Monday, November 19, 2018

A better future is achievable

An Achievable Better Future

            Thank you, fellow citizens, for the chance to introduce you to the leading edge of a specific civic task: establishing actual use of the United States preamble.
I write and speak to express a dream and to make it attractive and convincing so that the listener may want to clarify the premises, collaborate to discover the practices that are implied, help create a plan of action, and begin to reap the benefits of living an achievable better future. My approach is to describe the bases of the imagined future without apology or derivation, leaving that collaboration for the fellow citizens who, perhaps with us, may actually capture the dream and make it happen.
            In other words, this essay is not intended to prove the premises. So the reader is asked to accept them in order to grasp the dream. If the dream is favorable the hard work of improving the statements today may seem worthwhile and can be accomplished in time. My language is necessarily specific, so listen with an open ear and alacrity to accommodate new uses for old words. For example, “civic” herein is like “live and let live,” and I hope that may be evident as I talk. Sometimes, I seem repetitive, and I am comfortable with it.
There is an achievable better future! Let’s make it happen. 

Being human within humankind

            Each individual human life is a brief experience in the continuum of families that make up humankind. Family development often seems unattended or random but could drive the progress of humankind itself. So far, it seems humankind’s psychological development lags technological development. The consequence of humankind’s psychological lag can be ruinous for the individual who does not individually attend to his or her psychological development.
            Every human being has the individual power, the individual energy, and the individual authority (IPEA) to either develop integrity or not. (There won’t be any more acronyms, so its OK to learn this one at least for this essay: IPEA means individual power, energy, and authority.) If an individual chooses to develop integrity, fidelity follows. Integrity is a practice, and fidelity empowers civic human connections.[1] Integrity entails both understanding and morality in connections with fellow citizens.
If a person, unfortunately, chooses to develop crime, his or her IPEA does not weaken. He or she may become a crime-master. However, to have a civic culture, a people collaborate to constrain crime. In this context, “civic” means living people who during their cognitive lives collaborate for mutual, comprehensive safety and security, hereafter Security. The civic needs of today surpass the civic needs of the past, yet there is an abiding civic integrity.
Like a tsunami’s uncontrollable advance, a newborn human’s life unstoppably unfolds from a feral state unto young adulthood. The young adult either emerges with the understanding and intent to live a full human life or not. Fortunate is the person who develops integrity. Developing integrity is essential to human fullness. Most human beings could have been more than they become.
The human being is so psychologically powerful it takes a quarter century for his or her body to complete construction of the wisdom parts of the brain, and another few years of experience and observations for his or her personal preferences to emerge. Without integrity and fidelity, wisdom may never come. Caregivers may encourage and coach the individual, but the decision to develop integrity can only be made by the person.
It might seem nice if an individual could know who they’d like to be just before their body, mind, and person stop functioning. However, there would be no opportunity for self-discovery and development of personal preferences. The individual’s families may encourage him or her in youth to develop integrity without exception, but only the individual can make his or her cumulative choices leading to maturity or not.
Integrity is established by fidelity. If an individual elects infidelity, the mistake may[2] be undone if the person wishes to re-establish his or her journey to integrity. The delay and any harm caused are losses in personal time and property yet may be corrective. That is, error is often a person’s teacher. Fortunate is the person whose harmless error can be corrected---perhaps as lucky as the person who reaches high ground in a storm surge.
Often human error is nearly ruinous. It is important for the individual not to accept ruin; to never give up the quest for integrity.
In a civic culture, most adults would, by example, encourage and coach children to embrace IPEA and to use it to develop integrity. Never has such a culture existed, yet the U.S. may be at a moral abyss and on the brink of ascent to civic integrity. If so, we may help.

Developing IPEA

The human being is so physically and psychologically powerful that it takes about three decades to acquire the understanding and intent to live a complete human lifetime. Whereas a lion is mature in 3 years and an elephant in 25 years, a human body has not completed construction of the wisdom-building parts of the brain until a quarter century has passed. Human maturity occurs late in life, perhaps in the seventh decade if at all. Integrity is as essential to human psychological power as the thumb is to human physical power. Through integrity, the individual develops fidelity to the-objective-truth.
However, accepting bemusement by appetites, societies, civilizations, and governments, most people never adopt IPEA. Instead, they assume by tradition that another entity will oversee their development of maturity as time passes. Some attempt to assign this responsibility to their god. The habit is shared from generation to generation. Many people take advantage of this habit and promise to serve others in surrogate authority but in fact, use the bargain to unfavorably control the individual. By this process, past generations have neglected the U.S. preamble’s power for mutual civic discipline. Scholars erroneously claim the preamble is an agreement for self-governance rather than civic discipline.

The IPEA-family

Consequently, the physical family that attends to IPEA is essential to human development. Thus, a man and a woman who are mutually attracted may develop a bond for monogamy for life. Their bond has the support of four parent-in-laws with their families and friends. The couple may share their trust and commitment with progeny. Parents and children develop IPEA-lives that hold promise for the parents’ grandchildren. The grandchildren who procreate will each add another pair of grandparents bringing the immediate-past diversity to six family lines. Perhaps this physical commitment to human posterity provides ideal psychological development for the individual. With a majority of individuals practicing IPEA, the collective We the People of the United States may be empowered by IPEA.

Integrity

            Integrity is a practice: recognize a personal concern, imposed fear, or wonder; discover whether the object of interest addresses actual reality (the-objective-truth), human construct, or a mirage; understand how actual reality invokes interest and how to benefit from the understanding; behave accordingly; share with fellow citizens why you behave so and LISTEN to their responses for opportunity to collaborate for mutual improvement; be alert for the need to change, for example, upon new discovery.
When the practice is inconclusive, the individual assents that the-objective-truth has not been discovered. In integrity, the person who does not know proclaims, “I do not know.” However, it seems not objectionable to express well-grounded opinion about the unknown. If action is required, it may be taken but not in conflict with the interconnected discoveries or the-objective-truth.

A civic culture

            In a civic culture, most people are at a specific progress in their journey toward integrity or none. They are aware that some fellow citizens use IPEA for infidelity and by example encourage reform. That is, the civic fellow citizens encourage and coach dissidents to reform but hope motivation comes from exemplary behavior. Yet both a civic people and dissidents remain fellow citizens.

            Justice

            In a civic culture, most fellow citizens understand that civic behavior comes from personal consent to collaborate for mutual, comprehensive safety and security, hereafter Security.
History shows that living humans are on various moral and chronological paths; dissident fellow citizens may always be expected, so there is the need for statutory justice.
In order to collaborate to discover justice, there must be consent to develop law and law enforcement. Many fellow citizens are not aware of equal justice under law let alone its practice. Perhaps that is because political regimes develop dominant opinion rather than collaborate to discover and observe the-objective-truth, which I explain later.

            U.S. civic agreement

            In the United States, the established civic agreement on which the quest for statutory justice is organized is the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, hereafter the U.S. preamble. It is a civic, civil, and legal agreement. People queue to enter a concert on civic behavior. People observe traffic regulations on civil behavior. People serve on juries under legal behavior.
            The preamble offers an agreement for mutual self-discipline rather than governance. Neighbors do not want to govern but some like support in the work for self-discipline. The preamble seems the world’s greatest political sentence because it tacitly offers fellow citizens the opportunity for individual happiness with civic integrity rather than “the happiness” someone else would impose. Fellow citizens who adopt the U.S. preamble discipline themselves and manage their local, state, and national governments by voting for representatives who will act for civic integrity.

The-objective-truth

            In scholarly articles about “truth” there’s never a resolution of the debate between nature and reason; science and religion; earth and heaven; evolution and God; my truth and yours. However, there exists a response to every query, and whatever that response is in each case is the-objective-truth (with two hyphens to keep the phrase whole). The-object-truth exists and can only be discovered. For example, there may be an entity that controls the unfolding of the universe, but humankind has not yet discovered whether it’s a god, God, or physics, the object of scientific study.

            Physics rather than science

            We now know that Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity is a law rather than mere theory.[3] Mass and energy are interchangeable at the speed of light. Expressing this law as physics, the object of all scientific study, it seems that everything emerges from physics. Clearly, science is not an object but is a process for discovery.
            We understand the forces that control the planets and their orbits by the discovery of physics’ laws. Likewise, we understand the workings of living beings through physics and its progeny, biology. Similarly, we understand psychology through the relation of physics, biology, and mathematics to behavior. Spiritualism seems the study of possibilities that have not yet been negated by discovery. Fiction lives on despite discovery. Science fiction and romance expand the bounds of imagination. However, physics does not respond to fiction, reason or other human constructs.
            Conforming to physics (the object of study rather than the study process) provides a basis for civic collaboration to discover statutory justice.

            Integrity rather than ethics

            Einstein informed humankind in 1941[4] that the laws of science and the laws of ethics come from the same source. He spoke at a conference on science and religion and traditionally spoke for the audience. In other words, the words he used may have been popular rather than accurate. His only example was that “’Thou shalt not lie’ has been traced back to the demands: ‘Human life shall be preserved’ and ‘Pain and sorrow shall be lessened as much as possible’,” rather than to conform to Jewish doctrine.[5] Just as “physics,” the object of study, seems more expressive than science, the study; “integrity,” the practice, seems more expressive than “ethics,” a discovery process. Thus, I paraphrase Einstein’s message: Physics and integrity come from the same source: actual reality or the-objective-truth.

Being human

            So far, individuals live in a conflicted world wherein most infants may or may not, over the unforgiving march of time, discover their opportunity to develop individual humanity rather than join the competition for dominant opinion or an organization for someone else’s political cause. The concepts presented herein, especially IPEA, are not presented to children much less developed among adults. Thus, human psychology lags technology.
            Instead of using IPEA to develop integrity, self-discipline and fidelity people compete and war for dominance. Rather than accept human equality and dignity, most people vie for political power, either individually or by fruitlessly submitting IPEA to managers of a collective such as a church.

            Equality

            Among human beings, the basis of equality is mutual consent to a standard. Scholars lamely debate equal justice under law.[6] But humans are too physically and psychologically powerful to accept arbitrary laws. In other words, people who accept IPEA manage arbitrary laws to personal advantage over fellow citizens. Therefore, the development of statutory justice must be based on physics or a better expression of the-objective-truth on of you may discover. Only with a neutral standard can most fellow citizens apply IPEA to develop integrity. Scholars use the term “nature” to favor “reason,” repressing the-objective-truth.

            Dignity

            Human dignity is earned in privacy according to whether or not the individual uses IPEA to develop integrity. The Bernard Madoff’s of the world use IPEA to develop and nourish banal appetites until the chief value their person serves is to exemplify the remorse of gratitude for food, lodging, and health-care under the dole of prison. Some criminals avoid prison yet suffer the remorse of self-doubt.

Education

            Education begins at birth and ends at death. The education system that most cultures have evolved is upside down. By that, I mean the educators assume they know what the student needs to know rather than what the student needs to learn: the discipline of life-long learning.[7] That is, educators think they must transfer knowledge when in fact they ought to encourage and coach students in acquiring individual discipline in learning.
            After inculcating the basics of reading, comprehension, writing, and physics (E=mC-squared from which everything emerges), the education system ought to allow the individual to develop the awareness, understanding, and intent he or she needs to live a full human life. A civic culture empowers civic people who become free people. That is, people who are free from both external and internal constraints.
            The stages in learning in the education system by which humans may flourish include awareness, personal autonomy, civic connection, comprehensive understanding, intent to collaborate for statutory justice, professionally serving fellow humans, civic integrity, fidelity, and self-discovery. Human error must not be allowed to terminate the quest, yet few humans become all they could be.
            A civic culture does not exist because no nation or people has ever developed its children with an education system designed to encourage and coach each person to be all they can be.

Civic discipline under the U.S. preamble

            With at least 2/3 of fellow citizens practicing civic discipline under the U.S. preamble, a civic culture may gradually develop. With shared purpose and goals, public discourse may gradually change from animosity over dominant opinion to appreciation for collaboration for civic integrity. Collaboration by most fellow citizens may lead to local, state, and national reliability: officials collaborating for the U.S. preamble’s goals and the-objective-truth rather than for partisan power. Individual happiness may accrue on some revolutionary changes.

            Establishing U.S. practices rather than English tradition

            One reason the U.S. preamble, the world’s greatest political sentence, has been suppressed for 230 years is that for 229 years the dominant political regimes have sought to re-establish British common law, Blackstone, with factional American Protestantism. We the People of the United States may examine everything Congress has done and if legislation restored British tradition at the expense of the purpose and goals of the U.S. preamble, correct the legislation. Establish U.S. independence from British colonialism at last.
            Eventually, there may be constitutional amendments. For example, rather than defending religion, an institution that serves privacy, the First Amendment might defend civic integrity, both an individual opportunity and a collective duty. In civic integrity, fellow citizens neither compromise each other’s gods nor collaborate on other privacies.
The militia authorization of Amendment 2 might be replaced with self-defense and hunting, constraining public protest to un-armed and undisruptive expression. Such change becomes possible because elected officials consider themselves fellow citizens collaborating for the U.S. preamble’s purpose and goals. In a civic culture, both individuals and societies flourish provided that they conform to statutory justice.
            This vision of a possible future may seem impossible at this moment, but that seems so only because public use of the U.S. preamble with the-objective-truth to establish statutory justice has never been tried in the history of the world.

Summary: the achievable principles and their consequences

            We suggest that IPEA, use of the civic self-discipline that is offered in the U.S. preamble, collaboration for civic integrity or the-objective-truth, and attention to posterity rather than adult satisfactions offers an achievable, better future. Statutory justice may be discovered from physics rather than arbitrary opinion or reasoning. These mere conceptions need individual collaboration and improvement for success to accrue. The consequence may be the establishment of We the People of the United States rather than the lame “we, the people,” at last. The people of the world might celebrate.

Next steps for interested citizens

            If what you have heard seems motivating, you may want to collaborate to use and further develop the principles. There are, in our blog, titled “A Civic People,” over 110 essays from which these principles emerged in library meetings with over seventy participants and in other fora.
Our next planned library meeting is for the week of June 21, 2019, to celebrate Individual Independence Day in commemoration of the establishment of the U.S. on June 21, 1788, when the ninth required state ratified the U.S. preamble and the constitution that followed. You are invited to prepare and lead that meeting to express your views on A Civic People.
            While we are “A Civic People of the United States,” an education corporation registered with the Secretary of State, we have no intention to make this a non-profit, revenue-generating organization. We think commercialization is the reason past U.S. preamble promotions[8] failed. On the other hand, we write in several forums to promote the principles. Work that survives the generations is done by willing fellow citizens, and we need volunteers.

Conclusion

            After 229 years’ operation, the United States has lost a gleaming promise that never developed. However, through collaboration to develop civic-discipline among most fellow citizens, a better future may immediately begin. With your collaboration, actual improvement may appear next week and become widespread in Baton Rouge within the coming year. With the consequential improvements in political management by fellow citizens, elected officials will begin to collaborate for civic integrity during the next couple of election cycles. The administrative improvements may spread to the institutional and appointed offices within a decade or two. Our posterity may be saved from the massive debt that burdens them. We the People of the United States may emerge at last.


Copyright©2018 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included. 


[1] I Googled the phrase “integral human condition,” and Google directed me to four interesting articles: https://catholicecology.net/blog/pope-francis-what-integral-human-development, https://www.marxists.org/archive/fromm/works/1961/man/ch04.htm, https://keough.nd.edu/integral-human-development/, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_development_(economics).
[2] I admit to “may” when I don’t know enough to write “must.”
[3] Gravitational waves discovered, online at https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20160211.
[4] See Einstein’s speech, embedded online at https://samharris.org/my-friend-einstein/.
[5] Online at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thou_shalt_not_bear_false_witness_against_thy_neighbour#Jewish_doctrine.
[6] Online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_justice_under_law.
[7] Children face a time parents cannot imagine: online at http://www.katsandogz.com/onchildren.html.
[8] Online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_Day_(United_States)#I_am_an_American_Day

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Equal justice under law

A juror in a recent rape case claimed she does not believe in DNA evidence.[i] Her claim is a tacit defiance that she does not believe in justice. Her presence on the jury seems a tacit statement by the court that the lawyers and judge do not believe in justice. Fortunately, in Louisiana, people who believe in justice are saved from dissident jurors, lawyers, and judges by Louisiana’s unique 10:2 unanimous-majority felony verdicts. Unanimous-majority verdicts provide impartiality or equal justice under law. But some fellow citizens do not believe in justice.

The question, “Do I believe in justice?” is typical of the questions an authentic human being may discover in order to develop individual integrity and thereafter collaborate for civic integrity. Considering a question like that may start with understanding the object: justice. But I do not trust the scholars on the topic. Justice conforms to the-objective-truth, not a human construct.

According to David Miller, “Justice,” 2017, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, justice addresses both civic and civil development of what I call “integrity”. The integrity applies both to the individual and to the institution. Miller surveys the body of scholarly thoughts on justice and related ideas without discovering the-objective-truth as the object of justice. Instead of an arbitrary, authoritarian definition like Justinian’s “the constant and perpetual will to render to each his due,” we offer “conformance with the-objective-truth”; that is, justice does not submit to human constructs.[ii] Under the-objective-truth, the individual may develop personal justice then collaborate to discover justice with other people. Collectively, individual happiness with civic integrity is possible even though not guaranteed. To put this another way, the fellow citizen who does not accept justice must nevertheless suffer the law so that civic integrity is possible. Suffrage comes voluntarily or not. Miller seeks a normative theory in each utilitarianism, contractarianism, and egalitarianism without satisfaction; fellow citizens may consider conformance to the-objective-truth.

Miller focuses on social institutions rather than the civic integrity that fellow humans need in order to provide mutual, comprehensive safety and security: impartiality. Miller’s article describes the variety of civilizations that have been devised to avoid collaboration for civic integrity, and is thus of limited value for our discussion. Nevertheless, examining “major conceptual contrasts: between conservative and ideal justice, between corrective and distributive justice, between procedural and substantive justice, and between comparative and non-comparative justice” is useful in the application of civic integrity.

In his coverage of contractarianism, Miller is dismissive, with ideas leading to “If we were to ask people, in the real world, what principles they would prefer to live under, they are likely to start from a position of quite radical disagreement, given their interests and their beliefs.” The deficiency Miller admitted arises because Miller does not consider the civic and civil agreement that is offered by the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. My paraphrase is: willing people in our states agree on the purpose and goals stated herein and therefore authorize a nation that we limit by the amendable provisions that follow in this constitution. In other words, the framers of the constitution knew they did not know the-objective-truth and therefore provided for discovery. Fellow citizens who by either default or intent reject the preamble’s agreement may find themselves subject to the law. For example, a rapist who does not believe DNA evidence may find himself convicted and sentenced on DNA forensics.

If political regimes promoted the preamble as an individual agreement to equality under the law, development of We the People of the United States might asymptotically approach 99% or the totality it seems to assume. In other words, most citizens might realize that individual safety and security is provided by personal, agreeable behavior, and the basis of agreement is the preamble. Likewise, statutory justice would be developed to comport with the preamble and the-objective-truth rather than oligarchic opinion. Meanwhile, both civic collaborators, those who trust-in and commit-to the preamble’s agreement, and dissidents including both criminals and errant politicians know each other as fellow citizens. Scholarly thinking pales before the-objective-truth, which can only be discovered, and therefore scholars avoid the-objective-truth like the plague.

Miller leaves it to us to find Pericles’ idea of equal justice under law,[iii] from which I derive the civic agreement based on the-objective-truth rather than dominant opinion. Given the knowledge that existed in the minds of the delegates to the 1787 constitutional convention in Philadelphia, I assert that the civic sentiment of individual equality under implied agreement with the purpose and goals stated in the preamble is the basis of U.S. statutory justice. I write implied agreement, because a person who is born in this country is a citizen yet has not the psychological authenticity to adopt a trust and commitment, as in the preamble’s purpose and goals. Under the agreement that is offered in the preamble, the civic people of the U.S. have overcome slavery, even though dissidents remain. 
  
Through the discipline of willing people, the consequences of slavery will eventually be overcome.

But civic integrity is the ultimate goal. The sooner most citizens trust-in and commit-to the preamble, the faster ultimate justice may emerge.[iv]

  
Copyright©2018 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included. 



[ii] Miller cites U.S. Amendment XIV.1 to clarify “equal justice under law” by “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
[iii] Online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_justice_under_law.
[iv] In his first inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln asked of the Confederate States of America, “Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world?”

Thursday, October 4, 2018

I will vote for Louisiana's 10:2 unanimous-majority verdicts

There is no greater education than one that is self-driven.
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Unanimous-Majority Jury Verdicts: Louisiana’s Unique Triumph Over English Colonialism

We hope to alert fellow citizens to the harm the absolute, 12:0, unanimous jury rule inflicts on the 48 states that still use that obsolete English tradition. England reformed to 10:2 unanimous-majority verdicts in 1967, citing the need to reduce organized crime’s influence on jurors. The Louisiana Legislature has time to veto Act 493.[i] If not, Louisiana voters may preserve its 10:2 unanimous-majority verdicts.

U.S. history from unanimous to impartial

The British-colonial traditions so oppressed the 13 eastern seaboard colonies that some colonists became statesmen and declared war to establish independence. Statesmen won the war but were too factional to survive as a Confederation, so they formed a Union, perhaps to end traditional English repression.
The Union, on drafting Amendment VI for the 1791 Bill of rights, chose to require states to provide impartial juries rather than constitutionalize the English passion for absolute unanimity or 12:0 verdicts.
Louisiana was a French colony sold to the U.S. in 1803. Politicians in Louisiana opposed British tradition. They applied for Union statehood in 1812 and used the 12:0 rule from then through Reconstruction's 1877 end, when they were freed from federal troops. Soon afterwards, Louisiana provided for impartial juries by enacting, in 1880, the 9:3 unanimous-majority rule.
With a qualified jury of fellow citizens, there’s always a mixture of civil opinion: habitually impartial, persuadable, and insecure/uninformed. The 9:3 rule empowers the impartial majority, which benefits three parties: the victim, the accused, and We the People of the United States. The purpose of trials is to discourage criminal behavior. A fair trial is as important to the accused as to the victim and to We the People of the United States.

Louisiana’s impartial unanimous-majority verdict is U.S. constitutional

Settled, constitutional law confirms Louisiana’s 10:2 unanimous-majority verdicts. The Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed the 9:3 rule in 1970 and the US Supreme Court in 1972; Johnson v Louisiana.[ii]
I think the Louisiana Legislature committed a crime when it enacted popular vote to impose on Louisiana the failure of 48 U.S. states to reform from obsolete English tradition. England and most former British colonies have reformed to 11:1, 10:2 and 9:3 juries.[iii] Other states preserve colonialism by not providing impartial juries, as required by U.S. Amendment VI. Louisiana voters may protect personal safety and security by voting to keep the 10:2 unanimous-majority verdict.
A more egregious British tradition: racism
Obsolete British imperialism egregiously lacks integrity by holding that colonial subjects, especially blacks, are inferior inhabitants who are subject to Blackstone juries.[iv] Recovery lives as black racism; however, human, civic integrity is possible for all inhabitants. The 1787 U.S. Constitution has the power to forge civil integrity. The purpose and goals for civic integrity are stated and offered in the U.S. Constitution’s preamble. Citizens and resident aliens may elect both civic and civil equality by adopting the agreement that is stated in the preamble. By that choice, inhabitants join We the People of the United States rather than refer to the mysterious “we, the people” to maintain dissidence and conflict. Moreover, We the People of the United States are empowered to establish the agreement under which disciplined citizens equally constrain criminals.  Legislators and other officials may choose to be members of We the People of the United States, and civic voters may monitor their performance.
The 2018 Louisiana Legislature has time to correct a crime against the people of Louisiana: time to veto 2018 Act 493. Act 493 imposes an unconstitutional referendum to end impartial-majority verdicts. Act 493 is an affront to Louisiana citizens and their safety and security. Act 493 is especially egregious to black fellow citizens.

We the People of the United States seeks statutory justice

            The U.S. judicial system strives for impartiality for the temporal population; in other words, in present times and at the leading edge of discovered injustice rather than by traditional opinion or past practices. How often does 100% impartiality occur in juries?
U.S. juries with 12:0 verdicts reportedly get it wrong in 13% of cases. [v] Taking that percentage into account, impartiality may be expected with provision of 10:2 majority verdicts but not 11:1 or 12:0. In other words, the 10:2 unanimous-majority verdict offsets the 13% nominal error. But what of concern (like England’s) about organized crime’s influence?
With 1, 2, or 3 criminal/bigoted jurors the unanimous majority needs to be 9:3, 8:4, or 7:5, respectively.
If majority-unanimity by twelve were deemed essential, impartiality would be expected with 12:2 majority verdicts or to accommodate 1 criminal juror, 12:3. Related judicial expenses would increase 17% or 25%, respectively. U.S. statistics seem to confirm the impartiality of 1880 Louisiana’s 9:3 rule. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry tacitly made that point by saying that 10:2 verdicts are efficient. 5

Black fellow citizens disproportionally hurt by 12:0 verdict

            Black victims, because of a culture of black on black offenses, suffer disproportionally the 13% error-effect of unanimous verdict requirements. Black fellow citizens who collaborate for civic justice would be disproportionally hurt by approval of Act 493, contrary to The Advocate’s “Our Views” on August 12, 2018.[vi]
Consider FBI data on 12,253 murders in 2013.[vii] Of 5500 reports involving blacks and whites, 3009 victims were white, with 2509 white offenders and 409 black offenders; 2491 victims were black, with 2245 black offenders and 189 white offenders.
Offenses tend to occur within the same race: 90.1% of black victims suffered a black offender and 83.4% of white victims suffered a white offender. The population in 2013 was 73.7% white and 12.6% black. Blacks commit black on black offense 632% more frequently than white on white offense. (That’s 90.1/83.4/12.6*73.7*100% = 632%.) Dissidents may think it alright to let black fellow citizens disproportionally suffer, and some dissidents may benefit; judges and lawyers who process hung juries come to mind.[viii],[ix] But a civic people want to reduce the harm by discovering why some blacks are disproportionally willing to harm each other.
Reported offender totals are 2654 black 2698 whites. Thus, the absolute harm of 13% verdict failures is about even 345 and 350 blacks and whites, respectively. I could say it would not impact me but do not believe that: I am a fellow citizen who is hurt by failures in civic integrity.

Constitutional breaches

            The legislators who voted for Act 493 had individual reasons to rebuke U.S. Amendment VI’s requirement of an impartial jury. Helping citizens, black or white, cannot be among the reasons. Also, approving legislators took for granted their attempt to foist on the people the responsibility for rebuking Louisiana’s historic, well received, impartiality-provision for U.S. Amendment VI.
By attempting to impose popular vote to defeat a U.S. constitutional rule for justice, the approving legislators breached Amendment XIV.1. When justice has been established, the act that legislates injustice is unconstitutional.
The 2018 Louisiana Legislature has wronged the people of the Great State of Louisiana by proposing a change from civil integrity to injustice. Once any legislator admits to the legislature’s breach of trust, he or she may call on responsible legislators to reverse the action the erroneous legislators have taken. I hope Gov. John Bel Edwards will call a special session for the Legislature to consider vetoing Act 493. If not, they will miss opportunity for civic morality if not integrity. The intended rewards to the perpetrators remain obfuscated.




[i] Online at https://legiscan.com/LA/text/HB365/id/1803006.
[ii] Online at https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/406/356/.
[iii] Online at https://www.revolvy.com/page/Hung-jury.
[iv] Online at https://www.cairn.info/revue-internationale-de-droit-penal-2001-1-page-525.htm.
[v] Online at https://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2007/06/juries.html.
[vi] Online at https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/opinion/our_views/article_348a829a-9b44-11e8-b16a-3b8d60001669.html.
[vii] Online at https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_6_murder_race_and_sex_of_vicitm_by_race_and_sex_of_offender_2013.xls.
[viii] Online at http://files.lsba.org/documents/HOD/RES4JUNE2016.pdf.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Diversity: an invasion of privacy

Diversity: an invasion of privacy

            I know by experience and observation that we live in a confused and conflicted community: the community of humankind. The chances that a newborn human may develop individual integrity are practically nil. That does not imply that humankind is a nihilistic community. Humankind seems on the march to civic morality.
The individual quest is rewarding to those humans who discover the possibility of developing integrity. Conceiving a worthy journey seems verifiable by many exemplary lives. More importantly, happiness is affirmed by the multitude of people who perceive they are developing integrity and thereby practicing fidelity to the-objective-truth. Widespread use of the civic agreement that is offered in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution might help our grandchildren appreciate their fleeting opportunity to pursue integrity: their lifetime.

A civic agreement that provides privacy yet constrains actual harm
            While I have traveled a little, I cannot speak for the world, and therefore confine my civic opinion to We the People of the United States.
By “civic” I distinguish fellow citizens plus resident aliens or inhabitants who collaborate for mutual, comprehensive safety and security so that each person may mutually, responsibly pursue individual happiness more than to serve the city, state, nation, or the world. Civic inhabitants collaborate for civil integrity so as to constrain actual harm by dissidents to the agreement that is offered in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Thus, fellow citizens and alien residents divide themselves into two interest groups: civic inhabitants and dissidents. A common source of dissonance is the intent to impose happiness, thereby invading privacy. Appreciating individual happiness offers relief.
If the reader regards this an unfounded hope, I accept that opinion but beg consideration of my construct.

Diversity from the beginning
            Before We the People of the United States ratified the U.S. Constitution, forming the Union of nine states on June 21, 1788, the world consisted of: the thirteen free and independent states on the N. American Atlantic seaboard, North America’s French territories or Spanish territories, and all other nations and peoples. The Union of nine states had grown to 14 when the 1790 census[i] recorded the following:

·         627,100           Free White males of 16 years and upward
·         1,027,700        Free White males under 16 years (1,654,800 total males)
·         1,536,500        Free White females
·         36,100             All other free persons (1% of the total, 1.1% of free people)
·         341,700           Slaves
·         3,569,100        TOTAL

The unreported indigenous population might have been 600,000.[ii] Others on this continent, such as Spanish and French colonists, were perhaps 3 to 5 million people.[iii] Maybe there were 10 million people on the land that is now the US.
            Among the people of the 1790 census, about 5% of free white males above 16 could vote; perhaps 31,400 men or 0.31% of inhabitants. All but 1% of free whites were factional American Protestants. Today, non-felon citizens of adult age may register to vote, and only 14% are traditional American Protestants.
            Pew Research projections for 2050 predict “white” ethnic groups will fall to 47%.[iv] Pew expects Christians to decline to 66.4% while the unaffiliated climbs to 25.6%.[v] The 8% balance has about six components at 0.5% to 2.1%. But ethnic and religious demographics pale before the will to adopt a civic agreement to collaborate for statutory justice.
Equality under an agreement that is both civic and civil: the preamble
The agreement that is offered in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution is for individuals, and each newborn may either adopt the agreement, be a lone dissident, or associate with a special interest group such as the ones mentioned above: “free white”, slave, indigenous person, or other. The modern explosion of special interest groups does not lessen the civic right to develop integrity.  The possibility for responsibility, equality, and discipline under the preamble may have occurred to a few but is not promoted. What happened to the preamble’s agreement?
            Since 1790, the individual’s opportunity to join We the People of the United Sates has expanded to fifty states and six territories. Many inhabitants take the purpose and goals of the preamble for granted, but many citizens don’t have a clue about responsible equality under the preamble’s agreement. A significant cause of this neglect is the fact that the First Congress politically denigrated the preamble by labeling it “secular” (perhaps meaning “areligious”), whereas the agreement is neutral to religion, race, gender, and ethnicity.
            Race still attracts oppressive, erroneous attention. In 1852, Frederick Douglass railed against America Christianity, honored the preamble, and rejected the popular view of citizenship, introducing himself as “fellow citizen.”[vi] The Dred Scott rebuke of Douglass’s view followed in 1856. The Civil War established, by military power, the popular correction in 1865. James Meredith recently said, “I was born in the United States of America and therefore I was a full citizen. I may have recognized somebody with the capacity to force me not to enjoy some of my rights, but never would I give up any.” [vii] Meredith asserts that he may have to tolerate force, but he cannot be coerced. I like it. The citizen who considers the preamble yet does not recognize personal opportunity to join We the People of the United States is unfortunate yet not alone; I do not know Meredith’s view on the preamble. Does he agree with Douglass? I have written to inquire.
            Humankind seems informed that willing people are equal under the rule of law.[viii] That is, an individual may agree to responsibility under the law. In other words, the law identifies dissidents. Thucydides described a civic culture:
Our form of government does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others . . . but is an example to them. But while there exists equal justice to all and alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognized; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished, he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit. Neither is poverty an obstacle, but a man may benefit his country whatever the obscurity of his condition. While we are thus unconstrained in our private business, a spirit of reverence pervades our public acts; we are prevented from doing wrong by respect for the authorities and for the laws, having a particular regard to those which are ordained for the protection of the injured as well as those unwritten laws which bring upon the transgressor of them the reprobation of the general sentiment.

Civic citizens choose to observe both civil law and unwritten civic “sentiment.” Some citizens are dissident or ignorant, just as some people are uninformed about human economic viability (a human must work for the lifestyle he or she needs and wants) and reasoning as simple as using traffic signals for self-benefit. Laws are necessary because anyone may gain advantage by deceit---not collaborating to discover justice and not observing the discoveries; in other words, not developing integrity. The opportunity to develop integrity is a civic right.
The creators of the 1787 U.S. Constitution consulted Greek political theory, and the signers proposed a unique opportunity for civic discipline. In the Union that was established on June 21, 1788, fellow citizens adopted the discipline stated in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Inhabitants are free to consider the civic agreement and behave or not. If not, they may be subjugating themselves to the statutory laws the civic agreement discovers and establishes. This arrangement, a tacit offer of individual happiness with civic integrity (an offer which may be freely pursued or not), is unique in the world and the reason many people are attracted to inhabit the United States. But some people come to practice deceit. Some pretend to not even know of the preamble, and some are not pretending.
Unfortunately, so far, We the People of the United States has not accepted the preamble’s powers, both civic and legal. Both powers have been obfuscated by political factions that existed among the leaders in the thirteen free and independent states. They are enumerated in the 1783 Treaty of Paris.

The preamble’s power repressed
Having been English colonies, leaders in the free and independent states were most familiar with English common law: Blackstone and the constitutional church-state-partnership in Parliament. That is, in England, the constitution requires a church-state-partnership. Congressional start-up of the U.S. was like a teenaged couple who become parents and know-not better than to do what mom and dad did; only later does the couple realize that four mom-and-dad-in-laws have factional parenting philosophies.  
The 1789-1793 Congress substantially re-established doing as England did. That included enacting congressional “divinity” on par with Parliament’s “holiness” by hiring factional Protestant ministers to serve Congress at the expense of the people. By expense, I mean the loss of civic discipline more than the loss of security. However, English-traditional church-state-partnership, although unconstitutional, is made official in the U.S. by the court. See Greece v Galloway (2014).
Maintaining, by deceit, obsolete English tradition is only one of the motives that create political factions in the U.S., and persuading people to use the preamble to collaborate for civic integrity is not an easy undertaking. It is a collaboration for the self-discipline to establish civic integrity by which a civic people may hold local, state, and federal governments accountable.
Impact on immigration
Many citizens lamely site “we, the people” and disregard the civic agreement offered by the preamble. Thereby, there is no agreement by which citizens are equal and responsible. The visible possibility in current writing is the overthrow of the preamble itself. By neglecting for 230 years the discipline the preamble calls for, only old people like me care enough to study and comprehend its promises. I am on the back end of forty-years’ study and only unusual circumstance alerted me to articulate that the signers’ intentions to cleanly separate from English tradition was undone by the first Congress. Modern factions that seem urgent to subscribers make the preamble’s agreement uninteresting except as a curiosity. Parents who are concerned about themselves and their children don’t realize that “posterity” refers to their grandchildren and beyond; they help the U.S. increase the national debt treating “our grandchildren” as unconnected carriers of the debt.
Immigrants do not want to assume America’s existing debt, crime, and welfare-state. Some imagine achieving citizenship and then conducting a civil war for relief.[ix] They have a practical point, and fellow citizens need to respond. But the answer is in finding an agreement by which inhabitants may integrate as human beings: everyone is equal if they adopt the agreement. A suitable agreement exists in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
I erroneously thought conservatives use the preamble.[x] I feel Reihan Salam expresses how far from conservatism my regard for the preamble seems.[xi] As an “established American,” I am alarmed by illegal immigration and philanthropic support for it. Appeal for attention to the preamble is neither “authoritarian impulse,” nor alt-right, nor white. Reared Southern Baptist who fell in love with a Louisiana French Catholic woman, I experienced a half-century effort to reach mutual understanding and unconditional appreciation. It takes a lifetime to understand two cultures. I do not need Salam and his Abrahamicly-diverse friends (a cloistered group indeed) to attempt to impose their “rising diversity” conflicts on my serenity. It matters not to me if Salam would regard my appeal for attention to the preamble’s civic agreement to “be crushed rather than accommodated.” But I suggest Salam may be more creative by caring about the grandchildren of immigrants rather than their children when he suggests civil war may be in our future. Of course, rather than his trumped-up “implicit social contract” he could promote the preamble as an agreement on which to collaborate for civic integrity more than social integration. And “social capital” is ruinous when the individual is not acting for his or her benefit rather than to promote an identity group other than We the People of the United States: the people who collaborate using the preamble. A “new populist revolt”? Against what? The preamble’s agreement? Equality under the preamble? In addition to merit, immigration ought to be based on the applicant’s commitment to the preamble to benefit his or her grandchildren and beyond (posterity). America is a representative republic with no future for social democracy. Diversity is just another repressive religion.
Equality under the agreement
Everyone in America is equal when he or she trusts-in and commits-to the civic and civil agreement that is stated in the preamble. It is the world’s greatest civic sentence. Salam does not seem aware of it. The preamble tacitly offers an American dream: individual happiness with civic integrity.

Copyright©2018 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included. 




[i] Online at https://www.census.gov/library/publications/1793/dec/number-of-persons.html.
[ii] Online at https://nativestudy.wordpress.com/.
[iii] Online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Spain#The_population_of_New_Spain_in_1810.
[iv] Online at http://www.pewhispanic.org/2008/02/11/us-population-projections-2005-2050/.
[v] Online at http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/.
[viii] Online at http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/education/thucydides.html.
[ix] Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan I. Hajnal, White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics, 2015.
[x] My ideas don’t seem to fit in a conservative forum online at https://www.lawliberty.org/search_gcse/?q=phil%20beaver.
[xi] Reihan Salam, “A Way Out of the Immigration Crisis,” The Wall Street Journal, September 22-23, 2018, Page C1.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Faith in the-objective-truth; 2005 column

Humankind evolves toward appreciating the-objective-truth[1]
                                                                                      
            The entity “We the People of the United States,”[2] so far bemused by political regimes, expresses doubt in freedom of thought. The 1791 amended US Constitution dictates faith and values and also infuses religion into governance. We the people may remedy this tyranny by amending the amended Constitution. Appreciation of the-objective-truth[3] and statutory justice may trump respect for religion. [4]
            I think there is confusion over three governances: law, religion, and integrity.  Most people are lawful and humble toward the-objective-truth, but many people are bemused over religion. Respect for the-objective-truth would liberate the people.
The people, privately holding diverse religious or metaphysical hopes, could civically unite under the US Constitution and its consequential details—observe the law even when proposing to amend it for justice.
People expect “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Justice empowers liberty. For example, most travelers choose justice at traffic signals. Accomplishment or contribution facilitates happiness. Most people act responsibly, at least to avoid being wards of other people, a pain that was observed after Katrina.
Most people just want to live privately and in peace and self-govern their needs:  food, shelter, clothing, physical health, mental health, risk exposure, and accomplishments. They expect no interference from other people.
From dependent infant to mature adult, primary focus evolves from learning to performance. People learn or acquire inspiration, and perhaps only death ends self-discovery.
            Freedom of thought, often taken for granted, seems an enigma. People who think not, forego freedom; people who constantly labor, think little; unfocused people enslave themselves; indoctrinated people cannot perceive ideas that would be new to them; hateful people cannot learn. No one can escape uncertainty; therefore, intellectual self-reliance seems essential.
            The collective humans—humankind--defends and labors to understand the-objective-truth, using processes such as the following:

·         Perceive a phenomenon or the-objective-truth.
·         Propose hypotheses to explain the perception.
·         Design tests of the hypotheses.
·         Perform the tests and process the data.
·         Evaluate the results and draw conclusions.

Possible results include the following:  the perception was false; all hypotheses failed (yet the perception may remain, unexplained); a theory emerged; or the evidence indicated a discovery or the-objective-truth.
Borrowing Einstein’s 1941[5] words, understanding “can only be created . . . with the aspiration toward truth [and] the faith . . . that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational.” Humankind seems to respect the-objective-truth and remain open to improved measurements or new discovery. For example, despite preponderant evidence, evolution remains a theory.[6] However, religion, the practice of adopting an idea/belief as the-objective-truth, stops at the second step in the above process. Thus, creationism, lacking evidence beyond human existence, is a hypothesis.
With only an idea—imagination--people can create hypotheses/beliefs. For example, thinkers such as Aristotle hypothesized that a soul determines the character of a human. Some religions hypothesize that saving the soul can defeat death, provided their doctrine is practiced. Perhaps there’s nothing beyond what the individual accomplished during life after his or her body, mind, and person stop functioning.
Practicing hypotheses can burden life and alienate the-objective-truth. Therefore, no one should influence another person’s attention to the soul or afterlife expectations.
On faith, believers trust religion:  on faith, some non-believers respect the-objective-truth. Believers have the right to believe religion, provided they respect the rights of people who respect the-objective-truth. Civic people do not impose on other people what just people do not want to experience.
Many people perceive everyone wants religion. However, some people are inspired without religion. They hold life, what they have, above soul, a construct that may not exist. For example, I ended my Protestantism to accept my faith in the-objective-truth. I became a man of faith, trusting the-objective-truth:  not a man of belief, trusting religion. Fifteen years later, I wish studying and practicing virtue had been my family tradition and do not fear afterdeath. I would not influence anyone to so accept the-objective-truth-- to change his or her religion—because I do not know the-objective-truth; yet I do celebrate, promote, and practice respect for the-objective-truth. I accept no substitutes for the-objective-truth. When I do not know the-objective-truth, I establish an opinion that is consistent with what has been discovered.
The Constitution anticipated revisions for discovered justice. Thus, amendments outlawed slavery, granted women suffrage, and recognized civil rights. However, a great tyranny remains:  religion is held above the-objective-truth. Borrowing Abraham Lincoln’s words about slavery, religion “deprives [America’s] republican example of its just influence.” Religion blocks America’s path to integrity.
Historically, the majority of US elected officials unjustly holds piety essential to good governance and unconstitutionally imposes religion on citizens. For example, the Congress opens meetings with prayer. By allowing elected officials to advocate “God,” We the People of the United States lead innocent, capable citizens to expect help from God, that diverse construct that magically tolerates suffering. Without religious input from elected officials, such citizens might take action and avoid disaster. Therefore, We the People of the United States, who may rightfully be religious or not, cannot justly involve religion in government.
Hopefully, fellow citizens who support We the People of the United States evolve toward the-objective-truth. Thus, hopefully the U.S. Constitution will someday express neither piety nor responsibility for souls, a human, constructed mystery.
Just governance requires leaders who have faith in the-objective-truth--leaders who subordinate heartfelt religious comforts and responsibly execute due process of law. As long as we fail to elect such leaders, accountability, which always falls on us, will continue to be painful.

Note:  this writing and the ideas are copyrighted to preserve my opportunity to use them in future writing; Phillip R. Beaver, September 27, 2018. I encourage sharing the ideas herein and would love to receive comments on them at phillip@beaver.brcoxmail.com, at 225-766-7365, or at 1624 Leycester Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.




[1] This adapted article with original title “Humankind evolves toward trusting truth,” was published in The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA, November 5, 2005. This is a revision for 2018.
[2] The people and the systems for maintaining the law. “We the People of the United States” is defined in the Preamble to the US Constitution.
[3] I hyphenate the-objective-truth to remind myself and readers that the-objective-truth cannot be modified, including the-objective-truth that is unknown. Inserting, for example, “ultimate” to posit “the ultimate truth,” is only self deception. A person respects the-objective-truth by not trying to adopt substitutes.
[4] Religion is the practice of making assumptions about heartfelt concerns then creating dogma based on the assumptions then attempting to live according to the dogma.
[5] See text inside the online post at https://samharris.org/my-friend-einstein/.
[6] In 2016, Einstein’s general theory of relativity was confirmed as a law of physics (the object rather than the study, or “science”). See online at https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20160211.