If Everyone Cared – More Detestable VA Stories (Chapter 2)

?u=http3.bp.blogspot.com-CIl2VSm-mmgTZ0wMvH5UGIAAAAAAAAB20QA9_IiyVhYss1600showme_board3.jpg&f=1&nofb=1For the last two weeks, I have been a little remiss in writing.  My cousin passed from diabetes, two of my grandkids got sick with COVID (they are recovering), and I was diagnosed with asthma.  The last two weeks have been a roller-coaster of ups and downs, so imagine my surprise as I went to catalog more of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) reports, Nickelback’s song, “If Everyone Cared,” was playing.  Pandora certainly appears to have a sense of humor and an innate sense of déjà vu.  I cannot think of a better title to proclaim the need for raising awareness and what is needed to fix the VA.  Until everyone is aware and the scab hiding the infection of the VA are ripped away to be exposed to the sunlight disinfectant, nothing will change, and taxpayers will continue to pay for the abuse of veterans who deserve so much more.  Thus, as we celebrate US Constitution Day, let us remember the veterans who have helped protect and defend the US Constitution and improve the government response!

The VA-OIG reports begin in Kansas City, Missouri, with a $335 Million Fraud Conspiracy, which included $615,000 in tax violations.

By pleading guilty today, Patrick Michael Dingle, 50, admitted that he conspired with Matthew C. McPherson, 45, of Olathe, Kansas, to fraudulently obtain contracts set aside by the federal government for award to small businesses owned and controlled by veterans, service-disabled veterans, and certified minorities.”VA 3

A sentencing hearing will determine if any prison time and what if any, restitution is required in this plea deal.  Frankly, the fact that the fraud existed from 2009-2018 is nothing short of a blatant and utter slap in the face for the taxpayer.  How many federal employees had to have seen the documents, failed to perform due diligence, refused to do their jobs, and were not named as co-conspirators or, at a minimum, facilitators of the crimes?  Is aiding and abetting a criminal operation not a charge that can be brought against the federal employees who empowered this fraud?  Thus, I demand all these people explain why and how an investigation can occur and not include the facilitators, those federal employees, who did not do their jobs!

Assistant US Attorney Paul S. Becker is prosecuting the case. The following agencies assisted in the investigation: the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; the Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the US General Services Administration, Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General; the Army Criminal Investigation Command, Major Procurement Fraud Unit; the Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General; IRS-Criminal Investigation; the US Secret Service; the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Procurement Fraud; the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; the Defense Contract Audit Agency – Operations Investigative Support (OIS); the US Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; and the Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).VA 3

File the following under false imprisonment, and will someone please tell me why those employees involved are not in prison now!  A patient in the inpatient mental health unit and community living center at the Tuscaloosa VAMC in Alabama was falsely imprisoned and kept against their will for more than 2-years.  Was denied access to a patient advocate, which should be a red flag that something is disastrously wrong right there.  Plus, official mail to an elected official was improperly handled by staff to prevent elected officials from knowing about the veteran’s plight.

Here is what the VA-OIG investigation substantiated in their investigation:

    • Staff did not adequately assess the patient’s admission status as voluntary or involuntary and did not follow commitment requirements during the first two of the patient’s three Inpatient Mental Health Unit admissions.
    • Staff did not properly manage a letter from the patient that was intended for a public official.
    • Staff did not correctly identify a surrogate decision-maker and did not address ethical concerns regarding the appropriateness of the patient’s surrogate decision-maker.
    • Staff did not comply with requirements when the patient requested an against medical advice discharge.
    • staff at the facility denied a patient’s discharge requests and did not ensure the patient’s access to a patient advocate.
    • Staff failed to follow informed consent procedures.
    • Staff denied the patient’s discharge requests.
    • Staff did not conduct a sufficient or timely decision-making capacity evaluation and documented unsupported, conflicting decision-making capacity information in the patient’s electronic health record.VA 3

These are serious crimes, not bad administrative practices, felonious crimes.  Yet, the employees skate, the patient was held against their will, and nobody will be responsible for this disaster.  Where are the elected officials?  Where are those hired to scrutinize the government?  In this situation, any other medical organization would be facing lawyers armed with righteous indignation and seeing dollars signs in their dreams.  Yet, because this is the VA, the patient can be harmed, and no one will ever care, and that is a crime the elected officials are guilty of and need to be held to task for!

Moving to Biloxi, Mississippi, we found another VA employee who had sticky fingers and a long time to steal from the government (2009-2020).

Chad Paul Jacob of Saucier, Mississippi, pleaded guilty to stealing personal protective equipment, electronics, and medical equipment while working as the assistant chief of supply chain management for the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi. From 2009 through December 2020, Jacob stole and resold VA property at local pawn stores and on his personal eBay account.”VA 3

For eleven years, they were working as the assistant chief of supply.  The employee had how many reporting employees and superiors have had to sit through how many records audits.  In all these eleven years, I cannot believe that nobody ever suspected problems.  Who did the thief learn how to steal from the government from?  How many employees churned, and did any of these employees churn because they tried to report irregularities, and the boss ensured they were disposed of to silence them?  The VA has been taken to several congressional hearings to eliminate the whistle-blower rather than fixing the problems at the VA.  Thus, it is not in any way, shape or form, out of line to be suspicious about employee churn and fraudulent actions taken by a supervisor to eradicate and protect their schemes!  Why are these questions never asked in the VA-OIG investigations where schemes are uncovered by ranking and supervisory personnel?

Remaining in the south and moving next door to Slidell, Lousiana, a doctor, has been indicted for illegally dispensing opioids in a health care fraud scheme.

Adrian Dexter Talbot of Slidell, Louisiana, was charged for his role in distributing Schedule II controlled substances, including oxycodone and morphine, outside the scope of professional practice and for maintaining his clinic to distribute controlled substances illegally. He was also charged with defrauding health care benefit programs of more than $5.1 million, given that the opioid prescriptions were filled using health insurance benefits.”VA 3

Remember, an indictment is not a finding of guilt, and the defendant remains innocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a jury of his peers.  There is a very compelling point made by our founding fathers that need to be repeated here and declared more often in American Society.

“… Should the People of America, once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while practicing iniquity and extravagance, and displays the charming pictures in the most captivating manner of candour, frankness, and sincerity.  At the same time, it is rioting in rapine and insolence; this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world.  Because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passion unbridled by morality and religionOur Constitution (the US Constitution) was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – President John Adams

The drug war and the opioid crisis stem from the same problem, a lack of morality and religion.  The duplicity of showing candor, frankness, and sincerity, while at heart there is nothing but ravening appetites and the minds of wolves, is the problem.  Sure, drugs create a social and medical issue out of the unbridled appetites and passions.  The core is the lack of self-restraint from being disconnected to religion and morality and from social duty, responsibility, and accountability.  Thus, making people miserable and looking for a cure.Knowledge Check!

The case above expresses this point clearly; the doctors involved were filling an appetite.  As long as there is an appetite, there will be people willing to risk everything to fill the appetites of others; moral and social disconnection, and the US Constitution cannot govern these people except to their destruction!

Moving to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we find another series of indictments for more fraud, reflecting the same social disconnection.

Kingsley R. Chin of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the chief executive officer of SpineFrontier Inc., and Aditya Humad of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company’s chief financial officer, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute, six counts of violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Chin and Humad allegedly bribed surgeons to use SpineFrontier’s products, and in turn, the company received millions of dollars in revenue from surgeries the surgeons performed.”VA 3

Traveling north to Bedford, Massachusetts, we find another dead veteran and culpability so thick it should be used as a board to apply corrective discipline for all parties involved!  From the report, we see the scope of the investigation for the VA-OIG:

Mr. Timothy White was a resident of the Bedford Veterans Quarters (BVQ), an independent living facility operated by Caritas Communities, Inc. (Caritas), in space leased to it through VA’s enhanced-use lease program. A month after Mr. White was reported missing, his body was found in the emergency exit stairwell of the building that houses the BVQ. This stairwell down the hall from his room was VA property and not leased to Caritas.”VA 3

The VA-OIG found the following as facts in the investigation:

    1. The VA police department’s failure to locate Mr. White resulted in part from the police and others at VA not considering the veteran an at-risk missing patient, which would have required a stairwell search.
    2. The Veterans Health Administration and the Office of Security and Law Enforcement lacked clear guidance regarding the obligations of VA police to search for nonpatients reported missing on VA property.
    3. VA police also did not discover Mr. White in the stairwell because of an improper order by the then-police chief to cease patrols of the building in which Mr. White was found.
    4. The OIG found that the VA police chief exceeded his authority as VA policy, and the lease required VA police to patrol VA property.
    5. Medical center staff mistakenly believed the emergency exit stairwells were not VA space; they did not clean them.
    6. The confusion among medical center leaders and staff regarding the lease scope and VA’s obligations stemmed from a lack of clear guidance from the Office of Asset and Enterprise Management.
    7. Routine police patrols and stairwell cleanings likely would have led to Mr. White being found earlier.

Angry Grizzly BearNow, as logical thinking adults, do you buy the load of excuses being sold here to pass off the blame for a dead veteran?  I know I am certainly NOT buying this load of bull!  Having worked and spoken in-depth to leaders of VA Police Departments, the excuses to not do stairwell checks and camera checks for missing patients are beyond inexcusable!  I know of a situation where a patient was lost on VA property.  Every police officer and staff member, even those on off-shifts, were called in, issued out in teams, and every square inch of the property was investigated until the patient was found.  Yet, somehow this patient was able to DIE unnoticed in a stairwell!  Are you kidding me?!?!?!

Regardless of whether this veteran died of malnourishment, dehydration, exposure, or lack of medication, he died horribly!  The veteran died at the hands of responsible parties, and those parties need to be held accountable for his untimely and atrocious death!  There is NO EXCUSE for this veteran to have died.  SHAME on the administration!  SHAME on the VA Police!  SHAME on the third-party contractor.  SHAME on the leaders of government who have allowed this abuse and refused to act!

Moving west to Chalfont, Pennsylvania, we find more stolen valor and theft of government benefits.

Richard Meleski of Chalfont, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $302,121 in restitution for stealing VA benefits by pretending to be a veteran who the enemy had captured during combat. In July 2020, Meleski pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud, two counts of mail fraud, one count of stolen valor, two counts of fraudulent military papers, as well as two counts of aiding and abetting straw purchases, and one count of making false statements in connection with receiving Social Security Administration disability benefits.”VA 3

While there are many more VA-OIG reports needing sunshine disinfectant, let us remember Mr. White, who has passed, and the feloniously falsely imprisoned unnamed veteran from today’s VA-OIG recap.  These two veterans especially deserve respect, dignity, and remembrance.  Their families and friends deserve praise and prayers.  America deserves answers, and federal employees need to be held accountable for failing to do the job they are paid tax dollars to perform!

I-Care© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Affirmative Action – A Discussion for Eradication!

VirtueI wonder if maybe affirmative action is not just dead but ready for the waste pits of history.  Cohen (1996) acknowledged that federal hiring has a set of laws, with exceptions for every rule, to justify not hiring individuals.  I have personally witnessed this in Albuquerque, NM., for the better part of three years.  At the V.A. Hospital and Social Security Offices, the hiring managers refuse to hire veterans, and multiple other hiring paths to keep “undesired people” from being hired.”

As a dual-service (U.S. Army & U.S. Navy) disabled veteran with a handicap that is visible (neurological shaking, twitching, and muscle spasms, which include trouble speaking) too often, I am the best candidate until the interview.  Walking into an interview with a cane, spasm, or twitch a couple of times, and the faces of those interviewing reflect their discomfort, and I will not be hired.  Government, private sector, for-profit, not-for-profit, none of these matters, people are uncomfortable around those of us with visible disabilities.  Affirmative action has never helped, and as an experiment in social behavior, should be scraped from the law as soon as legislation can be written to effect this change!Patriotism

Undesired people” includes people with handicaps (though Schedule A hiring has top priority in government hiring), veterans, spouses, and dependents with specific federal benefits, minorities (including men, people of color of all shades, American Indians, etc.) also have priority in hiring.  All the best jobs, positions, and perks are awarded through nepotism and the court of public opinion.  The system is structured in such a way as to remain in legal compliance to affirmative action; thus, affirmative action is a shield protecting lousy behavior instead of as a tool to improve workforce hiring.  My assertion of the uselessness of affirmative action is not just based upon my experiences.  I have witnessed people get into car accidents, get a disability, and go from productive worker to shunned worker almost overnight, all due to the disability sustained.The Duty of Americans

Harasztosi and Lindner (2015) discussed how the minimum wage costs jobs and excluded the neediest citizens from employment.  I contend that affirmative action has negatively impacted minorities, men and women, disabled people, etc., most significantly using the principles and logic of Harasztosi and Lindner (2015).  Rules demanding social behavior always will substantially and negatively impact those designed in the law to enjoy the most benefit.  I believe in the Missouri State Motto; “Show ME!”  Show me a single piece of legislation that has helped those it was written for.  Legislation cannot dictate behavior or morals in society; hence the following from John Adams applies, the U.S. Constitution “… was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Hence, the path forward is not more laws to avoid, but less.  The way forward is the societal education in morals as governed through a religious society.Editorial - Educational Truth

Historically, there are no legal, moral, or ethical reasons for affirmative action.  Affirmative action, and the diversity policies feeding the modern workplace adopted after affirmative action was legislated, barely have a legal foothold, let alone a justifiable reason for existence (Brazelton, 2016; Oppenheimer, 2016; Pierce, 2013; Young, 2001).  Human Resources is the capitalization of human capital to meet organizational needs.  When capitalization of human abilities is appropriately affected, the effort becomes work, leading to finished products or services for sale to consumers.  When not adequately modified, capitalization of human skills turns into waste, loss, confusion, and the organization will eventually “fall an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle” (Bloom, & Kamm, 2014; Typographical Journal, 1892).Apathy

Sykes (1995) defined affirmative action as “… [T]he set of public policies and initiatives designed to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”  As promising as this sounds, affirmative action remains the biggest farce crammed down the business community’s throats since the Federal Income Tax.  By focusing, as this definition states, on “eliminating discrimination past and present,” the entire country forgets the wise words from Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift; that is why it is called the present.”  By focusing on the past, we project the same problems of the past, ruining both the present and the future.  While providing fodder for ill-advised politicians and media hacks to accuse everyone of racism, sexism, and a host of other “-ism” claims that are erroneous.  I repeat, only for emphasis, you cannot legislate human behavior and morals, and hiring an employee is the epitome of human behavior and morals.President Adams

Affirmative action is not necessary, needed, or applicable; affirmative action, and the diversity programs replacing affirmative action, were never required, helpful, or valuable enough to create from whole cloth the legal precedent to justify implementation (Brazelton, 2016; Oppenheimer, 2016; Pierce, 2013; Young, 2001). No, the short answer remains clear, Affirmative Action was not needed in 1964 and is still not needed today. Before 1964 when the Civil Rights Legislation was passed, the educational and experience gap between those working and not working caused pay problems, yet new professional opportunities naturally occurred as educational opportunities increased.  Affirmative action was not needed.  Let’s be clear, the executive orders and complicit Congress during President Woodrow Wilson’s tenure are the reasons the 1960s were so tumultuous, and the Civil Rights movement became needed.  But the reliance upon a government fix for personal behavior and morals was the wrong answer in the 1960s and remains a horrible answer today!

Dont Tread On MeNow that Affirmative Action has pampered more than two generations, we have more women and minorities in the workplace with the same skills as white males, and the same problem exists in deferential hiring, differential treatment based upon race, gender, and other politically acceptable groups. People who want to work, start early, work hard, and prepare for better jobs through education, experience, and single-minded determinedness. Those who do not wish to work create excuses, live off the government dole, and remain entrenched in ignorance, causing poverty, loss of self-esteem, ruined families, and a host of social problems that those who are working have to deal with and pay taxes to the government, who started the problem in the first place. These same workers have to fight affirmative action and diversity policies for new jobs, promotions, pay increases, etc., including all the issues associated with a minimum wage and associated costs (Harasztosi, & Lindner, 2015; Hawkins & Sowell, 2011).

References

Bloom, R., & Kamm, J. (2014). Human resources: Assets that should be capitalized. Compensation & Benefits Review, 46(4), 219-222. doi:10.1177/0886368714555453

Brazelton, S. (2016). A hollow hope? Social change, the U.S. supreme court, and affirmative action. The Journal of Race & Policy, 12(2), 84-95. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/docview/1940981339?accountid=134061

Cohen, C. (1996). Should federal affirmative action policies be continued? Congressional Digest, 75, 181-181.

Harasztosi, P. & Lindner, A. (2015). Who pays for the minimum wage?UC Berkeley.Hawkins, J., & Sowell, T. (2011). Right-wing news: An interview with Thomas Sowell. Retrieved from http://www.rightwingnews.com/interviews/sowell.php

Master, Oogway (Character). (2008). Kung Fu Panda [DVD].

Oppenheimer, D. B. (2016). The disappearance of voluntary affirmative action from the U.S. workplace. The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 24(1), 37-50. doi: http://dx.doi.org.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/10.1332/175982716X14538098991133

Pierce, J. L. (2013). White Racism, Social Class, and the Backlash Against Affirmative Action. Sociology Compass, 7(11), 914–926. https://doi-org.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/10.1111/soc4.12082

Sykes, M. (1995, August). The origins of affirmative action. Retrieved from http://www.now.org/nnt/08-95/affirmhs.html

Typographical Journal. (1892). Typographical Journal, Volume 4 [Google Play]. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=FydFAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA10-PA4&lpg=RA10-PA4&dq=%E2%80%9Cfall+an+unpitied+sacrifice+in+a+contemptible+struggle%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=DW3MDox1Xu&sig=vd-U9cqe7PVSqLbA27FIX5DgJOs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi4zp3I-ZTeAhXqwlQKHZfZC6QQ6AEwA3oECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%9Cfall%20an%20unpitied%20sacrifice%20in%20a%20contemptible%20struggle%E2%80%9D&f=false

Young, I. M. (2001). Equality of Whom? Social Groups and Judgments of Injustice. Journal of Political Philosophy, 9(1). Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=4335602&site=ehost-live&scope=site

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

Republican Government: The Judicial, the Executive, and the Legislative

Disclaimer:  Calling America a Republic is the correct form of language to describe America’s Governmental system, it does not refer to the political party of the same name.  Referring to America’s government operations as democratic, does not refer to the political party of the same name.

The US Constitution set forth three separate and equal branches of government, possessing their own powers, authority, and processes for governing America.  The problem America is facing right now, the legislative especially, and the executive too frequently, have abnegated their powers to the judicial branch until it is quite common and acceptable for a Speaker of the House of Representatives to rely upon the judicial branch to ascertain intent of a piece of legislation, instead of fixing the legislation in the House of Representatives and the Senate.  So, since America’s schools have refused to teach this coequal system of government, and have bastardized the US Constitution, the following is produced.

The executive branch of government is where a person finds all the bureaucrats, or government employees, who exert the government influence through their decision-making authority granted them by elected officials.  This is one of the reasons why certain offices in government need both the Mayor, Governor, or President’s approval and the approval of an elected governing body, city council, State or Federal Senate.  The US Constitution put in place multiple checks and balances between the three coequal branches of government to ensure that no single branch could dominate all the branches or government.

The legislative branch, which includes city councils, state Houses of Representatives and Senators, and Federal House of Representatives and Senators, write the laws the executive branch is mandated to uphold and serve.  Thus, the will of the people in establishing laws through representation was established.  Therefore, legislators and senators have such tremendous power as to attract the special interest groups in our representative government.

The judicial branch does nothing more, or less, than interpret the constitutionality of a problem brought before a judge.  Criminal judges have a slightly different and more expansive role, but the constitutionality of an action remains the core and the boundaries of their power.

Inherent in the republican form of America’s government is the fundamental belief that there are boundaries and restrictions to action.  This is called the US Constitution.  Not to be confused with Federal, State, and Local rules, laws, and procedures.  A city ordinance is not the US Constitution and if that city ordinance is deemed unconstitutional for the state or federal constitution’s, a judge should declare as much and return the core issues to either the executive or legislative branch for correction.

We must be clear on this issue, the judicial branch can levy fines to encourage behavioral changes, but cannot, and should not, legislate from the bench.  Yet, when the legislatures refuse to enact laws that are fair, just, and timely, it has become common practice to run to a judge and get a judicial ruling.  Thus, causing chaos in the citizenry, and developing a new term for legal scholars, Lawfare.

Judicial Activism is where a judge declares that the US Constitution is a “living document” that should bend to every conceivable contemporary value.  Judicial activism removes the voice of the people from the legislative branches of government and interposes the opinions of a couple of judges as being more valuable than the will of the citizens.

Judicial restraint requires intestinal fortitude and limits the powers of judges to the US Constitution and state constitutions.  Judicial restraint is not popular and as such is regularly castigated by the media and those showing judicial restraint have aspersions, insults, and problems set before them.

Here are several examples of judicial overreach, e.g. judicial activism, that support the problem of legislatures or executives writing bad laws or executing poor policies, and demanding the judicial branch sort out the problems.  Where chaos in the citizenry ensued.

  • June 2015 – Horne v. Department of Agriculture, the Court ruled that a federal program requiring raisin growers to set aside a percentage of their crops for government redistribution was an unconstitutional “taking” under the Fifth Amendment.
    • An extension of judicial overreach from In United States v. Rock Royal Co-operative, Inc., 307 U.S. 533 (1939), the Court sustained an order under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, 50 Stat. 246, regulating the price of milk in certain instances.
    • The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 was a New-Deal Agricultural order that allowed the government to seize personal property from farmers, dairymen, etc. and give it away, to regulate prices across America. This is the same time where the power of the USDA began to rise and property began to change its definition as elaborated by Charles Reich in the 1960s.
    • Judicial activism allowed the government to break the fifth amendment of the US Constitution, and the practice continues to this very day by bureaucrat’s hell bent on destroying personal property safeguards in the US Constitution.
    • The legal precedent was set by another case of judicial activism in the Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon 260 U.S. 393 (1922), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that whether a regulatory act constitutes a taking requiring compensation depends on the extent of diminution in the value of the property. This decision started the doctrine of regulatory taking and features prominently in the legal grounds for Eminent Domain.
  • June 2005 – Eminent Domain, Kelo v. City of New London by a 5-4 majority, it affirmed the city’s right to seize private land as part of an economic development plan—a redefinition of the “Takings Clause” under the Fifth Amendment. The US Constitution states clearly that, “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
    • Until this decision the Eminent Domain and Taking Clause had been strictly and rigidly defined. Five judges who believe in judicial activism opened this “Pandora’s Box,” and the havoc has been nonstop ever since.
    • What was in the “Pandora Box;” before Kelo, eminent domain had been limited to direct government ownership, excluding property transfers to private corporations. With Kelo, the question of whether economic gain, resulting from a “taking” for corporate interests, constituted “public use” finally came under Supreme Court scrutiny, and five judges declared that if a corporation has interests, those interests are the same as government interests.
    • As proven by Eminent Domain, corporate interests change with economies and when corporate interests change, the property holder does not get their property back, and if seized under eminent domain, the government can choose what the value of the property is worth.
    • Ever want to see the power of bureaucrats in action, look at the abuses that property owners have suffered through eminent domain. Ever want to see why judicial restraint is critical, look no further than the still undeveloped land in the Kelo case!
  • January 2011 – Obamacare, everyone should remember all the chaos that ensued in this political tug-of-war between the legislative branch and the judicial branch, with a healthy dose of political grandstanding thrown in for good measure by the executive branch.
    • A judge in Florida issued a decision in a case filed by 25 Republican Attorneys General and Governors striking down the Affordable Care Act.
    • Twelve federal judges have already dismissed challenges to the constitutionality of the health reform law, and two judges – in the Eastern District of Michigan and Western District of Virginia – have upheld the law. In one other case, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia issued a very narrow ruling on the constitutionality of the health reform law’s “individual responsibility” provision and upheld the rest of the law.
    • Worse, there remain multiple issues in Obamacare yet to be decided by the courts because the legislature refuses to clarify, act, or even respond to judicial opinions.
  • Continuous Issue (1973) – Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
    • A little history on this subject, 1820s and 1830s abortions were common through the fourth month of pregnancy and herbs, pills, and other home remedies were prevalent for use. Then, the physicians of America and the government stepped in to prevent poisoning and assert control over home remedies, midwives, and other medical opinion providers of the time.
    • New York was the first state to legalize, or codify into law abortion, as a public health measure to improve the lives of women. But, the abortion industry had not begun targeting black and non-white communities.  The first women getting abortions mainstream were, a middle- or upper-class white married women.
    • Original feminists opposed abortion practices and wanted only voluntary motherhood through the “right of women to control sex with their husbands.”
    • The original laws banning abortion were enacted to humiliate women who had to discuss their bedroom affairs with the executive and judicial branch representatives.
    • Judges made the decisions to outlaw abortion, through judicial activism because it was taking the legislative branch too long to enact laws the special interest groups, the American Medical Association (AMA), wanted.
    • Judges then made the decision to make abortion on demand legal, through judicial activism, because again it was taking too long for the legislative branch to act and enact the appropriate laws.
    • Thus, judicial activism and abortion have a long and sordid history of causing chaos in America since at least the 1840s. Hence, when a person discusses Roe v. Wade they are only discussing the abortion on demand industry, and not the whole problem of judicial activism on this issue.
  • June 2015 – Homosexual Marriage. The executive branch of government, almost as soon as America was codified into law, began regulating marriage between a man and a woman, based upon Judaeo-Christian understandings of marriage.  By regulating marriage, the government gained a revenue source, a control mechanism for the behavior of the population, and set legal precedents for what is and is not considered a marriage by the state.  Each state adopted their own legal precedents, guidelines, rules, laws, and so forth leading eventually to 50-different opinions on marriage.
    • Important to note, nothing in the US Constitution requires the definition of marriage for all 50 states, nothing in the US Constitution prohibits the state executive branch to regulate marriage. The executive branch acted to regulate marriage licensing as a control measure on individual morality, e.g. the number of wives of husbands a person may have, marriage to animals being forbidden, etc.
    • Five judicial activists decided that all 50-states need to adopt homosexual marriage and exerted their opinion accordingly through the courts. This decision has trumped the executive and legislative branches of government, stolen the individual citizen’s voice, and created untold havoc and uncountable expenses for every person in America.
    • A marriage license and a driver’s license are both executive controls on the population through government setting rules, regulations, and policies. The definition of marriage is a state right’s issue, as the individual states claimed they have the right to regulate marriage when they individually began issuing licenses to marry or drive.
    • For or against homosexual marriage is a state right’s issue, not a Supreme Court, or Federal Government Issue. Hence, the judicial activism that drove this decision is the problem, not necessarily how the judges expressed their opinions.  This decision is a clear-cut example of needing to return a judicial decision to the states to decide through legislative action.

Judicial activism has been carefully cultivated into America, so that every time there is a problem, the solution is to grab a judge and demand a decision.  However, as shown herein, the courts are a gamble, and the worst that occurs is more societal chaos because a judge has overstepped their authority and made unequal the three branches of republican government.  Worse, that judge has rendered the democratic processes of the people’s rights to self-rule invalid, null, and void.

For example, Kelo should have been referred to the legislative and executive branches for a decision, as the “Taking Clause” was constitutional, but rigidly controlled.  But, because the judicial stepped in to “solve the problem,” through adjudication, chaos has ensued, which has forced, at a minimum, 40 different interpretations of the “Taking Clause.”  Which opens a minimum of 80-different potential decisions if the courts decide to take up the Eminent Domain issue again.  Talk about chaos!

The executive branch and the legislative branch must be held accountable for abnegating their duties.  This accountability occurs at the ballot box where the lazy and recalcitrant lawmaker is returned to being a private citizen.  Then, launching a judicially correct investigation into why that person abnegated their duties; especially, if personal enrichment occurred.  Judges are supposed to be held accountable through the actions of the legislative and executive branch taking firm action, not creating new laws.  The judicial branch oversees executive and legislative investigations only to ensure the US Constitution is properly followed.  Proper checks and balances!

However, there is a caveat to the US Constitution provided by the second president of the United States, John Adams.  “Our Constitution, [which includes all the separate state constitutions,] [were] made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other [type of person].”  Why has the executive and legislative branches abdicated their duties to the judicial; they are not inherently moral or religious.  Why has judicial activism exploded; the people in office are not moral or religious.

Thus, the solution for America is to begin hiring through the election process morally upright and religious people.  Every vote, in every election, matters.  Those on the political left understand this policy and use it as a weapon to create enmity and negate the power of the people to self-government and republican rule through democratic processes.  Make the time, get knowledgeable about candidates and issues, and then vote!

© Copyright 2020 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the pictures.
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