April Fool's Day saw two jokes played through the Internet, one funny one not. The first announced that Homeland Security had closed Buzz Flash. Funny. The other April Fool's joke, the one by George Will, was not funny; it was ugly.
Why is it that on April 1st all of these NeoCons simultaneously began attacking the Equal Rights Amendment? The ERA is not a feminist issue; it is about freedom and what it means to be a real American. Their actions have their own logic. Pundits as Will and Schlafly oppose the ERA to obfuscate the historic bait and switch that allows all of us to be chopped up like liverwurst for the profit of the corporate state.
Obviously marching orders were issued. We know how that works. The White House Briefing goes out; operatives such as John Fund, Matt Drudge, and Robert Novak call those further down the power chain. Articles slamming the ERA appear at nearly the same moment. Steve Frank's Capitol News, is one example of that. Frank, an old friend of Fund's probably chatted with John Fund directly. Will might have talked with Novak. Or those instructions could have come through those special briefings Fund is so proud of receiving from the White House.
You can't manipulate public opinion without inserting opinions; to make that work you use operatives to let those 'on salary' know the issue so they can produce their specialized spin. So George Will sat down to construct his hit job on the the Equal Rights Amendment. He used a front end of sneering and demeaning comments,“dolled up in love beads and bell-bottomed trousers.” He followed with an argument that has been worn threadbare but never really examined that insists the ERA is redundant. Will cited, without naming it, a decision by the Supreme Court in 1971. There were reasons he did not want those examined too closely. There were two relevant decisions rendered that year and between the two is a world of difference.
Those two decisions tell a story that the NeoCons can't afford to have known. Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corp affirms the right of the State to intrude into the private affairs of individuals, effectively canceling our inherent rights, the other, Reed v. Reed, and with a salutatory 7-0 decision, says, “the Court struck down an Illinois law giving preference to a male seeking to administrate an estate over an equally entitled female. This case concerned a set of separated parents whose adopted son had died without a will. Both sought to administrate the deceased's estate; following the law, a lower court had placed the father in charge. The Supreme Court ruled that men and women could be treated differently only when there was some reasonable and relevant cause for doing so; while the Illinois law simplified judicial proceedings, arbitrarily giving preference to men over women was "to make the very kind of arbitrary legislative choice forbidden by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."
It must have annoyed them that the two decisions came in the same year.
That is one part of the obfescation Will, Schlafly, and other NeoCon operatives routinely use. The other one is ignoring the lower standard used on gender issues by the Supreme Court. According to those standards women are second class citizens and the NeoCons oppose the ERA because they are hoping to reduce even the consideration of 'Intermediate Scrutiny' cases of gender discrimination have now. Cute how Will glosses over that, isn't it? You can just hear him say, “Stupid women should shut up and be glad we let them wear shoes now.”
After that vague reference to 1971 Will moves on to his finale. There, he rather neatly segues again, unintentionally affirming the corporate connivance between government and megacorporations by citing as accepted fact the right of the State to make determinations on insurance questions. Success for the megacorporations and for people like Will depend on constantly reinforcing the idea government and corporations are not violating our rights every time they assert the power to regulate.
In a free market the state would have no such role. Until after WWII the State had no role there. Fraternal Orders had been providing for the needs of Americans for nearly a century by then. They made no profit, seeking only to provide security for their members. All kinds of fraternal orders were growing briskly and providing for those needs when FDR, himself a member of the Elks and Redmen, suggested with the best of intentions, a voluntary insurance plan available to Americans. Until it became obvious how profitable selling insurance could be all commercial purveyors of insurance were viewed as conmen, which of course they are.
Voluntary. Limited. Money held in trust.
That was, of course, Social Security. It took less that 20 years for Democrats to convert it into a tax imposed by law on all. Notice who benefited, megacorporations. Who made it possible? Congress. How was it accomplished? By ignoring the fact that such decisions are clearly outside the purview of government. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
George Will is not going to talk about unisex bathrooms or be caught saying that passage of the ERA will put women in combat. He knows his audience. But he did his best to deliver the goods for his NeoCon cronies that makes his posh lifestyle possible.
Unisex bathrooms, military service for women, and other such silliness are Phyllis Schlafly's ideas. Afew days ago at a forum in Maine Schlafly also said about rape, “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape." Let's not think about her fantasy life. It is amazing that today she can still deliver her lines with a straight face. One wonders what she would do if her husband decided his needs had to be met while she was at the podium. If she is consistent she would probably just assume the position.
The Equal Rights Amendment has never been more essential because if action is not taken America will become a corporate plantation with us as the slaves. It is not the freedom of women that is most on point but the freedom of all Americans.
To understand you need to revisit a moment in time; you need to taste and breathe in the vision a people who hungered for freedom.
Those people began a Revolution; that war is not finished. America has an unrealized Mission Statement, the Declaration of Independence. Mission Statements define the goal and motivate those whose pay in blood, sweat, and tears, to achieve that goal.
The Declaration enunciated a spiritual truth to a people not yet free in July of 1776. The violence and sacrifices that would come were supported by men and women who believed that each of us possessed rights granted by God. Of the four major cultures that founded the colonies two were fully committed to the idea that each human being is born possessed of spiritual autonomy that gives each of us control of our own souls. The physical corollary is our control over out own persons, property and destiny. Descendants of Quakers and Puritans understood and provided most of the labor and capital for the War. The Revolution was at one time both a political revolution and spiritual epiphany; their spiritual relationship to God would be mirrored on Earth.
That Revolution began in 1775 with Lexington-Concord. It will not be finished until the inherent rights of women are affirmed in the Constitution. Laws are only privilege, rescindable at the touch of a pen.
Allowing legislation to limit and mandate personal choice is the ggggggg-grandchild of the mistake made by the Founders to ratify the Constitution by compromising the principle that government has no right to change, alter or modify the rights each of us bring with us into life.
By allowing blacks to remain slaves so they could achieve a political goal they set us up, destroying the moral basis for the Constitution. They thought the compromise would be of short duration and their act justified in the interest of national security. They were wrong. Seemingly small exceptions that allow the greedy unearned power, sex, and wealth, are never willingly given back. A centralized federal government that allowed its state members to use legislation to limit the economic and legal options of women transferred wealth and power from women to men. Women had expected freedom, they received serfdom. Legislators, corporate interests, and others who had come to view legislation as a tool for their own enrichment wanted the transferability of unearned wealth to continue.
That is what happened.
The arguments for refusing women dominion over their own lives were endless, demeaning and disgusting. Through eight generations women worked. They struggled to be educated; worked as teachers for 1/3 the wages paid to men. They endured and persisted. No one gave them anything. Finally, through dent of hard and unremitting struggle they achieved a semblance of those rights in the late 20th Century. At the same time the State and such idea mongers as Phyllis Schlafly and George Will and their now deceased cronies, have been busy attacking that simulation because it is a chink in the justification used by the corporate-state to continue to steal. To enhance their profits corporations would like to discriminate while ensuring that women have no recourse. They are near to accomplishing their goal.
If you are going to have a feudal State then you must build its walls of ideas that keep the people quiescent.
The greedy from all parties love power; all have been working to obfuscate the real issue. They have screamed about abortion, gay marriage, the family, our borders, and National Security. The first issue has always been individual, inherent, rights, the rights that government should never have touched; was sworn to protect.
No one has a right to require action from anyone else. Our Rights are the natural,human ability to act, using those opportunities life offers. The appropriate means for social progress is persuasion, not force. Government is constrained. The people are not.
I cannot demand equal outcomes, neither can I can be limited by laws that deny me the right to start any business or make the life decisions I choose. Those are only limited by my ability, my circumstances, and my inclinations. As long as we do not lie, coerce or use violence we can do what we will - within the confines of life's absolute accountability.
The NeoCons - and those who have become accustomed to shackling us through statute – work diligently to disguise their real intentions, which is to install a 21st Century Feudal State. To do that they must continue to smother the truth before it can be born. Traditional political parties only argue about what part of our freedoms they are going to consume first by selling control to this or that agency or corporation.
Protecting our inherent rights remains the original and only true Mission of America; government is just a tool; a contractor, providing those services the people cannot provide for themselves. We are each of us sovereign, that is the truth of America. Government should be reduced to the size it was in 1787 - or smaller since the Post Office is clearly incompetent to do that job. For foreign policy listen to Cousin George Washington. Bring all the troops home.
The confusion would never have arisen if the Founders had not made that unholy compromise and instead said, "OK, since we can't ratify because doing so would compromise those inherent rights which we have no power to modify we will instead be 13 small countries who each compete to get people to come to us as the best supplier of governmental services." (The South lost a half a million in population after the Revolution when it became clear that slavery was going to continue; decent people were opposed to slavery.) Failing to do the right thing always costs you in the end.
If that had happened we would have saved the expense of the Civil War, which was not fought about slavery anyway; it was all about the right to tax. That would have pleased my ancestors, making their volunteer work in Abolition and Women's Rights unnecessary.
Women are born with the same rights, granted by God, as anyone. Ratifying the ERA cements that forever in front of everyone. Then we can rescind the kludge of legislation that was passed in the unending attempts to simulate a real freedom. Women want the real thing; the real thing for freedom is the ERA; simple justice long ignored.
Ratifying the ERA tolls out the doom of the Corporate State. The time for both freedom and an accounting has now arrived.