29 July 2009

Heller--Be very afraid!

I find it interesting that people who find conspiracies everywhere and worry about institutions such as the Council for Foreign Relations and the Bilderbergers have missed one very scary point about DC. v. Heller.

Heller was bankrollled by a conservative think tank.

Robert A. Levy is a chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute and the organizer and financier behind District of Columbia v. Heller.

In 2002, Levy began recruiting plaintiffs for a planned Second Amendment lawsuit against the District of Columbia. Although Levy has never owned a gun himself, he was interested in the issue as a constitutional scholar and believer in individual rights. He teamed up with Clark M. Neily III of the Institute for Justice and began finding and vetting District residents who had a legitimate and appealing reason for wanting a gun for self defense at home. They eventually settled on six residents: Shelly Parker, Tom Palmer, Gillian St. Lawrence, Tracey Ambeau, George Lyon and Dick Heller. They tried to select a diverse group, and ended with men and women, black and white, and a variety of income levels. Levy only knew Palmer, a colleague at Cato, and none of the six knew each other before the case.

The lawsuit was initially filed in 2003 as Parker v. District of Columbia. After several reversals and appeals, the case was heard by the Supreme Court on March 18, 2008. The court trashed the previous precedent of US. v. Miller and came out with the new theory that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to gun ownership. Levy released a statement saying "Heller is merely the opening salvo in a series of litigations that will ultimately resolve what weapons and persons can be regulated and what restrictions are permissible. But because of Thursday’s decision, the prospects for reviving the original meaning of the Second Amendment are now substantially brighter."

Levy financed the lawsuit and served as a co-counsel. As a result of his involvement in the case, Levy has been profiled by The New York Times and The Washington Post.

No big secret there, in fact Levy is incredibly boastful about his plan to litigate rather than legislate.

Now, we groups such as the Bilderbergs whose objective is to dress totalitarian corporate ideology up to appear rational and push it out, unattributable, for mass consumption under Chatham House rules. Meanwhile, outside the Bilder-bubble, 'god-is-money' globalisation is the new religon with the greedy given a pat on the back as they plunder both the earth and a large part of the human spirit.

Be very worried because the political agendy of these think tanks is far from open and is very similar to the Bilderbergs.

Concern about the rising political activity of these think tanks is accentuated not only because they adhere to an extreme right wing economic orthodoxy, but also because they have found well-heeled allies in the corporate sphere who are prepared to fund advocacy activities as part of their own corporate political strategy. As evidence presented in this report indicates, it is very difficult to obtain precise information about these corporate funding strategies, as neither the corporations, nor the think tanks are obliged to disclose comprehensive data about their financial activities. This secrecy enables corporations to play a double game of nurturing a public image of corporate social responsibility while at the same time funding think tanks that fight social, consumer protection and environmental legislation across the board. Furthermore, in principle, think tanks are not expected to engage in direct lobbying on specific legislation. However, research by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) shows that in practice the line between their activities and lobbying is blurred.

While the perspectives of neoclassical think tanks, such as such as the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, or Fraser Institute, play a role in liberal-democratic processes as part of a rich mixture of ideas, they also contribute to the erosion of democracy if they come to dominate the public consciousness. Their domination forces the polity too far to the right side of the democratic model when inadequate ideological balance exists.

Now, everyone is talking about how 5 judges sanctioned the popular myth about the Second Amendment dealing with self-defence, which is something that does not stand scrutiny. Even more importantly, the Judges of the supreme court have changed the law without democratic process.

I mean, if you want the Second Amendment to deal with self-defence, then you go through the process of amending the constitution.

But Levy did a wonderful job of by-passing the democratic process and abusing the legal system. Strangely enough, but Scalia has warned about by-passing the political arena and going to the Court system to set political agendas.

I keep pointing out that the Second Amendment was meant to protect us against a runaway military budget, but how often does the issue of standing armies come up in relation to the Second Amendment? No, it has become a personal right and the rise of this personal right has coincided with the rise of the military-industrial establishment.

Any wonder that the Heller decision comes during an illegal war and as we are seeing governments going bankrupt?

I don't have the time to research this, but I have noticed that the talk about the institution of the militia has diminished to be replaced with talk of self-defence. Scalia wipes out the first half of the Second Amendment to make the Second Amendment all about self-defence.

Just as the military budget goes out of control.

And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see.
Joseph Story Commentary on the Second Amendment

Any right you have from DC v. Heller is illusory. It will be taken from you.

A standing army in the hands of a government placed so independent of the people, may be made a fatal instrument to overturn the public liberties; it may be employed to enforce the collection of the most oppressive taxes, and to carry into execution the most arbitrary measures. An ambitious man who may have the army at his devotion, may step up into the throne, and seize upon absolute power.

Military interference with civilian government is hardly an obsolete concern. Military coups have overthrown democratically elected governments on every continent, and within the memory of anyone alive today who bothered to notice. In many countries where the standing army doesn't flaunt its political power, the military continues to pull the strings of puppet civilian officials. But these embarrassments have received little attention in the popular media and public education, creating a complacent citizenry unaware of just how rare and fragile the freedoms they take for granted are from a historical perspective. We're told instead that the American standing army is somehow different from every other standing army down through history, and couldn't possibly pose a threat to our constitutionally limited form of government or our liberty as citizens.

But even more frightening...

Suppose you are a Republican politician with deep-seated hostility toward the Federal government. You find that certain government programs, including some very big programs, such as Social Security, politically untouchable. Nevertheless, you’d like to put an end to everything that is big government, including Social Security (though you’d never say this publicly).

What do you do?

Why not make reckless, irresponsible “tax cuts” (really tax delays) that leave a big chunk of the government funded by deficit spending? Do this year after year, building up a budget deficit so large that a big part of yearly tax collections go to merely pay interest on the debt. Publicly proclaim you have given Americans a “tax cut” as the government heads toward bankruptcy.

And what happens when the government goes so deeply in debt that it can’t function? For our right-wing friends, this is fine: there is very little that the government does of which they approve. “Crippled government is a good government” seems to be their instinctive belief.

A bankrupt government is a scary thought. What about the next time we are forced to go to war, and we have to send troops who are woefully ill equipped? We saw what happened when George Bush thought the war in Iraq could be a low budget affair; our troops died in unarmored vehicles due to attempts to keep costs down. This will happen again in future, inevitable military conflicts.

And those of us who don’t have the five million dollars that the "conservatives" believe is the dividing line between rich and middle class expect to survive in retirement partly on income from Social Security. If the government can’t uphold its promise to provide Social Security, lots of us are in serious trouble. Republicans who hate big government may bring an end to Social Security, one of the biggest government programs ever. And they’ll do it without ever winning over the electorate to their views.

The trillion dollar federal deficit is not simply some accidental happening out of politicians’ control. Republican presidents, from Ronald Reagan to George Bush, have deliberately foisted a “borrow and spend” policy knowing they are driving the government to bankruptcy, and not caring what the consequences are for the rest of us.

Maybe someone can dig deeper into this, but I find Heller very worrying in the trends that are coming from these think tanks with an agenda of destroying freedom.