Disposable Us 11/8/17

Kary Love

No Lives Matter or Can We Murder Murder— Did MLK Get It Wrong? – by Kary Love

We are all fighting about which lives matter. The truth is, no lives matter.

At least no lives matter to those with the power to annihilate all lives. To them, we are all disposable. In my judgment, this makes us all slaves.

As odious as every aspect of slavery is (was?), the core power of slavers was the right to kill their slaves at will. That is the power those with their fingers on the nuclear button have over the rest of us. They are slave owners and we are slaves. We pay taxes, mostly against our will, to build the very weapons our slave owners will use to incinerate us.

To those in power, we are not merely “deplorables”, we are “disposables,” like a paper diaper full of baby excrement. The US Government plans to “save” 5000 or so government bureaucrats in the event of nuclear war, so they can carry out the “Continuation of Government” (COG) plan. The same US Government has washed its hands of civil defense. None, nada, not.

JFK famously opined that in the event of nuclear war, “the living would envy the dead.” So, I do not envy the government bureaucrats their bunkers. Who in their right mind would want to live in a world peopled solely by survivors who were so morally crippled that they planned for a nuclear war and then if (when?) it came, scuttled like rats into a sewer while their “fellow” Americans fried, burned, combusted, eye balls melting, or died slowly of radiation poisoning?

Martin Luther King contended that we “cannot murder murder” as he argued that war can never succeed in stopping killing. I hate to disagree with MLK, but he was wrong. Trump and Kim, our supreme leaders, have figured out how to murder murder. It is actually quite simple: have a nuclear war and murder everyone! In Stalinesque simplicity: No humans, no murder. This seems, however, to me to be an extreme method to accomplish a goal that could be attained in a much better way: “love your enemy.”

But, I am just a simple citizen of the world, not a commander of armies and fleets. I am probably missing some important, and probably secret, critical element known only to our “exceptional” supreme leaders.

They claim to know better than Jesus, or Gandhi, or MLK. So far, I do not agree with them that we can, or ought, to use their way to murder murder. So far, I disagree with Armageddon as the path and the way. Please excuse my stupidity.

Dumb as I may be, it seems to me that so long as we fight amongst ourselves over which lives matter, they win. Once we unite and declare all lives matter, we begin their defeat. Perhaps this Armistice Day, November 11, 2017?

Kary Love is a Michigan attorney who has defended nuclear resisters in court for decades.

 

What We Must Do 11/8/17

Harvard U Colloquium: Nuclear First Strike Is It Constitutional, Is It Lawful, Is It Just?

by Kary Love

Kary Love

Your correspondent attended the November 4 Harvard University colloquium on the topic: Is Nuclear First Strike Legal or Just? The intellectual firepower contained in the panels convened by Elaine Scarry and Jonathon King was impressive: William Perry, former US Secretary of War; Zia Mian, Princeton physicist and a leading expert on the nuclear conundrum of Pakistan and India; Bruce Blair former US Missile launch officer, Princeton Professor and co-founder of Global Zero among others.

The facts adduced justified the convening by the appropriately named Professor Scarry: if one was not scared witless within the first hour (the colloquium ran 9 to 5) then one was simply beyond scar(r)y.

After four hours of unremitting presentations on the horrors, the horrors, the horrors of extant policy and practice of nuclear Armageddon, a voice rang out from the audience: “What are we to do!?” Cutting through the cerebral and clinical, though tinged with desperation presentations, Sister Megan Rice challenged the colloquium: “What are we to do?” Talking and thinking and pontificating are needed, but doing something was the primal call emanating from the audience like fear sweat. Sister Rice, her history of doing, not simply talking, sent a clarion call to action.

Taking the stage about an hour later, Zia Mian, looking and sounding like he was channeling Gandhi, demanded a moral uprising: it is time he said for the peoples of the world to rise up and declare nuclear first strike to be a war crime, a crime against peace and a crime against humanity. Of course, we know it is. Now we must move forward to prove it in the new Peoples War Crime Tribunal, which will examine the US-NK threats to use nuclear weapons, before an august tribunal of citizens of the world, so that the judgment of the conscience of the community is clearly on record against Armageddon.

Every soldier, every airman, every missile officer, every President or Prime Minister or Supreme Leader shall be put on notice: participation in nuclear war makes you an enemy of all humankind, lay down your weapons of omnicide, refuse illegal orders to commit mass murder, or join the rogues’ gallery of pirates, tyrants and miscreants who gained power only to lose their souls.

As usual, I, Kary Love, am solely responsible for the foregoing. Peace. Love. Hope.

Kary Love is a Michigan attorney who has defended nuclear resisters in court for decades.

Five Days Looking Good 10/25/17

I am a designated non survivor – by Kary Love

Kary Love

Ok, I am prejudiced, I admit it. Like you, I am a “Designated NonSurvivor” if the US and NK actually fulfil their threats to use nuclear weapons. Designated Survivors are individuals in the presidential line of succession, who are ordered to a secure and undisclosed location when the President and the country’s other top “leaders” are gathered at a single location. This is intended to guarantee continuity of government (COG) in the event of an occurrence that kills the President and many officials in the presidential line of succession.

I am not writing this to complain about being a Designated NonSurvivor. I will be in good company—practically everyone in the world! All the artists and builders, farmers and singers, the young and the old! Not a shabby group to belong to.

I much prefer that to hanging with those whom will emerge from the US or NK “continuation of government” bunkers. Those people are simply not my kind of folks. A world in which they emerge “on top,” such as the top will be then, is not for me. Good luck to them as they seek to “remake the world in their own image.” Sorry to break it to those folks, the world you emerge into will already have been remade in your image: death and destruction. Congratulations, you win.

Back to the point, let me tell you why I am prejudiced. Today I transplanted five white oak trees. One had grown to about 20 feet, its acorn somehow taking root at the base of a 40-foot-tall, healthy, white pine. I wanted to save both.

I dug out around the roots of the oak—it was 20 feet tall but less than an inch in diameter having been crowded out by the pine. The root was bent and twisted and turned down under the massive root bole of the pine. I could only follow it about 18 inches and it became unreachable.

I had an idea. I would run water into the opening, dig out more, as the ground softened. After about 3 hours of this, I had made a little progress but not much. As those who criticize people who protest against nuclear war say: “Resistance is futile!” Maybe it was futile.

Then I came up with another great idea! I tied a line to the oak which I attached to tensioning straps like you use for holding a kayak on top of your car. I put the oak under tension in the direction that seemed best to loosen its roots and possibly pull it out. I kept pumping water in, digging out with my hands reaching into the earth and freeing the roots. By dark I was beat. I soaked the root bole down—it now held about three feet of water, and headed for bed. I figured the oak was dead by morning.

I awoke, made coffee, and went out prepared to see the oak showing signs of demise. The oak looked fine. I continued the soaking and digging using my hands and tightening the pressure most of the day. By evening I had to act—I reached in as far as I could and cut the root as deep as possible. Then I transplanted the oak into a prepared hole after treating with root growth hormone. It may not make it, though five days in still looking good!

What does this have to do with my prejudice? I would like to one day show my grandkids that oak, standing tall at the top of a Lake Michigan sand dune, healthy and sending its roots deep to anchor the dune. That oak could live for 200 years, reach 100 feet, provide shade and wind break for generations. Not, however, if the US-NK threats turn to action.

Thus, I am prejudiced against nuclear war. I am prejudiced against Designated Survivors and their associates, their “superiors” in office, and their “subordinates” who must carry out those orders if issued. I am prejudiced against all those whose work or support the plans or preparations for nuclear war. Yes, I am a literal tree hugger. I have probably planted several thousand in my life. I believe every one of those trees may be a “Designated Survivor” in an honorable sense, not the dishonorable sense of COG and survival bunkers.

I am prejudiced, because for the reasons above, I simply do not know if I can tell my grandkids the story of the oak without lying. Sure, I can honestly tell them the oaks may survive, but what do I say about the future generations to shade, to behold the glory as the leaves change, the joy of jumping into a leaf pile?

Kary Love is a Michigan attorney.

Forest in the Eye 10/18/17

The Mote in North Korea’s Eye, the Forest in the USA’s Eye – by Kary Love

Kary Love

Mass murder of 59 is the mote in the eye of that lone “Las Vegas” killer and we all condemn him.

Mass murder of all humanity is the forest in the eye of Donny Trump and we are called upon to salute him.

Trump has recently threatened North Korea with nuclear annihilation. The USA has thousands of nukes, NK may have 20 and a limited, if any, capacity to deliver them.

Thus, the forest in the eye of Donny Trump and the mote in the eye of NK.

This is not to say NK should have nukes, it should not. However, the need for the USA to have thousands of nukes and a $1 Trillion program to “make more and more usable nukes” is also unacceptable. At least to the people of the world.

The recent Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was signed by 122 nations on July 7, 2017. The Treaty prohibits the use, threat of use, development, possession, testing, acquisition, stockpiling and transfer of these weapons and forever stigmatizes these weapons and the nations who maintain their nuclear stockpiles.

The US along with other “nuclear powers” refused to sign the Treaty. Refusal to sign the Treaty does not mean the refusing nations are “above the law of nations” or international law. Neither Hitler nor the Japanese governments signed the Treaty that allowed their henchmen to be hanged or jailed for war crimes, crimes against peace or crimes against humanity for crimes they committed in WWII. In fact, the accused war criminals complained everything they did was legal under Hitler’s “law” and they were “just following orders.” The USA hung them anyway because the law of nations superseded Hitler’s laws.

The US did sign the treaties supporting execution of the Nazi and Tokyo war criminals. Those principles now are part of the USA’s own laws governing war and war crimes. US military and civilian commanders, including the President, as commander in chief, are subject to prosecution as war criminals, should they engage in a war of aggression (“the supreme war crimes”) or use criminal weapons such as nuclear weapons in an otherwise legal war. Such crimes still carry the death penalty.

This legal conclusion is the result of one single truth: The enemy of all humankind is death.

Nothing else. Just death.

There are only two kinds of death:

a) natural. b) homicide. Courageous scientists, doctors and nurses are fighting the former–Thank you for your service! As to the latter it has been said: “He who kills one is a criminal. He who kills millions is a hero.”

When we embrace this thinking, we contribute to the spread of the infection of death by homicide. As Sartre opined: there is no way out. We are condemned to choose. Life or death?

Either we reject homicidal heroes or we reap individual killers. The celebration of death occurs not in a vacuum, the moral fabric of the universe is all one cloth. Cleave one strand, the rest unravel. The moral fabric is unravelling. The rest is vacuity, obfuscation and avoidance.

We fear our own deaths. We mourn the deaths of those we love. But, we are not human until we resist all death. Those who protest death, who are caged for committing trespass to avoid mass murder, who mourn the death of every human and work to avoid the death of any more, to them I say, “Thank you for your service!”

To those who go to work every day “maintaining” nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, I plead, take the day off. The week, the rest of your life.

To those who pay the taxes to fund nuclear weapons, I ask, “What do you say to your children when they ask you, ‘Daddy, did you pay for the war?'” It all comes down to one, simple decision: are you on the side of life, or death?

The cancerous poison of America’s commitment to weapons of mass destruction infects our culture: we have become death worshippers as a nation. The mote in the eye of the mass murderer in Las Vegas is a reflection of the forest in the eye of Presidents and the bureaucrats who daily plan, prepare for and threaten nuclear annihilation. To paraphrase Jesus of Nazareth: He who lives by mass murder shall perish by mass murder. Is it not time to pluck the forest from our eye and help others then to remove the mote from their own? For, if we continue to sow the seeds of death, what ought we expect to reap?

Kary Love, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Michigan attorney whose pro bono practice for decades is frequently the trial defense of nonviolent peace protesters.

Liberty of Others 10/4/17

What is an American Patriot? – by Kary Love

Kary Love

The great debate over NFL Players “taking the knee” has raised this question: What is an American Patriot?

How fortunate for us Americans that there is a simple answer: America was created by the Declaration of Independence—the first “law” adopted by the first Congress of America, the first American “Constitution” was a statement of the principles of what it means to be an American Patriot. Unlike all other countries at the time which had evolved from tribes to communities to warlord governed fiefdoms to “Kingdoms” imposed by strong men on the people, America was started by a legal declaration of the principles of legitimate government in July of 1776.

There was no “Flag” of America at the time, so pledging allegiance to the flag is not American Patriotism.

There was no “National Anthem” at the time, so standing and singing a song is not American Patriotism.

No, American patriotism is fidelity to the principles of the Declaration of Independence. The first principle is, of course, the right to secede from a government that acts contrary to its declared principles—we know this because that is what the original American patriots fought and died for in the Revolution—the right to secede from their own corrupt government, England at the time, because that government had engaged in behavior contrary to the “inalienable truths” declared in the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence, which has not been repealed, states these principles which remain American law and patriotism in a nutshell:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it; and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

American patriotism derives from the idea that the people are the sovereigns and the government their servant. The people have inalienable rights. Government is only legitimate when it protects those rights, which exist in the people before government having been given to the people, not by government, but by the “Creator.” Government only has the powers to which the people consent and when government acts contrary to the consent of the people or against their inalienable rights, it is the duty of American patriots to “throw off” such government.

Government, of course, does not like these ideas, not presidents, not congresspersons, not supreme courts justices, nor any other government agent, because it limits their power and like all human beings they resent limits on their power. Just like the English government American Patriots “threw off,” our current government is jealous of its power, and they lust for more. Thus, American Patriotism necessarily results in a tension between government and the people.

The “liberty” of the people is a bastion against which governmental power constantly batters, seeking to reduce liberty and to expand government authority. The American Patriot understands that the greatest threat to their freedom is their own government, not foreign enemies, but those right here at home, in your own backyard, constantly nibbling away at and undermining your liberty to expand their power. The American Patriot understands that every law is an intrusion on liberty and must be scrutinized carefully against these great principles before liberty is eaten away. The American Patriot understands that the greatest threat is a government agent who is willing to kill or cage you for your own good, because they know what is best for you, your consent be damned.

The American Patriot “takes a knee” for the liberty of other people to speak out against government abuse, government usurpation of unjust powers, and government overreach. The Government can wrap itself in a flag, sing an anthem, hold a parade and the American Patriot recalls the principles of the Declaration of Independence and declares: “not on my watch” shall these fundamental principles, won with the blood and toil of true patriots, be lost. Take a knee! Take back the flag! Take the streets! Vote out those who intrude on liberty! Declare to the government: we are the sovereign and you are our servant! To this we pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor!

Kary Love is a Michigan attorney.

It’s Not So Clear 8/30/17

American Exceptionalism – by Kary Love

Kary Love

The government of the United States proposes to “save” 5,000 government bureaucrats and their secretaries (no wives or kids) in the event of nuclear, biological or chemical war so it can carry out its “COG” (Continuity Of Government) plan. This is a great example of “government intelligence”—survive the apocalypse so the IRS can continue to collect taxes from the dead citizens to pay off the cost of the bunkers the bureaucrats (and top elected officials) “survive” in. You, the taxpayer, will most likely be dead, in fact there is no US government plan for civil defense, so thanks for the tax dollars and adios!

Because “government is, for good or ill, the greatest teacher,” the One Percent have learned their lesson and are jumping on the “bunker bandwagon.” Sales of bunkers to the One Percent, including not unironically former ICBM missile sites, are up!

So—it seems as though the likelihood of surviving a nuclear war in the US is good for either the rich elite or the government elite, but poor to nonexistent for the rest of us. Looks like the Deep State and profoundly privileged will need to stay very deep for a few centuries to allow for radiation reduction.

So here we are, living in the “exceptional” nation where the plan is to except the people from survival of a nuclear war while keeping the government safe. And I was wondering what all the “exceptionalism” was about. Glad to get it clear.

Except for you, and me, and our kids and grandkids, and everyone else and their kids and grandkids, the USA Will Survive Nuclear War. Yahoo! We have in fact Made America Great Again. What a plan, even if our man in the White House doesn’t seem to even understand what the nuclear arsenal triad is (ground-launched, air-launched, submarine-launched). The government builds up nuclear weapons arsenal—contrary to US Treaties and International Law—we get the bill, and the tax collectors use our money to save themselves from a war for which government continues to prepare and plan in order to outstrip the entire rest of the world combined in working towards Armageddon. It is harder to conceive of a country greater than that and, as our Commander-in-Chief says, we are at “the top of the pack.” Arf.

I am happy to have finally figured this out. I was confused, because I was taught in school the primary duty of the government was to protect the lives of the people. Of course, this is just an exception.

Kary Love is a Michigan attorney.

 

Nation of Laws 8/30/17

Pardoning Arpaio: The Power not the Right – by Kary Love

Kary Love

How do I know the Constitution is the supreme law? How do I know the Constitution is supreme over Congress or the President? Because the Constitution says so. The Constitution is the great charter of the American people by which they, and not their agents in office, control their government within its proper bounds.

America is a “nation of laws” not the whims of people who happen to occupy elected offices. If America is a nation of the whims of people who occupy elected offices, it is a nation where some people are above the law. That is un-American.

The Constitution does give the President the power to pardon. However, the Constitution was represented to the American people by its supporters in explanatory essays called today the “Federalist Papers.” The American people have the right to rely on the Federalist Papers to gain insight into the Constitution, both back when the people were voting on the Constitution (which was viewed with wide skepticism by many who had fought in the Revolution as stepping back from the principles of the Revolution) and today.

All government agents, including Presidents and police, swear an oath to God (usually) to support the Constitution. The founders believed most persons who took such an oath would not lie before God. The content of the character of those taking the oath may be measured by their fidelity to it and upon that the people may judge them.

Alexander Hamilton argued in Federalist No, 74, that the pardon power is a “benign prerogative” to be exercised in the interests of the “tranquility of the commonwealth.” All of a president’s actions are subject to the overall commitments made in his oath of office and to the Constitution. Hamilton contended that the individual occupying the Office of the President could be trusted to act on this extraordinary authority with a “sense of responsibility” marked by “scrupulousness and caution,” “prudence and good sense,” and “circumspection.”

Having risked their lives and having had friends actually die to achieve independence and a government based on the principles of the Declaration of Independence, men like Hamilton were apparently more dedicated to the Constitution than some of later generations. They apparently believed no one elected President would have such a defect of character to swear an oath before God only to violate it by acts inconsistent with the blood of patriots.

It is right and proper for the people, for whom the President is merely an agent elected to uphold the Constitution, to judge any President’s exercise of the pardon power and ask: Was it used consistent with the Constitution? If the answer is no, the people ought to hold that President accountable for violating his oath and the Constitution.

The pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Arpaio is troubling against this backdrop. Police officers, like Arpaio, also swear an oath to the Constitution. This means, among other things, they swear to respect the rights of the people under the Constitution, the laws Congress makes, and the rulings federal Courts make because that is how the Constitution says our government is to work.

Mr. Arpaio was found guilty by a federal court of criminal contempt of court for defying a court order to stop detaining suspected undocumented immigrants.

The criminal charge grew out of a lawsuit filed a decade ago charging that the sheriff’s office regularly violated the rights of Latinos, stopping people based on racial profiling, detaining them based solely on the suspicion that they were in the country illegally, and turning them over to the immigration authorities. These are allegations, later proven to the satisfaction of a Judge, of probable violations of the Constitution.

Hearing the suit, another federal district judge, G. Murray Snow, ordered the sheriff in 2011 to halt detention based solely on suspicion of a person’s immigration status, when there was no evidence that a state law had been broken. An appeals court upheld that ruling, and Judge Snow later reinforced it with other orders.

Mr. Arpaio had his day in court several times. He lost, several times. As a “law enforcement officer” he had a duty to the law he voluntarily took on when he swore his oath to the Constitution. Mr. Arpaio, having lost in court, could have brought his behavior into compliance with what several Courts had ruled were constitutional bounds. He chose not to do so. When he persisted in violating the Constitution, the Court, which also has a duty to the Constitution, held him in contempt.

Arguably, by pardoning Mr. Arpaio, Mr. Trump appears to endorse Mr. Arpaio’s actions contrary to the Constitution. The office of the President carries relatively narrow duties reflected in the oath of office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Pardoning law enforcement officers who violate the Constitution undermines the very law enforcement that exists to preserve and protect the Constitution. When any President grants a pardon, that President opens to the scrutiny of the American people his fidelity to the Constitution—the core reason for his being President. To what extent, the people ought to ask themselves, does this action encourage contempt for the Constitution? Is such a pardon consistent with the Constitutional parameters of a nation of law?

The American people ultimately determine the character of America. It is up to them: will America be a nation of law or of the whims of men? It boils down to a judgment: the President has the power to pardon, but does he have the right?

Kary Love is a Michigan attorney.