Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 23rd, 2012

US Supreme Court on Presidential Contribution: “Unlimited spending on negative ads…”

The US citizens have been exercising successive pressures to limit the influence of money of the elite 1% class on selecting the candidates in campaign contributions.

It is obvious that money contribution selects the candidates for the final show down, on the assumption that it is the “people” who has the final say in selecting between the final two contenders of the two main parties.

For a century, there has been slow but steady improvements to reforming election contribution.  For example, Theodore Roosevelt prohibited in 1907 the large companies to directly contributing to candidates.  During the last Obama campaign, the little people amassed enormous cash flow with small amounts.

Lately, the Supreme Court butted in and upheld that “monetary contribution is a form of free expression…” such as free speech and writing of the richest citizens?

Sure, contributing money is a serious form of expressing opinions, but the Supreme Court took the extra step for codifying how the collected contribution should be spent. And what are the constraints?

The Supreme Court opened the door wide for establishing “Super PACS” with the specific purpose of collecting “unlimited” amount of contribution.  And what are the constraints?

First, the “Super PACS” must be “independent” of the campaign staff of the candidate.  Like, the head of the “Super PACS” that contributed $5 million to Newt Gingrich in South Carolina was his former spokesman…Most of that contribution was from a single rich person…

Second, all “Super PACS” contribution money should be spent on negative ads.  For example, the “Super PACS” can generate contributions from the rich in outside States, as long as the money is spent on negative images of the candidates in the other States…

Do you think the Supreme Court is being captured by the financial multinational liberal capitalists?

Something is going awry in this formation of the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court is another branch of the power-to-be, and if all the branches at a particular period converge on a consensus, dictatorship is well rooted.

Should the citizens start another campaign of Occupy the Supreme Court?

In any case, the people have this right, guaranteed by the Constitution and confirmed by Supreme Court to occupy the Court.

Note: Post inspired from an article by Hisham Melhem in the Lebanese daily Al Nahar

Killing for the thrill? Is that what soldiers serving in Iraq do?

Itzcoatl Ocampo is 23-year-old, a slender former Marine, and was considered a troubled man after he returned from Iraq in 2008.   Itzcoatl’s father, Refugio Ocampo, said that his son came back from his deployment a changed man:  his son expressed disillusionment and became ever darker as he struggled to find his way. After Itzcoatl was discharged in 2010 and returned home, his parents separated.  So what’s new here?

A neighbor, a Vietnam veteran, and Ocampo’s father both tried to encourage Itzcoatl to get treatment at a veterans’ hospital, but he refused.  The same month, one of Itzcoatl’s friends, a corporal, was killed during combat in Afghanistan, and Ocampo visited his friend’s grave twice a week.  Again, what’s new in this story?

A newspaper in SANTA ANA (California) reported “An Iraq war veteran charged with stabbing to death four homeless men in Southern California was a thrill seeker who took pleasure in killing his victims, prosecutors said Wednesday”.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters outside a jailhouse courtroom that 23-year-old suspect Itzcoatl Ocampo appeared lucid, calm and intelligent and showed no signs of mental illness.  Rackauckas said“He gets a thrill out of it. This is a serious, vicious killer who went out there intentionally going about killing people and terrorizing a whole area.”

Ocampo was charged Tuesday with four counts of murder and special allegations of multiple murders and lying in wait and use of a deadly weapon. Three victims were stabbed more than 40 times each, with a single-edged blade at least 7-inches (17-centimeters) long, authorities said.

After the brief hearing, defense attorney Randall Longwith declined to comment on the allegations and said his main concern was gaining access to Ocampo, who was being held in a medical ward, wearing only underwear and wrapped in a blanket designed to prevent him from hurting himself, and denied visitors.

Longwith told reporters: “We’re just concerned that he hasn’t really had access to an attorney or to anyone at this point.  He seems very scared.”

Ocampo was arrested Friday night when bystanders chased him down after a man was stabbed to death outside a fast-food restaurant in Anaheim, about 26 miles (42 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles. He was caught with blood on his hands and face. Authorities have not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Ocampo will be given a psychological evaluation and is being held in isolation and monitored around the clock to prevent him from hurting himself or being harmed by other inmates, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the county sheriff’s department.

The killing spree began in December and prompted police to fan out across the county known as the home to Disneyland and multimillion-dollar beachfront homes to urge the homeless to sleep in groups or in one of two wintertime shelters.

Police allege that Ocampo would stalk each of his victims, then stab them repeatedly with a knife that could cut through bone. He selected his last victim, 64-year-old John Berry, after he was featured in a Los Angeles Times story about the killing spree, prosecutors said.

Berry filed a police report the day before he died, saying he feared he was being stalked, but officers didn’t have a chance to follow up amid a flood of nearly 600 leads and tips.

“It is unfortunate that we didn’t get to him before the suspect did,” Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said.  Like the homeless men Ocampo is accused of preying on, Itzcoatl’s father is also homeless. His father lost his job and ended up living under a bridge before finding shelter in the cab of a broken-down big-rig he is helping to repair.

Days before his arrest, Ocampo visited his father, warning him of the danger of being homeless. He showed him a picture of one of the slain men, his father said. “He was very worried about me,” his father said. “I told him, ‘Don’t worry. I’m a survivor. Nothing will happen to me.'”

Note 1

Note 2:  Associated Press writer Kevin Freking in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.




January 2012

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