Thursday, February 19, 2009
Not to fret; it will be OK - it’s just an economic downturn
Jackson mayor Frank Melton may have violated the Constitution when he busted up a possible crack house without a search warrant.
The feds are doing a pretty good job of violating the Constitution as well in their prosecution of Melton.
First, federal judge Dan Jordan issued a gag order forbidding Melton from talking. Gag orders violate our Constitution’s First Amendment, which forbids prohibiting free speech.
A gag order means the defendant cannot talk about his upcoming trial. Melton has been forbidden from telling his side of the story. It’s a sad day in America when a federal judge can stop a free man from proclaiming his innocence.
Second, Jordan has forbidden protesters the right to freely assemble, as provided in the First Amendment. Jordan says the demonstrators outside the federal courthouse would influence the jury.
Third, the feds are preventing an impartial trial by extensively interviewing jurors prior to selection. I guess if the feds can hand pick the jurors, they can get just about any verdict they want.
Fourth, the federal prosecutors have forbidden Melton from portraying the house as a “crack house” or from presenting evidence to that effect. Jurors should make this call, not the judge.
Fifth, the feds have cut a deal with one of Melton’s bodyguards to testify against him. Almost any type of federal prosecution involves these questionable deals. When you promise somebody leniency for the “right” testimony, the testimony is fundamentally tainted.
Sixth, the Constitution forbids “double jeopardy.” Double jeopardy means trying the same person twice for the same crime. Melton was already tried for these crimes and acquitted.
Here’s my tabulation of the constitutional violations: Melton one, feds six.
Melton paid for his crime and has apparently learned his lesson. There have been no more ransacking incidents. He suffered significant public humiliation. This federal prosecution - no matter how well intentioned it may be - is a stretch.
Like many Jacksonians, I am disappointed and saddened by the lost potential of the Melton administration. Soon the voters can exercise their democratic rights. Unless, of course, the feds do it for us.
Chicken Little lives!
Between world economic collapse and global warming, we’ve probably never had so many people praying. That’s a good thing!
If I were a non-believer and thought man was in the driver’s seat, I’d be pretty worried too. Man is a lousy driver. A sinner too.
I don’t recall from my high school history class anything about how man created planet Earth. Given that fact, I’m not betting we’ll be in charge of its destruction. We so want to be in charge. I bet the ants in the ant hill think they’re in charge too.
Let me get this straight: Our nation has been overindulging. We spend too much and save too little. We have been bad.
Now we’ve seen the error of our ways. We’ve stopped spending and started saving. That’s good, right?
No that’s terrible! Because we have overspent, we’ve got to overspend even more or the economy - which is based on spending - will go down the tubes.
Congress, of course, is leading the spending brigade. They love to spend. Even better now that it’s in the name of saving the country.
If you’re confused, it’s okay. (See the previous comment about man and his driving ability.)
Not to fret. It will be OK. This is what you call an “economic downturn.” We act as though the sky has fallen. In fact, one-third of American history is spent in an economic downturn (defined as rising unemployment). It’s part of the natural ebb and flow of life.
We’ll cut back and save more. All that money will have to be reinvested and the economy will come roaring back to life, only to bubble and burst again four to eight years hence. Do a Google search for headlines from the previous recessions. They are just as doomsday.
If this is a depression, it sure has changed a lot. Instead of eating ketchup sandwiches, we have to cut back on our ring tone downloads and Starbucks cappuccinos.
No doubt, millions have lost their jobs. I do not mean to minimize their stress. I could be there myself. Most of the people laid off are getting new jobs after five months. For the others, the government needs to extend unemployment benefits until the economy gets better. That’s the fairest, simplest, most effective way for the government to get our nation through a recession.
Rather than spend billions on boondoggles, how about a bigger helping hand to the unemployed? That money would definitely be spent quickly.
Speaking of government spending, Governors Musgrove and Barbour placed a billion dollar taxpayer bet on the auto industry. Ooops. Now the car industry isn’t looking so great. Note to voters: Politicians should not be allowed to play favorites with your money. It will never end well. Government needs to provide a level playing field for all businesses. Period.
I supported the emergency measures to prevent financial collapse this past fall. It worked. The collapse was averted. Now is the time for government to back off and let the recession run its course. If we need to pump money into the system, cut taxes and extend unemployment benefits. The porkfest must stop. No pain. No gain.
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