Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hero's and Zero's

Here in the Northwest there is a family who took matters into their own hands and made what I am sure will be a world of difference to two Haitian children. This guy has to be commended for having the balls to fly into a disaster ravaged country, navigate from his airplane to the children, rescue said children and then get them all back to the Northwest in 3 days.
This is a prime example of what average American brain, brawn and balls can do in the world if it isn't being over regulated or marginalized by sectors of America who lack the backbone and stamina to get things done.

Excerpts from the story:

The Schlenbakers had adopted two children, 8-year-old Dejennika and 6-year-old Djouvensky, but the two kids were still in an orphanage in Port-au-Price when the quake hit.

The couple had been working for three years to bring the kids home to Bellingham.

Brett decided he couldn't wait for someone else to help. He grabbed a backpack with supplies and jumped on a plane over the weekend to go find his children.

"I just did what any other parent would do -- go get your kids," Brett said.

With little more than his own determination, Brett found the two children and took them to the U.S. embassy Tuesday morning to get visas and passports before securing a flight out of Haiti on a C-130 transport plane.

Mmm mmmm mmm.... What a bit of intestinal fortitude and the sack to try it will do in this world. Too bad Congress critters and the rest in the other Washington can't catch a bit of this attitude. The country and our world can be a better place.

Too bad the Supreme court justices just allowed for the fire sale of the century on the remaining shred of our democracy.

Sweeping aside a century-old understanding and overruling two important precedents, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.

The ruling was a vindication, the majority said, of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech. The dissenters said allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace will corrupt democracy.

The 5-to-4 decision was a doctrinal earthquake but also a political and practical one. Specialists in campaign finance law said they expected the decision, which also applies to labor unions and other organizations, to reshape the way elections are conducted.

“If the First Amendment has any force,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority, which included the four members of its conservative wing, “it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”

Justice John Paul Stevens read a long dissent from the bench. He said the majority had committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings. His decision was joined by the other three members of the court’s liberal wing.

Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, an author of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, called the ruling “a terrible mistake.”

“Ignoring important principles of judicial restraint and respect for precedent, the Court has given corporate money a breathtaking new role in federal campaigns,” said Mr. Feingold, a Democrat.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader and a longtime opponent of that law, praised the Court’s decision as “an important step in the direction of restoring the First Amendment rights of these groups by ruling that the Constitution protects their right to express themselves about political candidates and issues up until Election Day.” The case had unlikely origins. It involved a documentary called “Hillary: The Movie,” a 90-minute stew of caustic political commentary and advocacy journalism. It was produced by Citizens United, a conservative nonprofit corporation, and was released during the Democratic presidential primaries in 2008.

With the Supreme court decision today, I think the price of Congress and the White House just went well into the stratosphere; I guess like those restaurants that have menus but no price.. If you gotta ask you can't afford it. Treating Corporations like citizens is about as dumb as a bucket of gravel.

Just when I thought things were turning around ala Massachusetts, the Supreme Court puts the whole process up for sale, lock stock and barrel.

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