Tag: abuse of power

Do Republicans Ever Fight Back?


While Republicans were dithering around, trying to figure out if they could stop Biden’s Executive Order for canceling student loan debt, a creative Libertarian identified a way to stop the legislation. Especially valuable was that he identified that he had standing to sue, which was anticipated as a major roadblock to this kind of challenge.

The EO should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Biden first mentioned it during his campaign and then in March 2020. Apparently, no one took him seriously:

Conservative groups have been threatening to challenge debt cancellation since Biden first aired the idea, saying it’s legally questionable and unfairly cancels student debt at the expense of Americans who didn’t attend college. One of the main challenges has been finding someone who faces personal harm as a result of Biden’s plan, giving them legal standing to sue.

How Long Will We Tolerate Teachers’ Unions Abusing Their Power?


Over the past two years, in particular, we have learned a great deal about teachers and their unions, and the picture is a grim and tragic one. Teachers only care about exerting power and controlling the education environment, and the students be damned. School superintendents, administrators can only meekly go along with the unions’ demands, and politicians aren’t willing to sacrifice the political and financial power that the unions wield over them. Everyone has something to gain.

Except our children.

Where are we now, and how did we get to this point?

Quote of the Day: A Step Closer to Impotence


“With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them —  with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the ‘reasoned judgment’ of a bare majority of this Court — we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence.” — Antonin Scalia

Rarely mincing words, Justice Scalia berated his colleagues regarding the Progressive and unconstitutional role they had taken regarding the role of the Supreme Court. Once a body intended to provide balance to the Executive and Legislative Branches, the Court has expanded its powers in ways that violate the rights of the people. Does anyone remember the original role of SCOTUS?

In part, the Constitution reads as follows:

Losing Our Humanity


Although we are technically animals, there are many attributes that separate us, elevate us above the animal kingdom. We are reasoning creatures; we have the ability to empathize with others; we recognize cruelty when we see it. But over the last several years we have watched one characteristic become resented, even ridiculed and degraded because it doesn’t suit the preferences of others.

We are losing our humanity.

What do I mean by “humanity”? It is our capacity to be compassionate, sympathetic, generous. That means that most of us have degrees of this ability, depending on our personalities, our ability to relate to and care about others.

Vermeule’s Gleeful Illiberal Legalism


Few have been brave enough to flesh out what the Ahmarist, or “anti-Frenchist,” vision of the common good should be. Some have said articulating specifics is beside the point, that Ahmarists’ refreshing achievement is unapologetically asserting a common good exists, even if they decline to say what, exactly, it is. And then, there are guys like Adrian Vermeule, writing in The Atlantic, brave enough, at least, to flesh out a vision of sorts. Vermeule calls it “common-good constitutionalism”, which he describes as “an illiberal legalism that is not ‘conservative’ at all, insofar as standard conservatism is content to play defensively within the procedural rules of the liberal order.” When Vermeule writes,

[U]nlike legal liberalism, common-good constitutionalism does not suffer from a horror of political domination and hierarchy, because it sees that law is parental, [emphasis added] a wise teacher and an inculcator of good habits. Just authority in rulers can be exercised for the good of subjects, if necessary even against the subjects’ own perceptions of what is best for them—perceptions that may change over time anyway, as the law teaches, habituates, and re-forms them. Subjects will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires…

Coronavirus and Human Nature


For a few weeks, we in the coronavirus-stricken parts of the world have been living under “shelter in place” or “stay at home” orders. The only conceivable purpose of such orders is to keep people from congregating and spreading the disease. But I can leave my house while also avoiding human contact — a truth evidently lost on Italian authorities, who’ve been punishing the criminal scum of their society for engaging in the recklessly dangerous activity of jogging with their dogs; or on the social-media malcontents who believe that carping at their neighbors is 2020’s equivalent of storming the Normandy beaches.

In Britain, police shamed hikers for daring to wander the wilderness in solitude. Do the moorlands have a preexisting condition? Are birds and butterflies at risk of dying from coronavirus-induced respiratory failure? Britain’s own lockdown law allows residents out of their houses for only “one form of exercise” per day. Does combination exercise cause coronavirus to spring up out of nowhere, like maggots spontaneously generating in a hunk of rotting meat? Who cares whether Simon and Bertha spend their entire day camping in the countryside?

Quote of the Day: Congress Doesn’t Need No Stinking Evidence!


“So what? We can’t get felony approval for anything without finding twenty witnesses, a dozen surveillance cameras, a victim interview, the offender’s mother’s statement AND a confession on video…..and even then, it’s probably going to be a C.I. [Continuing Investigation] until such time as God himself descends from Heaven to declare ‘This [redacted] is GUILTY and has forfeited his eternal reward.'” – Anonymous Chicago Police Officer

The quote comes from a Chicago police officer in a reaction to State’s Attorney Kimmie Foxx recusing herself from the Jussie Smollett case. Unlike the Chicago Police Department Adam Schiff goes on a fishing trip with a backhoe.

Sexual Predation and Power Structures


As the slow tortuous agony of the revelation of sexual predation within the Catholic church unwinds, and the faithful of the Catholic Church mourn every new outrage, there has been an enormous amount of debate over the underlying causes of the abuses, and the nature of the coverups.  For some outside of Catholicism, there has been also a horrible triumphalism, as if the scandals are entirely the fault of Christianity in general, Catholicism in particular, or dogmatic or doctrinal within Catholicism.  I have seen denunciations of priestly celibacy, denunciations of anti-homosexual church teachings (such teachings being blamed for somehow repressing those who chose to go into the priesthood), and even suggestions from non-Catholic Christians that the Reformation has somehow shielded them from similar abuses and scandals.  And yet, as the Houston Chronicle detailed over the weekend, another denomination, the Southern Baptists, is now facing its own horrible unearthing of decades of sexual abuse and protection of known or suspected sexual predators.

I have little doubt that other such investigations will be detailed in the coming years, and for other churches of other denominations.  The fact of the matter is that sexual predation can occur in any power structure, and that who the perpetrators are, on whom they prey, and how they get away with their terror is ultimately a function of the organization, its distribution of power, and the strength of the self-policing within that structure.  For the Catholic Church, this has been strongly (but by no means entirely) a series of cases of the abuse of younger males by older males, but this was mostly due to the environment where mostly males were employed, and mostly only younger males were in vulnerable positions.  For the Southern Baptists, however, the issues seem to be mostly older males preying on younger females instead, because that structure put those two groups together.  More than anything else, this should be pointing to something beyond doctrine or denomination, but instead towards something more fundamental and quite apart from issues of sexuality.

Medical Doctor Pushes Political Agenda with Patients


If this story is true, it’s a disgusting abuse of power by a doctor, and worse yet—he’s a Republican. A doctor in Lakeland, FL, apparently makes a practice prior to important elections of promoting Republican candidates. A patient of his, who was receiving injections for chronic pain, described the exchange in this way:

The patient lay on an examination table, semi-clothed and crying, after having just received excruciating injections to help relieve her chronic pain.

At that point, she says, Dr. Tom Porter approached her and asked if she was registered to vote. Though stunned by the unexpected question, she said she was.