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Sunday, February 14, 2016 ISSUE #858

Justice Scalia, the Constitution, Senator Sanders and Socialism

  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died yesterday.  Discussion immediately turned to his replacement. Scalia believed in the Constitution the way it was written, refusing to consider rulings that would go against it. He figured the job of a Supreme Court Justice is to interpret the law, not rewrite it. If you want to change something in the Constitution, or add something new, then write an Amendment and get it passed.

Isn’t that what every Justice should believe?

Oil is around $30 a barrel, down from $100 a couple of years ago. Everybody who drives is saving money. However, the oil industry and states that depend on oil and gas production, including Oklahoma and North Dakota, are hurting. North Dakota has one-fourth the drilling rigs that it did two years ago. The governors of both states are struggling with a deficit of over a billion dollars.  

When President Obama got the news that thousands of people have lost jobs, oil companies are going bankrupt, and several states are hurting, did he offer assistance? No, he wants to add a 33% tax on oil (actually $10 a barrel). Instead of offering the proceeds to the states that are hurting, he wants it to go to wind and solar companies. There’s nothing wrong with those two when the sun shines and the wind blows, but when it comes to fueling a Ford or Chevy, they can’t compete with oil, even when it’s $100 a barrel.  

Is the Great Recession still with us? Is the economy starting to feel like 2008 all over again? The stock market is down, not as much as oil, but it has dropped more than 15 percent. The Chinese economy is stagnant. In Europe the Central Bank is charging banks (not paying interest) to hold money for them. Can you imagine asking someone for $10,000 and they tell you, “Great. In 12 months you’ve got to give me back $9800.” You know, if one of those big banks wants me to hang on to $10,000,000 for a year, I’m pretty sure I can give ‘em back $9,800,000. 

The Presidential campaign has moved into South Carolina. Bernie Sanders, in order to get the African-American vote in the southern states, put out a TV ad showing him in 1963 at a civil rights protest, getting arrested by the Chicago police. Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton is arranging to have a video shot when she gets arrested by the FBI.

Secretary Clinton is frustrated that so many young people, especially young women, support a Socialist instead of her. I agree with her. Have they been taught nothing about Communist Russia, Cuba and Venezuela?

Will Rogers traveled across Russia (USSR). From Moscow he wrote, “You have heard of equality of the sexes in Russia. That’s not so. The women are doing all the work.” (DT #2516, Aug. 28, 1934)  Years earlier he wrote, “Communism is like Prohibition. It’s a good idea but it won’t work.”  (WA #254, Nov. 6, 1927)  He also wrote, “The idea was that the fellow managing the bank was to get no more than the man that swept it out. Well, that talked well to a crowd, but (Russia’s) got no more of that than we do.” (Saturday Evening Post, Nov. 6, 1926)

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