Wednesday, March 4, 2009

POPULISM MAY BE THE ENEMY OF FREEDOM

"A political system is essentially a set of arrangements by which some people dominate others." Political Thinking, Glenn Tinder, 1974.

For me there is nothing more dangerous than when politicos follow the demands of the people. Who are the people? They hate earmarks unless it is for a bridge in their community. They hate Congress, unless it is their congressman. They hate government, unless they are demanding the government tends to their needs. They are so poorly educated that they cannot make the connection between taxes and government services. They are so narcissistic that they believe that the only government spending which is acceptable is that spending which meets their agenda. The people cannot and will not conceive of the notion that maybe, just maybe, they have a neighbor who based on their experiences sees the role of government differently.

Populism for me always has been and always will be mob rule. It comes about when politicos are too cowardly and too intellectually inept to stand up to the people and say - "this is the way it must be." The funny thing about populism is, it tends to bring about tyrants who then gain the favor of the people because that same lack of intellect which formed the demands of the populous, now becomes their prison as they worship the tyrant because the tyrant now does all of the thinking for the populous.

Even our Founding Fathers understood this. With the exception of a handful of communities around the country, direct democracy is dead in the US and in fact never really existed. One of my pet peeves is when a person calls me and asks me a legal question. I give them a straight up and down answer. The response is always the same - "but my girl friend told me that her aunt’s coworker did get the right to castrate her husband for cheating on her." This is the people.

What is the point in electing people to form policy and lead us if it is our intent to tell them they are doing it all wrong all of the time. I am not saying we should not dissent - it is of course my favorite pass time. What I am saying is, our dissent should not guide them. If we elect intelligent qualified people (please I get it not an option in Brownsville) we should trust them to guide us. We should protest when we disagree with their actions. But they should never be guided by the demands of the people. They should be guided by facts, by science, by widely held principles of economics - for example.

Remember who the people are - they talk to dead people. They listen to Rush, Hannity, and Beck. The other day I was discussing one of the latest lies by these three being send out for consumption by their moronic loyalists. According to them President Obama is going to force every doctor to do abortions of face loss of medicare and medicaid monies. A bold face lie, which these morons will believe. They have no interest in science or facts, so you can sell them snake oil every time. And the three Amigos know the populous will but it every time.

As shocking as it may sound not every doctor has training in performing abortions. Not every doctor just has the equipment sitting around his/her office for performing abortions. Not every doctor has malpractice insurance which covers abortions. And on and on and on -

Really, do you want the Herald guiding the populist movement in Brownsville. This morning’s article on Sossi as the city attorney was written by two-bit never amount to anything reporter who never met a complete truth worth printing. The Herald is fully aware that the Court of Appeals found that the Commissioners are entitled to health benefits. But they wanted the people to believe otherwise so that Cavasos can sell newspapers to idiots.

9 comments:

The Merovingian said...

The Herald is fully aware that the Court of Appeals found that the Commissioners are entitled to health benefits. But they wanted the people to believe otherwise so that Cavasos can sell newspapers to idiots.

I do not think that we were reading the same court filings and opinions, nor the applicable citys' charters if you believe this to be the case.

"Of course I know. It is my business to know." -The Merovingian

BobbyWC said...

I read the opinions and compared the charter provisions. They are the same. Sorry Charlie Atkinson raised the issue at the City Commission meeting.

The decision to file a motion to lift the injunction has already been made. It will be filed after the election. This is just a formality.

Now of course everything could change if the citizens in Corpus file an appeal in the case. The Texas Supreme Court could reverse the Court of Appeals.

This is from the Court of Appeals opinion:

"However, the City Charter is conspicuously devoid of any language placing a strict limit on the compensation afforded to the Mayor or City Council members. The City Charter merely states that City Council members "shall receive as compensation the sum of six thousand dollars ($6,000.00) during each year of service on the council" and that the Mayor "shall receive as compensation the sum of nine thousand dollars ($9,000.00) during each year of service on the council."

Therefore, in concluding that the City Charter limits compensation to members of the City Council and the Mayor, the trial court has read more into the City Charter than what is actually there, which would be contrary to the drafters' intent."

Corpus Christi v. O’Brien et al., Case No. Number 13-08-00267-CV (Slip Opinion February 5, 2009)

http://www.13thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/htmlopinion.asp?OpinionId=17431

The language in the Brownsville City Charter is very similar to that of the Corpus Christi City Charter.

Article V, Section 13. Compensation.

"The mayor and city commissioners elected after the adoption of this amendment shall each receive as compensation for their services during their term of office the sum of ten dollars ($10.00) for their attendance for the full duration of each regular and special meeting; provided, however, that in no event shall they be paid for more than two regular and three special meetings in any one calendar month."

http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=10297&sid=43

Look the Herald's readership has collapsed. They know what issues will get people to click on - clicking on means advertising dollars.

What they fail to understand is, while some people are clicking on to read hot buttons issues, others are reading elsewhere because they understand the Herald is only printing half the story.

Bobby WC

The Merovingian said...

*Sigh*
The only similarity in the language is that they were both written in English. I answered in full on my blog.

Shall we also discuss the slippery slope of "meaningful compensation" for the "work" these people do?

It didn't get better government in Dallas, and you should see what Corpus Christi is up to in their Charter Review Committee. It is the committee that OUR commissioners wanted, but couldn't get. I may post all of that, too.

M.

The Merovingian said...

*Sigh*
The only similarity in the language is that they were both written in English. I answered in full on my blog.

Shall we also discuss the slippery slope of "meaningful compensation" for the "work" these people do?

It didn't get better government in Dallas, and you should see what Corpus Christi is up to in their Charter Review Committee. It is the committee that OUR commissioners wanted, but couldn't get. I may post all of that, too.

M.

BobbyWC said...

merov, you are totally ignoring the command of the court's opinion.

"However, the City Charter is conspicuously devoid of any language placing a strict limit on the compensation afforded to the Mayor or City Council members."

there is nothing in the Brownscville City Charter which places limits on compensation.

Whether or not the opinion is opening a slippery slope is a separate and distinct question.

The Texas Supreme Court may agree it opens a slippery slope - although the ruling would go against well established rules of construction when reading statutes or ordinances.

The idea of expressed lanaguage is pretty well settled.

Again you have to separate out the command of the opinion from the merits of compensation - one has nothing to do with the other.

I have repeatedly used the Dallas example for proof compensation does not beget better government.

So until where you or anyone else can state wherein the Brownsville City Charter it expressly limits compensation, such as in the Corpus case - Judge Janet Leal will lift the injunction upon request.

And again this has nothing to do with the merits of the argument - should we increase compensation.

It has everything to do with being bound by the court of appeals.

Bobby WC

BobbyWC said...

merov, you are totally ignoring the command of the court's opinion.

"However, the City Charter is conspicuously devoid of any language placing a strict limit on the compensation afforded to the Mayor or City Council members."

there is nothing in the Brownscville City Charter which places limits on compensation.

Whether or not the opinion is opening a slippery slope is a separate and distinct question.

The Texas Supreme Court may agree it opens a slippery slope - although the ruling would go against well established rules of construction when reading statutes or ordinances.

The idea of expressed lanaguage is pretty well settled.

Again you have to separate out the command of the opinion from the merits of compensation - one has nothing to do with the other.

I have repeatedly used the Dallas example for proof compensation does not beget better government.

So until where you or anyone else can state wherein the Brownsville City Charter it expressly limits compensation, such as in the Corpus case - Judge Janet Leal will lift the injunction upon request.

And again this has nothing to do with the merits of the argument - should we increase compensation.

It has everything to do with being bound by the court of appeals.

Bobby WC

BobbyWC said...

Merov,

again, until you can show wherein in the Brownsville Charter there is express language limiting compensation to only payments per meeting, the the faulty language in both Charters are the same.

On the slippery slope issue, the Court, and that is all that matters here, found that the health benefits are permissible because the state allows for health benefits.

All city charters have to be read in conjunction with statutes and constitutional mandates. So unless there is something in a statute or the Texas Constitution which says for example compensation can include daily lunches, under the Corpus Opinion they are not getting there.

Your entire arguement is classic, muddy the waters and confuse the reader.

Finding an audience in Brownsville which opposes additional compensation for this Commission is as much as a challenge as finding criminals in prisons.

But the compensation issue has nothing to do with my initial comment, and that was the Herald should have mentioned that the Court of Appeals in a similar health benefits case coming out of Corpus upheld the commissioners right to benefits because nothing in the City Charter expressly limits compensation to a fee per meeting.

Now they could have said the Corpus case is different because the Brownsville City Charter does using limiting language and here it is. they did not do the latter because it does not exist, which is why the City Charter for Corpus and Brownsville are the same.

And again, none of this means I or anyone else supports additional compenssation. It only means I am pointing out the Court of Appeals ruling.

Bringing in the argument that they do not deserve additional compensation only muddies the waters and distracts the reader from the issue -

Merov, to get me to change my mind all you have to do is cut and paste that part of the Brownsville Charter which contains the limiting language as required by the Court of Appeals opinion.

The simple fact is, you cannot which is why you seek to confuse the readers by drawing them into a different argument - an argument with which most people agree - including me - limit their compensation

Bobby WC

BobbyWC said...

Merov,

again, until you can show wherein in the Brownsville Charter there is express language limiting compensation to only payments per meeting, the the faulty language in both Charters are the same.

On the slippery slope issue, the Court, and that is all that matters here, found that the health benefits are permissible because the state allows for health benefits.

All city charters have to be read in conjunction with statutes and constitutional mandates. So unless there is something in a statute or the Texas Constitution which says for example compensation can include daily lunches, under the Corpus Opinion they are not getting there.

Your entire arguement is classic, muddy the waters and confuse the reader.

Finding an audience in Brownsville which opposes additional compensation for this Commission is as much as a challenge as finding criminals in prisons.

But the compensation issue has nothing to do with my initial comment, and that was the Herald should have mentioned that the Court of Appeals in a similar health benefits case coming out of Corpus upheld the commissioners right to benefits because nothing in the City Charter expressly limits compensation to a fee per meeting.

Now they could have said the Corpus case is different because the Brownsville City Charter does using limiting language and here it is. they did not do the latter because it does not exist, which is why the City Charter for Corpus and Brownsville are the same.

And again, none of this means I or anyone else supports additional compenssation. It only means I am pointing out the Court of Appeals ruling.

Bringing in the argument that they do not deserve additional compensation only muddies the waters and distracts the reader from the issue -

Merov, to get me to change my mind all you have to do is cut and paste that part of the Brownsville Charter which contains the limiting language as required by the Court of Appeals opinion.

The simple fact is, you cannot which is why you seek to confuse the readers by drawing them into a different argument - an argument with which most people agree - including me - limit their compensation

Bobby WC

BobbyWC said...

Merov,

again, until you can show wherein in the Brownsville Charter there is express language limiting compensation to only payments per meeting, the the faulty language in both Charters are the same.

On the slippery slope issue, the Court, and that is all that matters here, found that the health benefits are permissible because the state allows for health benefits.

All city charters have to be read in conjunction with statutes and constitutional mandates. So unless there is something in a statute or the Texas Constitution which says for example compensation can include daily lunches, under the Corpus Opinion they are not getting there.

Your entire arguement is classic, muddy the waters and confuse the reader.

Finding an audience in Brownsville which opposes additional compensation for this Commission is as much as a challenge as finding criminals in prisons.

But the compensation issue has nothing to do with my initial comment, and that was the Herald should have mentioned that the Court of Appeals in a similar health benefits case coming out of Corpus upheld the commissioners right to benefits because nothing in the City Charter expressly limits compensation to a fee per meeting.

Now they could have said the Corpus case is different because the Brownsville City Charter does using limiting language and here it is. they did not do the latter because it does not exist, which is why the City Charter for Corpus and Brownsville are the same.

And again, none of this means I or anyone else supports additional compenssation. It only means I am pointing out the Court of Appeals ruling.

Bringing in the argument that they do not deserve additional compensation only muddies the waters and distracts the reader from the issue -

Merov, to get me to change my mind all you have to do is cut and paste that part of the Brownsville Charter which contains the limiting language as required by the Court of Appeals opinion.

The simple fact is, you cannot which is why you seek to confuse the readers by drawing them into a different argument - an argument with which most people agree - including me - limit their compensation

Bobby WC