Wednesday, June 27, 2018

All Politics Are Just That

The adage goes... all politics are local and is credited to the late former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill, as a way of explaining how people see and vote in their communities.  Uh sure sometimes and not.  This today in the rise of social media and Citizens United with the influx of dark money anyone anywhere can engage in the political campaigns and issues regardless of where one lives.   This is an article from 2011 that demonstrates even then how often this turns out to be less than true.   Since that time we have had an admission by Facebook that there might have been a problem and the rise and fall of Cambridge Analytics which indicates that anyone anywhere can vest an interest in an election, be it local or national.  The Koch Brothers have perfected that as we here in Nashville learned about the Transit Bill that failed resoundingly after their engagement.

Many people simply don't engage at all which is another problem and here living in the State with the least voter turnout in the nation it shows that a minority can in turn rule a majority and do so easily and be influenced easily as the education levels parallel the same number who elect to vote.  One-third here have post-secondary degrees and one-third of the population votes.  I always find that interesting as it shows that if that is the same cohort it proves that the people in this State are conservative and idiotic which again I need to point no further than the Trump family to prove my point.

The primaries being held across the nation yesterday wielded a few surprises.  The primary win in New York of the 28 year old Democratic Socialist over a long term well liked Democratic Congressman was just one and the reality is that this came after the declaration that Bernie Sanders had not taken his popularity to other contests and candidates in the same way Trump has.  Well again not all of the Trumptards have been elected so really this is picking nits and wits which frankly has to stop.

How about allowing people to listen to candidates, make decisions on them via the way we used to - through candidate pamphlets and their own ability to compare and contrast their stance on positions.  Oh fuck that I will just go to Facebook and they will give me a heads up.   I send everyone to the public library to have them assist those who are not registered here as they can give them completely unbiased and basic information versus a rant or rave.  Kids need to learn civics that is the big problem we quit doing that years ago in pursuit of STEM or whatever floated the boat regarding education reform. Funny how that reform worked in Oklahoma, I guess winds are sweeping down the plain right now.

Here in Tennessee I have little choice and I am sure as hell not voting Republican. The choices here are surreal and the Nashville Scene does a great job explaining there agenda or whatever they are doing other than citing Jesus and Trump.  

I am ashamed to even have to listen to the varying idiotic ads that run here every minute. I hear Build Walls, No Sanctuary Cities, Praise Jesus I will build a wall and pray that I never hear from these idiots again.  Just to give you an idea that even in the most remote part of Tennessee this town has tried to stop ICE from taking the local Immigrants who are doing the jobs no one wants.  So again what did you say about sanctuary's or walls? 

For the record I am voting for Fitzhugh for Governor on the primary on the Democratic side and Phil Bresden for Senate.  He could not be worse than Corker and frankly why that aging dinosaur, Lamar Alexander, who clearly sees retirement as akin to death (and clearly is) has not retired shows that Jurassic Park applies to the Senate.  I know I don't want to die here and the 18 month clock started to tick after the last appointment at Vanderbilt on Thursday.  I cleared that hurdle and moving now to finishing the dental reconstruction next year.  No regrets on postponing it for six months as I need a break from them and clearly they from me.  I just once want a conversation where I feel they are actually listening to me, tracking me with their eyes and giving  a shit.  Imagine every encounter where you follow their eyes to a point over your head or directly behind you while smiling and grinning at you like an idiot.  Other times watching in glass or through my glasses that they are gesticulating and eye rolling behind you.  This is the care you receive at Vanderbilt and I am paying cash for all it.

It would never occur to me to film or document any of these exchanges as frankly what good or even what bad will come of it.  The recent verbal assaults of both private citizens and public persons serve a point that regardless of how idiotic you are you are not ever going to escape or forget how stupid you were at that moment.  The woman on the plane, the woman who called about the sleeping girl in her dorm, the idiot in the fast food place, the woman who complained on the street about water, the woman shouting racist expletives.  These are moments of idiocy and differ than the marchers in the streets of Charlottesville shouting "Jews will not replace us" or public figures who are having a private moment but are confronted by the public as that is the price you pay for being a public servant.  Sorry but shouting at you or asking you to leave how is that different that the Baker or the Florist who refused to serve the Gays? Or the public servant who refused to do her job to file marriage licenses?  Or one who lies daily and rebukes the Press for asking questions on behalf of the American public?  I don't say throw a drink on them but asking them questions, demanding answers and if they are asked to leave because their presence is causing a disruption as any customer who would then so be it.

Living here in the land that time forgot clearly again Tennessee seems to parallel Jurassic Park, I have never met a population more afraid of conflict and of others than they are here.  They do not vote, they do not read, they have little intellectual curiosity and are well divided by class and then by race with even more divisions falling into that category which causes further frustration and confusion when it comes to politics.  So that may well be why few vote and in turn enable the Legislators to enact gerrymandering and other laws that make voting a challenge for many. 

Today this data arrived:  Nashville housing prices rose at more than double the rate of wages this quarter compared to the same period last year, according to federally reported sales deeds and labor costs.  The local figures, compiled by California-based ATTOM Data Solutions, follow national trends.   But the gap is wider in the Nashville area. Home prices jumped 7 percent while wages inched up just 3 percent in the quarter ending June 30.

The strange hybrid development that thinks Nashville is moving towards being a smaller New York City ads to the culture here that as someone I know called a cross between "bougie" and "pretentious" and I call simply, delusional.   Few Americans actually travel within America let alone outside so the few that do go in either one of two mindsets:  Open to culture or closed off to it and complain throughout.  You all know those people and I prefer the former versus the latter and it is why I travel alone.  It is the best way to speak to the locals and explore a location that enables you learn about it on your own terms at your own pace and anyone who travels should do so with one who shares your values regarding everything from food to down time.

When I watch the local elections across the country and with Nashville's coming around the bend in August I doubt many will vote and in turn the insanity by the candidates will continue.  Have you ever asked a friend, neighbor, co-worker who their Representative is in Congress? In their local House? Their City Council rep or School Board Rep?  Do you know?

If you care about Politics you do and if you don't you don't.   I do but I do also take down time to explore Nashville, read magazines, books and watch TV.  My job is not demanding so I am fortunate but there is a point where you have to say enough and do things other than work.  Do you?  Again we are a nation that mirrors Nashville and there is a fear factor that dominates the workplace and with endless outing on social media the lack of privacy is something that makes it difficult to have a private and a public life and what we have seen of late that will not change. 

All politics all the time is not a good thing unless that is what you do and then even then it is all you do. It is not worth it.

The United States Constitution does not contain any explicit right to privacy.  However, The Bill of Rights, expresses the concerns of James Madison along with other framers of the Constitution for protecting certain aspects of privacy. 
For example, the first amendment allows the privacy of beliefs, the third amendment protects privacy of the home against any demands to be used to house soldiers, the fourth amendment protects the privacy of a person and possessions from unreasonable searches, and the 5th Amendment gives privacy of personal information through preventing self-incrimination. 
Furthermore, the 9th Amendment says that the enumeration of certain rights as found in the Bill of Rights cannot deny other rights of the people. While this is a vague statement, court precedent has said that the 9th amendment is a way to justify looking at the Bill of Rights as a way to protect the right to privacy in a specific way not given in the first 8 amendments. 
The issue of whether the Constitution actually protects the right to privacy in ways not described in the Bill of Rights is a controversial subject.  Originalists often argue that there is no general right to privacy within the constitution.  However, as early as 1923 the Supreme Court, recognized through decisions, that the liberty given in the 14th amendment guarantees a relatively broad right of privacy in regards to about procreation, child rearing, marriage, and medical treatment termination. 
Two decisions by the Supreme Court during the 1920s solidified this view of the 14th amendment. They found the liberty clause of the 14th amendment to prohibit the states from trying to interfere with private decisions of parents and educators in when shaping the children’s education.  During the case Meyer v Nebraska in 1923, the Supreme Court said that a state law that did not allow the teaching of German or other foreign languages to students before the ninth grade was unconstitutional. 
The issue of the right to privacy regained momentum in the 1960’s during Griswold v Connecticut where the Supreme Court said that the state law prohibiting the sale, distribution, possession and contraceptives to couples who were married was unconstitutional. There were different reasons for this based on the judge, whether it was the gray area of the law or the zone of privacy created by the Bill of Rights. 
In 1969, the court ruled on Stanley v Georgia in a unanimous decision staying that an individual had the right to privacy to have and watch pornography, even if the pornography could potentially be the basis for any prosecution against the distributor or manufacturer. The opinion stated that the State could not tell a person who was in his own home what he movies he could watch or what books he could read. 
More recently, the Supreme Court has acknowledged the right to privacy. For example, in the 1990 case Cruzan v Missouri Department of Health, the Court found that individuals had the right to make their own decisions about terminating medical treatments that were life-prolonging. Another case was Lawrence v Texas in 2003 where a sodomy law in Texas that prohibited homosexual sodomy was struck down by the Supreme Court.

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