a lot.  But have I put it to good use?  Continuing from the first Chapter of Ecclesiastes:

13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow

Have I accumulated a large estate?  No and No.  I suppose, in all honesty, thanks in large part to my failed marriage and related matters: I have BLOWN a large estate sky high.   That’s an accomplishment of sorts I guess, which certainly not everyone has had the opportunity to do.

I finished a doctoral dissertation at Harvard which was immediately accepted for publication but I didn’t get around to publishing it in a timely manner and now the Peabody Museum isn’t willing to publish it under the original terms as Peabody Memoir 20 unless I completely rewrite it and resubmit it and get it approved for publication.  In other words, essentially, if I do my doctoral research (why not my doctorate?) all over again.

At the end of my 52nd I got a chipped tooth and developed dental problems which remind me of the human osteology class I had with Erik Trinkaus, using Gray’s Anatomy  (the Classic Medical School Anatomy text and reference book, not the TV soft-porn prime-time soap opera series).   I developed this broken molar problem in New Orleans.  That’s the only saving grace.  I’m finally living back in my favorite city in the USA, albeit as something of a perpetual tourist rather than a real resident (at least I go to Church more regularly than most tourists who come here, I dare say).

And in that connexion, talking of Church, today was the Feast of the Pentecost, and I have to say I think that Christ Church Cathedral on St. Charles did a better job of making Pentecost memorable than I have ever seen anywhere.  They had red-ribbon banners and parasols (and/or Chinese lanterns) representing the tongues of fire through which the Holy Ghost entered the Apostles, giving them the ability to speak in tongues.  The Church was generally draped in Red, and since I was a very small child, Red has basically been my favorite colour (my exceedingly conservative grandmother Helen worried that I might turn out a communist—but I didn’t).

And the Psalm today I noticed on Thursday when I went to the mid-day mass on my first day back from Florida.  It was Psalm 104 and it was not appointed for Thursday, but for some reason I opened the Book of Common Prayer and fixated on that Psalm, and it was the Psalm for this beautiful Sunday Service after the reading from the Book of Acts concerning the first Pentacost and the first spontaneous translations of the Gospel by the Apostles….: 

104 Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:

Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.

At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.

They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.

Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

10 He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.

11 They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.

12 By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.

13 He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.

16 The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;

17 Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.

18 The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.

19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.

20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.

21 The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.

22 The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.

23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.

24 O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

25 So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.

26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.

27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.

29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

31 The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.

32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.

33 I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.

35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the Lord.

There’s that wonderfully melancholy but self-absorbed song in Jesus Christ Superstar about the spiritual transformation of the 12.  It’s called “Always Dreamed that I’d be an Opossum” or something like that (they’re all drunk while Jesus is waiting to be arrested).  A totally appropriate thought for Pentecost, I suppose….

Equally blasphemous is my question about Psalm 104: WHY would God have created “the Leviathan….to play therein?”  (or in a more modern translation “the Leviathan, who thou created just for sport”).  Some passages in the Bible are so hard to deal with…. But on the whole Psalm 104 is so beautiful, and so evocative of the natural balance of the world.   All those lions eating other creatures at night and stuff—“It’s the CIRCLE, the Circle of Life….”

A New Red Dawn Over America—Obamacare & the Police Power in Arizona are Upheld—the Constitution again ruled DOA at the Supreme Court (full text of the Supreme Court’s Worst Two Decisions of the Week attached)

Chief Justice John Roberts is rapidly becoming my least favorite U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history.  First, in 2007, the debut innovation of “the Roberts Court” was Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, then a followup kick in the face of freedom under the name of Ashcroft v. Iqbal and now this week (on Monday, June 25, 2012) Arizona v. United States (Arizona v US) and, today Thursday, June 28, 2012, yet another day that will live in infamy: NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS et al. v. KAREN SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES (NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS et al v SEBELIUS SECRETARY OF HEALTH).

It’s been a really bad week for the Constitution and for the American people, and a very good day for  Obama’s flourishing Dictatorship of the Proletariat.  Oh yes, and what a nice present for Hillary Clinton as she celebrates lasting longer as U.S. Secretary of State than any other of the 96 individuals to hold that office—and we were all sure she was just a joke back in the early 1990s when she was pushing a National Health Care System which looked an awful lot like what we’ve got now with Obamacare.

First with regard to Arizona v. US: The expansion of the American Police State seems never-ending, as the late great Strom Thurmond’s States-Rights Democratic Party Platform very accurately predicted in 1948.   The great triumph of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States over the past 64 years is quite simply this: all oppressive acts of government, so long as they are applied equally to White people as well as Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and all others without Racial, and only with Economic and Political, Prejudice, will be upheld.  But try asserting any constitutional right other than your right to be on an equal footing with all other slaves, and man YOU ARE DEAD MEAT!!!!  States Rights got a minor boost last year when an individual right to sue under the Tenth Amendment was recognized, but this year the 162 year trend towards the complete suppression of State Sovereignty marches forward unabated….

The main issue regarding Arizona’s immigration statutes was whether the individual states of the Union have any right to make more restrictive laws regarding residence and citizenship than the United States as a whole.  Under the expressly anti-States’ Rights 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court said NO.  But, if the Arizona police want to go around harassing people on the highways, they are free to do so, so long as they are willing to say they suspect that every blonde-haired & blue-eyed caucasian must have recently entered illegally from Sweden or Norway perhaps….  The Supreme Court, these days, never seems to miss an opportunity to enhance the power of the police to oppress the population at large.

With regard to the “Obamacare” case, I can only say I’m NOT even as surprised by this result as I was not by the result in the Arizona immigration opinion.  Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt gave up his plan to “pack” the Supreme Court, there is no infringement on the economic liberty and personal choices of the American people which the Supreme Court finds too trivial to be worthy of Federal Enforcement.  The only comment-worthy deviation from predictions was that Chief Justice John Roberts in this case came up with the novel notion that the U.S. government can tax anything and anyone it wants to for any reason, including non-compliance with a mandatory insurance purchase requirement, and that this punitive tax or purchase choice makes it all “OK.”

Of all the commentary and punditry that came out on Thursday after the decision, two of the most “spot on” that I saw were first) the article describing John Roberts’ “Liberal Apotheosis”:

After Thursday’s Obamacare ruling, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts became a minor deity to some liberals for voting to save Obamacare. But just days before Roberts’ apotheosis, liberals lamented that the “conservative” Supreme Court was taking America down a dangerous path.  (http://news.yahoo.com/obamacare-ruling-liberal-apotheosis-john-roberts-035207618.html)

The “Liberal Apotheosis” of John Roberts?  “Apotheosis” of course, means transformation into a god—and what did the pagan gods of Olympia or Pharaonic Egypt do?  Exactly what any god can do:  A “god” can work Miracles,  first Make and then Bend the all Rules, Change the Natural Order of Things….   I suppose my own religious notions, such as they are, posit an unchanging God defined by the phrase from the old BCP: “as it was in the beginning, it is now and ever shall be, world without end amen” which seems curiously absent from most Episcopal services these days.   I equate God with Nature, and while I believe rather fervently in Evolution, I believe Evolution operates according to certain utterly unchanging rules, such as the laws of thermodynamics, which even the discovery of man’s ability intentionally to split or fuse atoms could never quite change.

And yet the Godlike role of the Supreme Court in making and bending rules seems more than a bit undemocratic.   So that is the second part of the analysis we need to perform today: Was Roberts’ decision to side with Obamacare entirely a matter of political strategy?

 The American Concept of Constitutional Judicial Review predates Chief Justice John Marshall. The Supreme Court’s decision Chisholm v. Georgia 2 U.S. 412 (February 1, 1793)(Chisholm v Georgia, 2 U.S. 419, February 1 1793triggered the (I would now say very unfortunate) move to enact the 11th Amendment during the First Term of the Presidency of George Washington.  But Chief Justice Marshall’s notions of judicial review shaped the Court, much to his cousin Thomas Jefferson’s dismay and disgust.   I recall hearing the story of Marbury v. Madison and judicial review in my Freshman year at Tulane, from Professor Jean Danielson in Political Science H103, where I met my long-time college years best friend John K. Naland, now a long-time veteran of the U.S. State Department.  Professor Danielson explained the political genius of Marbury v. Madison was that it empowered the Court while respecting the political boundaries of the time.  Chief Justice Marshall knew that, as President Adams’ last major appointee, any decision made in favor of the appointment of Adams’ minor “midnight judges” including William Marbury would simply be ignored by the new Democratic-Republican administration of Jefferson (with James Madison as secretary of state and the defendant in the case) as an act of political partisanship on the part of a Federalist appointee favoring Federalist appointees.  On the other hand, to uphold Secretary of State Madison’s power to refuse to honor the appointments made by President Adams would seem like craven capitulation without legal or moral integrity.  So, in a result which no one ever anticipated, Chief Justice John Marshall carefully reasoned and soundly declared the statute authorizing the appointment of Magistrates in the District of Columbia to be an unconstitutional act in excess of Congress’ power under the Constitution—and the role of the U.S. Supreme Court as Constitutional arbiter of the United States was established forever—or, at least, for a long time.

That particular “long time” ended in 1936, which, as a another commentator/pundit on the Obamacare decision pointed out, was the last time in history that the United States Supreme Court overturned a major piece of Congressional legislation as Unconstitutional.    Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term as President was unlike anything the United States had ever since, including George Washington’s First Term.   In Washington’s First Term, the constant debate in Congress was whether the Federal Government had power under the Constitution to do much of anything at all.  The spirit was decidedly “conservative” in the sense of cautious, even as a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal was being launched as a more formally organized “corporate” type of enterprise (the Articles of Confederation were much more analogous to a “partnership” among the States—with each partner having a nearly full veto power).

During FDR’s First Term, there were also many in Congress who asked whether the Federal Government had the power to do a great many of the things the New Deal proposed to do, from the NRA to the TVA (National Recovery Administration to the Tennessee Valley Authority).  But from 1933-1937, such questions were not asked in a cautious or even skeptical voice regarding what Congress and the Federal government could legitimately do, but in the desperate and panicked voice of people who saw and feared “you are taking our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor” from us.  Those people sought recourse against the reckless usurpation of Federal Power in the Supreme Court, and in the years 1933-1937, the Supreme Court struck down 29 Congressionally passed statutes signed by the President as part of the New Deal.

Roosevelt’s first hundred days and all that followed provoked an unprecedented clash between the Supreme Court Justices and the “New Deal” alliance of the legislative and executive branches. At Roosevelt’s instigation, Congress in the 1930s enacted a series of laws ostensibly, supposed, aimed at ending the Great Depression and restoring the nation’s economic well-being, but in fact aimed at shoring up the American Elite, especially the Banking system, from the threat of a Communist and/or Fascist revolution analogous to those taking place in Europe at the same time.  Of eight major “program” statutes to come before the Court, only two were upheld. Laws that were struck down included the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, and the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935.  The Court came under heavy fire for its decisions, and Roosevelt proposed a controversial plan to increase the size of the Court, presumably to ensure a majority sympathetic to the New Deal.

Shortly after the plan was proposed, the Court defused the issue by upholding a series of revised New Deal laws.  Dominated by economic conservatives, to which group even late 19th/early 20th Century “Progressives” such as Oliver Wendell Holmes were (by comparison, anyhow) the Court threw out numerous laws Congress enacted to protect workers and consumers. The conflicts peaked in 1936. The Court threw out twenty-nine laws during that period, but the last of these was in 1936, when when the court invalidated a federal law that limited work hours and prescribed minimum wages for coal workers.

Everything changed in 1937 when, FDR Proposed the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 on March 9 of that year in one of his legendary “Fireside chats” whereby he jumped over the Congress and all Constitutional Separation of Powers and asked the American people directly to endorse and support his programs.  The public reaction was overwhelmingly negative, almost the first time the 33rd President had seen any of his initiatives draw such opposition.  But the Justices of the Supreme Court saw the writing on the wall—mene, mene, tekel upharsin—and when faced with the two major cases challenging Social Security (the ultimate authority and most direct antecedent for Obamacare), the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the most massive fraud ever perpetrated on the American people—the law creating a “Social Security Trust Fund” with the bribed cooperation of the States—into which Social Security Trust Fund not one dime of real money (certainly not one dime of the 14 Trillion dollars paid since 1937 in Social Security Taxes) has ever been paid.

Helvering v. Davis (05-27-1937 Helvering v Davis 301 US 619 57 SCt 904 Jusice Cardozo endorses the SS Trust Fund Fraud) and Steward Machine Company v. Davis (Charles C Steward Mach Co v Davis) thus effectively marked the end of the Supreme Court as an independent branch of government.  The new mantra was not “that government is best which governs least” but instead, “The concept of the general welfare is not a static one”…. “Needs that were narrow or parochial a century ago may be interwoven in our day with the well-being of the nation. What is critical or urgent changes with the times.”   (Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619, 641, 57 S.Ct. 904, 909, 81 L.Ed. 1307, 1315 [1937])

From that time forward Courts held that there appeared to be only four (all extra-constitutional) prerequisites to a finding that a spending clause measure and condition attached to it are valid: (1) The federal power is used for a legitimate national purpose, i.e., promotion of the general welfare (Charles C. Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, 301 U.S. 548 at pp. 585–590, 57 S.Ct. at pp. 890–92 [1937], 81 L.Ed. at pp. 1290–1293); (2) the condition is related to a legitimate national goal (Charles C. Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, supra, at pp. 590–591, 57 S.Ct. at pp. 892–93, 81 L.Ed. at pp. 1292–1293; See also Note, Federal Grants and the Tenth Amendment: ‘Things As They Are’ and Fiscal Federalism (1981) 50 Fordham L.Rev. 130, 140–141); (3) the condition is related to the purpose of the federal funds whose receipt is conditioned (FCC v. League of Women Voters (1984) 468 U.S. 364, 104 S.Ct. 3106, 3132, 82 L.Ed.2d 278, 309 (Rehnquist, J. dissenting); State of Okl. v. Schweiker, 655 F.2d at pp. 407, 411); and (4) the condition is unambiguous (Pennhurst State School v. Halderman,  451 U.S. at p. 17, 101 S.Ct. at pp. 1539–40 [January 23, 1984])(Pennhurst State School And Hosp v Halderman).
It was in the spirit of such a “living constitution” that Chief Justice John Roberts allied himself with the enemies of limited government on June 28, 2012.  And it is in that sense, much like the Supreme Court in 1937, ruling in Roosevelt’s favor in both of the Social Security Cases, Helvering and Charles Steward above, that Chief Justice John Roberts “saved the Supreme Court” (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-players-abc-news/did-chief-justice-roberts-save-supreme-court-103301790.html).  More likely, Chief Justice John Roberts just danced on Chief Justice John Marshall’s grave and said, “You think that failure to follow the Constitution is Judicial Treason?  Well, let’s see what you’re going to do about it now.”  According to that same article, Chief Justice Roberts had told the Senate at his confirmation hearings:
“Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them,” said Roberts at the time. “The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules, but it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.”

Now, strangely enough, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote a very different kind of opinion in 1820:

The judiciary cannot, as the legislature may, avoid a measure because it approaches the confines of the constitution. We cannot pass it by because it is doubtful. With whatever doubts, with whatever difficulties, a case may be attended, we must decide it, if it be brought before us. We have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the constitution. Questions may occur which we would gladly avoid; but we cannot avoid them. All we can do is, to exercise our best judgment, and conscientiously to perform our duty.  Cohens v State of Virginia, 19 U.S. 264, 5 L.Ed. 257, 6 Wheaton 264 (March 3, 1820)

There is a great deal of confusion among the commentators and pundits, I think, about what “Judicial activism” really means.  I would NOT call Chief Justice John Marshall a Judicial Activist—although, indeed, he advocated throughout his 35 years on the bench a considerably more positive role for the Court in preserving the Constitution than Chief Justice John Roberts has shown to date.  “Judicial Activism” does not mean “striking down unconstitutional laws”—“Judicial Activism” as a term should be reserved for reshaping or restructuring the laws in the absence of Congressional Authority to do so.  The “Warren Court” from 1953-1971 was the epitome of “judicial activism”—the Supreme Court during those two decades effectively rewrote the laws of the United States and told CONGRESS and the STATES what to do, rather than vice-versa.

In the case of Obamacare, Chief Justice John Roberts acts his role as an umpire very poorly.  He has seen the foul, called it (under the commerce clause) and “covered it up” under the guise of the taxing power, which (in reality) is even less constitutionally justified than the commerce clause rationale (which at least has the past 75 years of tradition—however illegitimate, behind it).

And so was the U.S. Constitution rewritten in 1937 to allow for first the “relatively” modest program of Social Security and now, 75 years later—on the occasion of the 75th Annual Hunger Games (cf. Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire [2009] and Mockingjay [2010], both New York: Scholastic Press)—Obamacare comes forward to cap the fraud by, in Chief Justice John Roberts’ view—a non-coercive, mere “Tax” on those who do not buy governmentally mandated insurance… and of course, jail for those who do not pay their taxes.

SO WHAT IS THE SHORT-TERM SOLUTION?  NULLIFY OBAMACARE!  I should say that, without any hesitation whatsoever, I absolutely endorse and support the Tenth Amendment Center’s position on Obamacare (this Los Angeles based think tank is just one of the brightest stars on the Political Horizon—of our New Red Dawn):

Now that the Supremes have crushed Constitutional limits once again, the next step is to focus all our energy on a state and local level to NULLIFY this – and every other – unconstitutional act.
We have model legislation for yor state.  Ready to go right now.  Press your state reps to introduce this bill today, or for the next legislative session.
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/federal-health-care-nullification-act/
Please SHARE this information widely!
*******
We need your help to continue this work, and help people take the next step at the state level.  Please join us, and help nullification happen!  Whether it’s $500 or $5, every bit of help right now is crucial!
Please visit this link to help now:
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/donate/
*******
Thomas Jefferson told us that when the government “assumes undelegated powers” a nullification is THE “rightful remedy”
James Madison said that states were “duty bound to interpose….to arrest the progress of evil”
Today’s ruling is an assumption of undelegated powers, and evil is advancing.  The time to act in support of nullification in your area is NOW!  Please share the model legislation for Obamacare with as many people as possible, and please chip in as generously as possible to help us push this campaign aggressively.
While the task is difficult, our cause is just.
Concordia res parvae crescunt,
(small thing grow great by concord)
Michael Bolding
Tenth Amendment Center
==================================================
Our mailing address is:
Tenth Amendment Center
123 S. Figueroa St
Suite 1614
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Our telephone:
213.935.0553

AND WHAT DO I DO AS I WATCH ALL THIS TRANSPIRE?

I sigh.  I cry.  And sometimes I just want to lie down and die.  This is not the land of my birth, even though on the map it generally looks like it should be the same country as it was in 1960.

The transformation over the past fifty two years is simply horrific.  52 years was a key cycle of time among the Aztec, Maya, Mixtec, Tarascans & Zapotec in ancient Mesoamerica, and I can only say that I feel a certain sympathy for how an Aztec born in 1518 might have felt looking at the wreckage of his once proud nation in 1570 after 52 years of Spanish conquest, rape and pillage.  Like an Aztec born in the last year before the arrival of the Spanish, I have grown up and come to age watching my own people (the American Middle Class, especially Protestants of European descent) reduced to second class status, my people’s most attractive and beautiful women taken as prizes by the conquerors, my nation’s heritage and values denigrated, suppressed and taught in the schools as nothing but “heresy” from the New World Order.

I do speak Spanish fairly well and have spent many of the happier moments in my life in Mexico and elsewhere in the Hispanic World, from Bogotá to Barcelona, and I keep in touch with many friends and acquaintances of a Constitutional mindset from those parts of the world.  When they ask me what I consider to be the greatest single constitutional development under the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama, I tell them without hesitation: N.A.D.A.  (aka Senate Bill 1867, you know, the statute that effectively repealed the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments that passed the Senate 93-7 last December).

The New Deal: When Lawyers Became the Masters of our Destiny by Making Paper more valuable than Property

New Deal of Deception by Designation: “Security”                                  A Working Draft of Research in Progress © Charles Edward Lincoln Sunday October 23, 2011 

         The “New Deal” is the name given by political historians to the “recovery & relief” programs initiated during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term as President (March 4, 1933-January 20, 1937).   While many of Roosevelt’s iconic “relief” programs, including the NRA, the WPA, and CCC were either struck down by the Supreme Court or repealed during World War II, the modern legacy of the New Deal includes some familiar names of the most powerful governmental agencies and programs.

The list of six most famous “New Deal” agencies which remain active today, still operating under their original names, includes (1) the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), (2) the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), (3) the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and (4) the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). By far the largest “New Deal” programs still in existence today are (5) the Social Security Administration (headed by the Independent “Commissioner of Social Security”) and (6) the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—because these two “independent commissions” in essence control and define the modern economy.  All of these programs are tightly knit together in one single tapestry of centralization of economic “command and control”.

What each of these six programs had in common with the other was nothing less than the transformation of various areas of American life by redefining it, by altering the cultural and normative understandings of certain words, phrases, and standards of behavior and transforming the legal landscape, replacing the traditional Anglo-American common law with modern regulatory codes.  The trajectory of each program merits some attention and reflection here, from the most general program to the most specific and limited.

TVA: TEMPLATE FOR A CENTRALLY PLANNED FUTURE

         Most discrete and delineated territorially within the country, and yet most overwhelmingly powerful in regard to “cradle to grave” impact on the lives of those forming its target population, the TVA was the most comprehensive governmental regional reorganization and restructuring plan ever undertaken in world history, and remains the longest lived such plan (still operating up to the present day after almost eighty years as a major techno-economic and socio-cultural planning “corporation”).

Chartered by Congress during Roosevelt’s famous “First Hundred Days” (in May 1933), the TVA manifests, in essence, the ideal of the Centrally Planned Society: a region including parts of seven States in the Protestant Old South transformed and reshaped under the leadership of an ethnic Jew of Austro-Slovakian parentage named David Eli Lilienthal, trained at Harvard by fellow Austrian-born Jew Felix Frankfurter. Frankfurter was famous in teens and twenties as a socialist radical, paving the way for the New Deal by advocated “judicial restraint” in dealing with government misdeeds, including greater freedom for administrative agencies from judicial oversight…..  In practice, this meant that (as Roosevelt’s 1938 appointee to the Supreme Court as the third Jewish Supreme Court Justice to Replace Benjamin Cardozo) Frankfurter would generally uphold all executive branch actions, including those of administrative agencies and government corporations against all constitutional challenges so long as they did not “shock the conscience” (meaning of course, his own conscience).

After 20 years in government, establishing first the TVA and then the Atomic Energy Commission, Lilienthal worked for several years for the investment bank Lazard Freres, and in 1955, formed an engineering and consulting firm called Development and Resources Corporation (D&R) which took the TVA’s objectives worldwide: major centrally planned public power and public works projects. Lilienthal was able to leverage the financial backing of Lazard Freres to found his company. He hired former associates from the TVA to work with him at D&R.  D&R focused on overseas clients, including Post-Mossadegh/Early Shahist Iran, and similarly politically oriented “forced cultural evolution” or “regional development” projects to suppress regional dissent and thus support U.S. backed regimes or programs in Colombia, Venezuela, India, Southern Italy, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, and above all, South Vietnam.

Because of Lilienthal’s leadership, TVA is said to be the model which the State of Israel emulated in its reorganization and redesign of Palestine after 1947, and the Tennessee Valley Authority stands as the template for U.S. Overseas Development up through and including the reconstruction of Iraq after 2003—a nearly eighty year run.  Nothing quite like the TVA ever happened again inside the United States, however.

FHA: TO ABOLISH THE DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN CITIES AND URBAN AREAS

         After the TVA’s design to redefine 100% of the way of life in a general region, the next broadest program of the six surviving New Deal Programs has been the acquisition and maintenance of interests in housing.  Born of a depression wherein millions were displaced, providing housing for about forty years for tens of millions, the New Deal legacy in 2011 is a cloaked depression, or perhaps a planned “genocide” in which an astounding 30-50 million Americans are losing or have lost their homes acquired and maintained since the New Deal under the aegis of Federal Government Programs.

For its “constructive” part in the transformation, the Federal Housing Authority was a massive nationwide “lending” umbrella project to fund the mass construction of housing—it also could be called the “Suburban Genesis Authority” or “the Abolition of Urban-Rural Distinctions Authority.”  Just as the TVA transformed parts of the landscape from Virginia through Tennessee to Mississippi, the Federal Housing Authority played a decisive role in moving people out of the cities and off farms into the vast suburban wastelands which now occupy immense percentages of the most fertile farm land in the world and are increasingly marred by decay and degeneracy brought on by foreclosure and eviction—empty ruins being sold off through “Investment Visa EB-5” and “Green Card” sales to thousands of Arabic and Chinese foreign investors with interests hard to characterize or predict except with the wildest speculation.

The Federal Housing Authority was originally created by the National Housing Act of 1934, which was amended in 1938 (Roosevelt’s Second Term) to create the Federal National Mortgage Association “Fannie Mae”, which under Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon metamorphosized and split into “Ginny Mae” (Government National Mortgage Association”) and “Freddie Mac” (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association) to “foster competition”, even though all three entities remained entirely government controlled and Freddie and Fannie are now [since their “renationalization” by executive fiat in September 2008] owned by the U.S. Treasury Department and controlled by FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Authority).

The Federal Housing Authority now exists within the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “HUD” was established in 1965 among the first steps of Lyndon B. Johnson’s program called the “Great Society”, which was not coincidentally also the first major expansion of Government Centralization in the United States SINCE the “New Deal” (and also not coincidentally formed part of the same program as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965).  The Federal Housing Authority remains today the key government agency supervising the Banking Industry’s role in mortgage finance and securitization of home loans.

In short, the TVA was all about completely reconditioning and reworking technology, society and culture in one region considered particularly “backward” and in need of “development”.  And having done so without significant protest or expressions of pain, TVA, became the model for “foreign aid” for the development of “Third World” Countries, while the FHA was a more general program to restructure the urban and rural landscape by “stimulating” housing construction and lowering costs nationwide.  There are those who say that the housing foreclosure and eviction crisis brought on by Federal financial programs means that the time for a national TVA has finally come, and that the next “Third World Country” to be forceably re-engineered and developed is the U.S., except this time it will be a much more diverse consortium of Near Eastern and Chinese experts who will impose their own standards of “conscience” on our legal system and the interpretation of our constitution.

THE FOURTH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT: INDEPENDENT COMMMISSIONS OR AGENCIES, INCLUDING THE SEC, SOCIAL SECURITY, IRS, AND FEDERAL RESERVE: UTTERLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL & CONTROLLED BY INDUSTRY INSIDERS

Regarding distinct onomastic pattern characterizes the list of six after the TVA “Corporation” and the sub-cabinet level FHA: two “Insurance Corporations” and two “Security Commissions”— (1) the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), (2) the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), together with (5) the Social Security System and (6) the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It is worth noting that in 1933 the United States Government owned no corporations whatsoever, at least not “outright”, although it had certainly chartered and funded some, including the great transcontinental railroads in the 19th century and many large banks after the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, and regulated many others, especially after the enactment of the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890 and (never coincidentally, the establishment of the first “Independent Commission” namely) the Interstate Commerce Commission (“ICC”) in 1887.

With the aforementioned dominance of the great transcontinental railroads in the U.S. in the late 1800s, legislators in the several states established commissions to effectively supervise them. State legislators delegated power to unelected and “independent” commissions in the belief that “specialists” could more readily accumulate expert knowledge to regulate the railroads than the legislators could do on behalf of the people. However, when the U.S. Supreme Court in 1886 struck down an Illinois statute on railroad commerce involving neighboring states, the U.S. Congress intervened. Congress copied state “unelected industry specialist” approach and established the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in 1887.  Congress authorized the ICC to issue orders regarding the rates set by the railroads and to enforce its orders in court.  The Constitutional authority for Independent Commissions under the United States Constitution of 1787, and as amended since then is, as the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger once confided to me in 1993 in Palm Beach, Florida, “absolutely nil.”

However, no successful challenge to the existence of these “independent commissions” has ever been litigated through the courts.  For this reason, after the ICC, Congress established many more {independent} regulatory commissions in the early 1900s, to include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Power Commission (FPC), the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS: Headed by the “Commissioner of Internal Revenue”), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC—which took over from David Lilienthal’s Atomic Energy Commission or “AEC” mentioned above), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and of course, last but not least, the Social Security Administration (SSA: Headed by the “Commissioner of Social Security”).  More recently many “Independent Agencies” such as the Environmental Protection Agency have been created, always preserving, for whatever reason, the three letter monogram style of name.

These Commissions almost always work closely with Executive Branch Cabinet Officers and Administrative Bureaucracy whose officers CAN be fired by the President.  Officers of the Independent Commissions cannot be discharged by the Chief Executive nor, at least not without impeachment, by Congress, although they serve for limited terms.  In “Constitutional Law I” at the University of Chicago with Judge Richard Allen Posner, we spent a great deal of time on the unsuccessful constitutional challenges to the Independent Commissions over the past century.

In blatant defiance of any principles of separation-of-powers, the independent commissions/independent “executive” agencies all both have and exercise powers that functionally parallel all three branches of federal government as established by the Constitution. These Commissions/Agencies legislate by publication in the Federal Register/Code of Federal Regulations when they adopt or enact their own regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency, for example, adopts or enacts regulations limiting pollution emissions by industry.

Independent agencies also carry out executive functions, such as when the Interstate Commerce Commission checks to ensure that trucks have proper safety features.  Finally, many officers of independent agencies act in judicial capacity in “administrative” courts when they hold hearings and issue fines for violations of their undemocratically decreed regulations. Their powers, however, are at least theoretically limited by Congress. Congress may alter, amend, or appeal legislation delegating authority to an agency. The president may remove the head of an agency “for cause” (but not for disagreement with policy or decisions).  Under the desperately deferential “Chevron” standard, the courts (also mostly theoretically) may (but only very occasionally do) declare agency action to be unconstitutional or outside the grant of authority from Congress.

While not officially described as an “Independent Commission”, the Federal Reserve is set up in exactly the same way as the others listed above, and for many of the same practical and political reasons, its de jure “independence” of the government means de facto dependence on the industry being regulated, namely in the Federal Reserve’s case, the banking industry. Like every other “Independent Agency,” the Federal Reserve is independent within government in that “its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government.”  However, its authority derives from Congress and Congressional statutes and is subject to “congressional oversight.”  Additionally, the members of the Board of Governors, including its chairman and vice-chairman, are chosen by the President and confirmed by the advice and consent of the Senate. Congress and the President also exercises not insignificant political control over the Federal Reserve by appointing and setting the salaries of the system’s highest-level employees.

Thus the Federal Reserve Board is populated by Banking “Industry Insiders” and its chairman always hails from Wall Street in New York or at least La Salle Street in Chicago. Like the original ICC, the Federal Reserve epitomizes the government-and-corporate cooperation which is neither democratically controlled by the people through their elected officials for the public good nor permits any genuine “laissez-faire” free-market competition by the operation of any such primitive principles as supply and demand, never mind customer satisfaction with service.   “Independent Commissions” are quintessentially creatures of government “by the industry, of the industry, for the industry” allegedly being “regulated” in the public good.  “Independent Commissions”, in short, constitute a fraudulent and unconstitutional mixture of governmental authority and corporate (financial) power.

TRANSFORMING THE MEANING OF “SECURITY” FROM PRIVATE PROPERTY TO PUBLIC PROMISES