Thursday, October 03, 2013

A Nation of Laws?

I guess the only thing more ridiculous than our constant prattling about our “Exceptionalism” is our oft repeated claim that we are a “Nation of Laws.” The only thing accomplished  by such claims is to prove our exceptional arrogance and stupidity. I guess the claim about laws is true in the sense that we do have some codified laws, but we apparently are not very conscientious about enforcing them and seem to lack them in other areas of importance. Furthermore, laws in the United States seem to be applied differently depending upon who ignores them and who does not. For example, do laws always apply to Congress?
If you order a meal in a restaurant, consume it, and then refuse to pay for it, you are apt to end up in jail. But if Congress spends money on something and then refuses to pay for it, what happens? Actually we don’t know because Congress has always, in the end, however kicking and screaming, eventually agreed to pay their bills (as they probably will do again). But what would happen if this time they refused? Would those leading the refusal go to jail? Very doubtful, probably the worst that would happen to them is they might not be re-elected when the next election comes around, but even that cannot be depended upon.
One might think that surely there must be laws against shutting down the government, but apparently there are not. Or if there is they are obviously being ignored. It would seem that there certainly ought to be a law against shutting down the government, and those responsible for doing so and thus harming millions of their fellow citizens should have to be held accountable. I suspect there is no law about this because no one from the Founding Fathers up until recently ever assumed such a thing would happen, that a few politicians would shut down the government because of their personal obsessions or ideological beliefs. Of course there are laws against extortion and blackmail but they don’t seem to be considered worthy of attention. Similarly, we have laws against hate crimes. As there seems to be no real explanation for why some want to do away with “Obamacare,” other than it is called that, and Obama is our first Black President, perhaps this, too, might be considered a hate crime.
Of course when we have known war criminals still walking our streets boasting of their crimes, that involved not only constitutional violations but also international law, and they have never been held accountable, perhaps that sets a precedent for other such crimes as are still going on at the present. Then there are also the known crimes of Wall Street, blatant violations of law that do not get punished. Indeed, we seem to have evolved a mutual agreement between Wall Street and Government such that if they egregiously violate the law and make huge illegal profits they simply pay a relatively modest fine and stay out of jail.
It is also the case that, although Obamacare is the law, there are those who are trying to kill it by defunding it or by any other means they can. They are, in short, violating the law. None of them will go to jail for doing so. There are states that are blatantly violating laws respecting voting rights, they, too, will not end up in jail. Still others violate abortion rights, but unless they actually kill an abortion provider they rarely if ever end up in jail.
Israel violates international law with such regularity it has apparently just become “just the way it is.” The U.S. supports these flagrantly illegal acts no matter how terrible or illegal, and this situation goes on year after year with nothing done about it. And we, the U.S., violate international law with such regularity there might as well not even be international laws.
I find our claims of exceptionalism and being a nation of laws absolutely hilarious in their dishonesty and hypocrisy. They go hand-in-hand with our absurd claim to be “spreading democracy around the world.” The situation has gone so far by now that no one even expects us to follow the law, we have become, along with Israel, rogue states, the greatest threats to peace and prosperity that currently exist.

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