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Tag: Constitut

Stewart with Perry; Individual Liberty or Corporations as Humans

by on Nov.28, 2010, under Current

John Stewart interviewed Texas governor Rick Perry on Monday November 8th.  I was very interested to see how Stewart would conduct the interview given his opinions, and his recent call for a return to sanity at some small weekend gathering at his house or something.

In the first minute or so I had hopes that Mr. Perry was going to deliver big with an honest discussion.  He began, as expected, with overreach.  The fact that the Federal government overreaches is not something that I think most people, including myself, would disagree with.  Here is the interview, please watch it for yourself if you haven’t as I do want to share my thoughts, but I don’t want to color your experience.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-november-8-2010/rick-perry-pt–1

Mr. Perry discussed his state’s work to improve the environment and the recent EPA over-ruling TX flexible permitting.  His point about the federal government infringing on the states is important to me as the topic was a major focus during the creation of The Constitution and as such, I’m grateful to him for brining it up; it hasn’t been part of my thoughts.  When he finished his point, though, the conversation turned, in my opinion.

Stewart asked what was, in my opinion, an excellent question.  He suggested the scenario where the state was not doing well in cleaning up the air and asked, reasonably, are you suggesting “the states should have the right to either clean up their air, or not?”  Perry’s answer was not what I was hoping for.

Any time there is a general statement uttered like he gave in answer; that states that disinterested competency is the norm anywhere near federal, state, or local government, credulity is immediately called into question.  A quick scan on Wikipedia yields pages of dispute. 

Alaska lawmakers known as the “Corrupt Bastards Club” were included in charges of extortion, bribery, and conspiracy.  Duvall, Republican, conservative, “that received a perfect 100 percent score from Capitol Resource Institute for continuously voting to protect and preserve family values in California” (SF Examiner)  recently quickly resigned.  Why?  He bragged, inadvertently over a hot microphone, about affairs with two women providing lurid details.

And who can forget…  “An FBI sting operation indicted 44 New Jersey officials and several Rabbis, mainly for bribery, counterfeiting of intellectual property, money laundering, organ harvesting, and political corruption” (Wikipedia).  Organ harvesting; now that’s disinterested government.

Corruption, power, and government are a ready mix, so lying, cheating, and stealing in our elected officials should come as no surprise to anyone.  There is a means to combat it, I’m confident, but I don’t think it’s going to happen until, “We The People”, can all sit down, talk, and then finally, work together.

This interview had me thinking again the promises on which the GOP of today runs and my desire to see more honesty in the general debate.  Of the major calls of the politicians in that camp is a rally to protect individual freedoms.  My opinion is that the maintaining of the freedoms of the individual is the main reason for the existence of the U.S. government, so, of course, I would never discount the importance thereof.

However, there is a difference between individual freedoms, and the freedom of individuals to infringe upon the freedom and rights of others, and this is where I see intentional deception on the part of some members of the GOP that warrants attention.

What concerns me most is the talk of, “the free market”.  When someone speaks about “the free market”, I am at first open, but then, immediately skeptical.  The basic concept speaks to the self-correcting nature of “the market” and the requisite resistance to “intervention”; i.e. regulation of business.  However, following on the call of many who site ill-conceived, or overbearing regulation as a clarion for the elimination of all regulation, Stewart’s question on the acceptability of “how much lead is in their paint?” makes the point.

Whether it be the hedge fund scammer who rob millions of dollars from investors due fraud, a company that ignores safety issues, or even the company that ignores the needs of a hard working single parent, these are countless examples of individuals running the companies, denying the rights guaranteed by our Constitution to the victims. 

In the preamble to The U.S. Constitution, the preamble states several reasons for it’s establishment, but for those yelling the loudest these days, only “provide for the common defense” seems to be known.  Further, the common defense of whom, is not always clear.  And despite the recent Supreme Court capitulation, I will not see a corporation as a human life; I am sure it was not the intent of The Framers to have human rights extended to corporate entities.

The others; “to ensure domestic tranquility”, “to promote the General Welfare”, to “secure the Blessings of Liberty”, and “to establish justice”, don’t seem to be much on those minds.  If we are to hold the government accountable to the Constitution then the last two seem certain to me to say that it has a role in regulating business which has, on countless occasions denied liberty, and even life to far too many citizens.  And I don’t see any justice in allowing people to suffer as the market corrects.

Some politicians seem to be using “small government for you”, “protecting your individual liberty in the best spirit of the founders” as a cover to gather supporters, when the only actual entities they want to protect are corporate entities and those who run them.  Tom Delay (R-TX) was the speaker of the house during the Bush II administration.  He was tied to Jack Abramoff and recently convicted of money laundering.  In his book “No Retreat, No Surrender…”, he writes “My reasoning is simple, if you want to get government regulations off the backs of energy producers, for example, talk to the energy producers about how government gets in their way.  Then get their government affairs people to help you draft legislation.”  The fox guarding the hen house.   With the prime directive of business being “to make money”, I’m quite sure “The People” are more than underrepresented in this paradigm; and has become common.

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