Thursday, March 19, 2020

Hahaha! What Did I JUST Say, This Morning?


During today's press conference, Governor Beshear was asked about the rumors floating around Kentucky about "martial law" and the national guard: 

“That is not real, and that’s fear, that’s what fear does to us. Remember, we have two enemies in this thing. One is the virus, the other is fear, and we have to defeat both of them.”

LOL! Go Andy! 
Like I said, people have no idea what martial law even means, clearly.  

People think martial law means bayonetted, automatic-rifled, furry-hatted Russian soldiers, marching in the streets,  raiding your house lol. 

Erm - no - not here in the U.S. - under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, federal martial law must be approved by U.S. Congress - in other words, by consent of the governed.

However, I wrote something in my last post that I was mistaken on, myself - martial law cannot be declared at the state level.

When a state governor calls in the national guard to police an area, it's called a military action, not martial law - because the SCOTUS decided that the state's national guard is exempt from the federal laws regarding martial law that I'm about to go into below.

It is a bit confusing, that's true, but first and most importantly is the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 - which states that federal troops can be sent to an area to provide congressionally-approved relief aid, but they are expressly forbidden from "policing and providing law" to that area, without further congressional approval - and if a president does so anyway.

Now - under the Stafford Act of 1988, the President can declare emergencies, as well as direct where to send that congressionally-approved relief and aid - but it must be requested by the governor.

Got that?

Good, 'cause here's where it gets gray and tricky - there's an exception.

That exception is called the Insurrection Act of 1807 - which says the president can call in federal troops as law/police during times of emergency without the governor's consent during times of "insurrection, rebellion, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."

Further, and most importantly, violation of these laws is considered a criminal offense and it is expressly stated that such violation is punishable by an automatic 2-year prison sentence - that's no impeachment hearing, mind you, just an automatic prison sentence for any president who violates these laws.

As for my situation in the post below, when the governor of Florida (Jeb Bush, at the time) called in the national guard to police/stop looting after hurricanes, it was officially and legally a military action, not federal martial law. 
Even in New Orleans itself, the military policing actions taken by the national guard there to stop looting were not official martial law - they were state-level military action.

Even when federal troops arrived in New Orleans, they only provided military relief, not policing.

However, there were reports from New Orleans that the federal troops (President Bush finally sent them at governors' requests, stating they arrived late because they were requested it late, which is odd, because Jeb Bush is his brother?) allegedly overstepped their bounds and in addition to providing relief, also policed the area, even confiscated guns, but these claims were never investigated.
Thus, because of situations like what allegedly occurred in New Orleans, I do get the fear today.  

However, I really think we're talking apples and oranges, here. 

Even if power-drunk Trump wanted to, he cannot legally send federal troops to actually police any area via the Insurrection Act, unless it's to put down riots, mass lawlessness like looting, violent insurrections and rebellions, or it's an automatic prison sentence (as we're not even close to these sorts of actions yet).

In fact, he can't even use the Stafford Act to mandate law - the Stafford act only permits him where, when and how to direct relief aid - and it has to be requested by the governor.

In fact, the closest we've stepped is Trump using the Stafford Act to supply New York City with military relief aid, but  remember, Governor Cuomo formally requested military medical aid/relief there and Trump complied  -  and it really is just medical military aid.

(Because you know dang well, if it were anything else but medical aid, we'd have already heard New York squawking about it, by now  ;)

Regardless, when people get panicked to the point where they are throwing rocks through store windows and pharmacies to loot them, you'd be grateful for state military action OR the U.S version of martial law - which for us, consisted of soldiers in the streets, waving and smiling at you as you passed in your car, fist-bumping kids and answering their questions to reassure them and quell fears, trust me - but we aren't anywhere near that point yet, here.
Seriously, the biggest threat we are facing may not be the virus itself, but panicked people.

And for once in his miserable, greedy, selfish life, Trump is doing something right (whatever his motivation) and staying within the bounds of constitutional and court-upheld federal law legality.

Therefore, let's reward him for being a good boy by positively reinforcing this behavior and maybe we'll see more of it, and actually praise the narcissist for this one lol

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