By James Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan – also posted on Substack
Using the Law to Nullify the Rule of Law – Suspending the Constitution in Order to Save Democracy
The declaration of a national state of emergency, as Naomi Wolf has observed, is historically the tenth and final step in the imposition of all totalitarian regimes.
The National Emergencies Act, passed in the US in 1976, states that, if declared by the President, a state of emergency suspends laws and constitutional protections and permits the government to act in ways otherwise prohibited as unlawful.
According to Wikipedia, “As of April 2022, 79 emergencies have been declared; 37 have expired and another 42 are currently in effect, each having been renewed annually by the president.” [Emphasis added.]
We live, like fish unaware of the water they swim in, in a permanent, normalized ‘state of exception.’
It’s on its way to becoming even more all-enveloping.
The Real ‘New Normal’
Prof. Giorgio Agamben is an Italian philosopher and prolific author of ten books preceding the publication of his slim 2005 volume, State of Exception. Translated by Kevin Attel for the University of Chicago Press, the book traces the emergence and modern development of the legalistic doctrine named in its title through the centuries since the French Revolution.
Applied in virtually all the European combatant countries in WWII – including nominally ‘neutral’ Switzerland – the doctrine has now apparently reached its most advanced stage of evolution so far in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave with the passage by the U.S. Senate on October 26, 2001 of the USA Patriot Act.
Agamben observes, “What is new about President Bush’s order is that it radically erases any legal status of the individual, thus producing an unnamable and unclassifiable being. Not only do the Taliban captured in Afghanistan not enjoy the status of POW’s as defined by the Geneva Convention, they do not even have the status of persons charged with a crime according to American laws. Neither prisoners nor persons accused, but simply ‘detainees,’ they are the object of pure de facto rule, of a detention that is infinite not only in the temporal sense but in its very nature as well, since it is entirely removed from the law and from judicial oversight…in the detainee at Guantanamo, bare life reaches its maximum indeterminacy.”
Agamben goes on to point out, “And it is significant that though this transformation of the constitutional order (which is today underway to varying degrees in all Western democracies) is perfectly well known to jurists and politicians, it has remained totally unnoticed by the citizens. At the very moment when it would like to give lessons in democracy to different traditions and cultures, the political culture of the West does not realize that it has entirely lost its canon.”
This morphing from parliamentary to executive governance structures is especially visible in the case of the European Union (EU), that is now essentially governed by a small cadre of unelected executive technocrats in Brussels, Belgium on behalf of banking and financial interests.
A Nuclear State of Exception?
Last Thursday, in literally the eleventh hour of its 2022 session, both houses of the California Legislature were stampeded by predictions of climate-change-triggered-electrical-blackouts into passing SB 846. The last minute bill was opposed by only one in the Senate, and three in the Assembly, with only a handful of abstentions in either house.
Introduced by California’s Governor Gavin Newsom’s office – presumably at the behest of the nuclear industry – the bill extended the operation of both the Pacific Gas & Electric Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors for what amounts to an indefinite extension beyond their scheduled shutdowns in 2024 and 2025 respectively.
The bill, as approved, not only violates a constitutionally legally binding contract agreement signed in 2016 between PG&E and a number of environmental groups and approved by this same legislature, it exempts the operating extension from review by the state’s powerful California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and sidelines a number of the states’ other regulatory agencies and commissions empowered by law with oversight authority. It hands hegemonic regulatory power to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), a body that its former president Loretta Lynch has termed a “rogue agency.”
This is the same agency currently under fire for proposing a ‘solar tax’ that would, in effect, fine California homeowners for installing solar panels on their roofs. Just part of the on-going nuclear attack on renewables.
Nuclear Utilities Can’t Survive Without (Deadly) Government Life Support
In April, the Biden Administration launched a $6 billion effort to save ‘financially distressed’ nuclear plants osstensibly as ‘a defense against climate change.’
Critics point out that the approved nuclear plant operating extension in California would net PG&E a 319% increase in profits in just three years.
But, not satisfied with that, SB 846 also seeks to clear the path for PG&E to apply to the Department of Energy’s “Civil Nuclear Credit Program,” a Congressionally mandated program aimed at rescuing nuclear utilities suffering, as Amory Lovins put it long ago – from an overdose of market forces.
As California’s only remaining nuclear power utility after the 2013 shutdown of Southern California Edison’s San Onofre reactors, PG&E is a serial felon corporation that was recently rescued from bankruptcy with the aid of Governor Newsom. Its still evolving rap sheet is here.
It was convicted and fined for its role in causing the deaths and damage suffered in the infamous San Bruno 2010 gas explosion. In 2020 it was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for 84 victims in the Camp Fire that burned the city of Paradise, Ca. to the ground.
As California’s last nuclear utility standing, PG&E may only qualify as a company faced with ‘insurmountable economic competition,’ because to date it has lost 50% of its customer base to Community Chooce Agencey (CCA’s).
Diablo Extension: Exactly the Wrong Answer
And, as Eric Veium and Robert Freehling demonstrate clearly in their recent study, the two brief outages during an August 2020 heat wave that are now being used as the panicky justification for extending Diablo Canyon actually point to nuclear reactors’ total inappropriateness for blackout backup.
They explain, “A large nuclear power plant is not the right tool to meet our reliability needs because it is inflexible and ordinarily runs all the time at high capacity.”
They continue, “The 2020 event showed a need for flexible electricity resources that can rapidly be brought on-line during a few hours in the early evenings of summer. The proper resources to meet this need are demand response and battery storage….”
Diablo’s dominating presence on the grid also actually crowds out and prevents the build-out of transmission connections to more flexible, decentralized, publically owned and democratically managed renewable power sources. Nuclear power is a quintessentially totalitarian technology.
A Climate Change Cover Story?
As we argue elsewhere, the real underlying motivations for the push to rescue uneconomic and unsafe commercial power with rate-payer and tax-payer dollars is to maintain a civil nuclear labor force and the industrial infrastructure to support U.S. Full Spectrum Dominance military objectives on land, at sea and in air and space.
Then there’s the ‘public health emergency’ cover story.
WHO’s in Charge Here?
The World Health Organization (WHO) is a branch of the United Nations (UN) based in Geneva, Switzerland. Now moving through the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) toward a planned finalization by 2024, is the proposed WHO “Pandemic Treaty.” Tied to a; planned universally imposed global digital passport and digital ID system, once enacted the ‘convention’ would give WHO’s Director General the unilateral authority to declare a ‘public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)’ giving WHO virtual totalitarian control over individual national governments.
As the Brownstone Institute explains, “…it will aim to shift governing authority now reserved to sovereign states to the WHO during a pandemic by legally binding member states to the WHO’s revised International Health Regulations. In January of 2022 the United States submitted proposed amendments to the 2005 International Health Regulations, which bind all 194 UN member states…” [Emphasis added]
Substack author James Rogluski points out in his article, “Ten things everyone should know about the WHO’s ‘Pandemic Treaty’:
- What has often been referred to as the “Pandemic Treaty” is now being referred to as the WHO CAII: Convention, Agreement or other International Instrument.
- A framework convention or agreement can be adopted under Articles 19-20 and require a 2/3 vote, regulations can be adopted under Articles 21-22 and require a simple majority and recommendations can be adopted under Article 23 of the WHO constitution.
- The Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) is meeting Monday, July 18, 2022 to Friday July 22, 2022 to discuss the WHO CAII.
- There were over 36,000 written public comments submitted back in April 2022 and the majority of those comments opposed any form of agreement.
- The WHO cancelled a previously scheduled public comment period in June 2022.
- The INB published a working draft document of the WHO CAII on July 13, 2022 (see below).
- The WHO is focused on a concept referred to as “One Health” that seeks to control every aspect of life on earth.
- People should pay specific attention to Part 4, specifically Section 13 (control of information) and Section 14 (financing) of the working draft.
- Also of note is what is missing from the working draft: there is no evaluation of what went wrong over the past 2.5 years; there is no ban on gain of function research; there is very little focus on health treatments and therapies; there is no patient bill of rights; and there is no support for enabling doctors and patients to make their own decisions.
- Organized opposition to the WHO is needed.
There is a Pattern Here
Both the imposition of Covid ‘medical martial law’ to the profit of serial felon Big Pharma companies, and the increasing exclusion from regulatory control of the many serial felon companies comprising the internationally moribund nuclear industry, are ultimately based on hypothetical computer models that are in turn based on hypothetical and possibly fictitious and fraudulent sets of assumptions designed to ‘prove’ pre-established desired conclusions.
This looks like a technocratic, totalitarian take-over on steroids.
If the proposed WHO ‘Pandemic Treaty’ being pushed at the UN is brought into effect superseding national governments, all the countries of the world will be brought together into a United States of Exception.
Time to wake up, get informed, and be persistent in our resistance.
James Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan co-direct EON, the Ecological Options Network a tax-exempt, non-profit organization. The EON feature documentary SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome is now in post-production and will be released soon.