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Dissenting while I still can - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Dissenting while I still can [Feb. 4th, 2010|01:54 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |worriedworried]

Can I please have permission to just punch Justice Clarence Thomas in the face?

In a speech he gave at Stetson University, he apparently said that some criticism of the court and government was getting out of hand. This is, frankly, terrifying. The ability of the people to criticize their government is the foundation of this country, and those who have acted against it end with a shadow over their names in history. Justice Thomas is one of the nine people charged with defending those rights, and now he thinks such criticism is out of hand? Unnerving.

He also defended the SCOTUS decision that corporations can spend money on political campaigns and candidates just like other people. To quote:

"I found it fascinating that the people who were editorializing against it were The New York Times Company and The Washington Post Company," Thomas said, according to a report in The New York Times. "These are corporations."

Let's parse this a moment. Justice Thomas is baffled that corporations would editorialize against the decision when they themselves are the beneficiaries of it? Perhaps, Mr. Justice, this should tell you something: when corporations are appalled by rights you're giving them, maybe you're off the mark with your decision. If the state of Ohio suddenly ruled that all people who live in houses with even-numbered addresses had the right to claim the property of people living at odd-numbered addresses, I would not regard this as a great benefit to myself. Just because I could benefit from it doesn't mean that I would be in the right to do so.

So perhaps instead of calling these newspaper companies goofy for not being pleased at getting their trotters in the trough, you should reconsider whether giving the keys to the country to such stellar performers and AIG and Enron, or foreign corporations doing business in the US, is either wise or what the forefathers had in mind.

Canada sounds better all the time.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2010-02-04 06:59 pm (UTC)
I was especially proud of Obama for saying openly that he disagreed with their decision several times, once even in front of them.

Canada does sound better, but we should have escaped to there immediately after the 2000 election. I'm not sure they'll let anyone from here in anymore.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-04 08:28 pm (UTC)
Good point, alas.
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[User Picture]From: kathrynrose
2010-02-04 07:05 pm (UTC)
It's cold in Canada.
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[User Picture]From: meyerweb.com
2010-02-04 07:23 pm (UTC)
Zoethe (like me) lives in Cleveland, which is practically in Canada already. If she moved to Toronto, the weather would be no colder and probably a lot less snowier.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2010-02-04 07:06 pm (UTC)
Personally, it makes me all the more inclined to move to Germany. They might have their own problems, but if this country is going to hell in a handbasket, I'd rather be someplace further away than simply across the border.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-04 08:42 pm (UTC)
And Germany is lovely.
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[User Picture]From: audacian
2010-02-04 07:13 pm (UTC)
"Can I please have permission to just punch Justice Clarence Thomas in the face?"

If I could give it, I would. (and then take a swing myself).
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-04 08:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: blessed_oak
2010-02-04 07:13 pm (UTC)
I remember being appalled in junior high when I learned that corporations were defined as essentially having the same status (and rights) as individuals. Obviously they don't exactly, or they'd be allowed to, say, cast a corporate vote in elections. But still -- I suppose this is what the ruling was based on.

All those bad decisions in the past are really snowballing on us now...
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[User Picture]From: jfargo
2010-02-04 08:13 pm (UTC)
"or they'd be allowed to, say, cast a corporate vote in elections"



SHHHHH! Don't give them ideas.
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[User Picture]From: anivair
2010-02-04 07:18 pm (UTC)
That man has his head so far up his ass he just assumes that the shit he smells is everywhere. I hope he chokes on it.

I love that he's mad because the President talked about the SCOTUS ruling in the State of the Union. As if that landmark and hugely important decision was not somehow a part of the state that the union is in. I always thought that the State of the Union was when the President talked to the people of the nation about where we were and about where he thinks we need to go. Why the hell should a giant decision made by the courts NOT be part of that?

"Oh, but they couldn't respond!" of course not, you whiner. It's not a debate, it's the State of the Union. You want to give it? Run for president.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-04 08:51 pm (UTC)
I've never had much respect for his intellect, but this managed to lower it.
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[User Picture]From: wdomburg
2010-02-04 07:25 pm (UTC)
There's a difference between saying criticism is unwarranted or irresponsible and wanting to stifle speech. For example, comparing the President to Adolf Hitler is probably "out of hand" even if it is protected expression.

And I think the point was more that news organizations already had those rights and are now editorializing against them being extended to other corporations. In other words, they're advancing a "some corporations are more equal than others" viewpoint.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-04 08:55 pm (UTC)
Corporations already manage to have plenty of influence in government via lobbying and other methods of donating money in elections. Being outspent by multinationals in elections is not something I'm looking forward to.
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[User Picture]From: meyerweb.com
2010-02-04 07:29 pm (UTC)
Sorry, but your right to wave your fist in the air still ends where Justice Thomas' (or anyone else's) nose begins.
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[User Picture]From: kathrynrose
2010-02-04 08:54 pm (UTC)
Hah!
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2010-02-04 07:31 pm (UTC)
The criticism is getting out of hand only because the actions and decisions of the court and government are getting out of hand.

I'm with you. Corporations are made up of people. Those individuals already have the right to free speech and can contribute to the political causes of their choice. Why should corporations ALSO be able to use their profits to influence public policy? It's outrageous!

People are calling this a victory for conservatives, but I am a conservative and I am appalled.

Oh, BTW, don't look north for a more reasonable approach to government. Canada's politics are incomprehensible and maddening. I couldn't wait to get back to the good old USA, despite our current Liar-in-Chief doing his level best to destroy everything I hold dear.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-04 08:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I respect you because you are what I consider an actual conservative.
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[User Picture]From: wishiwasnt
2010-02-04 07:59 pm (UTC)
he apparently said that some criticism of the court and government was getting out of hand. This is, frankly, terrifying.

Honestly, what he said doesn't seem to be any different from what O'Connor has been saying for the past few years. There is a definite trend, mostly from the right IMO (but starting from the left in the wake of the recent decision) to demonize judges for interpreting the law. This does undermine the courts' functions in our system and leads to calls to divest the federal courts of jurisdiction on vital civil rights issues.

I'm no fan of Thomas, but at least as reported in the linked article, what's he's saying isn't that bad.

I don't see calling for decorum as "terrifying."
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[User Picture]From: badspock
2010-02-04 10:34 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, soon enough we will be bowing to our new Chinese overlords and not worrying about such silly things anymore! ;)
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-02-04 10:48 pm (UTC)
"Can I please have permission to just punch Justice Clarence Thomas in the face?"

Only if you're willing to simultaneously punch Justice Scalia in the hand.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: dreagoddess
2010-02-05 01:47 am (UTC)
It's also perfectly valid to point out that someone who has been benefiting from a right for quite some time is now trying to deprive other people of that same right. I believe we hear it all the time in pro-choice arguments: "You had the freedom to make your choice, let me make mine." Media corporations have not been remotely shy about taking positions in elections. They endorse candidates, they run editorials. They claim to have the First Amendment right of freedom of the press, even though they are corporations. I think that's a perfectly valid thing to point out when they are arguing that other corporations should not have a different First Amendment right, of free speech.

Justice Thomas also didn't say that the Supreme Court or the judicial branch shouldn't be criticized. In fact, he specifically said that the court should be questioned. He disagreed with the way that some people have been criticizing them lately. He said criticize the decision, not some imagined ulterior motives behind it. It's no different than saying you should criticize a person's policies instead of attacking them personally.

Because really, if a court's decision is wrong, you should be able to point to why it is against the Constitution, statute, or caselaw. Just criticizing someone as a judicial activist or a right-winger doesn't do anything other than showing your partisanship. If they're wrong, it doesn't matter what their rationale behind it is.
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[User Picture]From: phillipalden
2010-02-05 02:16 am (UTC)
That Thomas, Alito, Scalia and Roberts sit on the bench is a travesty in itself. They don't have the jurist prudence or the ability to hold the Constitution above their extreme right-wing personal views.

They are unfit to serve as dog-catcher in my opinion.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-02-05 03:09 pm (UTC)
Softbankで使っていたi-phoneはハワイのプロバイダーと契約して、i-phoneをハワイで使える?
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