Oddly enough, John Kitzhaber is not really to blame

The State of Oregon is one of the few states in America that has a citizen initiative process. This means that Oregon voters can enact or repeal laws when their elected representatives fail to respect the will of the citizens. The political elite, like former Governor John Kitzhaber, hate the initiative process with a passion. They are the shepherds and we are the sheep, so how dare we dictate to them!

In 1978 Oregon voters, through the initiative process, enacted the death penalty in a landslide vote. In 1981 the Oregon Supreme Court overturned the 1978 law. In 1984 Oregon voters rebuked the Supreme Court, and reenacted the death penalty by a solid margin. In the following 30 years, no ballot initiative or bill has successfully overturned Oregon’s death penalty laws. Like it or not, it is our law, and there is only one legal process by which it should be repealed – a vote of the people. At least in a democracy, that is the way it is.

Proud of the fact that he “has made a career of doing things his own way,” one of Governor John Kitzhaber’s first major decrees following his win in the Oregon 2010 gubernatorial race was to illegally suspend Oregon’s death penalty. In November of 2011 he announced that, “I refuse to be a part of this compromised and inequitable system any longer; and I will not allow further executions while I am Governor.” He took this action without a bill or  initiative or vote of the legislature or vote of the people, as though he believed that being a duly elected by people gave him divine authority.

With this 2011 decree Governor Kitzhaber put every controlling legal authority in Oregon on notice that he intended to violate Oregon law whenever he pleased, however he pleased. He then sat back and waited for someone to stop him. No one did. Not Attorney General Ellen “I ignore the Constitution” Rosenblum. Not Senate President Peter Courtney. Not House Speaker Tina Kotek. Not Secretary of State Kate Brown. Not Treasurer Ted Wheeler. Not Oregonian editor Peter Bhatia. And in a 4-3 decision in favor of Kitzhaber, not the Oregon Supreme Court. Not even the citizens of Multnomah County, who repeatedly elected Kitzhaber to office, cared about his blatant disregard for the Rule of Law. For the first time in his political career, instead of chaffing under the law, John Kitzhaber felt elevated above the law, and rightly so. His allies had made him emperor for a day. He would still be emperor today if it were not for Oregon’s lone journalist, Nigel Jaquiss, who doggedly pursued Kitzhaber’s corrupt activities and then force fed the facts to Oregon’s political elites.

While we may never know all the wrongdoings of the former governor and his first lady, Cylvia Hayes, Oregonians and the citizens of Multnomah County know the gist of the situation. Kitzhaber and Hayes had big plans for themselves and for Oregon. Plans so big and so important that they ought not be subject to or scrutinized by something as insignificant as the Rule of Law. They lived this mantra. They won elections with this mantra. And they unrepentantly ended their political careers with this mantra.

Had Oregon’s legislative branch and judicial branch of government done their sworn duty back in 2011, and reigned in Governor Kitzhaber when he unilaterally voided Oregon law, we would not be where we are today. Instead they chose to ignore their legal duties and the Rule of Law, and now my state is in complete political disarray. Had they stood up to the governor in 2011, they would not be forcing him to resign today. There is a lesson to be learned here. When you cut a swath through the law to get at your perceived devil, that devil will always turn on you. Oregon’s political establishment brought this mess on themselves. They deserve every bit of suffering and every sleepless night, for they failed us all. I only hope they learn that exempting themselves from the Rule of Law is bad policy.

My predictions are these:

  • Instead of learning from their mistakes, Kitzhaber’s allies will bend over backwards to rehabilitate his public image with sympathetic anecdotes, editorials and photo montages.
  • The engagement of former Governor John Kitzhaber to former First Lady Cylvia Hayes will shortly be broken.
  • Neither Kitzhaber nor Hayes will go to jail.
  • Whoever Multnomah County elects to replace Kitzhaber in 2016 will be just as bad as the last four people to hold the office.
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Russia Facts Compared To Other Countries – Business Insider

Russia Facts Compared To Other Countries – Business Insider.

This is a simple reminder of how great America still is when compared to the rest of the world. What makes America great is our Constitution as written by our forefathers and respect for the rule of law. We only diminish as politicians, corporations and special interest groups seek to undermine and ignore the rule of law.

Celebrating Three Years

Three years ago I started this blog to coincide with the publication of my first novel, The Knight and the Serpent: A Legend of Medieval Normandy (free on Kindle through 12/26/14 – a Christmas promotion). It did not take long for the blog to take on a life of its own and it has proven to be a rewarding experience. It has been fascinating to see what readers are and are not interested in! The following three articles are the most viewed of the more than fifty posts since December, 2011.

In an Ethical Lapse, New York Times Journalist, Sabrina Tavernise, Falsely Reports That Guns Cause Suicides

Valley Catholic Girls Win OSAA 3A Basketball Championship

Vote No On Oregon Measure 91: The Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act

The next three articles are the least viewed in that same time period.

Taking Off The Training Wheels – first published in Goal Lines Magazine April, 2008

Oregon’s Democratic Congressmen Attempt to Deny all of America the Benefit of the Rule of Law

THE DEATH OF RULE OF LAW – Part I of VI: The Balance of Power

It is very interesting as to what strikes a chord in people and what does not.

Obama’s IRS is Still Running Wild!

This is getting bigger than Lois Lerner.

Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required – NYTimes.com.

In 2012 President Obama’s IRS confiscated the assets of 639 American small businesses and citizens without due process. Why? They did not make enough money to make cash bank deposits of over $10,000. Of those 639, only 1 in 5, about 128, were actually charged with any crime. The other 511 never got their money back, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. In 2005, President Bush’s IRS only went after a total of 114 businesses, about the same number that Obama’s IRS prosecuted. It looks like Obama’s IRS is using a legal loophole to steal money from innocent Americans. And it very much looks like a violation of the 1st, 4th, 5th,  6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments of the Constitution. The rule of law in America is dead.

Oregon’s Democratic Congressmen Attempt to Deny all of America the Benefit of the Rule of Law

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s number one priority, according to his website, is fixing a broken government. The ordinary citizen believes a government that ignores the Constitution and the Rule of Law in general, is a broken government. We believe that a government beholden to special interests, PACs and large corporations is a broken government. We believe a government that is no longer subject to a controlling legal authority, one where the balance of power is dead, is a broken government. Naturally, when Blumenauer states his number one priority is to fix a broken government, his constituency believes these are the problems he wants to fix… a broken government from our point of view. Unfortunately, all the things ordinary folk believe are broken in government, Earl Blumenauer believes are solutions. His view is a backwards, negative image where black is white. Blumenauer believes that the Rule of Law is what has broken the government, not the other way around. To Blumenauer, getting the Constitution and The Rule of Law out of the way of the government’s agenda is paramount. To fix all of societies ills, the government’s power must be unrestrained.

On May 7, 2014, Oregon’s Democratic congressmen, Earl Blumenauer, Susan Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrader, all voted against HR574, the bill that found Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about her role in the IRS’s illegal, unconstitutional targeting of America’s political conservatives. On the same day these same four Oregon congressmen voted against HR565, the bill that calls Attorney General, Eric Holder, to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS on this issue. These two votes are an overt stand against Constitutional Free Speech and Freedom of Association, and place all four Oregon Democratic congressmen in violation of their oaths of office. I will give each of them the benefit of the doubt, and say they voted their conscience instead of playing partisan politics against their better judgment. Unfortunately for them, this means they all believe the end justifies the means. They believe it is okay for any government agency to violate the rights of any citizen as long as it serves their agenda. They just cut a swath through the law to protect their designs for society. All four believe they know better than, and are above the Rule of Law. All four should resign. Oregonians need to vote all four out of office. Luckily for these particular congressmen they are from Oregon, a state dominated by citizens and political leaders who favor expediency and cronyism over the Rule of Law. If Oregonians do not vote them out of office, and they will not, we will have only ourselves to blame when Earl Blumenauer finally fixes America’s “broken government” and The Law no longer shields the citizens from the whims of their leaders.

THE DEATH OF RULE OF LAW – Part I of VI: The Balance of Power

Introduction

The U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote in Congress, then ratification by thirty-eight states before it can be lawfully changed or overturned… or it can simply be ignored.

People who hate the Rule of Law fill our world, because, in simple terms, the Rule of Law stops them from getting their way at the expense of others. From its inception, the United States of America was Earth’s greatest legal experiment. The one nation founded on the Constitutional Rule of Law, a kingless nation created by the people, for the people, with a democratically elected government of the people. It lasted only 225 years. Before it quietly came to its end, America’s democratic system of Rule of Law gradually overcame many longstanding global injustices while still respecting each citizen’s right to self-determination.

The Founding Fathers built America in a world where, for the most part, democracy did not exist, human rights were not inalienable, governments controlled religious freedoms, slavery was endemic, women and children were chattel, the common man could be imprisoned for speaking his mind and The Law considered him guilty until proven innocent, and citizens feared their own military and police. Our Founding Fathers wanted something better. They wanted a free yet strong nation, where the citizens could be who they would be, and the Rule of Law was above all citizens.

  • A nation where the Catholic, the Protestant, the Jew, the Muslim, and the atheist could share the same public square.
  • A nation where a citizen could speak out on the street corner as well as in the press, and like-minded citizens could freely gather.
  • A nation where individuals had the right to keep and bear arms to insure the country against tyranny and defend the free state.
  • A nation where the citizen had the right to protect his home, property, and private affects against the government, military, and police unless they possessed a lawful warrant.
  • A nation where citizens could not be arbitrarily imprisoned, and were presumed innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers.
  • A nation where federal powers were limited to those granted in the Constitution, and other powers are reserved for the individual states and citizens.
  • A nation where a citizen’s rights were not limited to those enumerated in the Constitution, and the people had the right to petition the government for the redress of grievances.

Think on where these very basic rules have led this country. Slavery has been abolished. All citizens of the age of majority can vote in free elections. Women have the right to divorce. Children have rights. We achieved a desegregated society, a true international melting pot of races, cultures and beliefs, each having equal protection under the law, without becoming a homogenous blend of gray. Then, with the dawning of the new millennia, our Constitutional democratic republic began to collapse… and the majority turned a blind eye.

 

Death of Balance of Power

America is a constitutional democratic republic founded on the principle of balanced power with a ground up approach. Sitting atop our system of government is The Law, embodied in the Constitution of the United States of America. All citizens, including the President, are beholden to The Law. Only God resides above The Law. At the bottom are the citizens, with a right to free speech, a right to gather, a right to bear arms, and a right to vote, who elect a government of their peers. The citizens stand alongside an unfettered press who report when the powerful and rich violate The Law. The elected government consists of a legislative branch to make laws, a judicial branch to interpret laws and mete out equal justice to all, and an executive branch with a president who is the head of state and commander-in-chief. These branches of government are supposed to be autonomous in their areas of power, and any excesses are supposed to be held in check by the other branches.

I will not hazard to guess the day and hour when the Balance of Power envisioned by our Founding Fathers died. The power of the presidency has been steadily growing beyond its constitutional bounds for generations. The judiciary has become increasingly activist, legislating from the bench since at least the 1960s. The legislative branch has come almost completely under the sway of wealthy donors and corporate political action committees over the last thirty years. Approximately fifty percent of the electorate relies on government handouts while paying virtually no taxes, and the majority of the press is driven by the progressive agenda. All I can say is, that as of today, the balance of power in the United States is effectively dead.

The U.S. Presidency – No Longer Subject to the Constitution

Since 9/11/2001, the executive branch of our government has been chaffing against its Constitutional restrictions and ignoring the Rule of Law in general, always maintaining that the end justifies the means. For example, through the use of executive order, President Obama has made significant changes to the Affordable Care Act. While Senator Obama had the legal authority to propose those changes, President Obama does not. Being the head of the executive branch of government, President Obama is responsible for the actions of the IRS. Since Obama’s election, the IRS has engaged in illegal records tampering and willful harassment of conservative activists and political candidates, such as Christine O’Donnell, in a very effective campaign to stifle political free speech, chill the right to assemble and manipulate the election process.

In theory, the president cannot create The Law, yet he does. In theory, the president has the Constitutional responsibility to see that The Law be faithfully executed, yet he does not. The controlling legal authorities – the legislative branch, the judicial branch, the free press, and the citizens – have largely turned a blind eye for the sake of expediency. It is as though Due Process of Law no longer matters as long as the majority gets their way.

America has been turning Left since FDR’s New Deal. America’s Progressive Movement, commonly mislabeled as “Liberalism,” completely abandoned true liberal ideals, such as a dedication to quality education, generosity of heart, a love for literature, science and freedom of thought, embracing interests other than one’s own, and a general respect for Rule of Law, once they became the majority around the turn of the century. Those truly liberal voices, that for generations cried out for and won equal protection for all, have been drowned out by mean-spirited progressives who have destroyed public education, covet entitlements and redistribution of wealth, utterly despise religious faith, and generally refuse to be victimized by the notions of virtuous behavior. The new American majority, the ‘electorate,’ values expediency over nobility, politics over statesmanship, and largely believes that the end justified the means. We tolerate a gross level of political corruption, even encourage it, as long as we get our slice of the corruption pie. Good, old-fashioned Chicago politics on a national scale. The electorate is the ultimate Controlling Legal Authority, and if we encourage our leaders to break laws and violate the Constitution every time we vote, they will jump at the chance.

Monkey See Monkey Do

Seeing that President Obama has successfully exceeded his Constitutionally granted authority with no civil, criminal or political consequence, Oregon governor, John Kitzhaber, illegally suspended Oregon’s death penalty laws and waited for some controlling legal authority to stop him. Nothing happened. Seeing that President Obama and Governor Kitzhaber got away with ignoring state and federal constitutional laws, Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee, also illegally suspended his state’s death penalty laws. Once again, suffering no consequences. No legislative backlash. No voter recall. No investigation by the attorney general. Nothing. Why? Had these two governors, using identical justifications and rationalizations, attempted to suspend assisted suicide or abortion, their constituents would have torn them to political bits. Why? The answer is simple. The progressive electorate in both Oregon and Washington is very left of center. They love abortion and celebrate euthanasia, but they do not care much for the death penalty. They are entirely willing to suspend the Constitutional process if they get the result they want.

This, folks, is the real slippery slope. We are sliding down to a place where the Rule of Law is dead. There are literally hundreds of examples of federal, state and locals officials nationwide that overturn the will of the voters and dismiss the Rule of Law in favor of their personal agendas. As a reward, the electorate reelects them term after term after term. In the name of expediency, we have done it to ourselves. We have cut a swath through The Law to get at the Devil, and now the Devil has turned on us and we no longer have The Law to defend ourselves.