Daily Archives: February 13, 2016

Ding-dong! Antonin Scalia is DEAD!

Updated below

FILE - In this June 17, 1986 file photo, President Ronald Reagan speaks at a news briefing at the White House in Washington, where he announced the nomination of Antonin Scalia, left, to the Supreme Court as a result of Chief Justice Warren E. Burger's resignation. William Rehnquist is at right. On Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed that Justice Scalia has died at the age of 79. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Associated Press file photo

Hell has a new resident. The freshly late Antonin Scalia, left, is shown with then-President Ronald Reagan and then-U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” William Rehnquist at a press conference in the White House in June 1986 at which Reagan announced his nomination of Scalia to the Supreme Court. Scalia — who, among others things, took issue with “the law profession’s anti-anti-homosexual culture” and the “homosexual agenda,” and who believed that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee abortion rights but that it does support the death penalty (even for minors and for mentally retarded individuals), and who blatantly treasonously and anti-democratically put George W. Bush into the White House even though he had lost the 2000 presidential election to Al Gore — does not somehow magically become angelic in death, since everyone dies.

Wow.

Fascist U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Antonin Scalia was found dead this morning, apparently of natural causes, at a luxury ranch resort near Marfa, Texas, at age 79 after he hadn’t shown up for breakfast. At the time of his death he had been the longest-serving of the current members of the court. He was nominated by one of our worst presidents, Ronald Reagan, and mind-blowingly unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1986.

So President Barack Obama gets to nominate another U.S. Supreme Court justice, apparently.

Hopefully this means that 5-4 decisions from the nation’s highest court from here on out will mean decisions that lean to the left rather than to the right, as has been the case for far too long now.

P.S. Years ago, I saw Scalia speak at the University of Arizona in Tucson. I don’t remember most of what he said, as it was so long ago, but I do recall his defense of his strict, supposedly “originalist” interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and his wholehearted rejection of the view of the Constitution as a living document, which must evolve with the demands of the times.

I recall a woman in the audience lambasting him for his cold-bloodedness during the Q-and-A. His “defense” of his far-right-wing position on constitutional matters was something like, “Do you really want people like me deciding what the Constitution is all about?” (Sadly and pathetically, this “argument” seemed to disarm the angry woman, who then actually apologized to him.)

Anyway, that’s what Scalia did anyway during his time on the U.S. Supreme Court: he interpreted the Constitution to fit his own, far-right-wing political ideology, which included preventing the expansion of freedom beyond those who belong to the elite and otherwise defending the socioeconomic status quo. (It’s only an “activist” judge if it’s a left-leaning judge, you see.)

Update: This was predictable: Politico reports that Repugnican Tea Party Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court should not be filled until after the presidential election in November.

Bullshit.

President Barack Obama still has more than 11 full months in office. (Inauguration Day will be January 20, 2017.)

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” the tortoise-like McConnell fascistically proclaimed in a statement.

The American people have had a voice. They elected Barack Obama twice. When they elected Obama for a second term in November 2012, they knew fully well (or should have known, anyway) that he would have the power to nominate, if necessary, a justice to the U.S. Supreme Court during his second term.

The Constitution says that the president nominates, and that the Senate must confirm, all new justices to the Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any constitutional (or other legal) deadline for this process once there is a vacancy. However, the suggestion of the traitors who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party that President Obama should be deprived of the president’s constitutional privilege of nominating an individual to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court is yet another example of their treason and their treasonous hatred of democracy when the democratic process does not go their way (such as their full support of the blatant electoral theft of the White House in 2000).

Surely if Obama were a Repugnican Tea Party president in his last year in office (and if he were white), the Repugnican Tea Party traitors would demand that any vacancy on the nation’s highest court be filled ASAP, presidential election year or not. They would argue that our democratic process demands it.

Fucking hypocrites.

Holding up the replacement of the abominable Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court when the duly-twice-elected President Obama has more than 11 months to go would be yet another anti-democratic act of war — and treason — against the American people and should be reacted to accordingly.

More than enough is more than enough!

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Michael Moore’s ‘invasion’ of other nations for their ideas is worth the trip

Film review

Michael Moore horrifies French public schoolchildren with his French and with his graphic depictions of typical American public school lunches in his latest film, “Where to Invade Next.”

Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next” is both familiar and unfamiliar territory. It contains Moore’s deadpan humor that had me laughing out loud many times (as well as a few jokes that don’t work quite as well), but at the same time it’s a new direction for Moore, whose approach apparently has mellowed a bit with age and whose tactic, at least in this film, is not to critique the United States so much (although there is plenty of well-deserved criticism of the U.S. in “Where to Invade Next”) but to compare aspects of it to the much more successful aspects of other nations.

These aspects include public education, health care, workers’ rights and benefits (including paid vacation time and paid family leave time — and yes, two-hour lunches), criminal justice (including the “war on drugs” and white-collar crime [which in the U.S. goes mostly unpunished]) and women’s rights.

In “Where to Invade Next” Moore travels to (in alphabetical order) Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and Tunisia, symbolically planting the U.S. flag in those nations in order to claim their good ideas, much how American colonizers planted the American flag to claim others’ land.

Ironically, we find that the United States actually was the inspiration for many of other nations’ good ideas; it’s that over the past several decades, as the American people have been sold out further and further to treasonous, corporate interests — and as we, the American people, collectively have just allowed this to happen — other nations have improved themselves to the point that now they kick our ass in the area of social welfare (“welfare” as in human well-being, not as in “gubmint handouts”) while the United States has become pathetic, sad and even despicable in how much it just allows its own people to struggle.

In “Where to Invade Next” Moore at least somewhat addresses the United States’ out-of-control military spending, but some graphic graphs, like these — 

— might have helped drive the point home.

A basic point that “Where to Invade Next” doesn’t make nearly enough is that the United States of America has the resources to keep every individual on its soil afloat, but that our corporately owned and controlled elected officials choose instead to squander our (ournot their) collective resources on the U.S. military, our No. 1 sacred cow. And we, the people, just allow them to fuck us over like this; we buy their fear-mongering bullshit that they must treasonously funnel our money to themselves (via the bloated-beyond-belief U.S. military) by spooking us, à la 1984, with ever-changing Bogeymen from overseas.

Indeed, in the last Democratic Party presidential debate, when asked about looking at federal spending, she-hawk Billary Clinton certainly didn’t propose to cut the military budget, and Bernie Sanders, as an apparent afterthought, dared only to go so far as to suggest that we look at the military budget; he did not dare to call for a substantial cut to it.

“Where to Invade Next” also is a refreshing paean to feminism, and I agree wholeheartedly that we need far more women in positions of power on the national and on the global stage, that the nation and the world would be a much better place if this were the case.

However, we can’t lump all women together, and “Where to Invade Next” pretty much does that. All women are not the same. Here in the United States, for instance, we have the true feminists, such as Elizabeth Warren, and we have the women who call themselves feminists but who act just like the stupid, selfish, short-sighted men who have been destroying this nation (and the world) for some decades now — women like Billary Clinton, who is as truly feminist as are the likes of Sarah Palin and Carly Fiorina.

I’m not saying that women may not be gargantuan assholes just like some men are (true equality, I suppose, would have to guarantee that “right”); I’m saying that these she-assholes don’t fit my own definition of feminism, which necessitates a concern for the collective (and, indeed, for the entire planet) and not just a concern primarily for oneself.

Otherwise, feminism is pointless and is no different from the malevolent spirit of the patriarchy that has been destroying the very planet for some time now. (What I have dubbed “the New Feminism” just adopts the worst aspects of the patriarchy and calls itself “feminism” because its perpetrators are female instead of male. The vast majority of the Billarybots, for instance, are New Feminists, not true feminists.)

I won’t regurgitate the unfolding of “Where to Invade Next,” since other reviews of it do that and since I think it would ruin it for you; I think that you’ll enjoy your travels with Michael Moore much more if I don’t tell you what to expect every step of the way.

But I will say that while “Where to Invade Next” in my book isn’t Moore’s best film (although it’s hard to compare it to his past films, since it largely is a departure from them), it’s worth taking the trip with him.

Every exposure to other nations’ culture we Americans should take advantage of. Indeed, as one woman who is interviewed by Moore puts it, we Americans are too busy claiming that We Are No. 1! to be able to realize that in many areas of human life, other nations actually do it much, much better than we do.

So “Where to Invade Next” already starts on a strong foundation of exposing Americans to other cultures, and with Moore’s film-making talents, that’s an added layer of worth.

My grade: B+

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