30 June 2010

Problem Defined

From The Knight Center for Journalism:

Puerto Rican senator blocks journalists' access to Congress

For three days in a row, Puerto Rico's Senate President, Thomas Rivera Schatz, prohibited the press from entering the Senate floor, reported El Nuevo Día. This was an unprecedented event in the Senate's history.

Media managers and journalistic organizations, and even groups like the Puerto Rican chapter of Amnesty International and analysts, have criticized Rivera Schatz for what they consider to be an attack against press freedom and citizens' right to be informed. Professional guilds also announced they will take the matter to the Supreme Court.

Rivera Schatz argued that his decision was a way to maintain order during legislative sessions, according to
Primera Hora, and in the last few days he made both reporters and photographers leave. In an editorial, El Nuevo Día questioned: “Who gave the senate president authority to dictate where a journalist's job begins or ends? What is the senate president scared of, or worried about?"

It was reported that after the illegal banning of the press (yes, illegal), none other than accused senator Hector "Corpus Delictor" Martínez was presiding over the chamber's activities, in absence of Thomas "Mad Führer" Rivera.

First, illegal. Under current senate regulations, Section 6.1(j) (scroll or find Page 13), the Mad Führer has the power to clear the chamber and facilities of the senate to "maintain order and decorum." In other words, IF and only IF there is a disruption to the NORMAL operational order and decorum of the senate, THEN and ONLY THEN can some brain-damaged douchebag jump on a high horse and clear the room(s). The press is PART of the normal operational order of the senate in its CONSTITUTIONAL function and carrying out its NORMAL duties is NOT a disruption of decorum. And in fact, the senate regulations are SUBJECT to the Constitution (Section 1.2) and cannot infringe upon it, therefore the senate president, Mad Führer or Marica 'Fogonao CANNOT bar the press from its legal functions.

Second, under the Constitutional checks and balances, everyone in the senate, particularly its president, are subject to the authority of the Courts, and the senate regulations specifically recognize this authority under Section 6.1(q). So for the Mad Führer to avoid being served a judicial order to appear before the Supreme Court in order to babble incoherently about his colonic whim barring the press is not only illegal, it is a further violation of the same senate regulations he pretends to use, specifically Section 6.1(t).

Third, the Mad Führer may claim--and he has--that he is "complying" under Section 6.1(w) with the "informing the public" requirement under the State Digital Law of 2000, which requires all senate proceedings, bills and reports to be made available on the Internet. However, that Law is in ADDITION to the Constitutional right of the public to be informed of government proceedings by the press, NOT a substitution. Strike three, Mad Dog, and because you seem the kind of guy who doesn't get it and never will, that means you have struck out.

The problem here is not the banning of the press: it is Rivera. He has acted unilaterally before, from Election Night 2008 (also known as "The Night the Shit REALLY Hit the Fan"), when he openly defied the newly-elected (non)governor and vociferated his plans for the incoming government (a close cousin to "incoming stink bomb.") He showed his (dirty) hands again and again by blocking nominations for personal reasons and at other times shoving them through without regard to parliamentary procedures and regulations be damned. He is a Mad Dog with delusions of adequacy, a rabid cur with the fuzzy intelligence and emotional maturity of a bright 4-year old. Who's been hit in the head one too many times.

The Mad Führer cultivates his image of "strong man politico" by being unpredictable and forceful. In some hands, this is a strategy. In Rivera's hands, it's merely the natural result of being below-average in brains and maturity, where "strategy" is reduced to being louder and cruder, where "smart" means being stupid enough to plunge ahead like a...mad dog.

He won't stop until he is treated like the figurative mad dog he is. The problem is defined: the solution is obvious. It's a matter of time before someone implements it...figuratively, if not literally.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

Update: 7:12 PM: A few hours after posting this, citizen groups protesting at the Capitol Building against the actions of the Mad Führer and the disgusting wreck of a government he and (non)governor Luis "The Larva" Fortuño are inflicting upon Us entered into direct confrontation with the local Police. Tear gas and beatings ensued, along with property damage of Police equipment and several people have been wounded. That the protests have gotten out of hand is a shame, but that they are happening, that they should continue to happen and so long as the damage is confined to ruining political careers rather than property or lives, then I for one urge the protesters to give 'em hell, upside the head and with malice aforethought. There's only one way to stop a Mad Dog and its pack of curs, so to coin a phrase: Yes We can.

BEST line in the ongoing blog over at endi.com (same link as above): 
5:46 p.m. - A pasos de la Constitución de Puerto Rico, el superintendente de la Policía, José Figueroa Sancha, tildó a los estudiantes de “delincuentes”.  

5:46 p.m.--Just steps from the Puerto Rico Constitution (in the Capitol Building's lobby), the Police Superintendent of Puerto Rico, José Figueroa Sancha, called the (protesting) students "delinquents."

For the record, The Jenius calls Sancha Panza a plusperfect idiot.

Update: 10:52 PM: Lest you think I only propose violence as a solution, here are 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action. And Sancha Panza is still a plusperfect idiot.

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