Monday, December 20, 2010
In any event, I honestly cannot fathom nor can I abide all the needless hand-wringing and drama over the constitutionality of Obamacare. Of course it's not constitutional! Going forward then, exactly what's the most likely end game of the 20 or so Attorneys General who are suing the Administration over this latest federal intrusion in our lives?
First off, when our political system fails us, we should all remember that in the final analysis "we the people" are the final arbiters with respect to what is and what is not constitutional. Also, under the 9th and 10th Amendments, the States are implicitly within their constitutional authority to simply nullify any unconstitutional federal law, ruling or regulation. I won't mince words here: anyone who disputes this assertion either is not an objective student of the Constitution or of American history, or is driven by an alien ideological agenda altogether.
Moreover, the feds are supreme only insofar as their laws and rulings do not exceed their clearly defined enumerated powers. Thus, the expansive liberal view of "federal supremacy" is laid bare for all but the willfully blind and politically-motivated to easily see. As Alexander Hamilton asserted, the Supremacy Clause "expressly confines supremacy to laws made pursuant to the Constitution." That, of course, applies to both federal and state laws.
It should be axiomatic that we always look to the Constitution and to the words of both the framers and the ratifiers for a clear, concise and accurate understanding of what properly constitutes Federal and State powers, a division of authority which was never intended by the framers to change over time. And reliance upon case law alone should NEVER, EVER be one's window on the original meaning, spirit and intent of the Constitution. Peering through that soiled window merely encourages further corruption and revisionism, thus further imperiling the framers' masterpiece of republican self-governance.
Happily for us all, understanding the clear meaning of the Constitution is NOT rocket science. If it were, we'd all have a convenient and pardonable defense for either not reading it or simply violating it. Thus, we should all do ourselves and our country a favor and take the time to actually read the Constitution as well as the words of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Benjamin Franklin et. al. framers whose wisdom and instructive commentary are as relevant today as they were when written. (And, again, don't forget that the ratifiers' debates are also essential to achieving an uncorrupted and more complete understanding of the Constitution.)
As Thomas Jefferson wisely advised, "On every question of construction, let us carry ourselves back to the time whent he Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying to what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."
Thus, do we really need unelected black-robed "super legislators", a derisive term ascribed to Supreme Court jurists by fellow Justice Brandeis during the New Deal, telling us what any objective student of the Constitution already knows, that being that Obamacare, and more specifically the "individual mandate", is manifestly unconstitutional? No, not really. So, why all the costly litigating and fuss? Frankly, it's insulting but, on a more sober note, it's also genuinely alarming. My concern here is that all this State-initiated litigation may be but a prelude to yet another surrendering of our liberties by the States. And if that's the end game of these Attorneys General, then we should retire from the field of play and begin earnestly pushing for nullification and civil disobedience.
So, here are the big questions for me: if the Supreme Court imperiously rules against the States or the people on Obamacare--or on any other clear-cut constitutional issue--then what should the States do? Slavishly roll over and play dead yet once again, the Constitution and "we the people" be damned? Sadly, that's pretty much been their inclination for the last 100+ years. But, alas, enough is enough!
In a word, self-imposed State servility must cease! If the Republic is to survive, the States must be fully prepared to interpose between the feds and the people of their states, thus restoring the proper co-equality of State and Federal authority. Nothing less can any longer be tolerated if the Republic is to survive.
At long last, constitutional order must be placed on a path to fullest restoration if we are to preserve the greatest achievement in self-government the world has ever known. Trite though it may sound, the States and "we the people" really do need to stand up if we are to see this constitutional restoration to fruition.
Finally, we should all carefully read the Constitution and INSIST that your State leaders defend our Constitutional rights, the judicial circuses and their insufferable overreach be damned. And if the States and the courts fail us yet again, then, of course, our founders unequivocally counseled that it is "we the people" who are duty-bound to "take such measures to redress the injury to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify." In other words, it is left to us to take appropriate action to restore constitutional order.
Timid hand-wringing in the face of judicial overreach is unacceptable, irresponsible and self-defeating.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
On March 25, 2010, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Civil Liberties. Of course, how soon the bill will get out of subcommittee and be favored with a floor vote in both the House and Senate is anyone's guess. But, as Cal Thomas says, “it's a start.”
In light of George Soros' recent public advice to Obama to circumvent a Republican-dominated House by issuing executive orders and encouraging his regulatory bureaucrats to implement rules to advance his socialist agenda over the next two years, as well as reports that other far-left Obama supporters, stung by the GOP takeover in the House, are providing similar advice to the White House, Rep. Cole's legislative effort is, indeed, timely.
Coupled with the GOPs “Pledge to America” which will require specific constitutional justification for each bill introduced in Congress before being voted on, could it be that some semblance of constitutional order on the Hill might actually be forthcoming in the months ahead? Though much depends upon the GOPs virtue and integrity, we can certainly hope these actions mark at least a modest return to constitutional governance.
To justify passage, para 7 of the bill pointedly states that “The Executive Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government often promulgate regulations contrary to the spirit and letter of the 10th Amendment. ” As poignantly, para 9 states that “It is the responsibility of Congress to safeguard the 10th Amendment and to recognize that it is as vital and valuable today as on the date of its ratification." Nothing like hitting 'em between the eyes. Yes, indeed!
If passed, the law would provide that whenever a federal agency proposes a rule for public comment, a designated State official may file a legal brief challenging its constitutionality at which point that challenge must be prominently posted by the proposing agency on its website. And if, despite the legal challenge, the agency still intends to implement the rule it must, within 15 days of the challenge's posting, issue a legal opinion as to why the proposed rule does not violate the 10th Amendment. A state designated official may then commence legal action in district court to invalidate the rule. Further, the bill calls for expedited review of the district court's ruling in the US Court of Appeals. How did we do without such a law for so many years?
So, while this bill does not impose an especially onerous requirement on federal agencies, it does compel those agencies to exercise due diligence, political caution and appropriate restraint before inadvertently or willfully attempting to overstep their constitutional authority. In short, it attempts to keep those agencies in check and truer to their constitutional limitations.
And what of blatant executive overreach, per se, occasioned by imperial Presidential executive orders? Well, suffice it to say that the Republican Congress still possesses the power of impeachment and the purse. And given the deep and growing public distrust toward the White House's current occupant and his socialist coterie, articles of impeachment is no longer unthinkable.
Let's hope that the threat of impeachment alone will be enough to restrain Obama's imperiousness, failing which another epic constitutional crisis for the country may well be in the offing. But, if impeachment is what it takes to properly restore the balance of power in DC, then in the immortal words of G W Bush, "Bring it on!"
Postscript: HR 4946 died in committee; reintroduced as HR 455 on 1/26/11 which also died in committe; reintroduced as S 1842 on 11/10/11, but dies in committee
Sunday, November 14, 2010
In union with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), the Democratic Party's Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) still comprise a plurality of House Democrats, and until January 2011 they remain in control of many
key House committee chairmanships.
Organized around the socialist principles of social and economic justice, among the leftist groups supporting or otherwise closely linked with CPC/CBC are MoveOn.org, Americans for Democratic Action, NAACP, ACLU, LULAC, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, La Raza, Hip Hop Caucus, Human Rights Campaign, Organizing for America, successor to the Obama for America organization, and the Association of Farmworkers Opportunity Programs, most of which were participated in the October 2nd "One Nation Working Together" leftist rally in DC. (And, of course, media propagandists conveniently ignored the radicalism of the rally's participants and sponsors which included the Communist Party USA.)
Keeping in mind that in an on-going effort to recruit new members, the DSA describes itself as "part of an international movement fostering solidarity across national borders in order to construct an
alternative to the current order" and that "as residents of the most powerful capitalist nation, we recognize that our greatest act of international solidarity is to build a vibrant, multicultural left in the United States," is it really so difficult to understand why so many knowledgeable and patriotic Americans are and ought to be profoundly concerned?
And when one understands that Barack Obama's grandfather, Stanley Dunham, picked Frank Marshall Davis, a CPUSA member, as his grandson's mentor and proxy father, and that the liberal talk radio host, Ed Schultz, Mr. Bombast himself, described Van Jones as a "great patriot", shouldn't it be crystal clear to any but the willfully ignorant that the members of these Caucuses--as well as a plethora of prominent media and other political types--are, indeed, clear and present dangers to us all?
On November 2nd, among the congressional cockroaches representing New Yorkers in Washington were "Hons" Yvette Clarke (11), John Hall (19), Maurice Hinchey (22), Carolyn Maloney (14), Jerrold Nadler (08), Charles Rangel (15), Jose Serrano (16), the insufferable Louise Slaughter (28), and Nydia Valazquez (12). Apparently through divine intercession alone, Hall lost his bid for re-election this time around; however, the nest of NYS vermin gnawing at the Republic's foundations in DC remains essentially intact, and the CPC/CBC still constitute an alien and menacing force in the House and in the nation.
Among the other more notable...quislings...in DC are lispy Barney Frank (Mr. Meltdown), Jim McDermott (Baghdad Bob), Pete Stark ("the federal government can do anything it wants"), Nancy San Fran Pelosi ("we have to pass it before we can see what's in it"), Ron Dellums, Sheila Jackson Lee, John Conyers, closely and unashamedly associated with the CPUSA and the DSA since 1982, and the inimitably noxious Maxine Waters. In the Senate are Senators Bernie Sanders (VT), who at least admits to his DSA affiliation, and Tom Udall (UT).
With the midterm defeat of 26 so-called moderate Blue Dog Democrats, the Democratic Party leadership and much of its rank and file have been effectively hijacked by the Republic's enemies within. Of late, this is precisely why I've been referring to the Democratic Party as the Democratic Socialist Party. No sense deluding myself or you. After all is said and done, I'd rather be an accurate detractor than a wishful thinker.
And here's the acutely painful irony. What's the cause of this once venerable party's transformation and takeover by the radical left? Sadly, the culprits are those millions of American voters out here who remain utterly clueless, willfully ignorant, in cahoots or simply in denial . And therein lies the fundamental cause of our nation's growing peril, our Republic's Achilles heel, if you will.
Obviously, this time I'm not attempting to be gentle in my criticism of these vermin. When someone is at my throat and threatening my country's very existence, pulling punches is an infuriatingly simple-minded and worthless indulgence I can no longer justify.
Though to some readers, this may appear an indelicate and scurrilous indictment of the Democratic Socialist Party, one should be mindlful that it is through the DSAs own odious behavior and its own well-documented alien affiliations which have indicted them. I'm but a messenger drawing your attention to the unsettling facts. And, sadly, noone can authoritatively and honestly refute, dispute or otherwise disprove what I have said here. Authentication is readily accessible for us all to see.
So, again, we must remain vigilant and seriously engaged! The struggle to restore the Republic has only begun. If we are to restore constitutional order and traditional American values, Conservatives and their Republican allies must exert a herculean grassroots effort to educate and win over an unwitting electorate which has become its own worst enemy.
Ultimately, of course,Conservatives must be as successful in transforming the Republican Party as the extreme left has been in transforming the old Democratic Party. Such a transformation would be well-worth the effort.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
But, perhaps I'm just too hard to please, or far more cynical than even I thought I was capable of being, for, in truth, I have to say that I am decidedly unimpressed by the so-called GOP electoral "tsunami". Nonplussed and troubled would be more accurate. Though the biggest sweep since 1938, if my memory serves me, I still harbor some serious concerns.
While the Rand Paul and Mark Rubio upsets were particularly sweet, the Reid victory over Angle in Nevada, me-first Murkowski's apparent write-in victory in Alaska, Jerry Brown's thumping of Meg Whitman in California, and obscenely arrogant Boxer's win over Fiorina provided particularly disturbing counterpoints to the celebratory mood. And for me anyway, the disquieting closeness of many of the elections themselves, even in those races where GOP candidates "won", were alarmingly revealing.
Yes, the gubernatorial and state legislative sweeps were hopeful signs of a grassroots resurgence of republicanism which will surely benefit the GOP (re-districting) and the country in the future, but the lingering concern to me is the incredibly gigantic number of Americans--MILLIONS OF THEM--who again cluelessly voted for their Democratic Socialist overseers. To any thinking American who really wants his country back, this has to be an acutely troubling realization.
So, while I am pleased that conservative Tea Party winners may prove to be an influential countervailing political force on the Hill who might even be capable of helping to substantively shape the GOP agenda, of intense concern to me is the fact that our government and its suffocating bureaucracy is still dominated by unvetted neo-Marxist czars and other ruthlessly committed Progressives who are still capable of perpetrating terrible damage over the next two years. Thus, the GOP resurgence simply doesn't provide the solace or sense of security for which I had hoped. (NB: having lost only 3 of their 80 members in this election, the radical congressional Progressive Caucus is still very much in charge of a notoriously uncompromising Democratic Socialist Party which will continue to exert unrelenting pressure on Obama, already ideologically compatible with the Caucus's aims, to reject accommodation and to push for more socialist programs and policies one way or the other.)
What will the GOP-dominated House do to live up to our expectations after December? Indeed, what can they do? God only knows. But, to prevent the GOP's implosion and yet another toxic Progressive resurgence in 2012, it absolutely behooves the GOP establishment not to violate our trust yet once again. No more accommodating Progressivism either within or without its ranks, no more mindless "going along to get along", and absolutely NO more compromising on principle. (During my formative 70's negotiating experience with Communists in Asia, I quickly learned that compromising with tyrants is viewed by them as appeasement; thus, even when done in good faith, compromising will invariably prove to be counterproductive and utterly unredeeming.)
Long overdue and carefully targeted congressional investigations covering a plethora of Progressive corruption, blatant constitutional violations and executive overreach MUST go forward with professionalism, dignity and determination. At long last, Progressive vermin must be drawn into the light of public scrutiny and exposure. Of course, the GOP must be sure that the public fully understands what is happening and why; that the investigations are not merely vengeful politically-motivated witch-hunts, but restorative remedies to what has been an out-of-control federal government. Though these critically important probes will be cynically and predictably characterized by the Democratic Socialist Party as mean-spirited politics as usual, in the interests of the Republic they must go forward with all deliberate speed.
Among the other promises contained in the "Pledge to America", the GOP must uncompromisingly follow-through with its pledge requiring that all legislation contain a citation of constitutional authority. Such would be an effective way of restoring some semblance of constitutional order, failing which that order will be fundamentally no better after December than it was before the GOP "sweep".
And since the House is in charge of originating revenue bills, the GOP must cripple implementation of Obamacare and work toward a common sense reform of health care before more serious damage is done to the best health care system in the world. To avert economic collapse, reformation of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security--but also Tax Reform and reigning in the Federal Reserve--must also be courageously pursued.
In short, the GOP's responsibility is nothing short of GARGANTUAN! And, frankly, I'm not at all confident they're up to the challenge. In any event and come what may, the GOP must start treating American voters--even the hard-boiled and unwitting leftists among us--as adults. We must no longer be lied to, placated with giveaways we can no longer afford, and mislead with meaningless rhetorical pablum designed merely to get the party elites re-elected. With our country on political and economic life support, much depends upon the wisdom, sobriety, courage and, above all, principle of the GOP. And, frankly, we'd all better get it right this time, or it really will be all over.
Oh, yes, and no bailouts for the People's Republic of California or New York! They voted for Socialist dominion, so let them solve their self-inflicted socialist malaise themselves. We must now insist that both state and federal governments get their houses in order by unleashing the vibrant laboratory of innovation which the free exercise of state sovereignty so beautifully provides.
Finally, the GOP must allow common sense, constitutional order, public trust and personal responsibility dictate its course of action going forward. In essence, then, it is our civic duty to ensure this GOP sweep is not yet another pyrrhic victory.
My suggestion: remain as vigilant and engaged as ever!
"Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions. The Eyes of all our Countryment are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the tyranny mediated against them." George Washington
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
At a recent Monticello College-sponsored seminar, we were told that to restore constitutional order we must all actively participate in a "cultural transformation", meaning that the woes of American society fundamentally stemmed from a cultural--not political--breakdown; that a lack of personal virtue, faith in a higher power, and personal responsibility are the root causes of our social, economic and political malaise; that we must return to those core American principles which shaped who we once were as a people before the social engineers and neo-Marxists took over.
To achieve these transformative ends, the presenter made it clear that it was our individual responsibility to ensure that education--both home-schooling and public--should once again infuse our youth with the importance of free-market capitalism, personal and public virtue, personal responsibility, and "authentic ownership" of property versus ownership-by-credit; that an individual's passionate pursuit of a vocation vs a profession was much more productive and healthier for individuals, families and a free society than merely a dispassionate commitment to pursuing a lucrative career. It was explained that these virtues and values characterized those stellar men and women who founded our country in 1775 - 1787. And, of course, he made it clear that such a cultural transformation would not come easy and would require a substantial period of time and unremitting personal engagement to achieve.
Reflecting on his excellent commentary, my concern is that while we few can, indeed, plant the seeds of cultural rejuvenation--and we definitely should try--the smothering canopy of socialism which has so deeply perverted the very foundations of our once free and enlightened society will, despite our best efforts, prevent the timely germination of those seeds and culminate in our society's suicide. So, my more assertive solution is to better ensure a rejuvenated free society by both affirmatively thinning out and boldly cutting down that toxic canopy. But, again, I feel that a rational personal philosophical justification for this more assertive approach to restoring and defending traditional American values is needed.
So, here's how I see the succession of steps required to achieve constitutional order and cultural transformation: active political and judicial engagement to resist overreach, followed by civil disobedience, tenacious nullification, and, if necessary, secession.
Though mindful that civil disobedience is the essence of constitutionalism, absent which there is no effective recourse but armed resistance, it is also clear that for disobedience to be effectual the freely and openly disobedient individual must be willing to bear the burden of legal sanctions, e.g. incarceration. Without the willingness to accept punishment, one's reliance upon civil disobedience to right a wrong perpetrated by government or other offending entity is but a self-delusional contrivance.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from his Birmingham jail, "I submit that an individual who breaks the law that his conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law." And so it is.
Notable examples of successful civil disobedience are the civil rights movement and women's suffrage, among others, which effectively served to remedy unconstitutional or otherwise unconscionable action or inaction on the part of government.
In his "Resistance to Civil Government" (1849), Henry David Thoreau underscored the pre-eminence of the individual in a civil society with these statements: "A government in which the majority rule in all cases can not be based on justice; we should be men first and subjects afterward; there are nine hundred ninety-nine patrons of virtue to one virtuous man; a wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the majority; any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one; there will never really be a free and enlightened state until it comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly." Thus, he asserts the justification for civil disobedience when clear violations of the sanctity of the individual are perpetrated.
And since individuals are the essential elements of society, its culture, its communities and the states in which they dwell, it is not a big leap to rationally apply this truth to Americans and to the United States of America.
Regarding the American Civil War, aka War of Northern Aggression, though the southern States lost the war and, with the barrel of a Union gun to their heads, were compelled to accede to a forfeiture of their constitutional right to secede in the future, in truth they never really lost their inherent right to nullify or to secede. Why? Because, by definition, it is an inherent and unalienable right. (It may be instructive to note that as a condition of their ratifying the US Constitution in 1788, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia reserved their right to secede, a claim which was never questioned by the ratifiers at the Constitutional Convention. Surely, then, this inherent right cannot be logically denied to any state.)
As Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge writes, "It is safe to say there was not a man in the country, from Washington and Hamilton to Clinton and Mason, who did not regard the new system as an experiment from which each and every state had a right to peaceably withdraw."
And in a textbook at West Point before the Civil War, "A View of the Constitution", written by Judge William Rawle, it is stated that "the secession of a State depends on the will of the people of such a State." Thus, the persistent historical belief in the individual's and, by extension, the individual state's inherent right to decide their political fate.
In his "Democracy in America", Alexis de Toqueville observed that "The Constitution of the United States was formed by the free will of the States; these, by uniting, did not lose their nationality or become fused in one single nation. If today one of those same States wishes to withdraw its name to the contract [which created the union], it would be hard to prove that it could not do so."
And as history has clearly shown, it was only by sheer weight of overwhelming military force that this inherent contractual right was denied to the Confederate States of America. (Note: it is for me revealing that no Confederate leader was brought to trial for treason after the war. I suspect the reason for this is that since a trial would have forced a verdict on the constitutional legality of secession, federal prosecutors wisely opted to conveniently circumvent that issue altogether. No sense losing while you're ahead.)
Essentially, since secession is not explicitly addressed, nor is it specifically prohibited, in the US Constitution, this unifying document can, in fact, be accurately described as a "contract at will", and that, therefore, the unity of the States is solely dependent upon the mutual benefits derived by both the federal and state governments from that relationship.
In his "How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century", Tom Woods states that "If you enter into a contract with somebody, never, ever would you say that the other party in the contract can exclusively interpret what it means...[when] the federal government has a monopoly on interpreting the Constitution ...they're going to interpret it in their own favor." This of course, applies to all branches of the federal government. In effect, like all contracts, both parties must have the inherent power to enforce the contract's provisions, failing which it ceases to be a contract but merely a means of asserting supremacy by one of the parties over the other.
Important to note is that Amendment IX declares that "the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people" and Amendment X states that "the powers not delegated to the United States are reserved to the states respectively or to the people." Thus, since the power to separate is not denied to them in the Constitution, it can be logically concluded that the States and the People have implicitly retained the inherent right to separate. And since the federal government, which is inclusive of the Congress, the Executive and the Judiciary, is a party to the contract with the States, if the federal government were to overstep its Constitutional authority by exercising powers not specifically granted to it how else could unconstitutional federal acts be thwarted if not by nullification or secession? Without the means of escaping a broken contract, it would have to be assumed that the States and/or the People would be inherently willing to succumb to any manner of federal overreach or tyranny. But since no reasonable person would think such was the framers' intention, nor do I believe a free people would be so readily inclined to tolerate such servility, I think it fair to say that nullification and, indeed, secession, are the reserved constitutional rights of the states and of the people.
Of course, short of secession, nullification, a well-grounded and peaceful Constitutional remedy, is the states' most efficacious and least disquieting defense against federal encroachment. We see this today in the number of states which have effectively nullified Obamacare, firearms regulation and other federal usurpations which have violated the people's trust and exceeded constitutional restraints on the federal government. And, of course, whether or not nullification is effective depends upon the tenaciousness of the the nullifying state(s). And if offended states routinely and obsequiously allow any of the branches of the federal government to overreach their constitutional authority, then nullification is but an empty theory.
However, as Thomas Jefferson said, "there is a rightful remedy to the federal government's uncontrollable quest for power. It's called nullification." So, while it's much more than theory, only the will of the states and the people can make it so. Nullification means invalidating and rendering null and void any executive edict, legislative mandate or judicial fiat emanating from DC which violates the constitutional contract between the states and the federal government. (Carefully note here that nullification should never be restricted just to legislative or executive overreach, but to judicial overreach as well.)
Without an effective balance of power between the states and the federal government as contracting parties, the framers fully understood that discord and disunity would be inevitable. Thus, Section 8 of the Constitution (enumeration of federal powers) and the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments) were intended by the states to clearly delineate respective powers in the contract, thereby striking that harmonious balance which would preclude disorder and disunion.
In the 18th century, Nathaniel Ames of Massachusetts observed, "The state governments represent the wishes and feelings of the people. They are the safeguards and ornament of our liberties--they will afford a shelter against the abuse of power, and will be the natural avengers of our violated rights." Well, that was the idea anyway. Unfortunately, passage of the 17th Amendment seriously impaired the ability of states to check federal power. Effectively eliminating the framers' mechanism for ensuring the states' direct representation and influence in the Senate, for all intent and purposes the US of A, that well-crafted constitutional republic it was originally designed to be, was suddenly and unceremoniously transformed into an unwieldy representative democracy and the balance of power has, since then, dramatically shifted to the federal government. Repealing this ill-conceived amendment should be a top priority of the states.
And no discussion about nullification can ignore the "supremacy clause" (Art VI), the latter which is so relentlessly and mindlessly touted by modern liberal adherents who mistakenly believe that it constitutionally negates all state authority and any inherent state right to nullify or secede. Incredibly, what nullification detractors continue to conveniently and dishonestly ignore is the actual wording of the clause: "This Constitution, and the laws which shall be made in pursuance thereof...shall be the supreme law of the land." The clause in no way, shape or form unilaterally grants supremacy to the federal government in all matters of law, but only those laws enacted which fully comport with its enumerated powers. For all practical purposes, therefore, the states too, as parties to the constitutional contract, enjoy supremacy in their sphere of authority. Thus, in all cases it is within the implicit and expressed power of the states to determine whether or not a federal action is constitutional.
Finally, I have to say that every time I delve into this compelling subject I am further convinced that civil disobedience, nullification and secession are absolute rights which no power on earth can rightfully deny us. And drawing upon the best minds in our history, my conclusion is inescapable: the only effectual means of ushering in a cultural rennaissance in America and of restoring constitutional order is by enough Americans becoming actively engaged in changing the system from within, failing which we must be unyielding in our resistance to cultural and political stagnation even if it means nullification or even secession.
With nearly 46% of the electorate either functionally illiterate or simply brainwashed, our work is cut out for us. Going forward, there can be no compromising on constitutional principles with the Executive, the Congress and most certainly not with an increasingly renegade federal judiciary and bureaucracy upon which Progressives have so successfully relied to undermine the Republic. And with a GOP establishment habitually inclined to compromise the party's conservative principles, the challenge is all the greater.
To prevail and to reverse our society's headlong and irretrievable collapse into the quagmire of socialist tyranny, we must be fearlesssly tenacious, assertive and true to ourselves and to the Constitution of the United States. Nothing else will work.
"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselve into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience." John Locke, 1690
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government." Edward Abbey
"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." Winston Churchill
"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people." George Washington, 1789
"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights." Thomas Jefferson, 1789
"We are now trusting to those who are against us in position and principle, to fashion to their own from the minds and affections of our youth...This canker is eating on the vitals of our existence, and if not arrested at once, will be beyond remedy." Thomas Jefferson, 1821
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Though Carl Paladino is decidedly rough around the edges, for many New Yorkers fed up with onerous taxes, runaway deficit-spending and strangulating government-by-lobbyists, the prospect of a more efficient, limited and less costly government in Albany renders Paladino an electoral risk well worth taking.
Sure, Cuomo II is more polished, but he is also a consummate insider, another entitled establishment type who will change little but the name plate on the governor's desk. No thanks. We've been there, done that, and it doesn't work.
So why not elect a successful, common-sense businessman who is solely focused on reducing spending, cutting taxes and restoring the Empire State's financial stability and economic vitality?
For if we again mindlessly replace a career politician with yet another career politician, we surely risk losing many more tax paying New Yorkers to other states, further eroding our legislative clout in D.C. and ensuring our economic decline.
So, let's ditch the ideological blinders and try getting it right this time.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
This Administration absolutely believes Americans are unredeemably stupid, mindless pawns to be used for their entertainment and political self-interests.
Step by odious step, Obamunism is reducing our nation to a third world banana republic. That has ALWAYS been Barack's and his Progressive minion's ideological goal in Congress, in the courts and within his ever-burgeoning and loyal government bureaucracy.
The mind-numbing tragedy is that nearly 45% of the electorate still remains either blithely ignorant or deliberately unwilling to see this clear and present danger. Why? Because so many of his supporters within and without the government are either dyed-in-the-wool socialists and elitists or me-first entitlement types. And these groups are, indeed, hard nuts to crack. But crack them we must!
I pray the nation can survive the next two years and the Progressives' likely ideologically driven legislative blitzkrieg following the midterm elections this year. So much to block, to repair and to undo, and I'm no longer confident we can successfully pull that off. By 2012, the Progressives, like the loathesome ideological lemmings they are, will have willingly self-destructed leaving in their wake incalculable economic wreckage and ruinous political discord.
Very disheartening and truly alarming.
And I am not convinced the Republicans, tainted by years of appeasement, accommodation and big government policies of their own, are up to the task of repairing the awful damage either. Not unlike the Progressives, too many GOPers are enamored of power and only tenuously committed to restoring constitutional order. And therein lies the real problem for our Republic.
Whom can we trust?
If our constitutional republic cannot survive with the current crop of politicians, then perhaps we should honestly stop deluding ourselves and simply "dissolve the political bands" which have connected us as a people. And along with countless other millions, I'm not kidding about this at all!
As a nation, we should remain indivisible only insofar as that unity upholds constitutional order. Indivisibly socialist would be intolerably un-American. Thus, if it becomes a clear choice between socialist servitude or republicanism, for most American patriots the choice would be glaringly obvious. And if secession is unavoidable in order to safeguard that sacred constitutional order, then so be it. Who's to stop it?
Of course, let's hope we don't reach such a breaking point. But, in truth, hasn't the unravelling already begun?
Unlike anything we've since prior to the Civil War, around the country nullification is in full swing and states are beginning to understand that an overweaning and excessively intrusive national government has become a menace to our way of life. My bet is that many States will no longer routinely defer to WH executive orders, legislative overreach and arbitrary black-robed judicial dicta which continue to undermine the people's political and economic interests. I also predict that states will soon begin--in earnest--to resist federal encroachments at every turn, thus reversing the country's inexorable slide into socialist tyranny. Unquestionably, it is only this sort of determined state-level resistance which offers any genuine hope of redeeming the republican union and preventing its ultimate dissolution.
"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive." Thomas Jefferson (1787)
"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience." John Locke (1690)
"If there were a separation...," T. Jefferson wrote, "God bless them both and keep them in the union if it be for their good, but separate them if it be better."
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Though much is missing, e.g. term limits, tax code reform, English only, reducing the corporate tax rate, and reforming Social Security, there is still much to commend in the document.
Relying on those rock-solid founding principles which made America the exceptional economic and political power we all want it to be once again, the Pledge appears to be a commonsense and unabashed expression of an at-once chastened and reinvigorated GOP intent upon returning America to its constitutional principles and traditional American values. (Thank you, Tea Baggers one and all!)
Understandably short on specifics as to how their goals will actually be achieved, it does provide direction and clearly defined ending points. It will, of course, be the day-to-day strategy huddle of the players themselves on the field of political battle which will necessarily determine how the GOP will get us there. For me, therefore, until the battle is joined there’s really no need tipping off Progressives as to the GOPs specific tactics to achieve the Pledge’s goals. Just achieve them!
Despite Red State’s Eric Erickson who was so quick to denigrate what he apparently saw as the banality of the document, the Pledge didn’t strike me as a hollow, self-serving contrivance merely to get GOP candidates elected or re-elected. In any case, I’m all for the Pledge and ANY candidate who honestly and demonstrably espouses the Pledge.
The highlights of the Pledge which were of special interest to me were as follows:
1.impose a net hiring freeze on non-security federal employees
3.reform Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac (a long-term project)
4.repeal and replace Obamacare (repeal, of course, can’t happen
until we have a Republican President; however, reforming and withholding
funding to hamstring implementation of Obamacare is a must)
5.require congressional approval of any new federal regulation
which contributes to the deficit or destroys jobs
6.require that every bill contain a citation of Constitutional authority(Finally, HR 450, the Enumerated Powers Act, has been adopted)
7.fully fund missile defense, enforce sanctions against Iran, keep
terrorist combatants in Guantanamo, and try foreign terrorists in military
8.prevent elimination of Bush tax cuts and the resulting $3.8 trillion tax
hike in 2011
9.revive free enterprise by ending uncertainty in the business sector
10.end the burdensome 1099 reporting mandate
11.cancel unspent “stimulus” funds
12.eliminate ineffective or unnecessary federal programs
13.legislation should be understood by all interested parties before
being voted on; at least 3 days to read the bill; advance major legislation
one issue at a time—no packaging
14.establish unencumbered operational control over our borders; reaffirm
authority of states and local law enforcement to assist
15.restore transparency and accountability in Congress and throughout gov’t
16.increase access to domestic energy sources and oppose cap-and-trade
17.stop “card check”
18.cap deficit spending
Though it's up to each of us to make sure the GOP follows through, this is a laudable and do-able start, a blueprint to jumpstart restoration of a truly representative and responsible limited government. Am I necessarily cynical? Yup. But, am I reasonably hopeful? Yup. But, again, ultimately it's up to "we the people" to make sure it all happens.
In truth, this is probably our nation’s last chance to restore the luster of a republic whose century-long downward spiral into the bowels of socialism and authoritarianism has gone essentially unchecked. So, our work is yet undone.
So, let’s get behind this Pledge and hold our representatives’ feet to the fire at every critical step to ensure that the Pledge's short-term and long-term goals are achieved, failing which it really is over, folks. No drifting back to complacency and the GOP default position of accommodating the Progressives merely to get elected. For if that course is pursued, left before us will be but the bleak and unavoidable prospect of either secession and the disintegration of the union, or our uniform acceptance of servitude. And given those stark choices, I suspect most Americans will opt for secession.
We should all be mindful that our nation is “indivisible” only insofar as it uniformly embraces and advances its founding principles and strives for constitutional order. Nothing less should ever be tolerated by any American citizen. And to ensure these ends, we must continue to expect a lot of ourselves and much, much more character, courage and integrity in our representatives.
Let's get it done!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
We all know that in modern times Afghanistan has never been successfully defeated or occupied by a foreign military force. To wit, the Brits took it on the chin in 1842 and the Russians were very badly bloodied when they attempted a similar feat nearly a century and a half later.
With the infusion of thousands of American peacemakers and a motley throng of essentially tepid NATO “allies” into Afghanistan, all of whom are committed to nation-building as well as to military victory over the Taliban, it would appear that the Hindu Kush failures which inflicted the Brits and Russians in the past may have found new victims in the 21st century.
So, I have to wonder if the war as we are now waging it is worth all the blood and treasure? More to the point, how best can we achieve our legitimate goals there?
Normally a stalwart and reliable supporter of allied intervention in Afghanistan, even Britain’s prestigious International Institute for Strategic Studies is now calling for a) the withdrawal of British troops, b) shifting allied emphasis to that of targeting Al Qaeda (AQ) and its allies, and c) abandoning the elusive and probably unachievable goal of creating a viable Afghan state. Not an encouraging signal to those among us who seek “victory”, that being understood as the creation of a functional and survivable centralized authority in Kabul, a historical incongruency if ever there was one.
Then there’s the bi-partisan Afghanistan Study Group (ASG) of academics, business executives, former government officials, policy wonks and the obligatory journalists which has discussed policy options for the Obama Administration for the past year. Mindful of Henry Kissinger’s admonition that “Afghanistan has never been pacified by foreign forces”, the ASG offered up, among others, the following observations and recommendations:
1.Even with a reduced American/allied presence, a Taliban takeover is now unlikely.
2.Smarting from their painful experience with AQ, a resurgent Taliban is very unlikely to again provide AQ “safe haven”.
3.A reduced allied military footprint would seriously hamper Taliban recruitment.
4.Hiding primarily in the northwest frontier, there are no more than 300 AQ operatives in Afghanistan who can be effectively engaged and neutralized by American special forces in theater. Thus, if eradicating AQ is the underlying objective, it can be accomplished with significantly fewer military assets and at considerably less cost.
5.Because Afghanistan has historically been fragmented and decentralized, pursuing a process of decentralization, power-sharing and political inclusion among principal Afghan parties is a more sensible course of action.
6.Since poverty can act as an incubator for terrorism, an intensive and on-going international effort to develop Afghanistan’s economy should be pursued.
7.Work toward Afghanistan’s neutrality and stability by diplomatically engaging regional and global stakeholders whose naturally competing national interests, e.g. Iran, India, Pakistan, China, will better serve to prevent Afghanistan’s being dominated by any single power, thus preventing Kabul’s exporting instability.
8.By being disproportionately focused on Afghanistan, America’s precious national assets have been diverted from its larger global security concerns like N. Korea, Iran, China and the Russian periphery (Georgia). This potentially costly and dangerous diversion of resources could easily lead to miscalculations and avoidable conflicts with which America, its deterrence capability currently diminished, is not as well prepared to deal.
Looking over the past nine years since the 9/11 terrorist attack on our homeland, one is immediately struck by the understandably enormous diversion of national assets to both prevent another devastating attack on the homeland as well as to effectively deter and root out terrorists worldwide. But if our justification for a significant diversion of resources to wage war in Afghanistan is to prevent AQ’s using Afghanistan as a platform to launch more attacks on the American heartland, that rationalization seems to have become increasingly hollow.
To wit, AQ’s offensive capability has been effectively crippled by our relentless worldwide anti-terrorist regime which, of course, ought to continue. Clearly, however, any future terrorist attacks can now be carried out by either remnants of AQ itself or by their allied organizations in Yemen or Somalia. Thus, the faulty rationale for our dedication of inordinately costly military and economic assets in Afghanistan.
And as George Friedman of Real Clear World recently and incisively posited, “9/11…cannot be permitted to define the totality of national strategy; terrorist attacks will occur [but] the world’s only global power cannot be captive to this single threat; the United States should have a global view and support a balance-of-power strategy [in the subcontinent and worldwide].”
In effect, Mr. Freidman is saying that since preventing terrorist attacks which cannot by their very nature be entirely prevented despite every conceivable counter measure, that, therefore, fighting terrorism should not be, as it has become, the centerpiece of American foreign policy.
He goes on to point out that taking ruthless advantage of the Islamic world’s internal rivalries should be a central component of our nation’s balance-of-power strategy to suppress the threat of Islamic militancy. To my ears, these thoughtful words ring acutely sensible.
The threats to peace posed by a resurgent China, an expansionist Russia, a destabilizing Venezuela, and a nuclear armed Iran and N. Korea are every bit as threatening—if not more so--to our national security as are any looming terrorist threats. Thus, perhaps a more rational and balanced blueprint going forward should, in fact, entail a carefully crafted, steady and measurable drawdown of American forces in Afghanistan, an uptick in sustained international economic development assistance there, and the deft application of a time-honored balance-of-power strategy involving our expediently playing off one regional power against another in order to safeguard Afghanistan’s stability, and, by extension, Pakistan’s decidedly vulnerable nuclear arsenal as well.
Of course, the goal of this strategy would be to achieve stability in Afghanistan, thereby allowing a diversion of precious American military and economic assets to more effectively deter potential opponents and conflicts around the world.
In short, our core national interests, and not our narrow focus on managing the terrorist threat alone, should necessarily dictate America’s foreign policy in the years to come. I believe that our acting on this cogent approach would prove to be a thoroughly and refreshingly America-first exercise in hard core realpolitik.
But is our liberal-dominated and insufferably self-absorbed Administration who is more interested in protection on the cheap and ill-conceived exit strategies capable of adopting such a sophisticated, mature and pragmatic Machiavellian approach in its foreign policy? I very seriously doubt it. Parochial domestic interests and shortsighted ideology vs clear-headed pragmatism and common sense seem destined to forever shape Obama’s courses of action at every level and in every sphere. So, it looks like it is now left to the next Commander-in-Chief to get us on the road to a more rational containment approach in Afghanistan. And with that end in mind, we can’t get to 2012 soon enough.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Like many other Rochesterians, I too attended the rally in DC on the 28th and was genuinely inspired by the propriety, patriotism and rectitude of the half-million grassroots Americans--men, women, children, veterans, and their families--who peacefully demonstrated their sincere and proud commitment to restoring constitutional order, free enterprise, our founding principles and honor to America.
A Second American Revolution? Absolutely no question about it.
I came away with this certainty in mind: awakened to the domestic political threats arrayed against us, a resurgent "we the people" WILL restore constitutional order. In time, cancerous alien ideologies like Socialism and Marxism, aka Progressivism, will soon have no home, much less a beachhead, in these United States.
Frankly, I've never felt more hopeful. But, the struggle is not yet over. We must keep our eyes on the ball and our noses to the grindstone. More dispiriting challenges await us, so don't go along to get along, don't surrender, and keep moving forward.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Like all babies, “anchor babies” too are sweet and cuddly, and deserving of mother’s love and society’s protection. But automatically conferring citizenship on babies of illegal aliens is an ideologically-motivated perversion not only of internationally accepted legal norms, but, much more importantly, of both the Constitution and the 14th Amendment as well.
By nimbly mischaracterizing the motives of birthright citizenship opponents, many in the media and blogosphere—to include attorneys who should know better-- have irresponsibly misrepresented the framers’ intent and have reduced the level of discourse on this legitimate constitutional issue to that of ad hominem, race-baiting, specious legal citations, contrived legal justifications, and mindless pandering. Shamelessly seeking ideological and political supremacy, to these people the Constitution and the rule of law mean absolutely nothing. And for a nation which once prided itself as being a “nation of laws”, that is inexcusable.
During an interview with Mr. Trump last night, what annoyed me greatly was Bill O'Reilly's characteristically bombastic--and wholly erroneous--claim that "the 14th Amendment says that any person born on US soil is a US Citizen. Period". Poppycock! He couldn't have read the amendment at all to reach this specious conclusion. And the fact that even Judge Napolitano, a Libertarian jurist, a few days earlier asserted this revisionist and ignorant view is nothing short of bewildering and scary. But, this does underscore just how flawed and fallible jurists and seemingly bright, well-informed talking heads can really be.
That said, for my own edification I decided to take the time to again review the actual words of the 14th’s framers, pertinent case law and the opinions of jurists and legal scholars on both sides of the question to determine the truth in this matter.
Here are my findings and conclusions:
First, while researching pertinent materials, I soon discovered that understanding the clear intent and meaning of the 14th Amendment was much simpler than anticipated. In fact, the meaning of the 14th was surprisingly straightforward. Lesson learned: if one simply abandons one’s ideological blinders for a moment and commit to an honest effort to objectively review a constitutional issue, clarity is nearly always one’s reward.
It also became apparent that from a strictly Constitutional standpoint, and despite Lindsey Graham’s initial assertion that a constitutional amendment is needed to outlaw anchor babies, aka birthright (jus soli) citizenship, I was unable to find convincing constitutional evidence that so-called anchor babies can legitimately and automatically acquire U.S citizenship. Thus, a simple act of congress--and most certainly NOT an amendment to the Constitution—in order to clarify the original intent and meaning of the 14th Amendment is all that is really needed.
To wit, introduced on April 2nd, 2009, and co-sponsored by 93 congressmen, inclusive of one lonely Democratic supporter, Mississippi’s Gene Taylor, HR 1868 (Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009) amends section 301 of the Immigration & Nationality Act to provide that a person born in the US is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the US for citizenship purposes if the person is born in the US of parents, one of whom is: 1) a US citizen or national; 2) a lawful permanent resident alien who resides in the US; or 3) an alien performing military service in the US Armed Forces.” And if one simply reviews the original meaning of the 14th Amendment one can easily see that there is absolutely nothing at all revolutionary about this bill's language. In any event, the bill failed.
Intended to protect the rights of emancipated Negroes, the 14th Amendment specifically provided that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.”
And as I very quickly learned, of central importance in this statement is the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”, something birthright citizenship proponents have consistently and very conveniently ignored.
To begin, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, co-author of the 14th Amendment, expressly asserted that “this will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.” And it is in this plain-spoken construction birthright proponents somehow discover ambiguity or a totally different meaning. Amazing!
Under Section 1992 of the US Revised Statutes, the same Congress which adopted the 14th Amendment confirmed that “all persons born in the United States who are not aliens, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States.”
In 1873, the US Atty Gen ruled the word “jurisdiction” under the Fourteenth Amendment to mean “the absolute and complete jurisdiction. Aliens, among whom are persons born here and naturalized abroad, dwelling or being in this country, are subject to the jurisdiction of the US but only to a limited extent. Political and military rights do not pertain to them.”
Sen. Trumbell noted during the drafting of the 14th Amendment that it was the amendment’s goal to “make citizens of everybody born in the US who owe allegiance to the US,” and if “the negro or white man belonged to a foreign government he would not be a citizen.”
On March 1, 1866, Rep. James Wilson of Iowa, House Judiciary Committee, added that “we must depend on the general law relating to subjects and citizens recognized by all nations for a definition, and that must lead us to conclude that every person born in the US is a natural-born citizen of such States, except that of children born on our soil (jus soli) to temporary sojourners or representatives of foreign governments.” This statement served to nicely clarify Sen. Howard’s construction above.
John Bingham, framer of the 14th Amendment’s first section, stated that Sec. 1992 of the Revised Statutes meant “every human being born within the jurisdiction of the US of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of the Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.”
And if we reach way back to our founders in search of a definition of citizens of a foreign power, Thomas Jefferson said “Aliens are the subjects of a foreign power.”
To a man, among the framers the premise behind “within the jurisdiction thereof” was that all children born to parents who owed no foreign allegiance were to be citizens of the US; thus, not only must a child be born on US soil (jus soli) but born of parents whose complete allegiance was to the US.
Subsequently, Sen. Howard further explained that “only thru expatriation, which could be accomplished thru law alone, and not thru any immigrant acting on his own outside the law—and certainly not by any act of birth alone—could an alien become a citizen.” This, of course, would mean that the alien/sojourner would need to affirmatively renounce his allegiance to his/her country of origin before s/he could be considered completely within the jurisdiction of the US.
Sen. Howard also stated the following: “…the word 'jurisdiction', as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the US, coextensive in all respects with the constitutional power of the US, whether exercised by Congress, the executive, or the judiciary; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the US now.” In effect, he was saying that an alien may, by treaty arrangements with his country of origin, avail himself of the protection of the US, much as sojourning US citizens in the alien’s country of origin would avail themselves of that country’s protection, but that an alien's physical presence in the US would not render him/her under the "complete jurisdiction" of the US. Simple enough.
The rationale behind not granting automatic citizenship is based upon the fact that Indians could not be subject to the jurisdiction of the US because the US dealt with them through treaties. By logical extension, aliens sojourning in the US are extended privileges and protections by virtue of treaties in force with their countries of origin, much as American citizens are granted similar rights and privileges—but not citizenship--when sojourning in those countries. Logically, therefore, only if an alien voluntarily and affirmatively renounces his citizenship and expresses an intent to swear allegiance to the US may the alien, through operation of law (a formal naturalization process) be granted US citizenship. Thus, in a nutshell, since neither children of tourists/sojourners nor of diplomats born in the US can be US citizens, children of illegal entrants cannot be lawfully granted that privilege of US citizenship?
In 1867, George Yeaman, American Minister to Denmark, in his highly respected treatise on allegiance and citizenship and for whom the framers had great respect, asserted that “the idea of a double allegiance and citizenship united in the same person, and having reference to two separate, independent, and sovereign nations or governments, is simply an impossibility.” Thus, dual citizenship was also a no-no. (Take note, BHO.)
To wit, P. A. Madison, a modern day master of constitutional analysis, points out that “since illegal aliens are unlawfully in the US, their native country has a proper and primary claim of allegiance on the child. Thus, the completeness of their allegiance to the US is impaired, which therefore precludes automatic citizenship.” Slam dunk obvious, I’d say.
Also, Rep. Aaron Sargent, a representative from California during the Naturalization Act of 1870 debates, said the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause was not a de-facto right for aliens to obtain citizenship. Significantly, none of his contemporaries disputed that assertion.
Adding to this mix, here is a little case law since the 14th’s ratification.
In the Slaughterhouse Cases(1873), the Supreme Court observed that the 14th Amendment overturned the Dred Scott decision by making all persons born within the United States and subject to its jurisdiction, citizens of the US; the ruling went on to point out “that [the 14th Amendment’s] main purpose was to establish the citizenship of the Negro” and that “the phrase ‘subject to its jurisdiction’ was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, AND citizens or subjects of foreign states born within the United States", thus reinforcing Sen. Howard’s construction above. So, since they cannot be subject to US jurisdiction, children of citizens of foreign sovereignities and children of foreign ministers/consuls/ambassadors cannot be lawfully considered US Citizens. Makes perfect sense.
Then, in Elk v Wilkins (1884), the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment did not even confer citizenship on Indians—because they were subject to tribal jurisdiction, not U.S. jurisdiction. In effect, the court essentially stated that the status of the parents determines the citizenship of the child, and not merely the fortuitous birth of that child on American soil. (Note: not until the Citizens Act of 1924 was U S citizenship granted to American Indians. As with many whimsical court rulings over the years, I was unable to understand the legal grounding for this reversal. Thus, it would seem that judicial arbitrariness is not an affliction peculiar to modern day American courts alone.)
In US v Wong Kim Ark (1889), the courts held that children born in the US of parents of foreign descent who, at the time of the child’s birth are subjects of a foreign power but who have a permanent domicile and residence in the US and are carrying on business in the US, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under a foreign power, and are not members of foreign forces in hostile occupation of US territory, become a citizen of the US at the time of birth. As expressed in the minority opinion, this decision violated the 14th Amendment. But, in any case, how many new illegal aliens have permanent domiciles in the US and how many of them are carrying on business in the US at the moment of their child's birth on US soil? I suspect precious few. But note that in this case the parents were, unlike illegal entrants, legally present.
In Steel v Citizens for a Better Environment (1998), the court stated that “jurisdiction is a word of many, too many, meanings.” However, and as can be clearly seen above, Sen. Trumbell and, yes, Sen. Howard, 14th Amendment co-authors, had long ago provided a definition by declaring that “the provision is, that all persons born in the United States, and ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’’, are citizens. That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof. What do we mean by ‘complete jurisdiction thereof'? Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.” And this from the framers' themselves! (Clearly, majority jurists in the Steel v Citizens court didn’t bother to research the framers’ clear intent and meaning. And one must wonder if a neophyte, such as I, can easily deduce original meaning, why can't trained jurists? Could it be incompetence or do political agendas get in the way of constitutional law?)
Despite the clear meaning and intent of the 14th's framers, we fast forward to the somewhat enigmatic ruling in US ex rel. Hintopoulis v Shaughnessy (1982), which some bloggers have used to justify birthright citizenship. In that case, and out of whole cloth, somewhere in the ruling it asserted, almost in passing, that although a child born in the US to two illegal aliens was a US Citizen (????) that, nonetheless, “suspending the alien parents’ deportation based upon “the accident of birth in the US of their son would be to deprive others, who are patiently awaiting visas…” Thus, since the passing allusion to the legality of birthright citizenship, though gratuitous—and erroneous—was woven into this suspension of deportation decision, birthright proponents often blithely and excitedly cite this case to substantiate the legality of birthright citizenship. Grabbing at straws, I'd say.
Then, true to activist form, in Plyler v Doe (1982) the court, apparently without access to the 14th framers’ erudition and written words, mysteriously ruled 5-4 that there is “no plausible distinction” with respect to “jurisdiction” between resident aliens who entered the country lawfully and those resident aliens who entered unlawfully. Wowee! Clearly a yawning divergence from the framers’ clear meaning and intent. Seems judicial activism was as alive and well in 1982 as it is today.
To me, these two rulings which capriciously and arrogantly turned Thomas Jefferson and the framers of the 14th on their heads are clearly unlawful at worst, convenient contrivances at best.
When I explained all this on-line to an attorney who is also a strong proponent of birthright citizenship, this was her reply: “I disagree with your interpretation of the phrase ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof'. The first rule of statutory construction is that we don’t look to the drafters’ intent if the words are plain and unambiguous…If the drafters meant to include some allegiance test, they would have. They didn’t.” That sort of revisionism, gobbledegook, willful ignorance and dishonesty is, folks, what this country is up against. My rejoinder was civil, but to the point: “It wasn’t MY lowly interpretation. It was the framers’ interpretation. But, ignore original intent and meaning? A living constitution is like having no constitution at all. We can merely make it up as we go along and continue to hand-off an increasingly irrelevant document to the next generation. While I sincerely hope this isn’t what you have in mind, at this juncture I can see there’s really nothing more to discuss with you on this or any other constitutional issues. How very sad.”
Finally, based upon what I now understand, we must be faithful to the 14th Amendment framers’ clear intent and meaning—surely a tall order with so many activists and social engineers infesting our courts these days. In the case of "birthright citizenship", Congress is constitutionally empowered to re-assert the original meaning of the the 14th Amendment, and that's precisely what it should do.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Now menaced by a seditious progressive legislative blitzkrieg in Congress, an imperial putative Presidency bent upon the "fundamental transformation of the United States", as well as a contagion of judicial activism stoked by subversive "living Constitution" ideologues, more than ever Americans must now more fully understand that our founders expressly espoused the right of states to nullify federal overreach at every turn. The framers also upheld the absolute right--indeed, the duty--of "we the people" to rebel against either federal or state usurpations of our individual rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. Thus, "we the people" are necessarily the ultimate arbiters in our republican system of government.
So, while I hail the 20-22 states who are currently striving to peacefully challenge Obamacare in the courts, we must be mindful that judges are political appointees who are often more apt to advance their insidious political agendas than to faithfully adhere to the rule of law. Like the "living Constitution" politicians who gave them life, too many of these jurists continue to blatantly ignore the U.S. Constitution as written by whimsically reinterpreting the Constitution's clear meaning to justify their own narrow political philosophies. And this is manifestly NOT what our founders had in mind.
To our founders, a tyrannical, unchecked judiciary is every bit as loathsome and dangerous to our republican form of government as are an unrestrained Congress or Executive. And right now, the Republic is getting slammed on all three political fronts. And this is precisely why nullification, or simply the threat of nullification, peaceful resistance, non-compliance or open rebellion should never, ever be taken off the table if our Republic is to survive.
That said, what's the real deal with Arizona? Frankly, I'm somewhat puzzled by the goings-on there.
Confronted by gross federal abdication of its constitutional responsibility to defend Arizona's border with Mexico, Governor Brewer, is, with the advice of the state's adjutant general, entirely within her constitutional rights to call up the state militia to police the border and thereby protect the citizens of Arizona; however, for the moment, anyway, she has allowed Arizona to be sucked into the tainted and unreliable court system to achieve protection for Arizonans. Why? Never mind that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is a hotbed of judicial left-wing activism, and never mind that Arizona's laborious, time-consuming, and costly judicial appeals might well fail to achieve justice. Which leads me to ask this question: if Arizona loses her appeals, does the Governor obsequiously capitulate to judicial fiat, or does she do the right thing and simply enforce the Constitution of Arizona?
To me, the best defense is a good, clean, determined constitutional offense. Such will throw one's lawless adversaries, in this case the feds, completely off balance. The truth is that neither a formal nullification process nor a long dragged out judicial fight are necessary--or proper--to enforce SB 1070, in and of itself one of the most innocuous and insubstantial immigration laws in the country.
But, for me, here's the mystifying wrinkle in this strange saga. We all know Obama is playing politics with this "issue", but, alas, is Brewer guilty of political gamesmanship as well? And here's why I ask...
Since 2007, Missouri has passed a series of laws which serve to comprehensively deal with the illegal invasion of the state. Reportedly, it has worked wonders. Most recently, on July 6th, Gov. Blunt signed into law legislation which 1) bars the state from issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens or to recognize licenses issued by other states to persons unlawfully in the United States; 2) imposes criminal penalties for those assisting illegal aliens in obtaining driver's licenses; 3) prhohibits the creation of sanctuary cities by stripping state funding and grants from any municipality that attempts to enact sanctuary policies; 4) requires public employers, including state contractors, to verify the work authorization of all employees through E-Verify; 5) requires government agencies to verify the legal status of applicants before providing public benefits; 6) imposes criminal penalties on individuals convicted of transporting illegal immigrants for exploitive purposes; 7) requires law enforcement to verify the legal immigration status of every individual presented for incarceration and to release to the Dept. of Homeland Security all persons determined to be in the U.S. unlawfully; 8) provides penalties for employers who knowlingly hire illegal aliens, including suspension of business licenses, permits and exemptions; 9) illegal aliens are barred from enrolling in all public universities in the state. Also, in 2007 a constitutional amendment was adopted by referendum which made English the official language of all governmental proceedings in Missouri. Thus, in Missouri everything--and so, so much more--that Arizona is seeking in its own immigration laws is already being successfully enforced with no federal law suits nipping at their heels either. So what gives?
The viability of Missouri's immigration laws suggests to me that Arizona has, for some unknown reason, allowed itself to be needlessly used and victimized by the White House and its radical left wing minions around the country. We know that the high profile federal suit against Arizona is but a shameless self-serving ploy intended by the White House to curry favor with Latino voters. But with Missouri's immigration laws as brilliantly clear examples of what can legally be done at the state level, doesn't Gov. Brewer know she can avoid all the expense and tumult by simply enforcing SB 1070? So, I have to ask just who's gaming whom? Is the Governor really that inept, clueless, weak-kneed and spineless? Like, just what is going on?
To me, it is clear that Arizona is wasting valuable resources defending itself in this matter. The state simply doesn't need federal consent or cooperation to implement SB 1070. So, unless Gov. Brewer is playing politics with Arizona voters, she should get on with it and immediately enforce the law, anemic though it is. Case in point: also elected by the people, Sheriff Arpaio, a fellow Arizonan official, is dutifully enforcing immigration laws with virtual impunity. So why can't the entire State of Arizona do so as well? Like, what will the Administration do? Invade? Not even they are that stupid or imperial--yet. And what can lefty Judge Bolton or the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals do? Answer: NADA! Why? Because when a state asserts its constitutional rights, it invariably prevails. And on this notorious SB 1070 non-issue, who's going to go to war over it? Certainly not the feds. They wouldn't have a consitutional leg to stand on, and popular opinion would effectively checkmate the White House and its lawless judicial minions in any event. So, in the case of Arizona, a formal nullification process is simply not needed to get the job done and to stanch the needless bleeding.
Knowing that the White House will do nothing to jeopardize its standing with Latino voters, and absent Arizona taking the appropriate action, Arizonans can count on being continually victimized for a long time to come. But, if Arizonans are truly determined to protect themselves, they need to do just that and move on. Frankly, I'm wearying of the hand-wringing and needless melodrama. Arizona must simply do what it needs to do to protect its citizens. Wasting valuable time and resources on costly and unnecessary appeals is utterly nonsensical. Arizona should stop being the White House's political football. If the Governor simply asserts Arizona's rights, the whole charade, the Obama thuggery, will come to a screeching halt. And if Arizona needs donations to compensate for any loss in federal funding, or to pay for enforcement and/or the militia's call-up, the Governor needs but to ask and millions from around the country will pour into Arizona's coffers.
Finally, if you really want to resolve this issue, Governor, clarity of purpose, leadership, determination, principle, constitutional integrity, and political courage are all that is needed. Or is there something else going on you're not telling us?
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
First, a few US Constitution and federal law cites:
The Second Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Article 1 Section 10 of the Constitution: "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress...engage in War, unless invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."
Under 32 USC 109, the federal government recognizes state defense forces, aka State Guards, State Military Reserves, State Militias. This force may not be called, ordered, or drafted into US armed forces, e.g. the National Guard.
The Militia Act of 1903 created two classes of militias: 1) organized, i.e. the National Guard, and 2) unorganized, i.e. every able-bodied man 17-45 who is not a member of the National Guard or reserve.
And this from the Arizona Constitution:Chapter 1, Article 2, Revised Statute 26-124:
A. When the governor proclaims an emergency, and, upon advice of the adjutant general, determines that the national guard does not have sufficient troops to meet the emergency, the governor may authorize the adjutant general to accept for service from the unorganized militia a specified number of volunteers.
B. If the governor deems an emergency of a nature that all or a large portion of the unorganized militia should be called into service of the state, s/he shall by proclamation order all members of the unorganized militia to enroll with the county recorder of the county in which they reside...The persons called into service shall be determined by lot in accordance with a plan devised by the governor and implemented by him/her...
C. Upon mobilization for state purposes members of the unorganized militia shall be organized under the command of the officer the governor designates into units comparable to units of the national guard.
Note: while the Posse Comitatus Act limits the power of the federal government to use the militia for law enforcement, it does not prevent a state governor's calling up the National Guard OR the state militia to respond to domestic emergencies and disasters.
Recent Arizona developments:
My understanding is that a volunteer state military force (aka Homeland Security Force) has yet to be formally mustered which the state could call upon in the event the state's reliance upon the National Guard for homeland security purposes is somehow pre-empted by the federal government or if the National Guard is otherwise unavailable to the state.
Whether what is happening in Arizona constitutes an invasion or a domestic emergency/disaster, it seems abundantly clear to me that the Governor is constitutionally empowered to unilaterally call up the Militia in order to protect the citizens of Arizona whose security is her constitutional responsibility.So, why hasn't Governor Brewer called up the militia? First, because unlike 22 other states which have formally established State Militias (apart from the National Guard), Arizona does not. Also, her calling up the Militia might well be viewed by many Americans as an over-reaction and, of course, there is the political risk should the militiamen be improperly trained. Or perhaps she's just biding her time until it becomes crystal clear to all that Obama has no intention whatsoever of honoring his constitutional responsibility--that being to properly protect the border--and that she has, therefore, no other recourse if she is to safeguard the citizens of Arizona.
My guess is that if the situation further deteriorates, the Governor cannot in good conscience or in good faith avoid a call-up of the State Militia. And I suspect her action in this regard would be overwhelmingly supported by most Arizonans and Americans everywhere. At least it should be.
My personal belief is that all States--and let Arizona lead the way--must begin, in earnest, to properly prepare themselves to credibly resist both federal overreach and federal dereliction at every turn. Because we live in increasingly perilous and uncertain political times, all states should re-commit themselves to properly asserting their rightful sovereignty as provided by the founders and the Tenth Amendment. If liberty and the Republic are to survive the relentless Progressive onslaught, there is simply no other reasonable option.
Monday, June 21, 2010
In a recent interview with the Egyptian Foreign Minister which was aired on Nile TV, Obama admitted he was a Muslim. In his book, he admitted his father was Kenyan, a British Citizen at the time. And in a recent speech, his wife, Michele, proudly confirmed that Barry, her husband, was born in Kenya. So, is Obama a serial prevaricator? Most likely. And I don't need to insult your intelligence by rehashing here the mountain of evidence supporting that conclusion.
So, just who is this guy? And why all the mystery and unanswered questions about his background, his foundational beliefs and legal qualifications to be America's president? No one but Obama’s closest inner circle of academics, apparatchiks, ideological sycophants, political handlers, lawyers and his gaggle of neo-Marxist advisors seems to know for sure. We sure as hell don't, but, increasingly, many more of us are starting to seriously wonder--and ask.
It's very important to remember that, to date, Obama has spent nearly $2 million to block all attempts to access his college and passport documentation as well as his long form birth certificate, the latter reportedly still in lockdown in Hawaii. Whether it's there or not remains to be seen. By executive order when elected, he put his personal information off limits and hired a team of lawyers to keep enquiring minds at bay on that score. Why?
To date, of course, no law suit against Obama has succeeded. Why? Because, according to the courts, neither do they have the authority to adjudicate the issue nor do "we the people" have the "standing" to bring such law suits. Incredible! Like, who does then? A citizen of Mali? Surely, this is an outrageous and potentially disastrous breach in our judicial system. At this time, and in response to this electoral and judicial aberration, state legislatures in OK, AZ, GA, VA and IN are working on legislation to require any future presidential candidate to submit adequate proof of his/her eligibility before the candidate's name can be placed on the ballot in those states. Better late than never, I suppose.
Recently, a decorated and thoughtful Army medical officer, LTC Lakin, refused to obey orders to deploy to Afghanistan for the second time on the grounds that the deployment orders were illegitimate since, to him, the eligibility of the Commander-in-Chief is in serious doubt. Courageously opting for a court martial, his intention is to force discovery upon the Obama legal team. Can a defendent in the American judicial system actually be denied discovery? I wouldn't put anything past this White House. Thus, the military is definitely in a quandary over this one. Will they do the White House's bidding, or will a defendent's right of discovery be sustained? Stay tuned. Right now, the outcome is an open question.
Although Article II, Section 1 of our tattered Constitution, that pesky impediment to tyranny, unambiguously requires that all presidents be “natural born citizens”, meaning that, minimally, they be born of two US Citizen parents, from the beginning of Obama’s whirlwind and glitzy campaign it is painfully obvious that no electoral officials seriously bothered to properly and substantively establish his constitutional eligibility to occupy the White House, the “People’s House”.
And despite scurrilous criticism and mindless epithets hurled at them, Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC), Rep. Mike Ritze (R-OK), Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), and Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) have all openly questioned the constitutional eligibility of Obama to serve as our Commander-in-Chief. Among others, Rep Ray Blount (R-MO), Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and even Gov. Sarah Palin have also expressed their belief that questions about Obama’s eligibility are, indeed, legitimate.
Also, Bill Posey (R-FL) has already introduced HR 1503 in Congress which would require that, in the future, a campaign committee must submit the “birth certificate” (not a meaningless certificate of live birth) and “other documentation as may be necessary to establish a candidate’s qualifications” to be President. As said, current law does not require such a minimal level of substantive proof. Incredibly, proof of a person's qualifications has heretofore been determined by the outcome of the election itself, not by the electoral system's scrutiny of one's qualifications prior to the election. Amazingly shortsighted and potentially explosive.
As Judge Roy Moore, former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice, opined, “Why doesn’t the president have to show that he’s a natural born citizen?...We’ve had all kinds of suits filed, and the press doesn’t mention them and the courts continually reject them…It’s troubling to me because we’ll suffer the consequences if we ignore the Constitution.” No kidding.
The awful truth is that the fawning liberal press deliberately ignores the issue, the courts refuse to review the merits of the many cases brought before them because they lack legal authority, the Supreme Court can't muster the 4 votes needed to hear the case, and those grassroots Americans seeking the truth are denied their right to challenge Obama’s eligibility because they lack legal standing. Wow! Talk about conundrums and brick walls. Democracy at work?
Obviously, the deleterious effect on the country's stability at every level should a usurper, or worse, be occupying the White House would be severe and far more unsettling than Watergate or any previous political scandals visited upon the Republic. But the calamitous effect on the United States if a usurper were simply allowed to occupy the White House, this to merely avoid political confrontation and unpleasantness, is far and away much more insidious.
Yup! Obama, Mr. Transparency, The One, The Post-Racial President, the most transformative, scripted and off-the-charts intelligent chief executive in our history--and the least known and most dissembling--is definitely one-of-a-kind alright. And in so many nefarious and unflattering ways.
Hold your breath and tighten your belts, folks. This seedy tale of intrigue and possible treachery has yet to unfold. But I am cautiously optimistic that in the end, the truth, whatever that might entail, will prevail. And, more importantly, so will the Constitution, the Republic and "We the People". For, in the end, that's what this struggle for the truth is really all about. Nothing more and nothing less.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
But, no sense letting a crisis go to waste, huh?
In a recent teleprompted moment of spin, the Prez also announced an increase in investments in renewable sources of energy in order "to compete" in that sphere "with countries like China." WHAT? Already 75% coal-dependent for its energy needs, China is, in fact, accelerating--NOT reducing--its offshore oil drilling operations. China's being competitively engaged in the development of alternative fuels is not even remotely true.
But, don't let the facts get in the way of your ideologically-driven agenda, Mr. President.
The terrible truth is that if BHO and his fatuous environmentalist and socialist allies have their way, the BP calamity will generate painfully higher energy costs for all Americans, needlessly increase unemployment, force petroleum companies to move their operations overseas, further erode the dollar's value and increase America's reliance on foreign oil.
Brilliant, Mr. President. So very inspired, and so very patriotic of you.
This Administration's pernicious shortsightedness, rank incompetence and ideological asininity are both self-destructive and, frankly, malfeasant. A foreign invader couldn't do a better job of debilitating the Republic than have the Obama transformationalists.
Can't wait until America-first adults are in charge once again. November 2010 and 2012 can't come soon enough. Let's just pray there are enough pieces to pick up by then.