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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired in Florida for over two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

If Men Were Angels, Nance's Book, Declalring a National Emergency, a Michael Gerson column and the President's Big Success


The President Should Declare a National Emergency

Indeed there is a National Emergency!  And in the absence of remedial action by the Congress, it is necessary for the President to declare one to exist! Yes!

But it has nothing whatsoever to do with our Southern border.  It is the gun violence which exists in this country today manifested by periodic mass shootings such as what took place at Parkland, Sutherland Springs, the Las Vegas concert, Aurora, Sebring, San Bernardino, Columbine, Pittsburgh, Newtown, the Pulse Night Club and other locations almost too numerous to mention.  True, the perpetrators of these shootings were mentally unbalanced, all of them, but that is not the avenue to pursue to find a remedy.  It is impossible to keep track of all of the disturbed people in our country, or those whose anger might push them over the edge into irresponsibly dangerous behavior involving weapons. (And of course, we have terrorists as well to consider.) 

This is the National Emergency which the President must address. It is time to recognize that beside the unpoliceable and warped mental state of the killers, there is only one thing these tragedies have in common: guns.  The proliferation of firearms in the hands of Americans is the emergency we face!  

Congress and the Supreme Court have failed to deal with it properly and people continue to be killed.  And they are killed with bullets shot from guns, of which there are over 300,000,000 in this country in civilian hands. Three Hundred Million guns! And this is because of the perpetuation of a gross misinterpretation of the Second Amendment to our Constitution. This is the National Emergency which the President must address.  Lives are at stake, and far, far, more than any perceived danger on our Southern border.

The Second Amendment of the Constitution should be suspended until it can be properly rewritten to allow the possession of weapons by civilians only for hunting, target shooting, and to a very limited and carefully defined extent, personal protection.  During such a National Emergency, possession of a weapon for other than these reasons should be treated as a felony.

I call upon the President to declare such a National Emergency today!  He has the power to do it.
Jack Lippman


If Men Were Angels, No Government Would Be Necessary James Madison


In the previous posting, I recommended Federalist Papers 47 and 51 as required reading for our Congress, and anyone else with some time to spare.  (the Federalist Papers were a collection of essays written back in 1787 and 1788 in support of ratification by New York State of the new Constitution.)  They were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.  (No slouches!)  Numbers 47 and 51, quoted from here, were written by Madison.
 
James Madison 
Both dealt with the “separation of powers” in the new government.  Number 47 pointed out the dangers of not having that separation and illustrated the necessity of having it protected in the proposed Constitution and Number 51 described how the checks and balances built into the Constitution would work.  Here follow some excerpts from the words of James Madison.  (The highlighting is mine, not Madison’s.) 

When you read them, please think about how they today apply to our three branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial, and more specifically, how they apply to our President well as to the Republican leadership in the Senate and the  Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives.  Read on:
 
From No. 47 “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judicial, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” 
 
“where the whole power of one department is exercised by the same hands which possess the whole power of another department, the fundamental principles of a free constitution are subverted.”

“When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body,” says he, “there can be no liberty …” (Here Madison quotes the political philosopher, Montesquieu)

“the legislative departments shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them; the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them; the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them.”  (Here Madison describes how the several State constitutions have dealt with the separation of powers.  This example, he cites, was from the Massachusetts Constitution.)



From No. 51 “To what expedient, then, shall we finally resort for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments as laid down in the Constitution?  The only answer that can be given is, that as all these exterior provisions are found to be inadequate,
Talking to one another is necessary
the defect must be supplied by so contriving the interior structure of the government as that its several constituent parts may, by their mutual relations, be the means of keeping each other in their proper places.”

“each department should have a will of its own.”

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.  If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”

“the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other.”

“In republican government the legislative authority necessarily predominates.  The remedy for this inconveniency is to divide the legislature into different branches.”

“As the weight of the legislative authority requires that it should be thus divided, the weakness of the executive may require, on the other hand, that it should be fortified.”

“Justice is the end of government.  It is the end of civil society.  (By “end,” Madison means “goal” or “aim.”)  It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.  In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger; and, as in the latter state even the stronger individuals are prompted, by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves …”

JL


Dealing With the President's Success

Gerson








The one thing the President has done successfully is to have avoided the kind of direct contact with already convicted criminals and those under indictment sufficient to justify his impeachment and removal from office.  It is clear that he is unfit for the office he holds (check out a recent column - published on Jan. 28 - by the Washington Post's Michael Gerson BY CLICKING HERE) but unfortunately, we will be stuck with him until 2020 unless he resigns.  Gerson makes clear that Trump's campaign promises were worthless. 

Robert Mueller's report, if and when released, I predict, will fall short of justifying indicting Donald Trump.  But it will still cast a great shadow upon him, enough to religate his presidency to the sewer of American history, where it will force the rats already there to scurry away in horror. 

Unidentified Occupant of White House
Needless to say, the President has numerous supporters, but look who they are and what they are saying. Examine both their credibility and their arguments and it becomes clear that both have the substance of tissue paper.  As I repeatedly have urged, watch Fox News to understand how Trump’s supporters have been brainwashed with half-truths, outright lies and innuendo.  (Malcolm Nance's book - See "Politicklers" below - attributes this to Russian efforts.) But this support, sadly, is what, along with that of those legislators who knowingly and hypocritically depend on the votes of Trump's "base" to remain in office, enables the President to avoid impeachment, regardless of the damage he does to the nation.  (And in the background, the Russians and perhaps the Chinese are smiling.)

The answer:  Only vote for those candidates who openly oppose not only the President, but all elected officials who support him.  Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio are no better than Donald Trump. They are his enablers. There are no good Republicans unless they strongly denounce and oppose the President, and this is not the time for seeking shelter in the middle of the road. Too much is at stake.
JL


Some Politicklers

  • The United States is  definitely NOT a banana republic.  If it were, by this time the military would have engineered a coup and for the country's good, seized the government and sent the President into exile. That's the way it is usually done south of the Rio Grande.  But we are not a banana republic.
  • Actually, Donald Trump is not the problem.  The millions of Americans who voted for him and who support him for any number of reasons, most of which won't hold water, are!  He is the legitimately elected President of the United States and because of them, we are stuck with him.  And when Trump is gone, they will be the problem, a very big one.
  • Well, I’ve finished Malcolm Nance’s “The Plot to Destroy Democracy.” 
    Nance
    Despite its lack of good editing, making it a more difficult read than it should be, its message cannot be ignored.   Vladimir Putin’s massive effort to weaken democracy in the Western world, using every intelligence, communications, electronic, social, political and most importantly, psychological, tool available provided him with what was initially a na├»ve, gullible and unwitting asset … but once ensnared, one that has become a more willing asset to be used in the destruction of democracy, replacing it with Russia-centered autocracy.  That asset is Donald J. Trump, whose vanity, ego and no more than modest intelligence prevent him from understanding how he is being used.  I am sure the intelligence apparatus of the United States, and Special Prosecutor Mueller as well, know everything, and far more, than is contained in Nance’s book.  That will save democracy unless it is already too late.

JL


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