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Author Topic: Key Historical Events ...THAT YOU MAY HAVE NEVER HEARD OF  (Read 8310 times)

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Re: Key Historical Events ...THAT YOU MAY HAVE NEVER HEARD OF
« on: November 14, 2013, 11:51:58 pm »
Key Historical Events; That you may have NEVER HEARD OF.
The Great Dissenter: Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Second Half of Article

Holmes was a loyal member of the elite establishment. Prior to his dissent in Abrams he had done as much as any judge to render the First Amendment toothless. In one of the first Court opinions to address the topic, he had embraced the cramped English view that freedom of speech prohibits only prepublication censorship but places no limits on the government’s power to punish speakers after the fact.  He had even affirmed the conviction of an anarchist for **** sunbathing.1             

As a judge on the Massachusetts Supreme Court he was no friend of free speech. When a policeman complained that he had been fired for expressing his political views, Holmes had famously responded,
“The petitioner may have a constitutional right to talk politics, but he has no constitutional right to be a policeman.”

Holmes once said that the law not being based on logic, but on experience! He was NOT a friend of the Constitutional Rights. Freedom of Speech was just one of those rights he sniffed at. 10   That's what makes his dissent here so special. He was a man who thought and learned throughout his life. He was also a supporter of the will of the people; something not usually associated with a high court judge UNLESS he is a progressive.

For his love of truth, I believe he became a thorn in the establishment side and, had not the Republican administrations of the 1920s and early 1930s not kept putting more fascist judges in the court, he would have left earlier. For more than a decade, until Louis D. Brandeis joined him on the Court, Holmes was often in dissent and often alone.While Brandeis joined him in many later dissents, it was Holmes's vision of the law expressed in those opposing views that made him "The Great Dissenter."10

Hughs Supreme Court (1930-1932)

I recommend you research the pack of calloused, predatory capitalist supporting, child labor abuse ignoring bunch of criminals on this court that Holmes (Supreme Court 1902-1932) had to contend with. You will then understand why, except when Brandeis (Supreme Court 1916-1939), joined him in a dissent, he was alone in his dissents.

He became well known for his DISSENTS on a long line of cases involving progressive labor laws. The conservative (i.e. fascist) majority of the Court had repeatedly invalidated these laws, arguing that minimum-wage and maximum-hour regulations deprived businessmen and workers of their “liberty” (i.e. the ability ensure the "sanctity of contracts" for labor - just as long as the employer dictated the terms!) and thus violated the Fourteenth Amendment. 1Yes friends, THAT 14th Amendment originally written for the benefit of African American Slaves was now a totally Orwellian (long before Orwell!) document. What a massive private joke it must have been for the one percenters of those days.  >:(

These "conservative" (conserving cruelty, inhumane working conditions and predatory capitalist profts) , using the rhetorical fig leaf of "laissez faire", didn't really give a tinke'rs damn  about the “right” of employees to work fourteen hour days at rock bottom wages; they were really protecting the consciense free power of employers to get cheap labor.

But while Holmes’ dissents in these cases made him a hero to progressives, he was not motivated by any sympathy for the common workers. He once called them “thick-fingered clowns”. 1

Plainly speaking, he saw humans as cogs in a nation's wheels to be used as needed by the governemnt. I think he was a realist about what government REALLY is and didn't sugar coat it.
“Every society rests on the death of men,” he liked to say. If a nation needs soldiers, it seizes young men and marches them off to war at the point of a bayonet. If an epidemic breaks out, it forces the public to get vaccinated.

He knew government is a compromise where the citizenry gets certain benefits but the lion's share of those "benefits" will always be controlled by an elite establishment. I think he just didn't want the elite establishment to become a dicatorship. But, considering the goons that populated the high court then, he was a breath of fresh air. 

He believed, unlike most of his stuffed shirt peers, that VOX POPULI (the voice of the people) must be respected if a nation is to remain united.  As a judge he felt he had no business standing in the way of pro-labor legislation because the very same government that snatches people off to war has the right, through its elected representatives, to limit working hours and regulate conditions too.
“If my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them,” was another favorite saying. “It’s my job.”

So why did he defend Freedom of Speech in his famous dissent? Why did a man who disdained liberal sentimentality his whole life write one of the canonical statements of American liberalism? Was his opinion somehow consistent with everything he had said and done throughout his life? Did he SEE the effects of industrialization? Did he vist a ghetto or watch children working in a factory? Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer of the Sherlock Holmes books was no friend of predatory capitalism.Was it something he read? Did he ponder what the original intent of the 14th Amendment was and how much it ahd been perversely twisted? I don't know.

But he gave progressives the boost they needed and an era of positive change resulted (until Reagan).

His dissent continues to influence our thinking about free speech more than any other single document.1

He hung on to be the longest serving Supreme Court Justice. He was named by Theodore Roosevelt and left the court in 1932, BEFORE FDR was elected, due to ill health (he was also 90 years old). 11

But an excellent replacement was made by Hoover, as strange as that sounds. Hoover replaced Holmes with Benjamin N. Cardozo, an honest and passionate liberal. Cardozo became known was a member of the Three Musketeers along with Brandeis and Stone, which was considered to be the liberal faction of the Supreme Court. This probably angered Justice James McReynolds  (a notorious anti-Semite) because Cardozo was a Jew. Cardozo more than made up for Oliver Wendell Holmes' absence with his contributions to the court, despite the fact that the majority of the stuffed shirts there were obstacles to freedom, democracy and human rights.11

Another stuffed shirt you never heard of that did a LOT of damage to the cause of Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights in the USA. Hitler must have admired this GOON.

McReynolds would not accept "Jews, drinkers, blacks, women, smokers, married or engaged individuals as law clerks". A blatant anti-Semite, Time "called him 'Puritanical', 'intolerably rude', 'savagely sarcastic', 'incredibly reactionary', and 'anti-Semitic'". McReynolds refused to speak to Louis Brandeis, the first Jew on the Court, for three years following Brandeis's appointment and, when Brandeis retired in 1939, did not sign the customary dedicatory letter sent to justices on their retirement. He habitually left the conference room whenever Brandeis spoke. When Benjamin Cardozo's appointment was being pressed on President Herbert C. Hoover, McReynolds joined with fellow justices Pierce Butler  and Willis Van Devanter    in urging the White House not to "afflict the Court with another Jew".

Back to Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

He made a clear differentiation between Freedom of Speech and using the "freedom of speech" fig leaf as a license to obstruct, delay and destroy the abilty to reach the truth through honest interchange of fact based opinions.

It's okay to have an agenda. It's not okay to pretend you don't. 

Everyone reading the above will agree with the CONCEPT that the "power of free and vigorous debate to change the course of history" is a good thing. The problem is in defining "vigorous" and defining "free". Obstructive tactics, ad hominem or/and fact free gratuitous insults are not, and should not EVER be considered "free Speech". 

Only when the goal of said free and vigorous debate is the TRUTH by both parties can the "course of history" be changed for the BETTER.

The human experience has been mostly the opposite no matter what Martin Luther King ( “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”) believed. I hope he is right but I am NOT encouraged by what I have experienced.  The "arc" looks too much like a ballistic trajectory and we passed the apex right around the time the industrial revolution began. God help us.  :(

If a person derails a thread or refuses to argue the merits but instead stoops to attacking the messenger, said person is practicinng obstructionism, NOT Free Speech and deserves to be censored, period. I believe Justice Oliver Wendell Homes Jr. would agree.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was a man of his time. But I like that tough old bird. He had a great sense of humor. Here are some of his quotes for your enjoyment:

A child's education should begin at least one hundred years before he is born.

The language of judicial decision is mainly the language of logic. And the logical method and form flatter that longing for certainty and for repose which is in every human mind. But certainty generally is illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man.

Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cocksure of many things that were not so.

The greatest act of faith is when a man understands he is not God.

A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.

Young man, the secret of my success is that an early age I discovered that I was not God.

A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used.

Nothing is so commonplace has the wish to be remarkable.

Most of the things we do, we do for no better reason than that our fathers have done them or our neighbors do them, and the same is true of a larger part than what we suspect of what we think.

The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.

We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe.

To have doubted one's own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.

It seems to me that at this time we need education in the obvious more than the investigation of the obscure.

Man's mind, stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions.

The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.

Men must turn square corners when they deal with the Government.

A man is usually more careful of his money than of his principles.

Any two philosophers can tell each other all they know in two hours.

The only prize much cared for by the powerful is power.

Beware how you take away hope from any human being.

Every event that a man would master must be mounted on the run, and no man ever caught the reins of a thought except as it galloped past him.

Don't be 'consistent,' but be simply true.

Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at the touch, nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was a man of TRUTH.  We could use someone like that on the Supreme Court today.

1.  [img width=60 height=100] http://www.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-131113204809.jpeg[img] http://us.macmillan.com/thegreatdissent/ThomasHealy

2.  http://www.neatorama.com/2008/01/21/the-origin-of-sherlock-holmes/#!n7G0M

3.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Unionist_Party

4.  http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/LadyEl&showFullAbstract=1

5.  http://www.flu.gov/pandemic/history/1918/

6.  http://www.flu.gov/pandemic/history/1918/life_in_1918/index.html

7.  http://library.thinkquest.org/J0112391/civil_war_amendments.htm

8.  Read Farwell v. Boston & Worcester Rail Road for an EXCELLENT example of 19th century US law on responsibility for workplace accidents (ALWAYS the worker). Follow the decision to the twisted logic the juidge used and you will find the BASIS of the so called "Sanctity of Contracts"(ONLY the ones employers demand you write). And it's worse than that. When there is NO written contract, the worker assumes ALL RESPONSIBILITY. No wonder so-called conservaives and libertarians want to take us back to the 19th century!  http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1399&context=fss_papers

9.  http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/hine-photos/

10. http://www.fofweb.com/History/MainPrintPage.asp?iPin=APL128&DataType=AmericanHistory&WinType=Free

11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_N._Cardozo

On August 19, 1914, Wilson appointed him to the Supreme Court, to a seat vacated by Horace H. Lurton. McReynolds was confirmed by the United States Senate and received his commission the same day, starting with the new term on October 12, 1914. However, it was also accepted that Wilson only appointed McReynolds to the Supreme Court because he did not want to work with him anymore.

13. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Clark_McReynolds

14. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/o/oliver_wendell_holmes_jr.html
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 01:48:15 pm by AGelbert »
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11


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