For almost five years I have served as Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru. During this time I have been praised and criticized for my work. And I’ve appreciated them both. When someone praises my work, I know there is at least one kindred spirit out there in cyberspace, so I don’t feel so alone. When someone criticizes my work, I know they at least took the time to read what I wrote.
But now it is time to expand my horizons. I am no longer content to sit behind a keyboard, hammering out words in an attempt to inspire others to think, to question and to challenge the way things are. So during this election year I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring and announce my candidacy for President of the United States. My party is named the I’ll Never Get Elected Because I’m Not Dishonest, Corrupt or Greedy Party.
I have worked long and hard on my platform, and now have decided to put forth a series of proposed laws for you, my fellow Pravda.Ru readers, to peruse—laws that, if I’m elected, will immediately go into effect.
1). The Put Your Life Where Your Mouth Is Law
The illegal invasion of Iraq has produced a plethora of “brave” warmongers, ready and willing to fight this war from the safety of government offices and television, movie and recording studios, while soldiers actually serving in Iraq are finding their tours of duty extended, their domestic lives in shambles, and their suicide rates increasing.
To alleviate the pressure on these soldiers, George W. Bush , his fellow war criminals, and all his supporters will immediately be conscripted into military service. In addition to this, all of their relatives will be conscripted as well. No more parties for Jenna and Barbara Bush! It’s time to fight in daddy’s war.
This new army, which will be called the Warmongering Coward’s Brigade, will also consist of the following:
a.) All politicians who voted in favor of the Iraqi war, along with all their relatives;
b.) All celebrities—the Elisabeth Hasselbecks, the Dennis Millers, the Toby Keiths, the Kid Rocks, the Drew Careys, the Kelsey Grammers, the Robert Duvalls, the Jason Priestleys, the Ron Silvers, and others of their ilk—who are more than willing to hawk the war, but too gutless to fight in it;
c.) Everybody employed by the Fox (Faux) News Channel, including its owner and regular commentators;
d.) All executives of Clear Channel and Sinclair Broadcasting;
e.) All the Swift Boat Veterans who endorsed George W. Bush . While it may seem unfair to make these individuals fight in another war after serving in Vietnam , it was their decision to support a draft-dodging coward like Bush over a war veteran like John Kerry . Now it’s time to pay the price;
f.) Anyone who attended a pro-war rally, who wrote or verbally expressed their support for the Iraqi war, or who voted for George W. Bush in either of the two so-called “elections,” unless they were supporting a loved one serving in Iraq .
In addition, to make these “warriors” truly feel they are part of the Iraqi experience, they will be issued shoddy equipment and required to remain in Iraq for an indeterminate period of time. Also, this law will nullify any excuses these warmongering cowards have used, or could use, to avoid combat duty: Ted Nugent won’t be able to fake insanity, as he did to avoid serving in Vietnam ; Dick Cheney won’t be able to receive a single deferment—a stark contrast to the five he received to also avoid serving in Vietnam ; Rush Limbaugh won’t be allowed to whine about a boil on his buttocks, then have the temerity to condemn “phony soldiers”; and George W. Bush won’t be able to perform some nebulous alternative military service because of daddy’s influence.
Finally, it will not be a defense for someone to argue they’ve changed their mind about the war, or that they were simply taken in by Bush’s deceptions. Since George W. Bush ’s entire life, from his education, to his business and political career, to his so-called “elections,” has been nothing but lies, there was sufficient warning that he is incapable of telling the truth.
2.) The Formation Of The Iraqberg Military Tribunals:
Should Bush, Cheney and their fellow war criminals, like Paul Wolfowitz , Alberto Gonzales , Condoleezza Rice , Donald Rumsfeld , Karl Rove and others of their ilk, safely return from Iraq after their conscription, they will immediately be arrested and placed on trial as war criminals. To ensure they receive the same treatment they’ve given to others, they will be indefinitely detained at Guantanamo Bay , or held in secret prisons as enemy combatants and tortured. They will be denied access to legal counsel, they will be denied due process of law, illegally obtained evidence will be used against them, and confessions extracted under torture will be admissible during their trials.
While my administration will oppose the death penalty, an exception will be made for Bush and his cronies. Personifying an evil so vile that even Satan blushes, Bush executed over one hundred and fifty people while governor of Texas. Yet he is, without a doubt, responsible for more violent deaths than all the inmates who’ve ever been on death row, and thus deserves the death penalty as well.
3.) The As You Sow SoShall You Reap Law:
After their convictions in these Tribunals, Bush and his cronies, prior to their executions, will be subjected on a daily basis, for a period of not less than one year, to waterboarding, shackling, and sleep deprivation. Also, in honor of their outstanding work at Abu Ghraib, they will also be required to pose nude and simulate sexual acts with their fellow war criminals.
If the convicted shall protest, they will be reminded that even their own Attorney General, Michael Mukasey , is not sure whether such tortures are illegal under American law.
This law will also cover legal misconduct on the part of judges, prosecutors and police officers. Recently two men, Glen Chapman from North Carolina and Tim Masters of Colorado , were released from prison after their murder convictions were overturned. In the Chapman case, alleged perjury by an investigating detective helped to secure his conviction, while in the Masters case, there are allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.
These two men are the latest in a growing list of individuals who have been freed from prison after evidence of such misconduct arose. Yet rarely, if ever, is it punished. In fact the prosecutors in the Masters case are now judges, and the officer in the Chapman case continued to work in law enforcement.
Although “investigations” are now being conducted in the Masters and Chapman cases, it is doubtful anything will ever be done. Jon Burge, who commanded a police division in Chicago, Illinois that routinely used torture to send several innocent men to death row, now lives comfortably in Florida on a police pension. The police and prosecutors who used perjured testimony to send two other innocent Illinois men to death row were not just acquitted—the jurors who acquitted them celebrated with them afterwards. And in South Bend, Indiana , the prosecutor who sent an innocent man to prison is now a Superior Court judge, and his former boss, the Chief Prosecutor at the time of this wrongful conviction, is now an appeals court judge. In fact the only one not “rewarded” is the wrongfully convicted man himself. A federal magistrate denied him any financial compensation for his years of wrongful imprisonment, supposedly because this man could not prove he was prosecuted in “bad faith”—an impossible burden for a criminal defendant to meet since he/she is not in a position to observe the machinations of law enforcement personnel or prosecutors.
This As You Sow So Shall You Reap Law will deny trials to judges, prosecutors and police who abuse or corrupt the system. Instead they will be immediately taken into custody and required to endure the same penalties that those they wrongfully convicted were required to endure.
4). The Restore Civil Liberties Law (except to those responsible for taking them away):
It has been said that history repeats itself. Unfortunately, sometimes history exceeds itself. During the 1960s, the FBI engaged in an series of illegal activities, under the auspices of its COINTELPRO operation. COINTELPRO involved break-ins, warrantless searches, illegal surveillance, harassment, use of fabricated evidence, perjury, incitement to violence, false imprisonment and assassination.
When these abuses came to light during the mid-1970s, in hearings conducted by Idaho Senator Frank Church, they were almost universally condemned. Two FBI agents were even convicted of crimes they committed while engaging in COINTELPRO activities, but Ronald Reagan pardoned them before they ever served a day in prison. A federal grand jury also refused to indict the Chicago police officers who extrajudicially executed Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark during a so-called “raid” in December of 1969. And, according to a former “GOON” squad member, FBI agents were allegedly complicit in several murders on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota during the early 1970s by providing weapons to the GOONS—pro-government Native Americans who supported a tribal leader that traditional Native Americans believed was illegally elected and corrupt.
Ironically, with the passage of the so-called Patriot Act in the wake of the September 11th attacks , many of the abuses so vociferously condemned during the Church Committee hearings have now been legalized.
The Restore Civil Liberties Law would require the National Security Agency (NSA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to register as criminal organizations, since their sole purpose is the destruction of democracy, civil liberties and human rights, both domestically and abroad, for the sake of exploiting human and natural resources, protecting corporate profits, and ensuring that wealth remains in the hands of the few.
This law would also revoke Reagan’s pardon, and prosecute or reprosecute all law enforcement personnel who committed crimes under the auspices of COINTELPRO and the Patriot Act. This law would also order the immediate release of any and all left-wing political prisoners convicted during the COINTELPRO era who still remain imprisoned.
Finally, this law will extend civil liberties to the workplace. It will be illegal to deny employment to anyone, or to fire anyone from employment, for exercising any right or freedom guaranteed by the Bill of Rights . These protections against employer retaliation will increase political awareness and activism, since fear of employer retaliation is the primary reason people hesitate to speak out against social and/or economic injustice.
5). The Elimination of the Electoral College Law:
The Electoral College was supposedly created so the “ill-informed masses” would not elect an inept, ignorant criminal to be President of the United States.
Obviously it has failed miserably.
Not only was a criminal named Richard Nixon elected twice, the fraudulent elections of 2000 and 2004 have proven that the Electoral College —aided by corrupt election officials in Florida and Ohio and an equally corrupt United States Supreme Court—actually encourages the “election” of inept, ignorant criminals, despite the will of the people.
Besides abolishing the Electoral College, election officials who deny the right to vote, who rush to “certify” dishonest election results, or who otherwise detrimentally influence an election will automatically be guilty of treason for undermining democracy, and immediately sent to Guantanamo Bay, where they will suffer the same fates as those convicted under the Iraqberg Law.
6). The Shut Your Mouth Unless You’re Saying Something Of Substance Law:
The advent of twenty-four hour “news” networks (and their quest for viewers) has produced a plethora of so-called legal “experts” who comment on high profile court cases. Far too often these “experts” intentionally distort the facts to promote their own agendas, and even decide a person’s guilt or innocence before that person has been to trial. This was starkly evident in the now infamous “rape” case involving members of the Duke University Lacrosse Team.
This law will make any media person who distorts the facts of any legal case, or who comments on the guilt or innocence of an accused before a trial is actually conducted, automatically guilty of jury tampering and/or obstruction of justice.
This law will also make it illegal for any television station to mention names like Paris Hilton or Britney Spears (or whoever happens to be the overhyped “flavor of the day”) more than once in any twenty-four hour period. It will also be illegal for any newspaper or magazine to mention these names more than once in any edition. This law is intended to reverse the “dumbing down” of America by corporate-controlled media that substitutes garbage for news, thereby deluding their viewers or customers into believing they are being “informed.”
In addition, no network will be permitted to call itself a “news” network unless it actually provides news. It will be required that at least eighty percent of a news network’s broadcast day be devoted to objective, nonbiased reporting. Any alleged news station that falls below that requirement must remove the term “news” from its title, and substitute it with the word “propaganda.”
Finally, any media outlet that knowingly or intentionally conceals any legitimate (i.e. non-celebrity) news story that is in the public interest will lose their right to speak, print and/or publish. Furthermore, any members of the media who promote an illegal war for the sake of ratings and profits or who conceal the theft of an election can and will be criminally charged with war crimes and/or treason.
7). The Protect The Workers Law:
The first requirement of this law is that anybody who promotes, encourages, or engages in “downsizing” must have personally lost a job through downsizing. They must also have been off work for at least a year due to this downsizing, so they can truly understand the effect this innocuous sounding term has on people struggling to make a living.
Also any company who moves any of its production or service facilities to a foreign country, or that imports foreign workers into the United States, will be required to pay these workers the same wages as American workers, and adhere to the same labor and environmental standards as United States law requires. Failure to do so will result in a company’s products or services being banned from distribution in the United States. If said products are essential to national security or quality of life, this law permits the government to nationalize this industry, and engage in production of this product or service itself.
This law also requires that any retailers who undercut small businesses by selling inferior goods from foreign lands, often made by slave, child or prison labor, will have such goods taxed to such an extend that their price will be equal to that fairly charged by a small business. Proceeds from this tax will then be used to subsidize and encourage the proliferation of small businesses, and to support organizations working to end the exploitation of labor.
Also any CEO of a bankrupt or near bankrupt company, where the result is the loss of jobs or closure, will forfeit any and all “golden parachute” benefits, with said proceeds being paid instead to the displaced workers. In addition, the government shall seize any and all personal assets of these CEOs if it is proven that their policies, greed or ineptitude caused a company’s job losses, closure and/or bankruptcy.
Finally, oil company executives enjoying record profits will not simply face “harsh questioning” by a do-nothing Congress. They will be arrested and imprisoned as threats to national security for detrimentally influencing the national economy.
Such executives will also be prohibited from profiting from any discoveries in alternative fuels, and will be banned from operating any vehicles utilizing such fuels, even if gasoline powered vehicles become obsolete, since it is largely through their influence that any meaningful search for alternative means of energy has been repeated postponed.
8). The Talk To The Enemy Law:
Although Presidential Candidate Barack Obama has been harshly criticized for advocating this method of diplomacy, this law will require that before any war, talk of war, or saber-rattling occurs between the United States and any foreign nation, the leader of that nation will be invited, without conditions, to engage in discussions to defuse the situation.
As the Bush dictatorship has demonstrated, wars are promoted by demonizing an enemy, even when it requires lies to do it.
The antithesis is also true: Peace can be obtained by humanizing an enemy, and by permitting the enemy to humanize us.
9). The No Preferential Treatment Law:
Americans, or at least white Americans and a few self-loathing minorities, hate affirmative action policies, supposedly because such policies give preferential treatment to minorities. Some states have even voted to abolish affirmative action, and when they are successful they proudly proclaim, “The People Have Spoken!” Of course, when the majority of those people are white, they’ve also been able to silence minorities who lack the numbers to “speak” via the ballot box.
So why not take this sentiment a step further, so white Americans are denied preferential treatment too? This law would prohibit anybody from obtaining a job, promotion, educational opportunity, or social position because of one’s relatives, friends, spouse or spouse’s relatives. In addition, nobody will be allowed to run for political office simply because their relatives, spouses, or spouses’ relatives held political office before them. If affirmative action is preferential treatment, as George W. Bush proclaims, then why should he be able to benefit from the preferential treatment provided by his family’s wealth and political influence? Why should Mary Bono be elected to the House of Representatives simply by riding on the coattails of her deceased husband? Why should Jeb Bush also benefit from daddy’s wealth and influence, so he could rig elections for his brother? Why should any qualified person be displaced from or denied any position simply because a lesser-qualified person has “connections?” Isn’t this, as affirmative action opponents say, placing unqualified and undeserving people in positions of influence and power?
This law says “no more.” If the government cannot provide opportunities to those who have historically suffered from discrimination, then they certainly can deny opportunities to those who have historically benefited from preferential treatment.
10.) Finally, The Health Care For Everybody Law:
It is disturbing how many in America claim to be “pro-life,” yet are comfortable living in a nation where millions are without health insurance, where insurance companies dictate treatment, and where one illness can wipe out the savings of a lifetime.
What is even more disturbing is how many so-called “religious” institutions claim to be pro-life, yet they pay their full-time workers substandard wages, and hire an abundance of part-time workers that they don’t have to provide with health insurance or other benefits.
Pro-life should not be limited to decisions involving termination of pregnancy or termination of one’s life because of a debilitating injury or incurable disease. It should cover those years in between. This law will do just that.
I realize there are many who will say that most, if not all, of my proposed laws are blatantly unconstitutional. To this I reply: Such concerns certainly haven’t deterred George W. Bush and his cronies. Neither has it inspired Congress to impeach him, nor motivated a sycophantic Supreme Court to restrict his abuses of power.
The check-and-balance system is dead; democracy is dead; the Bill of Rights is dead; human rights are dead; justice is dead; the America that once was is dead. Unfortunately nobody has put down their cell phones, video game controllers or television remote controls long enough to hear the eulogies.
So on second thought dear Pravda.Ru readers, please don’t vote for me. My platform was designed to heal the sick. It cannot raise the dead.
David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru