Man’s call for Obama assassination is free speech, not crime, court rules

The opinion can be read at

A La Mesa man who posted racial epithets and a call to “shoot” Barack Obama
on an Internet chat site was engaging in constitutionally protected free speech,
a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in overturning his criminal

Walter Bagdasarian was found guilty two years ago of making threats against a
major presidential candidate in comments he posted on a financial
website after 1 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2008, as Obama’s impending victory in the race
for the White House was becoming apparent. Bagdasarian told investigators he was
drunk at the time.

Comment by: Powell
Gammill (#13871)

Entered on:
2011-07-20 11:03:06
The statement that Obama “will have a 50 cal in the head soon” was a
prediction that conveyed no explicit or implicit threat on the part of
Bagdasarian that he himself would kill or injure Obama. The  “shoot” statement
was an imperative intended to encourage others to take violent action, if not
simply an expression of rage or frustration. The threat statute does not
criminalize predictions or exhortations to others to injure or kill the
president.  Bagdasarian’s statements did not constitute a threat and did not
fall within the offense punished by the statute.


The Final Arbiter and Creating Change in a Cesspool

As I write this, a large group, headed by researcher and lifelong activist Bob Schulz, the We The People Foundation are once again attempting to improve, in my opinion, the most important problem facing America. However, I am not necessarily promoting We The People even though they, under his command have probably done more to attempt to correct the system that any other individual and group, that I’m aware of, over the last twenty something years. We The People have been legally attacking, from strong Constitutional positions, the various actions of government, many of which are blatantly unconstitutional. Interestingly, it is the Judiciary, including the Supreme Court that has denied, with no additional recourse, relief to their (We The People’s requests for various Redress of Grievances. He and this organization have proven in the lawsuit that certain individuals within the U.S. Government, including the Judiciary are not adhering and obeying, as their Oaths require, the Constitution of the United States of America. (see website below).  It is my opinion that unless the Judiciary is corrected/improved, no matter what we do, they will negate or usurp any improvements or proposals.

Another group, combining the Foundation for a Free Society and the Tenth Amendment Center, has begun a Citizens outreach program called Nullify now; trying to nullify bad laws through various political methods. They are just repackaging political activism, that has, except for a few instances, totally failed historically, under a new banner, of “Nullify Now”.  The Tea Party movement is surely making a push politically along with libertarians and some Republicans, but there appears to be some operatives attempting to fragment this movement with diversion away from the important issues. Usually the political system is reactive to the damage done by the oligarchy and therefore, as is the case now, to late in implementing the necessary changes. Throw in the fragmenting of the movement and not much is ever accomplished as the system declines both economically and ethically.  We should actually now be planning on how to pick up the pieces, as stagflation is already here and it is only a matter of time until our country goes into the real chaotic phase of the Bell Curve.

The Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA in America) and The Democracy Defined Campaign (Europe) are both organizations that utilize Jury Nullification, teaching and using our “Jurors Rights” to usurp unjust prosecution of bad laws during trials. They save a few individuals, but the political and judicial machine is still coming after good Citizens at an unrelenting pace. The Salem Witch Hunts and the Fugitive Slave laws were nullified by this method, but few other tyrannical activities have been stopped by Jury nullifications. However, saving an acquaintance, friend or family member from unjust prosecution is surely a good thing, it’s one that actually works and therefore should be an activism that everyone is involved in.  Apathy is also an enemy.

There are a number of very good groups out there that are doing various things like news, education and activism but until we actually get together in unity and come up with a viable plan to fix our broken justice system, we are going to be continuing to tread water in a whirlpool or I should say cesspool, as that better describes our political and judicial system today.  I believe it is the Justice System (The Final Arbiter) that has slowing usurped the individual rights from the Citizens of our once great Nation, allowing those in positions of political and economic power with the tools necessary to enrich the ruling oligarchs of our society and leaving a large majority uninformed, impoverished and entering a 3rd world status. Without drastically improving the Judicial system, real change will never be accomplished.

Our organization “Repairing the Scales of Justice” (RSJ) and The We The People Foundation are at least attempting to get to the heart of the problem as are perhaps others out there. We believe that the U.S. Constitution is actually a pretty good document, although not perfect, that should have prevented the massive misallocation of resources that central planning promotes and that it was the Judiciary that was the ultimate arbiter that allowed and continues to allow so many of the bad laws and policy that has put us into our current state of the Union. At the We The People site you can read up on his proposal, the historic Redress of Grievance suit and I surely encourage getting involved. We need to come together with a workable plan to make the necessary changes to rectify this all important problem.

The We The People Foundation are attempting to implement a Constitutional Lobby. I feel, from what I have read so far, it will not advance the necessary long term policies that are required to usurp and obtain remedy from the existing controls of our very powerful and centralized judiciary and government. I believe differently than most, in that the people should control government rather than the other way around and that government cannot be the final arbiter as those in government are always operating under a conflict of interest, when giving power/privilege to themselves or usurping the power of the Citizens for benefit or to avoid remedy or recourse. History has surely noted this collusion. The notion that government must be the final arbiter has not worked very well over the millenniums. It is the Citizens that must be the final arbiters and until such time, history will surely repeat itself. Google “privatized justice system” and you will get a host of papers and websites on this issue.

I do not want to get into the discourse between who is the better arbiter, a government controlled entity or that of a laissez-faire, the Austrian model but one can say for sure that the government controlled system has always favored the oligarchs to the detriment of the majority. We, RSJ, are proposing such a system that will allow many more participants to be directly involved in the judicial process. First, in a sort of direct democracy approach, as the Swiss have utilized for decades in a sort of quasi competition, with no real force and effect, but really to gain public support for the process. How it all works out in the long run, is going to be interesting, and will be as much of the process as the system itself.

The only thing that I can guaranty is that this, something very close to my proposed process or perhaps We The People’s proposal has to be done, or we are just pissing in the wind. I can’t think of a more appropriate cliché, so sue me.

The Imperial President

July 18, 2011 by Bob Livingston

The Imperial President

Barack Obama has become the Imperial President.

Having just shed the shackles of monarchy, the Founding Fathers were loath to establish a government with an all-powerful chief executive. To prevent it, they created a government divided into three equal branches. Their idea was that each branch would check the other in order to limit government’s growth.

But the anti-Federalist Cato, thought to be New York Governor George Clinton, warned in Letter V to the citizens of New York that the compact under consideration did not provide strong enough checks and balances. He wrote:

Before the existence of express political compacts it was reasonably implied that the magistrate should govern with wisdom and Justice, but mere implication was too feeble to restrain the unbridled ambition of a bad man, or afford security against negligence, cruelty, or any other defect of mind. It is alledged that the opinions and manners of the people of America, are capable to resist and prevent an extension of prerogative or oppression; but you must recollect that opinion and manners are mutable, and may not always be a permanent obstruction against the encroachments of government; that the progress of a commercial society begets luxury, the parent of inequality, the foe to virtue, and the enemy to restraint; and that ambition and voluptuousness aided by flattery, will teach magistrates, where limits are not explicitly fixed to have separate and distinct interests from the people, besides it will not be denied that government assimilates the manners and opinions of the community to it. Therefore, a general presumption that rulers will govern well is not a sufficient security. You are then under a sacred obligation to provide for the safety of your posterity, and would you now basely desert their interests, when by a small share of prudence you may transmit to them a beautiful political patrimony, that will prevent the necessity of their travelling through seas of blood to obtain that, which your wisdom might have secured: It is a duty you owe likewise to your own reputation, for you have a great name to lose; you are characterised as cautious, prudent and jealous in politics; whence is it therefore, that you are about to precipitate yourselves into a sea of uncertainty, and adopt a system so vague, and which has discarded so many of your valuable rights. Is it because you do not believe that an American can be a tyrant? If this be the case you rest on a weak basis; Americans are like other men in similar situations, when the manners and opinions of the community are changed by the causes I mentioned before, and your political compact inexplicit, your posterity will find that great power connected with ambition, luxury, and flattery, will as readily produce a Caesar, Caligula, Nero, and Domitian in America, as the same causes did in the Roman empire.

Sadly, it turns out he was correct. Congress has abdicated its responsibility, the Federal judiciary has become the oligarchy Thomas Jefferson warned about, and the result is we now have an imperial Presidency.

The imperial Presidency has its roots in 1861 and Abraham Lincoln, who had no regard for the Constitution and the rule of law.

The Southern States had every right to secede under the Constitution. In his inaugural address, President Thomas Jefferson said, “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”

As Judge Andrew P. Napolitano states in his book, The Constitution in Exile, in a later speech Jefferson, discussing the possibility of States seceding, said, “God bless them both and keep them in the union if it be for their good, but separate them if it be better.”

“Lincoln’s act of sending troops to Virginia triggered the armed conflict that became the Civil War,” Napolitano writes. “He did so under the premise that war was necessary to preserve the union. But the truth is that Lincoln had several other options to exhaust before resorting to warfare — and that’s only after we observe that the Southern states had the right to secede from the Union if they wished to do so.”

During the period from April 12, 1861 — when first engagement of the Civil War took place — until his death April 14, 1865, Lincoln ordered the murder of civilians, declared martial law, shut down convening State legislatures, arrested State politicians and journalists, closed newspapers, suspended habeas corpus, seized vast amounts of property without compensating the owners, imprisoned Northern citizens without trial, conducted a war without Congressional approval, ignored orders of the Supreme Court, consented in — and encouraged — the commission of war crimes by his generals, and oversaw the illegal creation of the State of West Virginia.

Even Lincoln historian apologists accuse Lincoln of being a dictator. They just seem to believe he was a “good” dictator because they support what he did during his dictatorship. But tyranny is tyranny.

“Lincoln took all of these actions in the name of preserving (emphasis in original) constitutional government. It’s hard to imagine something more tyrannical than a central government that suppresses life, speech, and political expression with such drastic measures,” Napolitano writes.

Lincoln’s actions effectively ended the prospect of nullification and gutted the 10th Amendment. And ever since Lincoln got away with trampling the Constitution, Presidents, Congresses and Federal judges have been writing laws and issuing edicts and orders in violation of the Constitution and its enumerated powers. In other words, they do what they want, ignoring the rule of law.

The three branches, envisioned by the Founders as a set of checks against one another, became partners in crime. They consolidated their power over those they governed and set about entrenching themselves and enriching themselves, their political parties and their cronies.

Following the events of 9/11, Congress granted President George W. Bush sweeping powers to make war on terrorists and imprison Americans without trail. Like Lincoln, Bush suspended habeas corpus. Congress also passed the liberty-crushing USA Patriot Act that gave law enforcement agencies broad powers to eavesdrop, search and surveil Americans.

As the economy crashed in 2008, Bush — under the guise of “saving” the economy — looted the Treasury to make sure his Treasury Secretary’s old firm, Goldman Sachs, made out like a bandit. It turns out all the big banksters, both domestic and foreign, got a slice of that pie. Congress helped and Judiciary sat on its hands and did nothing.

But as has been the case since his inauguration, whatever Bush did, Obama has doubled down. He has become the Imperial President.

Obama has appointed dozens of czars without the consent of Congress. These czars set policy for Obama’s regulatory agencies — the alphabet soup government agencies that create problems through regulation and then pass more regulations to solve the regulatory problems they created. These agencies are answerable to no one and nothing. Obama’s agenda of killing jobs, suppressing innovation and supporting unviable “green” technologies is their lone goal.

Sadly, not only does Congress not care, it is working posthaste to make it easier for the President to avoid Congress altogether. The Senate, by a roll call vote of 79-20, last week passed the President Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011. It’s set to go before the House soon. The bill’s aim is to eliminate Senate confirmation of 200 of the roughly 1,400 Presidential appointments that fall under Article II, Section 2, according to The Washington Examiner.

Then last week, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) floated the harebrained notion to give the President the authority to raise the debt ceiling on his own.

So it’s not enough that the President just ignores Congress, Congress has decided it wants to give the President carte blanche to ignore it even further.

Meanwhile, Obama morphs into more of a Third World-style dictator every day. Recognizing that the Federal government was abdicating its responsibility to control the border and guarantee every State a republican form of government, Arizona passed a comprehensive immigration law that virtually mirrored Federal law. The Obama Administration sued Arizona.

As the Texas Legislature grew close to passing a law that would make it a crime for agents of the Transportation Security Administration to fondle airline passengers and ogle their naked photographs, the Obama inJustice Department threatened to establish a no-fly zone over the State. This is the same inJustice Department that ignored voter intimidation by members of the New Black Panthers Party at Pennsylvania polling stations during the 2008 elections — charges the accused didn’t even bother to contest.

Other States that have passed sovereignty laws on issues from medical marijuana to funding abortions to intrastate ammunition and gun sales — oops, there’s the fallout from the first tyrant President’s actions — have also faced lawsuit and intimidation at the hands of the Mafia-style Federal government.

Inexplicably, unions give unqualified support to Obama even as he kicks them in the teeth while playing the liberal class-warfare game. Yachts and airplanes are symbols of the rich to Obama, so he denounces yachts and airplanes and threatens to change the tax code so that the rich can’t buy new yachts and airplanes. Who makes yachts and airplanes? Laborers and craftsman — many of them union members — who will be out of work by the thousands when the rich stop buying yachts and airplanes. So, too, will the engineers, marketing people, accountants, secretaries and all the others who are part of that industry, as will those who work in ancillary industries.

Not content with kicking the yacht and airplane laborers and craftsmen to the curb, Obama also attacks the oil and coal industries. Already, he’s ignored a court order to approve Gulf drilling. So tens of thousands of oil workers remain idle, oil and gas prices rise and thousands upon thousands of people struggling to get by are forced to struggle even harder. His Environmental Protection Agency has announced new rules which will kill coal-mining jobs by the thousands.

But for Obama, that’s OK because Americans are stupid. We cling to our guns and religion, he says. His dismally dimwitted Presidential ventriloquist doll Jay Carney said in a recent press conference that to most Americans, the term debt ceiling “sounds like gobbledygook.”

In another press conference, Carney dismissed a poll of a majority of the public saying the debt limit shouldn’t be raised by arguing that most people “don’t have a lot of time to focus on what is a debt ceiling.” And then he took a swipe at the press corps: “I mean, honestly, did anyone in this room, before they had to cover issues like this, have any idea what a debt ceiling was?”

Obama political hack David Plouffe said: “The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers. People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?’”

When confronted by a reporter with the poll numbers showing 69 percent of Americans oppose raising the debt limit, Obama responded: “Well, let me distinguish between professional politicians and the public at large. The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury option goes. They shouldn’t. They’re worrying about their family; they’re worrying about their jobs; they’re worrying about their neighborhood. They’ve got a lot of other things on their plate. We’re paid to worry about it. I think, depending on how you phrase the question, if you said to the American people, is it a good idea for the United States not to pay its bills and potentially create another recession that could throw millions of more people out of work, I feel pretty confident I can get a majority on my side on that one.”

Since you’re not paying attention, Obama says you can just eat cake… or “peas.”

Ignoring the rule of law, Obama has — with Congressional complicity — turned the natural born citizen qualification for the President on its ear. He’s probably committed a felony or two by releasing a forged document that he claims is a birth certificate and by using a fraudulent Social Security number.

With a wink and a nod to Sarah Brady, Obama promised to work behind the scenes to pass stronger anti-gun legislation. He sat back while his appointee to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — and maybe even his Attorney General — pushed guns across the Mexican border. Then, he complained that American weapons were crossing the border and proposed marking that troubling 2nd Amendment off the Bill of Rights to stop it.

Seeking — successfully it turns out — to cow Republicans resisting raising taxes to seal a deal to raise the debt ceiling, Obama threatens to withhold Social Security checks. It’s a typical political ploy to threaten to cause the most pain on the largest number of people in order to get your way.

He lies with impunity, disregards the Constitution, ignores the laws he doesn’t agree with, does what he wishes, and has started three unConstitutional wars — two more than Bush started.

And Congress? Save for a few lone voices they stand by and pledge fealty to the Imperial Presidency.

5 Things Your Lawyer Doesn’t Want You to Know

from Bnet, By |         July 12, 2011

Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss

I practiced law for 10 years (before I came to my senses!) and there were things I liked and disliked about the practice. On the plus side, helping people out of jams was very rewarding and on the whole the job was intellectually stimulating. It also paid well.On the down side, the hours can be brutal and, at least for me, suing people was a drag; no one ever seemed happy with the results. So maybe it is not surprising that the joke I heard most often from my legal colleagues back then was, “It’s a great profession… if it weren’t for the clients!” That many lawyers did not like the people they worked for is probably no real surprise. The truth is, like many people in service occupations, lawyers have plenty of things that they want to keep from their clients.

Here then are the top 5 things your lawyer doesn’t want you to know:

1. Their fees are not set in stone: The essence of a law firm is to exude a certain power and authority, as if to say, “Your problems are safe here — no one would dare mess with you with us at your side.” And that’s a good thing… except when it’s not. And it’s not when that same authority seems to hold sway over the client.

The truth is, that firm or attorney may be a little more flexible than you imagine when it comes to fees and costs. After all, they too are in business and they have competitors and overhead. They need your business.

Negotiable items can include:

  • Their retainer
  • Their hourly rate
  • Costs, such as the amount you will pay for copies,      faxes, short phone calls, etc. The managing partner at the first firm for which I worked called these things “popcorn,” reminding us that just as a      movie theatre makes the lion’s share of its profit not from films but      from selling popcorn ($5 for that little bag), the firm made its money from      simple things like charging $5 bucks a page for a fax. That was our      popcorn.

Secret: It’s all negotiable.

2. Don’t sue: Anyone who has ever been in protracted litigation can tell you that lawsuits are expensive, time-consuming, exhausting, minutiae-oriented, cumbersome ways to settle a dispute, and they don’t even do that last part very well.

On the other hand, for many a lawyer, a big lawsuit is the goose that laid the golden egg. How do you think those big firms can afford those fancy digs? Charging clients $400 an hour to sue the bum, that’s how. But for the client, lawsuits can be a financial and emotional black hole with no way out once you are in. They can cost a fortune, take years, and end with hazy results.

So beware the lawsuit.

Are there times when you need to sue to protect your rights or get what’s coming to you? Of course, but just know that the path is not always as clear as it may seem, especially at the start, and litigation is not always the best way to resolve a dispute.

Which brings me to,

3. Often it is better to settle, or quit: People have disputes — that’s the nature of life. Sometimes those disputes are so upsetting, or expensive, that you lawyer up. While that can be emotionally satisfying, as discussed above, it can also be financially devastating.

Not infrequently, it is better to compromise. Give in a bit. Settle. The money you may lose down the road by not fighting to the bitter end will usually be made up in saved attorney’s fees and increased peace of mind.

4. Sometimes, even a simple letter will do the trick: While all of my warnings about litigation are legit, it is equally legit that having a lawyer gets people’s attention. A lawsuit may not be necessary at all when a nastygram written on letterhead can often do the trick.

5. These days, you may not even need a lawyer at all: The Internet has changed everything, including the law. Today, there are just so many online legal resources that when it comes to simple legal matters especially — creating a will, drafting a lease — you can often do it yourself with the help of some great software.

That said, please notice that I said you can do it yourself when it comes to simple things. You can put a band-aid on a cut, but you don’t perform surgery on yourself. When your legal problems are big, it still is smart to get a lawyer.

Just be careful.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, Massless.

CUTTING THE FEDERAL BUDGET – A Presidents Broken Promise

The Republican’s greatest hero in modern times, like almost all politicians, turned-out to be a liar. Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States (1981– 1989), did in fact lie on the stage, at least five times, with great applause each time from me and many others in the crowd, stated that he was going to cut the budget of the Federal Government of the United States, at Holiday Park in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on a sunny afternoon during his first campaign. Of course he did not and of course increased the budget over and above his Democratic predecessor Jimmy Carter. Apparently he was not a fiscal conservative that he had represented. It is the main reason I will never ever vote for a Democrat or Republican, except for Ron Paul who, as we all know, is really a libertarian, Almost all Republican and Democrats lie and therefore I cannot trust anything they promise or ever say. My membership in my younger and more naïve year in the Democratic Party, taught me just how undemocratic and unethical the Democrats also were. Sadly that is the state of our Union.    

Reagan of course had an excuse. The military was weakened by the Democrats under spending and therefore increasing the budget was “required” due to national defense threats during the cold war.  He apparently didn’t know that our military had weakened considerably, until after his campaign, and we still elected this putz? Of course, no rational libertarian or anyone else for that matter believed that our military was really that weak, but the military contractors loved it, swore to the world it was necessary to rebuild, and of course laughed all the way to the bank as they always have throughout history. They even came up with the cockamamie story that our spending ourselves into bankruptcy caused the Soviet Union to spend themselves into bankruptcy. It is amazing the lies that these people come up with, to redistribute wealth into the hands of the ruling class through the military industrial complex. General Butler after WWI and General and President Eisenhower after WWII both warned us about the Military industrial complex, as even Thomas Jefferson did. Obviously it must have been a problem throughout history. I guess we do not really learn from history.         

Is perpetual war for perpetual peace really the answer?  Does the U.S. really have to be the single largest military force in the world?  Do we have to be the policemen of the world? We are not first in education (23), we are not first in healthcare (43), however, we are interestingly enough, first in the number, on a per capita basis, of people incarcerated in the world. Many countries have virtually no military presence, yet survive somehow for generations. Why can’t we be normal like the rest of the world?  Military might has not provided prosperity for the more than 50 million people now on some form of government welfare to survive.     

Do we really need a Department of Education when there is a Department of Education already in every State? Does redundancy really have to exist in so many Federal Agencies? Do we need a Department of Transportation when every State already has one and we have the Army Corp of Engineers for Federal Projects?  How many government research labs do we need around the Country when there is both research labs in the private sector and on most University Campuses?  Do we need government employees studying windmills when we have 25 companies around the world doing research and development on a continuous basis on windmills? Do we need both the FBI and Homeland Security? Isn’t that what they are both doing in conjunction with the DEA, CIA, NSA, National Guard and of course our military. Oh that’s right, I forgot, our Military is out there defending the other governments round the world, so we cannot obviously count them for domestic security.   

Is the issue of raising taxes really on the table when so much could be cut from the Federal Budget that isn’t necessary? Couldn’t we take a break from the space program for a while until we get our domestic economy back in shape. But of course they are talking about cutting the necessary programs instead of the unnecessary ones.  We’ll hear of course, oh those programs don’t really account for that much of the budget. Frankly madam, I don’t really give a damn, cut them. Homelessness, foreclosures, bankruptcies  and unemployment are at a all time high, cut them and help our Citizens.   

Do you really want to cut the costs of government, try the war on drugs? Perpetual drug warfare for perpetual jobs in law enforcement, that do little to curtail drug use, trafficking of drugs by street gangs and cartels, money laundering by businesses and banks and of course police and government corruption in almost every agency within law enforcement. These taxable activities would take the drug control away from cartels and street gangs and give them to local business people which would pay for local law enforcement. Ask your neighbor, who would you feel better selling drugs in your community, local gang members or your local licensed druggist? And when the dodge the question, tell them not to be a unrealistic, these are the only two possible answers. People can put their head in the sand, pretend that law enforcement can stop drug use despite the historical facts ignore the real world, but that is really being irresponsible.

Just wait, you will see those in power, cut those things like public parks and rangers before they cut the drug units in local law enforcement.  Swat teams will continue to harass people for participating in the sale and distribution of drugs, which hasn’t ever worked in the 45 years I been watching it.

Just in the New York Times today they started setting people up for what is to come: Economy Faces a Jolt as Benefit Checks Run Out, By MOTOKO RICH Published: July 10, 2011 “Total government payments rose to $2.3 trillion in 2010, from $1.7 trillion in 2007, an increase of about 35 percent.”

They won’t be talking however about the vast spending on “war”fare through the military industrial complex and what they will do to cut that spending as they line the pockets with your money. They won’t be talking about the redundancy at the various levels of government or the drastic amount of unnecessary spending, waste and pork projects. They won’t be talking about the 770,000 Federal Employees who make more money than their respective Governors in the State which they reside.

Everyone knows that excessive taxation and excessive government spending is what got us into this mess in the first place. Just do the math. Nobody is willing to buy our Government debt any more as the inability to repay it is now clear to all.  Only governments using their fiat currency have been willing to any degree to buy our fiat currency in the recent past and even they have stopped the purchases, as sovereign debt and government defaults loom around the world. Those in political power are now faced with the inevitable decisions of what to cut from their spending and like Minnesota did, everybody knew that the budget needed to be cut, just not those that are near and dear to them themselves, so they made no decision and let the administration make the hard decisions. Hopefully the Governors of the various States will place pressure on the Federal Government to stop the redundancy and waste so that all government services are not cut off without a orderly scheduled downsizing, so to allow people to adapt to the drastic changes we face in coming years.

Another Chance for Justice

By Washington Post Editorial, Tuesday, July 5, 8:07 PM
The OBAMA administration last week took the extraordinary step of asking the Supreme Court to halt the execution of Humberto Leal Jr., a Mexican national scheduled to be executed by Texas on Thursday for the 1994 murder of a 16-year-old girl.

The administration does not contend that Mr. Leal is innocent; nor is it using the case as a vehicle to argue against the death penalty. It is asking the justices for more time to hold up its end of a bargain on a treaty that has significant implications for U.S. citizens who live, work or travel abroad. It is a reasonable request that should be granted.

Mr. Leal is among 40 Mexican nationals on death row in the United States who were not advised of their right to consular access under the Vienna Convention for Consular Relations. The United States is one of about 160 countries that signed the treaty; as such, it is obligated to notify foreign nationals who are arrested in the United States of their right to speak with their embassies and allow them access if they wish. U.S. citizens have reciprocal rights if they are arrested in a country that is also a signatory.

Mexico prevailed before the International Court of Justice, the judicial branch of the United Nations, which concluded that the United States was obligated to provide additional review to determine whether denial of consular access had harmed the defendants.

Texas, where the vast majority of the Mexican nationals are imprisoned, thumbed its nose at the process; in 2008, the state executed Mexican national Jose Ernesto Medellin without providing additional review. The state appears to be on the same path with Mr. Leal. On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Mr. Leal’s request for a reprieve.

In an extraordinary move, the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to stay Mr. Leal’s execution until the end of the year to give Congress a chance to pass legislation meant to address the Vienna Convention violation. The bill, introduced by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), would give Mr. Leal and the other 39 Mexican nationals an opportunity to have a federal judge assess whether denial of consular access significantly hampered their ability to defend themselves in court. The bar for success is rightly high, meaning that few, if any, would obtain a new trial.

Failure to address the breach could disproportionately affect U.S. citizens. In the United States, criminal defendants — citizens and noncitizens alike — are entitled to lawyers; such is not always the case in other countries, making access to a U.S. embassy all the more critical. The matter before the Supreme Court is as much about preserving these protections as about providing a solution to Mr. Leal’s case.