The Supreme Court Needs an Update

The highest court of the United States is in a dire need of an update. The current process of a justice’s nomination by the President who is in office at time of a justice’s death or retirement, followed by the nominee’s Congressional approval, has left us a court with a diseased and prejudiced mandate. We need to change to a system whereby the justices are elected by a majority of the people. This has become overwhelmingly obvious based on recent decisions. The highest court of the land has been highjacked by angry biased men, perhaps even vindictive men, with a very fixed set of agenda that does not consider the good of the country but only the benefit of a select few.

Jurisprudence, by its’ very definition, implies a common sense interpretation of the law. Instead we have a court in which the majority relies on a sense of exclusion, a catering to the elite, the wealthy, the constrained. No longer is the court basing its’ decisions on the will of the people, it has become the will of the corporate elite, in short an oligarchy. This is leading dangerously to a government teetering between a democracy and a plutocracy. It is said that every one has a price and it has become apparent that the majority of justices have been bought.

Sadly this is evident in recent deplorable decisions that would leave the Founding Father’s literally gobsmacked. We need to carry on the pure ideals of Democracy if we are to survive as a Democracy. The world and the multinational corporations that have usurped control are turning the globe into a giant Monopoly game. If you’ve ever played the game eventually all the resources and money are controlled by the few and everybody else has to pay and pay. Senator Elizabeth Warren, the bold and unflinching senator from Massachusetts has framed this reality quite succintly by stating: “The Game is rigged!”

No longer is the Republican Party the voice of the people. It has become the voice of corporate America. They are not conservative now. They are greedy, prejudice and irresponsible. Be not deceived however, all Democrats are not created equal. There are Democrats who would gladly uphold the corporate oligarchy just as the Republicans are attempting to do. The original purpose of establishing the Supreme Court as a branch of the Federal Government was to safeguard against such an environment. They were to exercise jurisprudence, a practical application of the law based on common sense for the benefit of the majority of the citizens of the United States of America. It is time we hold their feet to the fire before it’s too late!

We need to modernize the nomination process. Make it so that the Presidential appointment is not approved by Congress but instead by a public election. Another possibility is each Justice, upon announcement of their retirement, nominates their own successor, which again would require an election and be subjected to approval by the majority. The courts weild too much power and judges need to be vetted the same way we question our elected officials before the vote. We must amend the Constitution. The Constitution must be able to evolve with the times. The prescience of the Founding Fathers cannot be denied; however there is no way they could have foreseen the current boondoggle we find ourselves in and have written in a precise clause to protect our Democracy. It is up to us now as informed citizens of the United States to amend the Constitution and preserve its’ original intent. A government by the People, of the People and for the People. Not a government by the rich, of the rich and for the rich.

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything!” — Alexander Hamilton

“Power over a man’s subsistence is power over his will.” —Alexander Hamilton

Get off the cell phone and Drive — Jake Shween

The Supreme Court Needs an Update

The highest court of the United States is in a dire need of an update. The current process of a justice’s nomination by the President who is in office at time of a justice’s death or retirement, followed by the nominee’s Congressional approval, has left us a court with a diseased and prejudiced mandate. We need to change to a system whereby the justices are elected by a majority of the people. This has become overwhelmingly obvious based on recent decisions. The highest court of the land has been highjacked by angry biased men, perhaps even vindictive men, with a very fixed set of agenda that does not consider the good of the country but only the benefit of a select few.

Jurisprudence, by its’ very definition, implies a common sense interpretation of the law. Instead we have a court in which the majority relies on a sense of exclusion, a catering to the elite, the wealthy, the constrained. No longer is the court basing its’ decisions on the will of the people, it has become the will of the corporate elite, in short an oligarchy. This is leading dangerously to a government teetering between a democracy and a plutocracy. It is said that every one has a price and it has become apparent that the majority of justices have been bought.

Sadly this is evident in recent deplorable decisions that would leave the Founding Father’s literally gobsmacked. We need to carry on the pure ideals of Democracy if we are to survive as a Democracy. The world and the multinational corporations that have usurped control are turning the globe into a giant Monopoly game. If you’ve ever played the game eventually all the resources and money are controlled by the few and everybody else has to pay and pay. Senator Elizabeth Warren, the bold and unflinching senator from Massachusetts has framed this reality quite succintly by stating: “The Game is rigged!”

No longer is the Republican Party the voice of the people. It has become the voice of corporate America. They are not conservative now. They are greedy, prejudice and irresponsible. Be not deceived however, all Democrats are not created equal. There are Democrats who would gladly uphold the corporate oligarchy just as the Republicans are attempting to do. The original purpose of establishing the Supreme Court as a branch of the Federal Government was to safeguard against such an environment. They were to exercise jurisprudence, a practical application of the law based on common sense for the benefit of the majority of the citizens of the United States of America. It is time we hold their feet to the fire before it’s too late!

We need to modernize the nomination process. Make it so that the Presidential appointment is not approved by Congress but instead by a public election. Another possibility is each Justice, upon announcement of their retirement, nominates their own successor, which again would require an election and be subjected to approval by the majority. The courts weild too much power and judges need to be vetted the same way we question our elected officials before the vote. We must amend the Constitution. The Constitution must be able to evolve with the times. The prescience of the Founding Fathers cannot be denied; however there is no way they could have foreseen the current boondoggle we find ourselves in and have written in a precise clause to protect our Democracy. It is up to us now as informed citizens of the United States to amend the Constitution and preserve its’ original intent. A government by the People, of the People and for the People. Not a government by the rich, of the rich and for the rich.

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything!” — Alexander Hamilton

“Power over a man’s subsistence is power over his will.” —Alexander Hamilton

Get off the cell phone and Drive — Jake Shween

Wanted: Independent Leaders for the Republican Party

The Republican party of the United States is in dire need of a complete overhaul. Somehow they have gone seriously off course. By pandering to the far right of extremism and embracing such monolithic mouthpieces as Limbaugh, Trump and Fox News the party has become lost in a morass of discord and hatred. At least Mitt Romney had the tact to admit defeat graciously in spite of the fact that he led a devious campaign filled with distortions of reality. Now Fox News has the crazy people in their glorious team of social miscreants accusing the other side of playing dirty to win the election! Of course the blow hard Trump and Limbaugh are quick to join in this cacophony of blithering idiocy. Whoa to the Republican party if it continues to let these mental midgets define who they are!

The Republican party is in dire need of some person to step above this fray. Someone with the will and fortitude to stand up to and put to rest this creed of lobbyist Grover Norquist. A free thinker who can put the former Scranton weatherman Bill O’Reilly in his place when O’Reilly suggests that the Republican party failed because the majority of people in The United States of America have declining moral values. Stop making excuses that have no basis in reality! The American people are wising up to the Republicans distortions of reality and very bad math. Put forth a free thinker who without condescension can tell the truth to America and argue for a wiser form of government. If not the Republican party will continue to disintegrate into a party that relies on hatred, lies, distortions and name calling if they have any hope of further deceiving the general population and that is not a path to lasting success.

Unfortunately for now there seems to be no such person on the horizon for the Republicans. Any rising star they have quickly becomes part of the military industrial complex and puts on the jack boots of their party members. Even the so called mavericks of the party have been stilted. The tea party has turned into the fossil fuel party. Maybe a camping trip to Greenland in the summer time is in order to prove to the last of the nay sayers that carbon dioxide is indeed heating the atmosphere and something needs to be done quickly and completely to avert worse disaster. Republicans need to embrace science and stop pretending it is something made up to bewilder them and call their faith into question. The sooner the party realizes that it can’t bully its way out of every problem the sooner they might produce a capable and courageous candidate who will not only earn the respect of the American people they will deserve it.

“Conservatives define themselves in terms of what they oppose.” — George Will

“I have a very large Twitter.” — Donald Trump

“The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them.” — Rush Limbaugh

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Note: This was originally posted on November 7th 2012. It seems particularly relevant today as the Nation came precariously close to defaulting on its’ loans due to some delusional Republicans who had forgotten who won the Presidency. The message is the same.

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China and The Reign of Error

We should look to China as a harsh and toxic example of what can happen in a society where industrialization is left unchecked. “Man must conquer nature” was a popular slogan of Chairman Mao and the carryover of such an attitude and the consequences of such values are quite evident today. The air in the country is so polluted that in many cities it is unwise to go outside without some form of respirator on to clean the air you breathe. Recent photographs of China are tinted in a strange yellowish haze attesting to the huge amounts of particulate matter that is in the atmosphere there as a direct result of coal fired generators powering their factories. Eventually the dust of all the extensive heavy industry settles and now much of the rice in China is tainted with very dangerous amounts of heavy metals. One metal in particular, cadmium, is quite toxic to the liver and kidneys as well as being a carcinogen that is also proven to weaken bones. The government, as is typical in China, is of course denying there is any problem but the public result has been for consumers to switch to rice grown in Thailand when available.

Quality control in China suffers as well as is evident in the proliferation of failing solar panels. Today the New York Times reported on such defective panels that are failing after only two years of operation when their reported durability is twenty five years. It was several years ago that they flooded the market with cheap panels and drove many of their competitors, particularly those based in the United States out of business. One can only conjecture if those panels had a higher trade tariff imposed and perhaps were not subsidized by the Chinese government that a better quality, made in the U.S.A. product would have emerged as a longer lasting reliable product! This is what happens when corners are cut and deregulation runs rampant. It is also a clear illustration of ways that government can impose safety regulations and minimum production standards in a manner that is beneficial to the environment and the consumer as well. Cheaper is almost never better in the long run!

Now a Chinese company,  Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. has made a bid on a United States company for the acquisition of Smithfield Foods Inc. for 4.7 billion dollars. This deal, the largest purchase to date of a U.S. company would take the worlds largest pork producer private. Let’s hope that the food contamination issues as well as the incredible lack of quality control issues that are mentioned above don’t carry over to taint the food supply in the United States. At this point in the purchase it is up to the regulators to examine this deal and make sure that the food supply remains safe. As consumers we should look at this deal with a skeptical eye. We have seen what happens when regulations are overlooked and business is allowed to run rampant. Suddenly that ham on rye doesn’t sound so appetizing!

“Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let’s not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources.” — Ronald Reagan

“Ronald Reagan really said that. No wonder he is the figure head of the Republican Party. Remarks like that are quite frightening and damn ignorant in their lack of scientific fact.” — Jake Shween

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Christie Goes Rogue; Give ’em Hell Harry; Get Well Hillary

Somehow the disaster relief bill for hurricane Sandy did not qualify for a last minute vote in the House, a bill that had already passed in the Senate. Boehner struck again and cancelled the vote in retaliation after his two capos, Cantor and McCarthy refused to fall in line and vote in favor of the fiscal cliff deal. Political posturing has no place in times of desperate need. Look for quick changes in the line of succession as the new congress convenes. If the alleged Capo de tutti capi can’t control his lieutenants it’s time for a changing of the guard. Looks like the New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took stern notice of the lack of concern for his state. It’s quite obvious that the House mafia doesn’t realize how a “Jersey Boy” takes care of things when the family gets out of hand. Rumor has it that there is a plot in the meadow-lands already picked out for the old house speaker.

Meanwhile very quietly and under the wire the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was tirelessly at work today making many federal appointments with a solid majority and no debate today on the Senate floor. This was under the auspices of Republican Minority leader Mitch McConnell who had recently been in a standoff with Reid over the Fiscal Cliff negotiations. Enter Joe Biden with solid experience in negotiating with McConnell. Who can conjecture what actually went down but the result is Harry made many appointments with no objections whatsoever. Thank you Joe and Harry for doling out a little Hades when necessary.

The Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was released from hospital today! This lady is one of the most capable leaders on the planet. It was great to see her happy family with her as she was released. We all wish her a quick and strong recovery. The Democratic party has designs on her as the front runner in a 2016 bid as the parties’ nominee for president. But, who knows? 2016 is still a long way off. By then maybe Chris Christie will have flipped to the Democratic party! Maybe he can see the light and try to run an up and coming United States of America. After all he is in charge right now of the United States of Jersey — no small feat unto itself!

“The Government itself is like running the Sopranos and they sit back and they make deals. And they say okay, ‘I’m going to do this: France you’re going to get the pipelines.'” — George Clooney

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” — Vince Lombardi

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Wanted: Independent Leaders for the Republican Party

The Republican party of the United States is in dire need of a complete overhaul. Somehow they have gone seriously off course. By pandering to the far right of extremism and embracing such monolithic mouthpieces as Limbaugh, Trump and Fox News the party has become lost in a morass of discord and hatred. At least Mitt Romney had the chops to admit defeat graciously in spite of the fact that he led a devious campaign filled with distortions of reality. Now Fox News has the crazy people in their glorious team of social miscreants accusing the other side of playing dirty to win the election! Of course the blow hard Trump and Limbaugh are quick to join in this cacophony of blithering idiocy. Whoa to the Republican party if it continues to let these mental midgets define who they are!

The Republican party is in dire need of some person to step above this fray. Someone with the will and fortitude to stand up to and put to rest this creed of lobbyist Grover Norquist. A free thinker who can put the former Scranton weatherman Bill O’Reilly in his place when O’Reilly suggests that the Republican party failed because the majority of people in The United States of America have declining moral values. Stop making excuses that have no basis in reality! The American people are wising up to the Republicans distortions of reality and very bad math. Put forth a free thinker who without condescension can tell the truth to America and argue for a wiser form of government. If not the Republican party will continue to disintegrate into a party that relies on hatred, lies, distortions and name calling if they have any hope of further deceiving the general population and that is not a path to lasting success.

Unfortunately for now there seems to be no such person on the horizon for the Republicans. Any rising star they have quickly becomes part of the military industrial complex and puts on the jack boots of their party members. Even the so called mavericks of the party have been stilted. The tea party has turned into the fossil fuel party. Maybe a camping trip to Greenland in the summer time is in order to prove to the last of the nay sayers that carbon dioxide is indeed heating the atmosphere and something needs to be done quickly and completely to avert worse disaster. Republicans need to embrace science and stop pretending it is something made up to bewilder them and call their faith into question. The sooner the party realizes that it can’t bully its way out of every problem the sooner they might produce a capable and courageous candidate who will not only earn the respect of the American people they will deserve it.

“Conservatives define themselves in terms of what they oppose.” — George Will

“I have a very large Twitter.” — Donald Trump

“The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them.” — Rush Limbaugh

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

G.O.P.; Genuflect or Perish

Welcome to the brave new world of 2012 politics. We have established a new party. It is no longer the Republican Party. It is the party of the one percent; The Genuflect or Perish Party! This party cleverly uses the weapons of mass stupidity at their disposal. Fox News leads the charge of this blatant misinformation. It seems that every day they wonderfully spin and skewer the facts to mislead people into believing that the GOP has a valid plan to bring our country back to growth and prosperity. Sean Hannity recently said that people can survive cheaply on beans and rice! He even suggested that we might throw some “cheap meat” in the pot! Pink slime is the answer. Its cheap and has ammonia in it. Ammonia is spelled with two m’s. Must mean mmm this is good.

Mitt Romney stated in brief that the rich should be given congratulations on their wealth. Genuflections are just around the corner. Prepare the masses to eat beans and rice and wait for their trickle down handouts from the rich. Not even food stamps are safe in the newly proposed Paul Ryan budget. Why should we care if people are hungry? If they aren’t rich isn’t it their own fault? Wait just a minute. Didn’t we all play the game of Monopoly as children? Remember how that game would end? Sooner or later someone would own Boardwalk and Park Place and everyone else would pay. This is where our economy stands at this very moment. The rich are in place and are desperately trying to retain control of the media and the masses. The internet and the new age of communication are their worst enemies. It is easy to see why they want to quash education by making it exclusively available to their elitist cabal. Education for the few and privileged only. No lower caste members need apply!

We like to say that America is the “greatest country in the world”. This description is thrown around all the time. If we don’t believe it we are not American. Unfortunately this generalization is outdated. Do we really need to indulge our sense of nationalism to preserve our currently stagnating system of government? Perhaps instead of the “greatest country in the world” we would be wiser to aim for “the most educated country in the world”. This would certainly hep us maintain our cutting edge technologies in the emerging multinational civilization we are embracing. To not fund education, promote its value and preserve the inspiration it provides would be to throw our country into back to prerevolutionary time where we all work as indentured servants for the benefit of the few.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana

“Fifty percent of people won’t vote, and fifty percent don’t read newspapers. I hope it’s the same fifty percent.” — Gore Vidal

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween