Thursday, March 20, 2008

Are we a nation of laws?


It is very popular these days to say we are a nation of laws but with Bush's 1100 plus signing exceptions one has to wonder. Is it a set of laws that is equally applied? Or is this structure of laws based originally on our constitution a fragile house of cards because of how it is biased to the rich and powerful. Or whatever is expedient at the moment.

I was rather pleased to see that watchers of the supreme court seem to believe that the right to bear arms will not be over-turned by the court. I am a gun owner. I am a woman living in the near wilderness who has experienced a stalker and how little the law can do about it. I have three weapons. I am anxious to see the final decision and what the court does with the words "cannot be infringed." We are battling that here in New Mexico which has yet to have a challenge to its new conceal/carry law. The New Mexico constitution also mentions that the right of the citizen to carry a weapon cannot be infringed upon.

But I digress. When I began this post I was thinking of the laws that used to keep the economy in balance and in part prevent a depression like which occurred in the 1930's. We went to war to get out of that. We are in a war now (usually a boost to the economy) and still heading down on the slippery slope. I like many Americans thought there was a structure of protectionist laws put in place to ensure that banks could not engage in dangerous and risky lending with the monies of its investors and customers. NOT it seems. All those laws were removed with a stroke of the pen by those who wanted no restrictions on their profits. And aided by the people put in office by those powerful lobbyists.

So once again it seems the laws only apply to the lower class of people. The rich can have the laws re-written. The rich can afford lobbyists and lawyers and money under the table to the correct powers. The powerful can decide to erase the laws to allow the illegal aliens to remain in this country ahead of those who took the legal route and may still be waiting in line. The powerful can make it so oil companies can get tax incentives and no taxes on their huge prices. The powerful can decide to tap our phones regardless of our constitutional "guarantees" to privacy. The powerful can pay spin doctors to call it enhanced question techniques instead of torture, and pay the lawyers to argue that before the supreme court.

I will not bore you with the entire list. On a personal level I am having a dispute with a contractor. He filed a lien that did not adhere to the letter of the law. That does not seem to matter. I must spend the money in court and on a lawyer to prove that. And legal aid seems to be something which has fallen to the budget ax. In an effort to continue to support a war that should be against all international laws the government is tightening its belt on "entitlements" and "pork barrel projects" (not all bridges are to nowhere). Still that does not prevent our government from bailing out a financial institution that morally did what it should not do. And if we had a fine reading of the laws that are still in place - illegally did.

Where, oh where is a nation of laws for the little people. And not the rich CEO's and companies.