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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Political Correctness or Culture War?

In the past year or so we have encountered  several incidences where the term “ political correctness run amuck” was inserted into the discussion. There was the poorly chosen words of Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty -to the tweets by a couple of NFL players showing their disgust of “the kiss” by Michael Sam and his boyfriend.

I think “political correctness” has taken on a new meaning since it was first introduced. At first,  it meant to be polite, but now it means “ letme be who I am without any repercussion.” Except for Cliven Bundy ,all of the other instances such as the racist rant by Donald Sterling had to do with contract clauses and advertisers. 

The offenders and their supporters think that their “free speech” is being suppressed by political correctness. Obviously that is not the case since no one stopped the people from doing what they thought was appropriate. There’s a time,place,venue, occupation and acceptance for what some call political acceptance. For example,Bill Maher,Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove are given more leniency because of the occupation they are in.No one would have given the words of Cliven Bundy a second thought but at that time he represented a movement. I have problem of a recorded call in privacy of one’s own home being used against them but it happened.But Mr. Sterling had a chance to redeem himself but he dug a deeper hole. The tweets by the two NFL players expressing their views about Michael Sam was immediately stopped by Miami because the club already had a bulling issue to contend with.

The American Spring movement much like the Tea Party of 2009 is about taking back the country to a time before a black president was elected. They don’t like the federal courts overturning state laws that discriminate against gays. These groups get really agree when a president they didn’t vote for, has the audacity to use an executive order to bypass the wishes of the people they voted for. Members of these groups talk fondly of the 1950s when things were their logical order.

Senator Marco Rubio fell victim to GOP political correctness when he said climate change was not man -made. A couple of days later he said regulations to curb greenhouse gases would hurt the economy  but in order to make it right for the base he said “ liberals sought to accept that birth begins at conception.” That’s always a fall back position for conservatives.  

We will overcome this phase of transformation as we have all others.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Why all this fear over executive orders?

Executive orders have been around since day one, when George Washington in 1873 instructed his federal officers to prosecute any citizen from interfering with the war between England and France.

Executive orders are not specifically mentioned in the United States Constitution, but presidents have relied on implied references in Article II of the Constitution.

A.  The executive shall be vested in the president of United States.
B.  The president of the United States is commander- in -chief of the Army and Navy.
C.  The president of United States shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed. 

I don't know why the  legislators are whining about executive orders because they can be overruled by the courts or nullified by the legislators.  Until then, they have the full weight of the law.

Executive order 9066 issued by President Franklin Roosevelt was probably the most outrageous one, because it called for sending 122,000 Japanese- Americans to interment camps.  Congress was equally guilty because of months later they passed a law making it a Federal offense to disobey the executive order.

Then there was President Lincoln in 1861, who suspended the leader of a a militia group, John Merryman's right to appear in court (habeas corpus) but in 1863 Congress officially gave Lincoln that power.

President Teddy Roosevelt broke the 1000 mark for executive orders but his fifth 'cause and Franklin D. Roosevelt more than tripled that with 3522 of those bad boys.

I know it  would anger me every time President George W. Bush would sign a law passed by Congress and then attach a signing statement saying that he reserved the right to go around that law is necessary.  I never got upset over the amount of executive orders because was all was about what was in those executive orders.
A lot of the anger over President Obama's use of executive orders can be traced back to his winning two consecutive presidential races.  The voters who lost want their representatives to hold the presidency to the fire until reinforcements arrive.  Those voters don't realize that Congress or the  Supreme Court has already given the president the powers to issue those executive orders.  For example, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA  has the right to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean-Air  Act.  To them, it's not how many executive orders President Obama issues because they don't want him to the issue any.  They ignore all the executive orders other presidents have used and say Obama is a monarch or worse yet a dictator because he uses the legal tools at his disposal to get things done.