Tag Archives: Kentucky

State vs. National Citizenship—the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1 must be Repealed—Time to Bite the Bullet, Folks!

Donald Trump has won a lot of national support for his position that “anchor babies” are not U.S. Citizens.  https://www.yahoo.com/politics/birthright-citizenship-where-the-2016-127093585661.html

Despite their appetite for socialism and socialist engineering of U.S. Demography, I think it is fair to say that few if any the Radical Republican Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment ever dreamt of or envisioned a situation where millions of “huddled masses” and “wretched refuse ” types of people would come to America just to have babies to enroll in schools and obtain other welfare entitlements. 

No, the purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to create a national standard for citizenship and civil rights, and to abolish the notion that the States of the United States were equivalent to the “States” who obtain membership in the United Nations.  

State citizenship was the weakest point of Cousin Abraham’s Northern policy during the War:  while many Radical Republicans wanted to call Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, and every other Confederate Officer and Politician, a “traitor”, these charges simply would not stick for one single reason.  From 1776-1868, the individual states were the ones which established and determined citizenship, and so Lee was right to think of himself as a Virginian (about a 10th or 12th generation Virginian, in fact) by both the doctrines of ius solis and ius sanguinis.  Jefferson Davis might have been born in Kentucky, but he was a “naturalized” Mississippian.  Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard was a 6th or 7th generation Louisianian, like Lee, either by ius solis or ius sanguinis

So Lee and Beauregard were unquestionably citizens of their own home states, and NOT of the United States.  They might have been employed in the armies of the United States, or, like Davis, also officers of the United States Government in its legislative (Senate) and Executive Branches (where Davis was Secretary of War).

But by every pre-War understanding, the Confederate leaders were not CAPABLE of betraying a Country WHICH NEVER EXISTED.  Like the States they belonged to, the Confederate Leaders could resign from the service of the Union, but in no legal or moral sense could they be called “traitors” to it, because (at least before 1868) the UNION WAS NOT A SINGLE SOVEREIGNTY.  Yes, indeed, quite simply, there WAS no such thing as “United States citizenship” prior to the Fourteenth Amendment—just a very generalized “American” citizenship which dependent on the collaboration and contribution of the ratifying states.  And that is why “Birth of a Nation” (by D.W. Griffith) was so correctly named: a collection of closely cooperating and allied free nation-states (small Jeffersonian Democracies) went to war with each other in 1861, and they were, afterwards, at gunpoint, forced into one single new country.

This was the debate that framed Barack Hussein Obama’s Presidency—so long as he could convince (fool?) a majority of the people into believing he was born in Hawaii, he was eligible, under the ius solis doctrine of the 14th Amendment, to be President.  But if a ius sanguinis standard should be applied, Obama’s rather famous Kenyan father stood as an absolute obstacle to his eligibility.  So as Dinesh D’Souza had shown in his brilliant movie Obama 2016, Obama’s goal as President was absolutely to abolish both the identity and nature of American society and culture.  Now the 44th President effects this transformation largely through emotionally manipulative lies and psychological manipulation, rather than democratic process or law.

But, indeed, the language of the Fourteenth Amendment’s “citizenship” clause is clear enough in making “soil” more important than “blood,” and has been consistently applied by the Supreme Court for over a hundred years to mean that literally anyone born in the United States, for any reason, automatically is an American Citizen.  This is obviously a disaster for the Country and many have written about it, including the mad Texan elf of Clearwater, Florida, Robert M. Hurt, Jr.:

Trump Is Right: Anchor Babies Do Not Rightfully Become US Citizens

http://bobhurt.blogspot.com/2015/08/trump-is-right-anchor-babies-do-not.html

What Hurt proposes is essentially changing the law by reinterpreting the law, and this often does not work so well—and could in fact be described as the source of much of modern America’s woes—allowing the Supreme Court to say that night is day and day is night is getting old, 62 years after Earl Warren became Chief Justice, 113 after Oliver Wendell Holmes brought Massachusetts “progressivism” to the Court, paving the way for the New Deal for whose eventual triumph (through popularity over constitutional rigor) Holmes might be considered a kind of Prophet….

Among Holmes’ most famous pronouncements is that, “an experiment, as all life is an experiment” (Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630 (1919)).  Allowing, or even encouraging, population replacement—the “Browning of America”—is among the left’s favorite long-term social goals and experiments, and (admittedly) all of us who oppose the Browning of America are classified by Salon.com, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times, among others, as vile racist reactionaries. 

But I can live with that.  As far as the way out, though, as far as how White America can preserve itself, I don’t think that verbal games such as Robert M. Hurt, Jr., Donald John Trump, and many others will work.  

No, I always prefer dealing with issues directly and in taking a “full-frontal” approach.  The Fourteenth Amendment resulted from a massive war of Centralization of Power.  The only politician in MY LIFETIME who ever addressed the problem directly was San Diego Mayor and later California Governor and Senator Pete Wilson: who directly advocated repeal of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment during the 1980s.  He is almost totally forgotten now, but when I was in Law School, I remember thinking his approach was sound.  Repeal of the Citizenship Clause would be clear statement that unlimited immigration and population replacement via “anchor babies” is and ought to be intolerable.

People don’t realize it, but prior to the War of 1861-65 between the North and the South, MANY NORTHERN STATES if not most of them, DENIED CITIZENSHIP of any kind to blacks.  (the last state to have such a law was Oregon, which literally made it simply illegal to “be a negro” in the State of Oregon— to enter the state at all, under any pretext, was cause for imprisonment, fine, and immediate removal to the state lines upon release.

While “the Underground Railroad” was very famous, you might ask yourself, “if Abolitionist sentiment was so strong in the North, (a) why was the underground railroad “underground” and (b) why did it end up in Canada?  The answer is that since Northern States had enacted “no black citizenship” laws, being “free” in most places meant nothing. 

The way history is taught and discussed in modern America, it’s not always quite clear, but Chief Justice Roger Taney, in Scott v. Sanford was actually adopting a MERGER of both the Northern and Southern positions in his (plurality against Freedom for Slaves by Crossing State Lines) decision in 1857 (every Justice on the Court rendered a Separate opinion in that case). 

Justice Taney said that no negro could ever be a citizen of the United States.  So he was ALREADY (by usurpation) establishing a Federal rather than a state standard of citizenship—THAT IS WHY THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT WAS ENACTED—the whole War Between the States and 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution can be considered an effort to Overrule the “Dred Scott” ruling— but what many people forget is that Taney had already taken the critical first step by attempting to impose NORTHERN standards of Citizenship NATIONWIDE— ironically, this ruling (if it had been allowed to stand) might well, would almost certainly, have had the bizarre effect of “outlawing” or depriving tens of thousands of free (and many slaveholding) blacks in Louisiana of their citizenship, professional licenses, and right to vote. 

So the real problem was Taney’s (1857, pre-War) judicial “stealth” transition from allowing STATES to determine Citizenship to his rather clumsy attempt to impose a NATIONWIDE standard for citizenship.  The Fourteenth Amendment was the “Radical Republican” answer to this. 

Ironic, isn’t it?, that when properly understood, the Fourteenth Amendment was just as oppressive to the Northern States as to the Southern States.  Northern States could no longer ban black people. (Although the remarkable State of Oregon did not repeal it’s African-exclusionary laws until 1926, and only ratified the Fifteenth Amendment until the centennial of that State’s admission to the Union in 1959)(Oregon’s 1844, pre-state, pre-war position on slavery was that all blacks, free or slave, should be whipped and lashed twice a year until they left the territory).

Former California Governor Pete Wilson, by contrast with both Roger Taney and Donald Trump, understood that and would have returned to the individual states the power to determine citizenship by repeal of the “birth clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment.  One can easily imagine, almost too easily, how permitting the states to determine citizenship would be nearly equivalent to allowing secession—because Hawaii, for example, could pass a law decreeing that no “Howlees” (i.e. Anglo-Saxon or other European Whites) could ever be citizens of Hawaii—and so effectively dissolve the ties between that improperly annexed Island State and the rest of “the Union.”  (Hawaii currently has the most radical and politically “real” and active secessionist movement in the USA).

Even if the States COULD determine citizenship, the balance of the 14th Amendment still protected everyone “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States with regard to Civil Rights…. so even if there were no “national standard for citizenship” there could still be a “national standard for civil rights.”
 

Excelsior! and Eureka! 165 Years of California Gold: from Sutter’s Mill to Jennifer Lawrence (January 24, 1848-January 24, 2013)

On January 24, 1848, gold (AU 79 on the Periodic Chart of the Elements) was discovered on the South Branch of the American River at John Augustus Sutter’s Mill in “New Helvetia” (New Switzerland), California.  Sutter’s history kind of set the tone in California for a culture of real estate piracy by “claim jumping” and disregard for any rights except those established by possession of money……

At one time the absolute ruler of what amounted to a private kingdom along the Sacramento River, John Sutter saw his immense wealth and power overrun in the world’s rush to pick California clean of gold.

Sutter was born John Augustus Sutter in Baden, Germany, though his parents had originally come from Switzerland, a lineage of which he was especially proud. In 1834, faced with impossible debt, he decided to try his fortunes in America and, leaving his family in a brother’s care, set sail for New York. There he decided that the West offered him the best opportunity for success, and he moved to Missouri, where for three years he operated as a trader on the Santa Fe Trail.

By 1838, Sutter had determined that Mexican California held the promise of fulfilling his ambitious dreams, and he set off along the Oregon Trail, arriving at Fort Vancouver, near present-day Portland, Oregon, in hopes of finding a ship that would take him to San Francisco Bay. His journey involved detours to the Hawaiian Islands and to a Russian colony at Sitka, Alaska, but Sutter made the most of his wanderings by trading advantageously along the way. When he finally arrived in California in 1839, Sutter met first with the provincial governor in Monterey and secured permission to establish a settlement east of San Francisco (then called Yerba Buena) along the Sacramento River, in an area then occupied only by Indians.

Sutter was granted nearly fifty thousand acres and authorized “to represent in the Establishment of New Helvetia [Sutter’s Swiss-inspired name for his colony] all the laws of the country, to function as political authority and dispenser of justice, in order to prevent the robberies commited by adventurers from the United States, to stop the invasion of savage Indians and the hunting and trapping by companies from the Columbia.” In other words, Sutter was to serve the California authorities as a bulwark against the assorted threats pressing in on them from American-controlled territories to the north and east.

Ironically, as headquarters for his domain, Sutter chose a site on what he named the American River, at its junction with the Sacramento River and near the site of present-day Sacramento. Here, with the help of laborers he had brought with him from Hawaii, he built Sutter’s Fort, a massive adobe structure with walls eighteen feet high and three feet thick. Two years later, in 1841, Sutter expanded his settlement when the Russians abandoned Fort Ross, their outpost north of San Francisco, and offered to sell it to him for thirty thousand dollars. Paying with a note he never honored, Sutter practically dismantled the fort and moved its equipment, livestock and buildings to the Sacramento Valley.

Within just a few years, Sutter had achieved the grand-scale success he long dreamed of: acres of grain, a ten-acre orchard, a herd of thirteen thousand cattle, even two acres of Castile roses. His son came to share in his prosperity in 1844, and the rest of his family soon followed. At the same time, during these years Sutter’s Fort became a regular stop for the increasing number of Americans venturing into California, several of whom Sutter employed. Besides providing him with a profitable source of trade, this steady flow of immigrants provided Sutter with a network of relationships that offered some political protection when the United States seized control of California in 1846, at the outbreak of the Mexican War.

Barely a week before the war’s end, however, there occurred a chance event that would destroy all John Sutter’s achievements and yet at the same time link his name forever to one of the highpoints of American history. On the morning of January 24, 1848, a carpenter named James Marshall, who was building a sawmill for Sutter upstream on the American River near Coloma, looked into the mill’s tailrace to check that it was clear of silt and debris and saw at the water’s bottom nuggets of gold. Marshall took his discovery to Sutter, who consulted an encyclopedia to confirm it and then tried to pledge all his employees to secrecy. But within a few months, word had reached San Francisco and the gold rush was on.

Suddenly all of Sutter’s workmen abandoned him to seek their fortune in the gold fields. Squatters swarmed over his land, destroying crops and butchering his herds. “There is a saying that men will steal everything but a milestone and a millstone,” Sutter later recalled; “They stole my millstones.” By 1852, New Helvetia had been devastated and Sutter was bankrupt. He spent the rest of his life seeking compensation for his losses from the state and federal governments, and died disappointed on a trip to Washington, D.C. in 1880.

On January 24, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.: I took time off from my somewhat manic-depressive studies of Louisiana Civil Law to  go to the Prytania Movie Theatre for a free showing a a movie “Haiti Redux” where I happened to sit next to an Iranian-American student of Real Estate at New York University named Alexander who identified himself as being from Beverly Hills, California.  It seems that one of the Professors from the Real Estate Department at NYU was one of the co-producers of this movie about the efforts of various small academic and artistic groups to help in the reconstruction of Haiti after the January 12, 2013.  They came to New Orleans as a kind of “study of comparative disaster sites” I guess (seven and a half years after Katrina).  

I have previously commented on how Iranians, especially Iranians of the Jewish Faith and sub-ethnicity, have taken over Beverly Hills, so it was a weird triangulation on the world.  The movie itself was slightly interesting but kind of pointless.  Why a bunch of “do gooder” White people from New York need to go down to Haiti to tell them what their “standards” ought to be for everything in life begged (in my opinion) the question of why Haiti is such a basket case of a country in the first place.  

It makes no sense to say that Haiti is the way it is because of White Oppression of Blacks, because Haiti was the SECOND INDEPENDENT NATION IN THE NEW WORLD, after the U.S., to fight for and win its own Independence.  Basically, after the French Revolution had started in the 1790s, the Black Slaves rose up and either slaughtered or exiled the French landowners, and their country has been a living hell ever since.  Coincidence?  Karma?  Genetics?  Some combination of all three?  The movie “Haiti Redux” did not explain.

January 24, 2013, at 10:00 p.m.: Since I was already at the Prytania, and kind of bored and frustrated by the Haiti Redux movie, I decided to stick around for “Silver Linings Playbook”, not having heard or read anything about it in advance except that it had 8 nominations for Academy Awards.  This is only the third movie of Jennifer’s I have seen, but I’m already quite madly in love with her and I am very happy that she has been nominated for “Best Actress” in this piece.  To begin with, the young Katniss Everdeen, I mean Miss Lawrence, outshines the rather more sensationally ballyhooed Kristen Stewart by a factor of roughly 10,000 to 1, both as a genuine actress and a beauty with sex appeal….well, beyond any effect I can describe without using metaphors of NASA technology and intergalactic astronomical explorations.

But the movie Silver Linings Playbook scores a more important victory.  It turns the past year’s penchant for portraying ordinary Middle-Class White people as insane subjects for clinical analysis and institutional confinement into a marvelous romantic comedy.  So of Jennifer’s three movie’s I’ve seen so far: in the HUNGER GAMES, she is a heroine par excellence, a beauty with skills and brains reminiscent of her own real Kentucky frontier heritage and background.  Katniss Everdeen’s mental strength and character in that movie equate with her physical skill and practical experience.  But then in HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET, Jennifer’s character, though still exquisite in every way, was drawn into a tragedy of mental illness and depravity of ordinary middle class White People.  This media theme is part of the Western Power-Elite’s current campaign to destroy all vestiges of the America that was pre-1965, pre-Johnson, pre-Vietnam, pre-Johnson-Nixon, pre-Watergate, pre-Nixon-Ford, pre-degenerate malaise, pre-Carter, pre-fake Neo-Con Restoration, pre-Reagan.

But a stroke of genius—you bring Katniss Everdeen together with “Deer-Hunter” and American Icon Robert DeNiro, and you have a recipe for REGENERATING the American Middle Class Dream.  It all started out, depressingly enough, in a mental institution, no Jennifer’s character wasn’t there but she COULD have been—showing yet another real aspect of modern America that men are treated much more harshly for their transgressions than women.  I thought initially it was going to be yet another—everyone who LOOKS American as Apple Pie is Demented movie.  But the movie totally transcended all that and convincingly showed that “Temporary Insanity” is actually pretty normal and that even people who have taken a sampler of the entire menu of the nastiest psychiatric drug menu imposed by Non-American Non-Whites who have their consciousness completely together.

I have this terribly depressing fear that Obama era politics will lead to an Academy Award going either to “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (which at least is incredibly original) or to “Lincoln” which is anything but original and in fact deserves to be panned on every single historical point contained within it, but I’m casting my vote for Silver Linings Playbook and Jennifer Lawrence as the incomparable Tiffany….  OK, I’ve also confessed in the past that I tend to fall in love with any and every girl I meet named Tiffany, but this is a personal hazard of mine which has no bearing on my evaluation of the movie.  Robert DeNiro is the best I’ve seen him in many years, and this movie has truly redemptive potential at a time when America Desperately needs it.  

Strange to think of the similarities between the California Gold Rush and Hollywood Movies as the parallel and independent but key defining features of California culture…. but there they are, separated only by the difference between Northern and Southern California….

The New Deal: When Lawyers Became the Masters of our Destiny by Making Paper more valuable than Property

New Deal of Deception by Designation: “Security”                                  A Working Draft of Research in Progress © Charles Edward Lincoln Sunday October 23, 2011 

         The “New Deal” is the name given by political historians to the “recovery & relief” programs initiated during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term as President (March 4, 1933-January 20, 1937).   While many of Roosevelt’s iconic “relief” programs, including the NRA, the WPA, and CCC were either struck down by the Supreme Court or repealed during World War II, the modern legacy of the New Deal includes some familiar names of the most powerful governmental agencies and programs.

The list of six most famous “New Deal” agencies which remain active today, still operating under their original names, includes (1) the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), (2) the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), (3) the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and (4) the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). By far the largest “New Deal” programs still in existence today are (5) the Social Security Administration (headed by the Independent “Commissioner of Social Security”) and (6) the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—because these two “independent commissions” in essence control and define the modern economy.  All of these programs are tightly knit together in one single tapestry of centralization of economic “command and control”.

What each of these six programs had in common with the other was nothing less than the transformation of various areas of American life by redefining it, by altering the cultural and normative understandings of certain words, phrases, and standards of behavior and transforming the legal landscape, replacing the traditional Anglo-American common law with modern regulatory codes.  The trajectory of each program merits some attention and reflection here, from the most general program to the most specific and limited.

TVA: TEMPLATE FOR A CENTRALLY PLANNED FUTURE

         Most discrete and delineated territorially within the country, and yet most overwhelmingly powerful in regard to “cradle to grave” impact on the lives of those forming its target population, the TVA was the most comprehensive governmental regional reorganization and restructuring plan ever undertaken in world history, and remains the longest lived such plan (still operating up to the present day after almost eighty years as a major techno-economic and socio-cultural planning “corporation”).

Chartered by Congress during Roosevelt’s famous “First Hundred Days” (in May 1933), the TVA manifests, in essence, the ideal of the Centrally Planned Society: a region including parts of seven States in the Protestant Old South transformed and reshaped under the leadership of an ethnic Jew of Austro-Slovakian parentage named David Eli Lilienthal, trained at Harvard by fellow Austrian-born Jew Felix Frankfurter. Frankfurter was famous in teens and twenties as a socialist radical, paving the way for the New Deal by advocated “judicial restraint” in dealing with government misdeeds, including greater freedom for administrative agencies from judicial oversight…..  In practice, this meant that (as Roosevelt’s 1938 appointee to the Supreme Court as the third Jewish Supreme Court Justice to Replace Benjamin Cardozo) Frankfurter would generally uphold all executive branch actions, including those of administrative agencies and government corporations against all constitutional challenges so long as they did not “shock the conscience” (meaning of course, his own conscience).

After 20 years in government, establishing first the TVA and then the Atomic Energy Commission, Lilienthal worked for several years for the investment bank Lazard Freres, and in 1955, formed an engineering and consulting firm called Development and Resources Corporation (D&R) which took the TVA’s objectives worldwide: major centrally planned public power and public works projects. Lilienthal was able to leverage the financial backing of Lazard Freres to found his company. He hired former associates from the TVA to work with him at D&R.  D&R focused on overseas clients, including Post-Mossadegh/Early Shahist Iran, and similarly politically oriented “forced cultural evolution” or “regional development” projects to suppress regional dissent and thus support U.S. backed regimes or programs in Colombia, Venezuela, India, Southern Italy, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, and above all, South Vietnam.

Because of Lilienthal’s leadership, TVA is said to be the model which the State of Israel emulated in its reorganization and redesign of Palestine after 1947, and the Tennessee Valley Authority stands as the template for U.S. Overseas Development up through and including the reconstruction of Iraq after 2003—a nearly eighty year run.  Nothing quite like the TVA ever happened again inside the United States, however.

FHA: TO ABOLISH THE DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN CITIES AND URBAN AREAS

         After the TVA’s design to redefine 100% of the way of life in a general region, the next broadest program of the six surviving New Deal Programs has been the acquisition and maintenance of interests in housing.  Born of a depression wherein millions were displaced, providing housing for about forty years for tens of millions, the New Deal legacy in 2011 is a cloaked depression, or perhaps a planned “genocide” in which an astounding 30-50 million Americans are losing or have lost their homes acquired and maintained since the New Deal under the aegis of Federal Government Programs.

For its “constructive” part in the transformation, the Federal Housing Authority was a massive nationwide “lending” umbrella project to fund the mass construction of housing—it also could be called the “Suburban Genesis Authority” or “the Abolition of Urban-Rural Distinctions Authority.”  Just as the TVA transformed parts of the landscape from Virginia through Tennessee to Mississippi, the Federal Housing Authority played a decisive role in moving people out of the cities and off farms into the vast suburban wastelands which now occupy immense percentages of the most fertile farm land in the world and are increasingly marred by decay and degeneracy brought on by foreclosure and eviction—empty ruins being sold off through “Investment Visa EB-5” and “Green Card” sales to thousands of Arabic and Chinese foreign investors with interests hard to characterize or predict except with the wildest speculation.

The Federal Housing Authority was originally created by the National Housing Act of 1934, which was amended in 1938 (Roosevelt’s Second Term) to create the Federal National Mortgage Association “Fannie Mae”, which under Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon metamorphosized and split into “Ginny Mae” (Government National Mortgage Association”) and “Freddie Mac” (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association) to “foster competition”, even though all three entities remained entirely government controlled and Freddie and Fannie are now [since their “renationalization” by executive fiat in September 2008] owned by the U.S. Treasury Department and controlled by FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Authority).

The Federal Housing Authority now exists within the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “HUD” was established in 1965 among the first steps of Lyndon B. Johnson’s program called the “Great Society”, which was not coincidentally also the first major expansion of Government Centralization in the United States SINCE the “New Deal” (and also not coincidentally formed part of the same program as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965).  The Federal Housing Authority remains today the key government agency supervising the Banking Industry’s role in mortgage finance and securitization of home loans.

In short, the TVA was all about completely reconditioning and reworking technology, society and culture in one region considered particularly “backward” and in need of “development”.  And having done so without significant protest or expressions of pain, TVA, became the model for “foreign aid” for the development of “Third World” Countries, while the FHA was a more general program to restructure the urban and rural landscape by “stimulating” housing construction and lowering costs nationwide.  There are those who say that the housing foreclosure and eviction crisis brought on by Federal financial programs means that the time for a national TVA has finally come, and that the next “Third World Country” to be forceably re-engineered and developed is the U.S., except this time it will be a much more diverse consortium of Near Eastern and Chinese experts who will impose their own standards of “conscience” on our legal system and the interpretation of our constitution.

THE FOURTH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT: INDEPENDENT COMMMISSIONS OR AGENCIES, INCLUDING THE SEC, SOCIAL SECURITY, IRS, AND FEDERAL RESERVE: UTTERLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL & CONTROLLED BY INDUSTRY INSIDERS

Regarding distinct onomastic pattern characterizes the list of six after the TVA “Corporation” and the sub-cabinet level FHA: two “Insurance Corporations” and two “Security Commissions”— (1) the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), (2) the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), together with (5) the Social Security System and (6) the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It is worth noting that in 1933 the United States Government owned no corporations whatsoever, at least not “outright”, although it had certainly chartered and funded some, including the great transcontinental railroads in the 19th century and many large banks after the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, and regulated many others, especially after the enactment of the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890 and (never coincidentally, the establishment of the first “Independent Commission” namely) the Interstate Commerce Commission (“ICC”) in 1887.

With the aforementioned dominance of the great transcontinental railroads in the U.S. in the late 1800s, legislators in the several states established commissions to effectively supervise them. State legislators delegated power to unelected and “independent” commissions in the belief that “specialists” could more readily accumulate expert knowledge to regulate the railroads than the legislators could do on behalf of the people. However, when the U.S. Supreme Court in 1886 struck down an Illinois statute on railroad commerce involving neighboring states, the U.S. Congress intervened. Congress copied state “unelected industry specialist” approach and established the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in 1887.  Congress authorized the ICC to issue orders regarding the rates set by the railroads and to enforce its orders in court.  The Constitutional authority for Independent Commissions under the United States Constitution of 1787, and as amended since then is, as the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger once confided to me in 1993 in Palm Beach, Florida, “absolutely nil.”

However, no successful challenge to the existence of these “independent commissions” has ever been litigated through the courts.  For this reason, after the ICC, Congress established many more {independent} regulatory commissions in the early 1900s, to include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Power Commission (FPC), the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS: Headed by the “Commissioner of Internal Revenue”), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC—which took over from David Lilienthal’s Atomic Energy Commission or “AEC” mentioned above), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and of course, last but not least, the Social Security Administration (SSA: Headed by the “Commissioner of Social Security”).  More recently many “Independent Agencies” such as the Environmental Protection Agency have been created, always preserving, for whatever reason, the three letter monogram style of name.

These Commissions almost always work closely with Executive Branch Cabinet Officers and Administrative Bureaucracy whose officers CAN be fired by the President.  Officers of the Independent Commissions cannot be discharged by the Chief Executive nor, at least not without impeachment, by Congress, although they serve for limited terms.  In “Constitutional Law I” at the University of Chicago with Judge Richard Allen Posner, we spent a great deal of time on the unsuccessful constitutional challenges to the Independent Commissions over the past century.

In blatant defiance of any principles of separation-of-powers, the independent commissions/independent “executive” agencies all both have and exercise powers that functionally parallel all three branches of federal government as established by the Constitution. These Commissions/Agencies legislate by publication in the Federal Register/Code of Federal Regulations when they adopt or enact their own regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency, for example, adopts or enacts regulations limiting pollution emissions by industry.

Independent agencies also carry out executive functions, such as when the Interstate Commerce Commission checks to ensure that trucks have proper safety features.  Finally, many officers of independent agencies act in judicial capacity in “administrative” courts when they hold hearings and issue fines for violations of their undemocratically decreed regulations. Their powers, however, are at least theoretically limited by Congress. Congress may alter, amend, or appeal legislation delegating authority to an agency. The president may remove the head of an agency “for cause” (but not for disagreement with policy or decisions).  Under the desperately deferential “Chevron” standard, the courts (also mostly theoretically) may (but only very occasionally do) declare agency action to be unconstitutional or outside the grant of authority from Congress.

While not officially described as an “Independent Commission”, the Federal Reserve is set up in exactly the same way as the others listed above, and for many of the same practical and political reasons, its de jure “independence” of the government means de facto dependence on the industry being regulated, namely in the Federal Reserve’s case, the banking industry. Like every other “Independent Agency,” the Federal Reserve is independent within government in that “its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government.”  However, its authority derives from Congress and Congressional statutes and is subject to “congressional oversight.”  Additionally, the members of the Board of Governors, including its chairman and vice-chairman, are chosen by the President and confirmed by the advice and consent of the Senate. Congress and the President also exercises not insignificant political control over the Federal Reserve by appointing and setting the salaries of the system’s highest-level employees.

Thus the Federal Reserve Board is populated by Banking “Industry Insiders” and its chairman always hails from Wall Street in New York or at least La Salle Street in Chicago. Like the original ICC, the Federal Reserve epitomizes the government-and-corporate cooperation which is neither democratically controlled by the people through their elected officials for the public good nor permits any genuine “laissez-faire” free-market competition by the operation of any such primitive principles as supply and demand, never mind customer satisfaction with service.   “Independent Commissions” are quintessentially creatures of government “by the industry, of the industry, for the industry” allegedly being “regulated” in the public good.  “Independent Commissions”, in short, constitute a fraudulent and unconstitutional mixture of governmental authority and corporate (financial) power.

TRANSFORMING THE MEANING OF “SECURITY” FROM PRIVATE PROPERTY TO PUBLIC PROMISES