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A Grim World

Posted by Rick · September 14th, 2003 · 1 Comment

It’s a grim world we’re living in and getting grimmer.

George Bush once said the world would be a better place if the United States were a dictatorship, so long as he was the dictator. Now, in response to growing complaints from the Justice Department that current interpretations of the Constitution of the United States and the Federal Judiciary are getting in the way, Bush wants to expand on the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001. He wants to make it possible for police officers to subpoena private data without judicial review.

I suppose this only makes sense. Bush, via Ashcroft, have already determined that the constitutional right “to a speedy and public trial,” where the accused has the right “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have assistance of counsel for his defense” is just too much trouble. (All quotes in this paragraph come from Amendment VI of the Bill of Rights, a part of the nearly-forgotten Constitution of the United States of America—I wish more people would actually sit down and read it.)

Special thanks to Denise Chaffee and Terry Winant for bringing
some articles referenced here to my attention.

They successfully lobbied for bills that—please read some for yourself!—erase portions of the Bill of Rights. And they rammed these bills through Congress without giving senators time to even read them before a vote. One senator, reacting to what was happening, said, “Why should we care? It’s only the Constitution.”

Meanwhile, Vice-President Cheney—who admits we’ve still not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but insists we will—also indicates that the United States will soon be asking its citizens to pony up more than the $48 billion we’ve already spent and more than the additional $87 billion President Bush recently said he needs. And how long will they keep asking for money? “I can’t say….It’s all we think we’ll need for the foreseeable future, for this year,” says Cheney. No word yet on when we’ll be able to plant weapons of mass destruction to be found so we can convince the rest of the world we were right and we can start taking money from their citizens.

I wondered how the Bush Administration planned to pay for all this on an ongoing basis. Then it hit me: These two issues are connected!

At the end of 2003, the average Circuit Judge was earning $164,000 per year; the average District Court Judge, $154,700. I wasn’t able to find out exactly how many judges there are in the United States, but if this list of federal courts is any indication, there must be quite a large number. If you throw in all the support staff—clerks, circuit executives, court reporters, court librarians, etc.—the monthly payment of salaries must be quite large.

If Bush and Ashcroft are able to successfully eliminate the judiciary, not only will we no longer need to pay these salaries, but even if we sell all the buildings to Halliburton and Bechtel at huge discounts, we should still be able to afford the $4 billion dollars a month (and rising) that we’re currently spending on Iraq.

Who said they didn’t have a plan?

Categories: The U.S. & The World


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