May 27, 2017

American Individualism is a Product of Much Work by our Founders

American individualism is a product of much work by our Founders, a meeting of the minds of Federalists and Anti-Federalists, and its many centuries’ old principles are embodied in the US Constitution. The Magna Charta is about 800 years old and still very relevant. American individualism forms the foundational basis of our government and therefore cannot be anti-government. But it is clearly anti-Communist, anti-fascist Nationalist and anti-consolidation-of-power found in similarly in the Communist Manifesto, the Koran and the bureaucratic administrative states in America.

Drunken Karl Marx, responsible for nothing, created distinctions without differences. Part of his psycho-babble was “I stroll through the destruction a creator.” Setting classes against each other, that is, creating distinctions without differences, is an established tactic of the Communists, so said FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover, a loyal, trustworthy and moral American if there ever was one.

Von Mises’ 1951 refutation of the class divisions of Marxist Socialism entitled “Socialism” at page 299 states that, “Once it has been perceived that the division of labour is the essence of society, nothing remains of the antithesis between individual and society. The contradiction between individual principle and social principle disappears.”

In other words, not only is American individualism not antagonistic to society’s government, its miracle of freedom created the strongest government in the world in the history of mankind. And, the highest per capita income in the world ever since the 1830’s, as the late British economist Angus Maddison observed.

But for too many decades now, America has been moving away from founding principles of limited government and individual freedom.

So what are the common characteristics between Communism, the Koran and the administrative bureaucracies that destroy the fundamental Constitutional freedoms of individualism?

In short, each consolidates power. Both the Communist Manifesto and the Koran advocate gangs of indoctrinated who roam society and mete out “social justice”, if you will, as they find it. Bureaucratic agencies use Investigators who roam about or are tipped off by anonymous contacts. These three types of consolidated power get rid of the role of pesky lawyers, but they also combine a number of divisions of labor that are prohibited in our history by English Common Law as expounded by Wm. Blackstone. Only the administrative process attempts to hide the consolidation of power by having law-trained administrative law judges rubber stamp the steam-roller process in kangaroo court. But substantive (authentic) due process requires more. Much more.

Everyone can inherently understand the reasoning behind the common law’s prohibition of the Sheriff also serving as the Judge as a conflict of interest. It is obvious that the Sheriff will not accuse and arrest unless the Sheriff is convinced of guilt. And the Judge is supposed to be impartial. If not, a Jury will stand between the individual and the government. Add the requirement that the laws be published in writing and come from an elected legislative body, and you describe the requirements of the Magna Charta.

But when Communists or radical Muslims grab, accuse and execute you, they act as Sheriff, Judge, Jury and Executioner. It’s more complicated than that in the administrative state. The agency Investigator, sees the offense, sends in the information, and by letter, the agency tells the accused of the fine for the violation. So the agency acts as both the Sheriff and the Judge. The agency has another agent contact the accused to work out a deal. Many times, a deal is struck because the agency offers to settle for a lesser amount now, but more if you exercise your Constitutional rights. But everyone in the agency acts as One on behalf of the agency.

The agency accuses you, sentences you, tries to work a settlement with you, then enforces the sentence. As a general rule in the legal system, the initial accuser cannot be anonymous. And the administrative rules are not created the same way a law is.

And as a general proposition in court litigation, there are ethical rules regarding attorney communications with the opposite party that do not apply in agency settlement “talks”. But with agency actions, you get no jury trial right, even on appeal to the Judicial branch. In fact, changing the process from an appeal to the Judicial branch to a review by the Judicial branch simply makes the Judicial branch an extension of the administrative law judge function.

Such is more than a lack of niceties. It is a consolidation of power. But the consolidation does not end there.

Prof. Hamburger in his 2014 legal treatise “Is Administrative Law Unlawful?” from which much of the foregoing is exquisitely detailed, summarizes the consolidation of power at page 323 thusly: “In other words, administrative law harks back not merely to the time before the adoption of the United States Constitution, but all the way to the early Middle Ages. It then was commonplace to imagine that government power belonged to a single person or group that would be sufficiently wise, forceful, and judicious that it could be entrusted with all government power.”

To further describe the consolidation of power in bureaucratic agencies (the administrative state) in more detail, Prof. Hamburger makes the analogy of the human “intellect, will, and force” to the three separation of powers being the “lawmaking will, executive force, and judicial understanding…”. Id at pages 326-327.

He further points out that in the exercise of legislative will, the legislature is divided into two houses, and made up of elected people who represent individual interests. And the result of that legislative will must survive the Executive’s veto. Then there is the Executive who may be removed by the Legislature and Judiciary under certain circumstances. And the Judiciary is made up of three divisions of courts beginning with the trial court and two appellate courts to review decisions.

But Executive’s agency rules evade all of those safeguards by consolidating its rule-making process to a publish and comment process that, frankly, seems to operate more as a “should we go slower or faster” military-style after-action report.

And that is not the worst of it. Judicial deference to rule making, deference to rule interpretation and deference to the agency’s facts is an inexcusable abandonment of the duty of the Judicial branch to expound upon the law, or in this case the administrative rule. The most powerful point supporting that assertion is the fact that the Judicial branch does not allow even Congress to interpret its own laws, but it defers to the administrative state’s interpretation of its own rules. And the administrative state agency is a party in the litigation.

To a lawyer, deference to a party litigant is a shocking discovery. The Judge is supposed to be impartial, neutral. But it cannot when it defers to one of the parties in the litigation.

In those ways, administrative law defeats America’s unique Constitutional individualism. And major reform must be done. One is that the Judiciary must be reminded of its duty. And laws designed to thwart the proper judicial role must be changed and or found to be unconstitutional violations of the separation of powers. Two, administrative law judges whose decisions approving agency actions are overturned on Constitutional grounds two times should become automatically disqualified to work for government for life. This two strike rule should not disbar the attorney, but put him or her out into the private sector to make a living.

Livy, sharing thoughts and opinion from a bunkhouse on the southern high plains of Texas.


“Is Administrative Law Unlawful?”

I am reading law Prof. Hamburger’s “Is Administrative Law Unlawful?” and he makes the case that administrative law is not new rather it is the old King’s absolute prerogative reborn, the same prerogative that the Framers sought to prevent with the Constitution’s system of divided government.

He sets out how administrative law is extra-legal (outside the law), supra-legal (above the law) and, because it is not limited by the Constitution, it is unlimited in power. That is, it is no different than the unlimited power of the King.

Notwithstanding a few cases that attempt to rein in the administrative state, there seems to be in Texas a conscious and clever effort at the legislative and administrative code level to protect the unlimited power of the administrative state from constitutional limitations.

In this first example, in order to test some of this thinking, let’s take a very extreme and hopefully very unlikely example. Assume that the administrative code says that anyone who fails to pay an administrative fine by the 10th day after issuance by the agent shall be lined up and shot by firing squad. (If you think this is too far out, consider Obama’s man who used Roman crucifixion of Christians as a parable to guide the mind set for those involved in environmental enforcement.)

At this point in our jurisprudence most can readily state that such a code provision violates Constitutional guarantees of substantive due process that protect our human right to life. But if today’s Administrative Code set out such a punishment, where would such an issue be litigated? Apparently, Travis County, Texas, in the administrative court system.

In this second example, let’s assume something more regular, for example, where the administrative code says that the owner of property shall submit to a central control of private property regulation of some sort or pay a daily fine of $10,000.00. One can argue that this administrative process creates its own ad hoc condemnation process whereby the rights of groundwater owners are denied for the “greater common good”, an argument that is made by the Office of Public (Government Ownership) Interest Counsel in administrative hearings.

Others might pick a better suited example.

[Please note that enforcement agents might well be violating an old common law prohibition against the combination of the duties of the Sheriff with the duties of the Judge. Such administrative law provisions destroy the ancient safeguard of the impartiality of the Judge who is supposed to hold the Sheriff to a burden of proof and to determine the innocence or the guilt and punishment. Today’s administrative law judges are there to simply rubber stamp the regularity of the combined actions of the enforcement agent.]

With regard to this second example, some argue that administrative central control of private property is not a clear violation of the Constitutional prohibition against takings without just compensation. Balderdash. Central control abolishes private property. In 1958 J. Edgar Hoover said that our exceptionalism is America’s exception from Communism. The exceptionalism that provides our great wealth comes from private control of property. Karl Marx wrote of the central control of private property and the modes of production similarly. Last two pages Chap. Two Communist Manifesto, 1848.

I suspect that 60 years ago or so an extreme example of administrative law would be what we are seeing today, the illegitimate supplanting of an administrative process for the Condemnation process. So, let’s jump to an example that might seem extreme today: violation of the prohibition against the establishment of a state religion.

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I’ve had the passing thought, and I am not the only one who has noticed, that the fervor of the environmentalists and some adherents to Gaia as Mother Earth resembles a religion. Some might argue that we have already reached the point of an established de facto state religion in the environment (which is conceptually indistinguishable from Marx’ eschatological concept of the utopian commune), that is, earth and animal liberation and their derivatives embodied in legislation such as the 1973 Endangered Species Act together with corresponding overreaching administrative provisions.

If the power of the Administrative State is truly unlimited, then how many other provisions can be violated?

And where will those issues be litigated?

And, how much longer can the judicial branch safely ignore the holding in Jones v. Ross that states: “It is fundamental that the Constitution is the paramount law of the state and cannot be altered by legislative amendments.” 173 S.W. 2d 1022, 1024 (Tex. 1943).

Livy writes from a bunkhouse on the southern high plains of Texas.


Marx Slandered America

Adopting the terminology of our sworn enemies makes it harder to win the debate. Marx slandered our system of economic freedom as capitalism, which might be described by some as the priority of capital over everything else. However, that is not our system. Favoritism violates our Founders’ values that require equal protection for all of us under the law. Equality and individualism go together. Cronyism and oligarchy, are characteristics of Communist and fascist nationalist systems which are evil Hegelian twin philosophies that deny our system of individualism that is set out in our Constitution.

Americans have had the highest per capita income in the world since the 1830’s, a resounding economic success not only in comparison to other half-baked Marxist systems but also in the history of the mankind on earth. Anyone who points out China as an exception must explain how they would like to live in abject poverty and enslavement under the control of some 300 ultra-wealthy Communists who control the country and its un-redistributed $5 trillion dollar surplus.

Livy writes from a bunkhouse on the southern high plains of Texas.


Individual Human Rights

The 1986 Lexicon Encyclopedia coverage of Hegel contains magic. In law school, we are not taught that our system is based on the expression of individualism, the same individualism that Hegel, Marx, Stalin, Hitler, Garrett Hardin (author of Tragedy of the Commons) and Alinsky reject. The encyclopedic reference says that Hegelian philosophy split into two wings, the left is Marx’ Communism and the right is essentially fascist nationalism. Too many people in the US think in terms of right/left. But the Communists and Fascists are Hegelian twins who reject individualism, the individual rights that are key to America’s exceptionalism from Communism.

Before reading that, I never thought of our system of having been borne of an expression of individualism. But it makes sense. All the rights are individual rights. And of the individual right of free speech, J. Roberts specifically said in US v. Stevens 559 US 460 (2010) that the benefits of individual free speech outweigh the burden on government. I submit that the benefit of all our sacred individual rights outweigh the burden on government.

In law school, they teach that only certain rights are fundamental and others, not so much. However, a reading of The Federalist And Other Constitutional Papers, Scott, 1902, shows that our founders considered the whole Constitution to be fundamental, and that laws contrary to the Constitution are null and void. That they considered our individual rights to be sacred and referenced a Maker. We are all entitled to sacred and fundamental individual rights, not just the worst criminals in the US.

Despite the pervasive underlying theme of the TV media, the true dichotomy is not between communistic-thinking Democrats and fascist-thinking Republicans, rather both Democrats and Republicans should reject Neo-Nazi Progressivism. As J. Edgar Hoover stated in his 1958 book “Masters of Deceit”, the setting of the classes against each other is an established tactic of the Communists. To Communists, every opponent is a fascist. As long ago as 1951, Ludwig von Mises wrote in “Socialism” that the communists do not respond to diverse views with reason, rather they immediately respond with a personal attack.

Notice how character assassination is used quite publicly. For example, the rancher in Nevada whose preference grazing rights prevailed against all humans, but not against the subhuman tortoise under the 1973 Endangered Species Act, was painted as a racist.

All the rights are individual rights, sacred and fundamental for humans only. The public policy of the Constitution is clearly one of humans first, a public policy that Congress had no authority to alter with the Endangered Species Act. In my view, Nixon capitulated more than just Vietnam to the Communists in 1973. 1973 was a dark year for Nixon. Impeachment was on the horizon. Did he think that Americans turned on him so, now, he turned on America? In 1973 Brezhnev secretly stated to his Communist comrades that Détente would not stop the Communists advancement of their various National liberation movements. And, for his comrades to trust him when he said that he expected to achieve most of their goals by 1985 without violence. (Page 359, Dupes, Kengor, 2010) In 1975, Animal Liberation was published. Some participants in the animal liberation movement seek to abolish private property in animals and the movement contains elements of civil disobedience to achieve its goals.Livy
Livy writes from the Southern High Plains of Texas