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Archive for the ‘Supreme Court and Federal Judiciary’ Category

Government Gridlock is Good

Posted by Tony Listi on March 25, 2008

Every now and then I will hear someone complain that government “doesn’t do anything” or “gets nothing done” or similar such sentiments. Such things are very troubling to me for two reasons: they demonstrate that that person has no idea of what good government looks like AND that that person has no idea of how the federal government was originally intended to (dys)function! My immediate response to such sentiments is always this: Would you rather concentrate all power in one person or one group like the fascists, communists, monarchists, etc. did? Everyone should take delight in government gridlock: it means the system is working!

Though it should be second nature to Americans that decentralized government is good government, many Americans (mostly on the Left) see no danger in centralizing power. They see government as beneficent and benign. They want to remove the dividing lines and checks and balances in order to empower government to be more “compassionate.” Apparently, they have forgotten, chosen to ignore, or never studied history which is literally one big story about the failure of centralized power. They also do not understand economics and the superiority of the free market system.

So many people really have no perspective on how unique the American system of government is, even compared to modern-day parliamentary democracies. At the time of the founding, it was completely unique and radical. When you sit down and read the Constitution objectively, you realize that the genius of the Framers lies not in how they intended the federal govt. to work but in how they intended it NOT to work. What other nation in human history up until that time had purposefully divided its government (and thus its power and authority) into three or more distinct entities? There may have been some city-states in Europe during the Middle Ages that experimented with republican government, but other than that, one would have to go back to the time of the Greek poleis and the Roman Republic to find such decentralized govt. So don’t blame the politicians for gridlock. In fact, don’t blame anyone; take pride in it.

Today there are many countries modeled on the US, but many of the world’s democracies are parliamentary. That means that the separation of powers between the legislative and executive powers is weaker than in the American system, which in turn means that these countries are more unstable and in danger of tyranny through a concentration of power. Whereas the American system is inherently conservative (in the sense that policy changes tend to happen more slowly), European government may often fall prey to popular passions of the time (as historically they did with regard to fascism and now socialism).

The only concern conservatives have with regard to governmental structure is that over the past century or so the Supreme Court has usurped much of the authority of the other two branches. Therefore, what should have been gridlock became judicial fiat. The SCOTUS and federal judiciary in general is now the instrument by which liberalism by-passes the legitimate institutions of government and the constitutional restraints on its power and imposes its ideology upon the masses. Now conservatives are trying to reverse the damage done to the Constitution and our country because of this judicial tyranny. Gridlock with a liberal status quo is unbearable to the conservative. Conservatives must be activists to restore the rule of law. We must put originalists and strict constructionists on the courts and utilize the amendment process.

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Posted in American Culture, American History, Government and Politics, Political Philosophy, Supreme Court and Federal Judiciary, The Constitution, Written by Me | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

New Chapter in Judicial Fascism: Socialized Education in California

Posted by Tony Listi on March 25, 2008

This is outrageous. Why is it that communists, fascists, and liberals “care” so much for “the children”? Because this is the only way to control and indoctrinate them. They want to separate children from their parents. (Apparently, government “cares” more for children than their own parents!) They want the government to determine/transform American culture rather than the free market of ideas. They want a government education monopoly that fails our children rather than a free market of competition that produces a better quality product (that might even raise teachers salaries naturally according the value society places on education).

Or, to borrow the Left’s vocabulary, they are just so prejudiced and intolerant of parents and the home school community! Parentism! Home schoolism! Where are the civil rights leaders?? ACLU, where are you? Home schoolers are now an oppressed minority!…. Hypocrites….

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120614130694756089.html
Certifying Parents
March 22, 2008; Page A24

In the annals of judicial imperialism, we have arrived at a strange new chapter. A California court ruled this month that parents cannot “home school” their children without government certification. No teaching credential, no teaching. Parents “do not have a constitutional right to home school their children,” wrote California appellate Justice Walter Croskey.

The 166,000 families in the state that now choose to educate their children at home must be stunned. But at least one political lobby likes the ruling. “We’re happy,” the California Teachers Association’s Lloyd Porter told the San Francisco Chronicle. He says the union believes all students should be taught only by “credentialed” teachers, who will in due course belong to unions.

California law requires children between six and 18 to attend a full-time day school. Failure to comply means falling afoul of the state’s truancy laws, which say kids can’t play hooky without an excuse. But kids who are taught at home are less likely to be truants. Their parents choose to spend their time teaching English, math and science precisely because they don’t think the public schools do a good enough job.

The case was initiated by the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services after a home-schooled child reportedly complained of physical abuse by his father. A lawyer assigned to two of the family’s eight children invoked the truancy law to get the children enrolled in a public school and away from their parents. So a single case of parental abuse is being used to promote the registration of all parents who crack a book for their kids. If this strikes some readers as a tad East German, we know how you feel.

That so many families turn to home schooling is a market solution to a market failure — namely the dismal performance of the local education monopoly. According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, the majority of states have low to moderate levels of regulation for home schools, an environment that has allowed the option to flourish, especially in the South and Western U.S. Between 1999 and 2003, the rate of home-schooling increased by 29%.

For some parents, the motive for home schooling is religious; others want to protect their kids from gangs and drugs. But the most-cited reason is to ensure a good education. Home-schooled students are routinely high performers on standardized academic tests, beating their public school peers on average by as much as 30 percentile points, regardless of subject. They perform well on tests like the SAT — and colleges actively recruit them both for their high scores and the diversity they bring to campus.

In 1994, a federal attempt to require certification of parent-teachers went down in flames as hundreds of thousands of calls lit up phone banks on Capitol Hill. The movement has since only grown larger and better organized, now conservatively estimated at well over a million nationwide. But what they can’t accomplish legislatively, unions are now trying to achieve by diktat from the courts.

If John McCain wants an issue to endear him to cultural conservatives, this would be it. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama rarely stray from the preferences of the teachers unions, but we’d like to know whether they really favor the certification of parents who dare to believe they know best how to teach their children.

Posted in Education, Government and Politics, Supreme Court and Federal Judiciary | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »