Friday, October 28, 2011

November Election

The up and coming election is providing bloggers and blowhards everywhere with more fodder, grist and cow pie targets then they've seen in four years, so I thought I might just as well throw a few bricks of my own.  Here in the gravel pit that is Toledo, Ohio a red hot topic that's certain to start flame wars everywhere is the infamous Senate Bill 5, a carefully crafted document certain to drive Ohio back into the stone age... where some of us would be a lot happier, or rescue Ohio from guaranteed destruction, proving conclusively that there is, indeed, a fate worse than death.

I'm undecided about SB 5, which is an unusual state for me.  My inclination is to vote against it, but I haven't really made up my mind as yet.  Here's why.
Warning! The following discourse is lengthy, inflammatory and somewhat seditious.  Moreover, I present an interminable situation likely to dishearten even the most seasoned drinker. 

Consider for a moment the authors of the United States Constitution and the Bill Of Rights.  These men were forced to define just what sort of country they wanted to live in - and remember that each one of them had their own opinion and none of them were the sort of men to remain quiet while some other fool was yammering away about nothing.  Then they had to modify that definition so as to make everyone equally unhappy, and after that (pay attention, because this is the important part) they somehow managed to neatly quantify all of this into a single document in language that virtually everyone could understand and not misinterpret.  And they had to accomplish all this without shooting each other, and with the certain knowledge, right up front, that many people would disagree with their writing and that others would do their absolute best to pervert the intent.  Collectively and individually they did a good job with this.

For instance, consider the venerable First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
What's so hard to understand here?  Even a putz like me can understand the spirit of this amendment, which is the entire point.  However the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley either didn't read it or chose to ignore it back in 1968 during the Democratic National Convention.

Then there's my own personal favorite, the Second Amendment:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Even the most rabid Moonbat anti-freedom fascist activist will reluctantly admit, when pressed, that the meaning of the 2A is clear.  They just don't like it, that's all, and since they are always right and we are always wrong, the Second Amendment can safely be ignored.  Check the anti-freedom laws at the Federal and State levels, then if you like you can try and convince me that the Second Amendment is not being ignored by legislators with the same high handed, authoritarian attitude that Daley had when he dealt with the protestors in 1968.

Okay, eighty six that last.  The attitude of The Anointed One and His authoritarian enforcers make Daley appear positively benevolent.

My point here is that the Bill of Rights can be read by anyone with an eighth grade education and the spirit of these rights is easily understood.  This means that when the government violates our civil rights, people can, at the very least, understand just what their individual rights are and how these same inviolate rights have been violated by their own elected government, which is comprised of elected officials which have publicly sworn to uphold those rights.

Cut to Am. Sub. S.B. 5 As Passed by the 129th General Assembly.  The PDF version of the summary is fifty four (54) pages long.  That's the summary, not the actual bill.  The bill itself, S.B. 5 As Passed by the Senate - Entire Text, is nine thousand one hundred sixty one (9161) lines.  Here's a sample:
Section 6. The General Assembly, applying the principle stated in division (B) of section 1.52 of the Revised Code that amendments are to be harmonized if reasonably capable of simultaneous operation, finds that the following sections, presented in this act as composites of the sections as amended by the acts indicated, are the resulting versions of the sections in effect prior to the effective date of the sections as presented in this act:
An incomprehensible list of items follows this text.  I actually tried reading this bill and gave it up after a few hours as a bad job.  But none the less, we the Great Unwashed are supposed to vote on this monster and judging from what I've seen so far, I'm willing to bet that half of the Ohio legislators currently sitting in office don't understand what it says, either because they haven't read it or because they tried reading it and gave up.

A long time ago someone or other taught me that if I didn't fully understand what was on the contract, I shouldn't sign it.  Some time later on I found myself arguing with a loan officer at a local bank who was trying to explain to me that the contract didn't really mean what was written; it really meant something different.  When I offered to alter the writing so as to match the real meaning, relations rapidly deteriorated.  I ended up going somewhere else for a loan and was happier for it.

I don't understand S.B. 5.  Since I don't understand S.B. 5, I can't possibly understand the ramifications of signing it into law.  I do understand this, though.

By their past actions, I understand that my elected officials do not give one final damn about me, my well-being or my civil rights.  If these people want S.B. 5 passed, the safest thing to do is vote against it.

2 comments:

Suz said...

I agree with that last statement. If you want to know what's in it, you need to bug the offices of the lobbyists who wrote it. I'd like to see a "plain language" amendment. We all know there's only one reason laws are written so that even lawyers can't understand them.

Mad Jack said...

Thanks Suz. From what little I understand, there's even a possibility that I'd agree with some of it, but the sheer size of the bill is somewhat intimidating. Anything could be hidden in there.