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freshwest's Journal
freshwest's Journal
July 1, 2014

He got the point... The reason for the First is to protect those with less power, not the powerful.

This decision, like so many since 2000, is all upside down. In 2005 the Supreme Court ruled in Kelo v New London:

The governmental taking of property from one private owner to give to another in furtherance of economic development constitutes a permissible "public use" under the Fifth Amendment. Supreme Court of Connecticut decision affirmed.

NOW let's look at the series of events, as this was a complicated case that was unlike most other eminent domain cases in the past:

Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)[1] was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development. In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

The case arose in the context of condemnation by the city of New London, Connecticut, of privately owned real property, so that it could be used as part of a “comprehensive redevelopment plan.”

However, the private developer was unable to obtain financing and abandoned the redevelopment project, leaving the land as an empty lot, which was eventually turned into a temporary dump...[2]

That's disgusting and shows it was not a viable plan to help the city. And I doubt the corporation failed to avail itself of tax funded incentive from the city, waivers, low cost loans, whatever. Just like WALMART.

“Kelo” was the first major eminent domain case heard at the Supreme Court since 1984. In that time, states and municipalities had slowly extended their use of eminent domain, frequently to include economic development purposes.

In the Kelo case, Connecticut had a statute allowing eminent domain for “economic development” even in the absence of blight.

I'll note here that I've seen cases where cities conspired with private developers to make sure an area was blighted in advance. Minority areas for the most part, with city services denied and corporations or city run utilities conspiring to make neighborhoods less desireable. I saw this process carried out for decades at a time as areas near downtown areas were neglected because the city and the corporations envisioned more skyscrapers.

But I was also pleased and loved to see little old houses with widows living in them, like little oasises of green sitting on their front porch. It stood, bravely defying the high rise commerical buildings that were built right up to the property line, casting a shadow from all sides, unable to deny her beloved plants all the sunshine needed.

Or one time, a very lovely, well maintained old style hotel that was in nice shape that the big corporations wanted removed to build more of their district on, but the woman who owned it resisted and could not be moved, her poor tenants were safe from removal. And like the company in Kelo, the fortunes of the company that wanted all those blocks of city land, hit hard times and ended up moving away. That is how business works, it can be like a theft in the night that strongarms its way into a place, takes all that's not nailed down by law, and sails off like a pirate.

At that time, eminent domain was not abused like it can be now.

Overall, though, most of the cases I observed were pure, in your face racial discrimination. It was also done in more well off minority areas, even with mansions, well, just because...

There are cases where zoning was changed to assert that perfectly good housing, well maintained and the result of years of work and money put in by homeworkers to have a home to retire in, were changed to boot them out for more wealthy people to build their McMansons on. No blight at all, nothing unsafe or unsanitary. And nothing about economic development, as the city wasn't going to profit from it, neither were the citizens there. They were land grabs in the truest sense of the word, just like this one was.

There was also an additional twist in that the development corporation was ostensibly a private entity; thus the plaintiffs argued that it was not constitutional for the government to take private property from one individual or corporation and give it to another, if the government was simply doing so because the repossession would put the property to a use that would generate higher tax revenue.

I've found with the tax breaks and incentives given, especially in terms of land given for homes for the wealthy, this is not at all true. There is no net benefit to cities. But there are rewards for the well-connected.

Kelo became the focus of vigorous discussion and attracted numerous supporters on both sides. Some 40 amicus curiae briefs were filed in the case, 25 on behalf of the petitioners.[6]

Susette Kelo's supporters ranged from the libertarian Institute for Justice (the lead attorneys on the case) to the NAACP, AARP, the late Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference and South Jersey Legal Services.

The latter groups signed an amicus brief arguing that eminent domain has often been used against politically weak communities with high concentrations of minorities and elderly.

The case was argued on February 22, 2005. The case was heard by only seven members of the court with Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor presiding, as Chief Justice William Rehnquist was recuperating from medical treatment at home and Associate Justice John Paul Stevens was delayed on his return to Washington from Florida; both absent Justices read the briefs and oral argument transcripts and participated in the case decision.

During arguments, several of the Justices asked questions that forecast their ultimate positions on the case. Justice Antonin Scalia, for example, suggested that a ruling in favor of the city would destroy "the distinction between private use and public use," asserting that a private use which provided merely incidental benefits to the state was "not enough to justify use of the condemnation power."[7]


The Supreme Court of the United States: ruling for the powerful with only a few decades of the spirit of the ideals of the Constitution allowed to surface and change the world for the better.

Never forget Dred Scott.

July 1, 2014

Stealth Attack: What You Need to Know About the New Abortion Laws (Large graphic)

A coordinated attack needs a coordinated response by a powerful, well-informed movement. So we thought we'd enlist the help of comic artist Jen Sorensen to help illustrate (literally) these "stealth attacks."

More information at link:


July 1, 2014

It normalizes relgious discrimination. The ACLU says:

Using Religion to Discriminate

With increasing frequency, we are seeing individuals and institutions claiming a right to discriminate – by refusing to provide services to women and LGBT people – based on religious objections. The discrimination takes many forms, including:

* Religiously affiliated schools firing women because they became pregnant while not married;

* Business owners refusing to provide insurance coverage for contraception for their employees;

* Graduate students, training to be social workers, refusing to counsel gay people;

* Pharmacies turning away women seeking to fill birth control prescriptions;

* Bridal salons, photo studios, and reception halls closing their doors to same-sex couples planning their weddings.

While the situations may differ, one thing remains the same: religion is being used as an excuse to discriminate against and harm others.

Instances of institutions and individuals claiming a right to discriminate in the name of religion aren’t new. In the 1960s, we saw institutions object to laws requiring integration in restaurants because of sincerely held beliefs that God wanted the races to be separate. We saw religiously affiliated universities refuse to admit students who engaged in interracial dating. In those cases, we recognized that requiring integration was not about violating religious liberty; it was about ensuring fairness. It is no different today.*

Religious freedom in America means that we all have a right to our religious beliefs, but this does not give us the right to use our religion to discriminate against and impose those beliefs on others who do not share them.

Through litigation, advocacy and public education, the ACLU works to defend religious liberty and to ensure that no one is either discriminated against nor denied services because of someone else’s religious beliefs.

LEARN MORE. Go to the link to see the case that are involved and the principles being violated:


*That is the Ron and Rand Paul view and that of their Libertarian followers- their rights to discriminate based on property rights. Just like their 'liberty' and 'freedom' are not for all, only those with money.

It goes directly against the premise of the Constitution, that 'All Men Are Created Equal' that the Confederacy rejected. These guys aren't 'perfecting the Union,' they are destroying it.

The effects of this ruling won't stop at denying full autonomy to women over their bodies. It's not just a 'women's issue.'

I can't find the link to what I read last night but the Supreme Corporate Justices will be taking on 5 cases designed to gut the EEOC.

GOTV or lose it all.

July 1, 2014

Wow! 'Put all freedom of expression on equal footing' was my first thought this morning!

Within hours after the Boston buffer law was ruled unConstitutional - which I will now refer to as unKochstitutional - the RCC schools bused in 250 students to fill the sidewalks around the clinic as a flash mob.

They paid for the buses, the gas and drivers, but vulnerable families don't have that kind of wealth or would not be a clinic where they are available for target shooting. It's a matter of wealth going after the weak to break their spirits.

'The meek shall inherit the Earth,' yet clearly the churches aren't in that 'flock of sheep' no matter how loudly they proclaim to be. If 'The battle is in spiritual high places' they could go home to their 'prayer closets' and wait for a miracle. But 'They love to pray in public and receive the praise of men.'

They have forgotten what Americans believed, that their right to wave their fists end where our faces begin. I know why the Founders were Deists:

Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic

Natural law was the basis for the core ideas of the Revolution: People are free and equal in nature. Government is a compact between human beings, not something handed down from above.

Most important, we must always have the liberty of thought to examine received wisdom, evaluate its utility, and change our ideas — and our institutions.

That embodies so much of what I hold to be true, I am in awe of those words. Got a chuckle at this part at the review by the LATimes:

"Jefferson's vision for the future of American religion… featured nothing but Unitarian churches from sea to shining sea."


And from the first Amazon review, but all of them are very good:

“Splendid… imaginative but never fanciful, even at its most surprising. What lends Nature’s God a good deal of its verve is Matthew Stewart’s unabashed attachment not only to the revolutionaries as they really were but to the skeptical rationalism they embodied. This is partisan scholarship as it should be written, and much needed service to the public.” (Alan Ryan, author of The Making of Modern Liberalism)


A better America than one divided into cults with fanatical adherents that search for enemies. Closer to what I grew up with when 'the wall of separation between church and state' was respected both ways. Our problem is that it is no longer accepted, and rightwing interpretations are falsehoods.

to cbayer who posted the LATimes review:


Although who will end their tax exemption now? Their GOP Libertarian offspring (sounds like an oxymoron, but deeds mean much more than words) have weakened secular government with corporatism, going directly in line with Mussolini's own description of the religious part of fascism. WW2 never ended, obviously:

"The really dangerous American fascist... is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence.

His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power...

They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest.

Their final objective, toward which all their deceit is directed, is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection."

~ U.S. Vice President Henry A. Wallace, quoted in the New York Times, April 9, 1944

July 1, 2014

That just blows me away:

According to the Court’s majority, the federal government should just pay for these services directly.

“The most straightforward way of doing this would be for the Government to assume the cost of providing the four contraceptives at issue to any women who are unable to obtain them under their health-insurance policies due to their employers’ religious objections.”

In other words, the five Republican appointees to the Court suggest the government establish a single-payer plan for contraceptive services. Remarkable.

Well, if they said that, I will put the pitchforks back in the barn. The torches, however, will stay lit for a while to expose the Kochroaches.

July 1, 2014

That's expected. Libertarians are the architects of the coming Kochstitution, so they oppose Obama:

The First Feminist President, Barack Obama


The quote also applies to churches, corporations, theocrats and Supreme Court injustices. Their new uniforms arrived earlier this year:

to ashling:


Please note just whose agenda they follow:

BERNIE SANDERS Uncovers 1980 Koch Agenda- "What Do the Koch Brothers Want?"

“We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.”

Just one item on their list to dissolve the elected government of the USA:



to kpete:


Top GOP gangsters will follow the Koch agenda:

Justices Scalia And Thomas's Attendance At Koch Event Sparks Judicial Ethics Debate


Scalia, Thomas have attended Koch bros. 'very private', 'secretive' meetings


What Role Have Scalia And Thomas Played In The Koch Money Machine?


Note Scalia and Thomas went to Koch's political meetings, while on the Supreme Court


Justices Scalia and Thomas promoted and attended a Koch brother event


Scalia, Thomas & the Kochtopus


Lookee, the gang's all there together:

Just-us: Flushbo, Slappy Thomas and a Heritage Foundation fellah.

Ju$tice, a Division of the Kochtopus. Like Demo¢racy.

to Octafish.

Welcome to your life under the Kochstitution!

July 1, 2014

Thanks so much for this thread and the FDR quote, a favorite one. Should be spread far and wide.

Libertarians need to hear:

Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Democrats need to hear:

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

More quotes by FDR that have proven true and apply to our times:


It's been said history goes in cycles and we are reliving the 1930s. The same voices and forces are arrayed on one level, only the labels are changed. What path will we choose, democracy or fascism?

July 1, 2014

Hartmann: WHY does SCOTUS have power to strike down passed laws signed by the Prez? (Mar 27, 2012)

Warning for those who don't like him, Kucinich is on this video:

Published on Mar 27, 2012

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH, 10th District) joins Thom Hartmann. The Supreme Court began hearing arguments today to determine the constitutionality of Obamacare. How does the most corrupt Supreme Court in history have the power to decide what healthcare Americans can get? All eyes are on the Supreme Court - as today kicked off three straight days of oral arguments to determine the constitutionality of Obamacare. The issue at hand is whether or not the "individual mandate" - also the core of "Romneycare" - is constitutional

A discussion took place at the DU thread on the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act as mentioned in the video:


Most DUers on that video thread disagreed strongly and there was controversy over Thom's later calling out what he saw as errors by DUers.

Will DUers now call the USSC wrong because they support the rights of women, or accept the Court's intrepretation of the First Amendment?

I know the answers are more complex than one issue. And I'd agree with Lars77, regarding unexpected corruption, except the Founders knew their new nation was not going to be perfect, and said that it needed to be perfected.

That process never ended and hopefully never will, to make this nation better as it changes. As MLK, Jr. said, America is more of an ideal than a country. One might say, America is not a finished product. At this rate, it may very well be finished, and the product permanently damaged as we fall into a corporate theocracy.

George Washington said he hoped America would become the most liberal of all nations. I cannot forget that the USSC handed down the Dred Scott decision, negating the meaning of the Constitution as we have come to think of it from the progressive era:

Dred Scott

Dred Scott (circa 1799 – September 17, 1858) was a slave in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as the "Dred Scott Decision." The case was based on the fact that although he and his wife Harriet Scott were slaves, they had lived with his master, Dr. John Emerson, in states and territories where slavery was illegal according to both state laws and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, including Illinois and Minnesota (which was then part of the Wisconsin Territory).

The United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules. Moreover, Scott's temporary residence outside Missouri did not bring about his emancipation under the Missouri Compromise, which the court ruled unconstitutional as it would improperly deprive Scott's owner of his legal property.

While Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had hoped to settle issues related to slavery and Congressional authority by this decision, it aroused public outrage and deepened sectional tensions between the northern and southern U.S. states. President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the post-Civil War Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments nullified the decision...

As to those unexpected results:

Following the ruling, Scott and his family were returned to Emerson's widow. In the meantime, her brother John Sanford had been committed to an insane asylum.

In 1850, Irene Sanford Emerson had remarried. Her new husband, Calvin C. Chaffee, was an abolitionist, who shortly after their marriage was elected to the U.S. Congress. Chaffee was apparently unaware that his wife owned the most prominent slave in the United States until one month before the Supreme Court decision. By then it was too late for him to intervene. Chaffee was harshly criticized for having been married to a slaveholder. He persuaded Irene to return Scott to the Blow family, his original owners. By this time, the Blow family had relocated to Missouri and become opponents of slavery. Henry Taylor Blow manumitted the four Scotts on May 26, 1857, less than three months after the Supreme Court ruling...

The Dred Scott Case ended the prohibition of slavery in federal territories and prohibited Congress from regulating slavery anywhere, overturning the Missouri compromise, enabling "popular sovereignty", and bloody Kansas.[9]

The ruling of the court helped catalyze sentiment for Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the three constitutional amendments ratified shortly after the Civil War: the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, abolishing slavery, granting former slaves citizenship, and conferring citizenship to anyone born in the United States (excluding those subject to a foreign power such as children of foreign ambassadors).[9]


Interesting that his case arose in the region where Paul Ryan has called for the elimination of those three Constitutional amendments. He claims when the GOP control enough state legislatures they'll call a Constitutional Convention and re-write it. As a Koch lackey, we know pretty much what the new Constitution will look like. Remarks by the GOP show it, too.


I found it horrifying that Scott argued his case so well, using the Bill of Rights, and lost. But the USSC decided that as a black person, those rights did not apply to him. The USSC seems determined to apply that standard to women now.

Please note the picture in that thread by Ashling:

Have you seen the new uniforms... er, costumes?


And now VT and CA are calling for Paul Ryan's Article 5 Constitutional Convention. It's alleged it it will take care of the USSC's Citizens United decision, which is not what the Move to Amend organization calls for in their work to overturn Citizens United. They want one Amendment, not opening the whole of the federal government, tossing the tools into the hands of wingnuts. Be assured, they will be the majority that show up.

It's a Trojan horse being given to us by the Koch brothers and theocrats. This newest decision, like the buffer zone, is prepping Americans to accept what will be the Kochstitution. Few seem to understand we're falling into their hands.

BTW, I enjoyed Thom saying 'Newt fricking Gingrich' as he is usually very polite. But then, the Newt was never known for his manners:

to madfloridian:


Very interesting thread there from 2013.

June 30, 2014

The Dred Scott decision was an earlier example of an obscene Supreme Court. Anything for the people

was called 'liberal judicial activism' and 'legislating from the bench.'

This court has been lousy since the Selection of 2000 and it continues to destroy the country. The GOP, the Libertarian part with CATO being funded by the Koch brothers, has taken over all branches of the federal government except the office of the POTUS. Obama has been standing in the way of this juggernaut, and has my respect for that in a dangerous era.

Why Nordquist supported Mittens:

All we have to do is replace Obama... We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget... We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don't need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.

Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.

~ Grover Nordquist


Think of all the ALEC boilerplate legislation that has hurt us in every state. They want to nationalize it so there's no escape. We are reduced to holding half of the Senate and Presidency. I expect all hell to break loose on the American people and the world if they take the Senate this year or the Presidency in 2016. They have not hidden their agenda, it's obvious that they are playing for keeps.

They've convinced two states to sign on with an Article 5 Constitutional Convention, allegedly to amend the Constitution to stop further damage from the Citizens United case.

But the main group seeking to amend to stop that USSC obscenity, does not call for an Article 5 Convention, but only that one amendment. But the Koch brothers will get their way if enough states with red legislatures sign up for it.

Once open for revision, the Koch brothers and the theocrats will re-write the Constitution to suit them. Ryan has been promising his supporters for a long time and encouraging them to turn at least 38 state legislatures red. They will vote lock step to do what the Koch brothers want. Some will keep claiming there's no difference between the two parties, so I assume this is okay by them.

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