Boycott Sovereign Bank Part Two

Interestingly enough despite tracking search terms on the blog, Boycott Sovereign Bank remains one of the most linked to articles on this site.

It’s not hard to see why, people hate Sovereign Bank and most of the comments are filled with people fed up with the abuse. Weirdly enough no-one mentioned that cashing checks out of temporal order is something which other banks did. Not only that but the bank I jumped to, Wachovia, was purchased by Wells Fargo. Wachovia, for the record, never did this to us. If anything they were incredibly lenient on their policies for overdrafts, etc and often would refund you the money if you complained. (I only complained once, about ATM fees, not overdrafts, but the point stands that they were flexible). Turns out the bank which bought out Wachovia, Wells Fargo, not only did this but was sued for it as a class action. The class action won and Wells has to pay $203m to it’s customers. That’s good news to me, anyway, since I’m in Wells if I want to be or not. However, all of you with Sovereign accounts, you’re probably SOL and they’ll continue to do this. It’s likely going to court since now the lawyers know that there’s money to be made, but as far as pulling it off when you’re suing a foreign company, I’m not so sure it’ll work out. American banks have to play by American rules. You play with banks owned by Mexicans (Sovereign) and all they have to do is meet banking regulations, they don’t have to play nice.

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Prop 8 Overturned on 14th Amendment

Proposition 8 was overturned, which I think is a good thing as I believe being gay is something central to someone’s identity, much in the same way someone’s race is central to someones identity, and therefor cannot be legislated. If you read the link to the ruling above, you can see that Prop 8 was overturned with the 14th Amendment. The 14th amendment I generally feel is a gross violation of the spirit of the constitution and I feel it’s a great example of backwards thinking. The spirit was probably in the right place when it was originally written – the authors were seeking to prevent discrimination. What it led to – affirmative action, no child left behind, fair housing act and our hilarious current mortgage problem – were unforseen consequences and a problem with the application of what amounts to a socialist law in a capitolist environment. When you try to legislate away poverty by claiming discrimination against poor people and thus a violation of the 14th amendment, banks end up making loans they wouldn’t even consider.

The wording of the ruling is absolutely bizarre. The challenge says “The Due Process Clause provides that no ‘State [shall] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.'” Except that Proposition 8 is the due process of the law. (The spirit of this is that you must have a trial). Unfortunately this is a great example of working within someone elses framework. The state (in a general sense) treats marriage as something the state is party to, but treats it as something divine which the state does not regulate. Therefor it would seem to me, being the worst of the armchair lawyers, that a challenge to the regulation of marriage should call into question the state’s ability to regulate marriage prima facie. The answer is no, you can get a “quaker marriage” license and perform any such ceremony you wish and the license only serves as the regulation of paperwork. This should have been carried on through the ruling and in fact it seems like the judge was aware and sympathetic to this argument but looking for something to crouch the argument in. The state does not regulate being gay, or being a gun owner, or a racecar driver. The state regulates sodomy, murder and speeding. The entire body of laws is crouched in the idea that who you are doesn’t matter as much as what you do. This is both Just and Correct, and this is why the 14th amendment seems like such a miss. A church-and-state challenge is where I really wanted this to go and I would be interested in seeing someone challenge a similar law on that basis.

The 14th Amendment allows protected peoples to basically put their rule over the common agreements of society. The argument within the context of the 14th amendment therefor is an argument of entitlement. We could not argue that sodomy is legal between two consenting adults, because of their consent. The covenant of their consent would therefor be a marriage license, but we’ve fallen so far as a society that we’ve made womens rights such that consent can be withdrawn after the fact. Instead of strengthening the institution of marriage by making it inclusive of all, we’ve chosen to make gays a protected class (like the handicapped and the elderly) via the 14th amendment and therefor say a law is discriminatory by furthering legal discrimination. The problem here is that laws are based on the common good of society, and this was the original spirit of the sodomy laws in the first place. That being said, the problem with Proposition 8 was that it was poorly worded from the get-to and barely literate, so a challenge to it is roughly the same. This is why I believe the wording of the ruling is so strange.

Lou Dobbs and David Olofson

I’m reposting this because it’s getting lost in the Signal-to-Noise ratio since CNN carried it on the Lou Dobbs segment. The best link to the case is here, which includes links to the Lou Dobbs program.

Now, I love a good bit of armchair lawyering, so here goes:

Prosecution: They should bring up the fact that the guy is in the army and consequently a weapons expert. He is overly qualified by his profession to work on these weapons and he would have surely known about the ATF.

Defence: A malfunction is a malfunction. (Fred Thompson’s argument about Clinton and perjury here). More to the point it wasn’t built with any automatic parts.

To Lou Dobb’s credit, that’s exactly the argument he used and he said “fire selector” and “auto seer” on air. So apparently Lou knows a bit about guns. Since I’m firmly in the “use, not design” camp (DVD recorders aren’t supposed to be used to copy hollywood movies so keep the CSS crap off the device), then his buddy would be guilty of firing a machine gun. But is Olofson guilty of transferring a machine gun? No, he never transferred ownership.