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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The "Supremacy Clause" Menace

For a painfully long time now, the federal government has relied upon a perverted interpretation of the Supremacy Clause and the Commerce Clause to justify its unconstitutional overreach.

In 2010, it is now relying upon a faulty and expansive interpretation of these clauses to justify Obamacare. Relying upon our Founders' wisdom as expressed in their own words, and upon a few foundational 19th century Supreme Court rulings, in this post I have attempted to very briefly show how extraordinarily flawed modern liberal Supremacy Clause justifications really are.

Article VI, Paragraph 2 (Supremacy Clause); “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

The practical purpose of this clause was to eliminate the confusing and often conflicting matrix of State-made treaties with foreign powers which afflicted the union under the Articles of Confederation. Primarily intended to ensure that only the federal government could legally enter into treaties with foreign entities, this clause was uniformly binding upon the States; however, it is important to note in passing that this clause was never intended to accommodate treaties with any foreign entity, e.g. the UN, which would in any way supersede the U.S. Constitution.

Based upon my reading of the Constitution and applicable Federalist Papers, this clause underscored the Founders’ belief that when exercising any of the powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution ( per Art 1, Sec 8) the federal government must prevail over any conflicting or inconsistent State exercise of power, certainly a prudent and practical approach to achieving orderly governance.

Further amplifying this meaning, in McCulloch v Maryland (1819), Chief Justice Marshall ruled that “the government of the Union, though limited in its power, is supreme within its sphere of action.” Thus, the Supremacy Clause renders Congressional power supreme only insofar as the power exercised is within its clearly defined enumerated powers (Art. 1, Sec 8).

An ardent advocate of a strong central government, even James Madison, aka “father of the Constitution”, stated that “the proposed [federal] government cannot be deemed a national one, since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all objects.”
Alexander Hamilton, no less an advocate of a strong central government, warned that “it will not follow from this doctrine (supremacy/preemption) that acts of the large society which are not pursuant to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such.”
In Dred Scott v Sandford (1857), the court ruled that “although the Government of the United States is sovereign and supreme in its appropriate sphere of action, yet it does not possess all the powers which usually belong to the sovereignty of a nation. Certain specified powers, enumerated in the Constitution, have been conferred upon it; and neither the legislative, executive, nor judicial departments of the Government can lawfully exercise any authority beyond the limits marked out by the Constitution.”
In United States v Reese (1876), the court ruled that “within its legitimate sphere, Congress is supreme;…but if it steps outside of its constitutional limitations, and attempts that which is beyond its reach, the courts are authorized to annul its encroachments upon the reserved power of the States and the people.”

The Federalist Blog notes that “if you want to invalidate some State law under the preemption doctrine the burden is on the plaintiff to point to the clause in the United States Constitution that exclusively delegates Congress the authority to make the law, and point to the express prohibition against the States to touch it. Simply having two conflicting laws is not enough; the burden is on the federal government to show its law is in pursuance of the Constitution and that it is an area expressly prohibited to the States to act upon, and thus, giving the law national supremacy.” For 10th Amendment advocates, this is a very important point.

Fearful of tyrannical federal overreach, framers John Hancock, Sam Adams, Patrick Henry and George Mason demanded more specificity with respect to the delineation of federal and state powers/jurisdiction. Thus, the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, was adopted which explicitly limited powers of the newly formed federal government. To wit, the 9th Amendment states that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” and the 10th Amendment which states that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”.

Thus, despite federal attempts to draw upon “necessary and proper” (Art. 1, Sec 8, para 18) justifications for expansively exercising federal authority, ALL powers not specifically delegated to the federal government reside exclusively with the States and the people. Though activist jurists have, over the years, made mincemeat of these clear-cut foundational principles, it’s really this simple and straightforward. In short, the true intention of the framers is perfectly clear and their words are available for politicians and jurists alike to read.

To either a layman or constitutional scholar, it should be crystal-clear that for the federal government to exercise its authority by reliance upon the Supremacy Clause the exercise of that authority must be in keeping with constitutionally enumerated restraints. And to ensure the integrity of constitutional order, under the 10th Amendment unconstitutional federal laws may not only be properly pre-empted, but MUST be pre-empted/nullified by the states. (Note the Virginia & Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 in which Thomas Jefferson and James Madison sanctioned the right and duty of States to assert their sovereignty by nullifying unconstitutional acts of Congress.)

Though perverted case law since the Constitutional Convention now suggests otherwise, no amount of judicial revisionism, political expediency or social engineering can lawfully justify our conveniently misinterpreting or willfully conceal the Constitution's original intent and meaning.

Like a malignant cancer, my hope is that all case law which has defiled and deviated from the original intent and meaning of the Constitution over the years will, in time, be excised/nullified—sooner rather than later-- from the laws of our land. And I pray that this is the unwavering goal of any Constitutional Convention or conservative platform going forward.

A return to our Constitutional roots is all that can save the Constitution and the exceptional country it has spawned. And it is toward that noble end all Americans must strive lest our Republic, the most vibrant and most successful political experiment in the history of Mankind, is lost forever to ourselves, our progeny and to the world.

("If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws--the first growing out of the last...A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government." Alexander Hamilton, 1794)
(“There comes a time in each generation when people must decide whether to stand up and defend their natural rights or bow down before the seat of power. Let us steadfastly maintain our resolve to see this battle through to victory!” John Tate, President, Campaign for Liberty, March 2010)

("Experience has shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." Thomas Jefferson)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Socialism Dooms our Republic

Editorial, Published 3/20/10, Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY

Accomplished students of history and human nature, our founders recognized Socialism as a deadly threat to the unalienable rights of life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.

They understood Socialism’s goal to be that of imposing suffocating government control over every aspect of our lives. They viewed it as contemptuous of individualism and, in the long run, both politically and economically devastating.

But, despite the wisdom of our founders and the instructive lessons of history, under the guise of “helping the poor”, our Progressive overseers in D.C. have ruthlessly embarked upon the socialist transformation of America.

History clearly teaches that Socialism stifles initiative, lowers the standard of living and erodes personal liberty; that it is a wildly failed political and economic philosophy designed only to empower an elitist governing minority.

We now find ourselves at a critically dangerous juncture in our history, and, sadly, I have precious little faith that our exceptional Republic can painlessly survive the Progressive onslaught.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

U.S. Census and the Constitution

For the purpose of apportioning Congressional representation, Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution states that an “Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.” (Clearly, the last eight words are subject to interpretation.)

By definition, a census is “the periodic official count of the number of persons and their condition and of the resources of a country.” Located within the Dept. of Interior in 1902, in 1903 it was transferred to the Commerce & Labor Dept and, for all practical purposes, is currently supervised by the White House.

Omitting Indians not taxed, the first census was conducted under the aegis of the State Department in August of 1790 and elicited the name & number of heads of households, the age & number of white males, the number of white females, the number of all other free persons, and the number of slaves who were counted, for purposes of apportionment, as three-fifths of a person. (Note: the 3/5 stipulation was subsequently removed by the 14th Amendment and the Attorney General ruled in 1940 that there were no longer any “untaxed” Indians in the USA.) Failure to cooperate with the census taker was punishable by a $20 fine. Failure of a census taker to properly record information or to submit a false return was punishable by a $200 - $800 fine.

Now conducted by law (13 USC 141) o/a April 1st every ten years, the Census elicits a relatively straightforward and unintrusive enumeration of persons residing within a particular residence: name, gender, age, race.

On the other hand, the mandatory and considerably more comprehensive American Community Survey (ACS) questionnaire, which is distributed to a randomly chosen 3,000,000 households, elicits not only the number of persons, but such things as the size of the house, personal disabilities, rental, insurance, property tax & utility expenses, sexual orientation, religion, marital & divorce status, education level, whether you own a vehicle or receive food stamps, occupants’ income, health insurance coverage, languages spoken, employment status, etc, etc.

Per Title 13, Section 221 of the US Code, refusal to answer any of the 11-page 48-question ACS subjects respondents to a fine equivalent to $100 per unanswered question and $500 per question answered untruthfully, up to an aggregate of $5,000.

It is important to note, however, that since Article 1, Sec 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution authorizes enumeration only, many constitutional experts opine that while the mechanical manner in which the enumeration is conducted is within the purview of Congress, asking a superfluity of questions beyond simple enumeration may be unconstitutional.

Importantly, the constitutionality of Title 13, Sec 221 itself has never been specifically challenged in court. As such, I suspect this is why the Census Bureau has, heretofore, not imposed any fines. However, the Census Bureau can be expected to dog noncompliant respondents in order to obtain a completed ACS questionnaire.

In any event, case law suggests lingering legal concerns.

In US v Moriarity (SDNY 1901), the district court ruled that the Constitution provides Congress the authority to collect “statistics” in the census “if necessary and proper” for the efficient exercise of other federal powers enumerated in the Constitution.

As early as 1870, the Supreme Court rendered unquestionable the authority of Congress to require both enumeration and collection of statistics.

In Morales v Daley (TX, 2000), another District Court ruled that there was “no limit” on the collection of additional data when necessary for efficient governance, adding that eliciting additional information did not violate a citizen’s right to privacy and speech.

Also, in Dept of Commerce v House of Representatives (1999), the Supreme Court described the census as “the linchpin of the federal system…collecting data on characteristics on individuals, households, and housing units throughout the country”, thus underscoring the importance of enumeration and the collection of statistics.

Obviously, the substance of those additional questions and statistics which may, in fact, be "necessary and proper" for efficient and constitutional governance remains essentially undefined. And that is the nub of the issue for me.

Thus, among others, Dr. Walter Williams, George Mason University, and Congresswoman Michele Bachman plan to provide only the number and names of the people in their household. Nothing more. If pressed by census takers, Dr. Williams counsels that respondents should exercise their 5th Amendment right to remain silent.

In reaction to the anger and trepidation of many Americans over what may be fairly construed as invasive ACS questioning, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) recently introduced HR 3131 which would make participation in the ACS strictly voluntary--except for the respondent’s name, contact info, date of response, and no. of person living or staying at the residence.

So, that’s my abbreviated take on the census issue. For me, concerns over the constitutionality and confidentiality of ACS questions necessarily linger. Thus, what course of action respondents take when confronted by what may in a court of law be properly and legally construed as unnecessarily invasive queries is really a matter of conscience and choice. As said,
the constitutionality of the ACS is certainly unsettled.

Friday, March 12, 2010

States Finally Pushing Back Against Federal Overreach

With so much corrosive overreaching coming at us these days from our Progressive overseers in DC, it’s difficult to sort it all out or to reasonably keep up. Of course, that barrage of encroachments may, in fact, be the Progressive’s strategy, i.e. so overwhelm Americans with a flurry of executive orders, strangulating regulations and legislative blitzkriegs that America’s transformation into a suffocating socialist state, or worse, becomes a fait accompli before “we the people” know what hit us.

Owing to the stunningly brazen Progressive assault on the Constitution over the past two years, I am now convinced more than ever that only if state governments unflinchingly assert their constitutional authority can the relentless and ruthless federal assault on our liberties and way of life be effectively thwarted.

In short, I’ve given up trying to keep up and report on the myriad incidences of unconstitutional overreaching imperiling our Republic. There's simply too much of it going on these days. So, now I'm looking to the states, our penultimate line of defense, to bring about some semblance of Constitutional order to the political and economic maelstrom in which we now find ourselves.

Leading that charge is Virginia which, on March 10th, outlawed health care “individual mandates”, a cornerstone of Obamacare. Hallelujah! Yes, the states are finally pushing back in earnest against federal violations of the enumerated powers provision as well as of the 10th Amendment. And I relish the hope that this is only the beginning. And so long as the states don’t lose their nerve or conspire to sell their citizens out for a piece of federal silver, America really can turn back the neo-Marxist tide. If not, the Constitution and our Founders vest"we the people" with the ultimate authority and responsibility for restoring constitutional order. Let's just pray that it doesn't need to come to that.

First, let us always remember that it is historically unassailable that it was the states which created the federal government, not the other way around, and that, by original design and intent, there is a clearly defined Constitutional separation of powers between the states and the national government. Fearing an overreaching and tyrannical federal authority, and striving to create a harmonious and effective balance of authority between the states and the feds, the framers were very careful to define the inviolable powers of both.

To advance their parochial interests, however, over the years courts and politicians have errantly interpreted—or, more precisely, MISinterpreted—the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause (Art VI, Clause 2), the Commerce Clause (Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 3), General Welfare Clause (Article 1, Sec 8), and the Necessary & Proper Clause (Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause18), in a manner which has been disturbingly and manifestly at odds with the framers’ clear and wholly unambiguous intentions. Unfortunately, the direct election of senators (17th Amendment) and increasingly generous federal pay-offs to the states have served to dramatically dilute state/local authority and to blur the constitutional distinction between state and federal power. The loser, of course, has been the Constitution which is now viewed by Progressives as both obsolete and inimicable to their socialist agenda.

So, what constitutional principle did Virginia advance by its action. As espoused by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799 respectively, it’s called “nullification”, a well-grounded Constitutional principle which upholds states rights and strict constructionism. And though folks on either side of the political spectrum may still debate its relevance in today’s post-Civil War world, by its very nature and intent nullification properly asserts the inviolable Constitutional separation of powers between the states and the federal government as envisaged by the 10th Amendment and the Constitution’s Enumerated Powers provision (Article 1, Section 8).

When a state nullifies a federal law as unconstitutional it is declaring the law in question “null and void” within the boundaries of that state. In effect, the state is abrogating or otherwise rendering that law inoperative or, more to the point, unenforceable within the confines of that state’s jurisdiction. However, as a practical matter--and absent armed rebellion or widespread civil disobedience/non-compliance--only if a bloc of state governments nullifies a federal law or order will the nullification action have any realistic hope of success. Again, let's pray that nullification eliminates the need for more forceful resolution.

Unquestionably, state authority is subordinate to that of federal authority—BUT, BUT, BUT only if the federal authority exercised is specifically and constitutionally granted per Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Obviously, ALL other powers are, per the 10th Amendment, clearly reserved to the states or to the people. In other words, an unconstitutional law emanating either from the state or the national government is not in and of itself supreme on either level, but only those laws which are constitutional. More simply put, neither states nor the federal government may assert powers not specifically granted to them by the Constitution of the United States. Pretty straightforward stuff, I’d say. And when self-serving ideologues and socio-political engineers of every stripe deliberately parse or misinterpret the meaning of Art 1, Sec 8 and the 10th Amendment in order to advance their extremist political goals, it is patently irresponsible, reckless and constitutionally indefensible.

So, where is the pushback occurring these days, and what issues are included in that pushback. Here’s a brief overview which, I think, will buoy the gloomiest of spirits among us:

Issue.........................................Passed One or Both...................... Signed Into
...............................................Legislative Chambers............................ Law

1.Prohibit Individual Healthcare
Mandate………………………….........ID, UT, OK, MO, TN, AZ………….........................VA
....................................................(AZ referendum set for Nov’10)............................................
*2. Firearms Freedom Act……….AZ, ID, OK, VA, AK, WA……….....................TN, UT, MT
.........................................................WY, CO, MN, ND, TX, KS...................................................
................................................MI, IN, OH, PA, WV, SC, MI, FL, NH........................................
(*…declares any firearms, ammunitions manufactured and retained in-state are beyond
the authority of Congress)

*3. Nullification of Federal Intrastate
Commerce Regulations…………………...........VA………………………………………........................
(*…asserts original meaning of commerce clause over wide areas of policy & effectively
nullifies federal laws & regulations that violate such limitations by regulating
commerce and other activities that are solely intrastate)

*4. Cap and Trade……………………....WA, AZ, OK, TN………………………………......................
(*…asserts that Cap & Trade is not authorized under the Commerce Clause, particularly
with respect to agriculture, manufacturing, mining, or land use or activities that merely
“substantially affected” commerce.)

*5. 10th Amendment
Resolution……………………….........AZ. KS, VA, UT, SC, ND....................WY, AL, AK, TN
..................................................................SD, OK, LA...............................................................
(*Do not have the force of law, but serve as a “notice & demand” to the federal
government to “cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their
constitutionally-delegated powers.)

This is but a sampling of current state initiatives intended to reassert states rights and to re-establish the constitutional balance of power between state and federal authority.

Also in the works are state resolutions and laws covering the following areas: State Sovereignty & Federal Tax Funds, Sheriff’s First Legislation, Federal Gun Laws Nullification, Real ID Act, etc. It’s almost as if the Founders, wailing from their graves and urging us on to retake our Republic are finally being heard. To say the least, the vitality and urgency of this pushback are remarkable and, indeed, encouraging. Interestingly, such nullification intensity hasn’t been seen since before the Civil War.

Clearly, the grassroots Tea Party Movement has provided momentum to the explosion of states rights initiatives. For this we should all be encouraged and, hopefully, energized. Short of rebellion, without the moral force and suasion of state governments and grassroots movements around the country, effectively checking the blatant excesses of the federal government will be, I’m afraid, impossible and tyranny will surely triumph. Thus, at every opportunity, I urge all good Americans, no matter their party label, to support and encourage these movements and initiatives. And only candidates who fully support constitutional and limited government should be actively supported.

Finally, I urge you all to monitor these movements and initiatives, and to become conversant with the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. Not only are these foundational documents intensely interesting, our better understanding and appreciating their timeless wisdom will enable us to properly educate ourselves and to persuasively alert others to the ruinous course upon which this Progressive-afflicted nation has embarked. For ourselves and future American generations, we must all help turn the statist tide.

And if we're not deeply troubled, even scared, by what's being perpetrated on our country, then we simply haven't been paying attention and are, therefore, shamefully complicit in its dissolutiion. And what will we tell our children then? Indeed, what will we be able to tell them?

("If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one." James Madison)

(“On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” Thomas Jefferson)

(“The Utopian schemes of leveling (redistribution of the wealth) and a community of goods (central ownership of all the means of production and distribution), are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the crown.” John Adams)

(“We have a Republic…if you can keep it.” Benjamin Franklin , Constitutional Convention, 1787)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Take on the Massa Interview

While Eric Massa has lost his congressional seat, like any of us in a delicate position, he doesn't want to lose his reputation in the process as well. Thus, his indignation and claims of innocence and victimization must be convincing if he is to avoid serious long-term personal damages. With that in mind, I viewed Glenn Beck's hastily arranged interview of Massa this afternoon.

First, Massa's claiming to be a victim of heavy-handed political retribution was entirely unconvincing.

While much of what he said rang credible and true, particularly his pleas for campaign finance reform (whatever that might entail), his stingingly negative characterizations of Rahm Emanuel, the relentless lobbying pressures brought to bear on congresspersons, and the soulessness of party leadership, I felt that his limited congressional experience provided little in the way of insightful or instructive disclosure.

Prodded by Beck to expose specific incidences of corruption and to suggest corrective courses of action, being a congressional neophyte (14 months on the job) and, thus, a political light weight, it was not surprising that Massa fell flat. Beck even apologized to his viewing audience for the interview's lack of significance.

Though Michelle Malkin's site described Massa as a "crapweasal" and "bottom-feeding opportunist", Mr. Massa struck me as a sadly and personally undisciplined guy who was way, way over his head. Completely out of his depth, he struck me as a guy who was trying to pick up the pieces as best he could, protect his backside and move on with his life, knowing full well that much more embarrassment to him and his family was surely in the offing.

The one substantive thing that jumped out at me was his assertion that even though he was a Progressive, he was also a serious "fiscal conservative". What?!? I M P O S S I B L E. His claim to be a legislative centrist was, at best, naive, and, at worst, either disingenuous or clueless. Obviously, Progressivism, fiscal conservativism and centrism are mutually exclusive, suggesting to me that Mr. Massa had been fundamentally bereft of a clear-headed and well-grounded political philosophy from the beginning.

So, I really learned nothing new about the horrors of D.C. or what the American people should specifically do about those horrors. What I did learn is that despite the litany of contradictory statements as to the reasons for his resignation, the interview was an embarrassing waste of time--both for him and for the viewers alike.

In truth, I honestly felt sorry for him. A tragic figure, he was clearly way out his league and, frankly, someone to be pitied more than condemned. In any event, I wish the man well and hope he and his family enjoy a peaceful and productive life.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Taking the Time to Thank Our Patriotic America-First Broadcasters

Buoyed by the liberating belief that "We the People" have finally got it, and are now more vigilant and protective of our liberties and way of life than I could have ever imagined possible just one short year ago, my self-imposed posting hiatus remains relatively intact.

Believing now that the people better understand the "hope and change" menace confronting us all, for the past 30+ days I simply haven't felt the urgency to raise the usual alarms by profiling those menaces on this or on other sites.

Though there are certainly a plethora of unsettling threats out there still generating some level of chomping at the bit on my part, e.g. the unconstitutional government takeover of healthcare, socialist infiltration at the highest levels of our national government, the ruthless progressive assault on our Constitution, economy and liberties, and the erosion of American military and economic power and prestige around the world, for the moment anyway I haven't felt the burning need to expound on those clear and present dangers. In any event, other bloggers more talented than I are doing a very fine job of expounding on those issues.

And while the spontaneous Tea Party Movement may properly be credited for this patriotic grassroots resurgence and awareness in America, in fairness we simply cannot overlook the many diligent conservative broadcasters out there, e.g. Andrew Wilkow, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Church, Quinn & Rose, Spencer Hughes, et. al, without whose scrupulous attention and analysis the American electorate would still be blindly and haplessly plodding on, unaware of the imminent threats to their way of life posed by an alarmingly disconnected and tyrannical government. Sure, these broadcasters are all well recompensed for their efforts, but we still owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for their public service.

That said, I'd be entirely remiss were I to violate my self-imposed, albeit temporary, silence without singling out Glenn Beck for special recognition.

To my humble way of thinking, Beck probably deserves the Medal of Freedom, or at the very least the Peabody or some such award, for the probing educational services he has rendered to the electorate of this great country.

When it comes to Beck, I honestly cannot recall when Americans have been better served by a mere media talking head and entertainer. And despite his flamboyance from time to time, I believe many fair-minded Americans might well agree with this positive assessment of his effectiveness.

Unencumbered by political correctness or myopic party loyalties, for the past several years in particular Beck has filled what would otherwise have been a perilous educational void which, had other principled American broadcasters not taken up the slack, would have surely served to blunt Americans' ability to distinguish fact from fiction and reality from illusion in the realm of government, history and current events.

Not an easy task for the most gifted and inspired pedagogue, Beck, but a self-educated and self-effacing mortal himself, has, to me, brilliantly managed to make social studies, history and current events fun, informative, relevant, and intensely interesting for everyone. But for their narrow progressive nearsightedness, many instructors in public and private schools and universities could well benefit from this maestro's example.

Relying on a thoroughly entertaining and self-deprecating delivery style, in graphic, probing and easy to understand detail Beck has consistently made "fair and balanced" investigative journalism and analysis an art form. It just can't get much better than that.

Relying on meticulous research, eschewing political correctness at every turn, and boldly inviting on-air reproval from both public and government viewers alike during his TV and radio broadcasts, Beck's common sense, penetrating, honest and enlightening analyses have, for me, characterized a man of superlative presentation skills and a broadcaster possessed of a genuine sense of humble and well-intended civic-mindedness. In short, he is a broadcaster who, like only the finest teachers among us, appears to care much more about informing opinions than in merely shaping them. And this is just what any people in any healthy democracy needs. As Thomas Jefferson said in 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 upon to set them to rights". And so it seems to be at this critical juncture in our nation's history.

And though I strongly disagree with Beck on one particular issue of enormous national importance, i.e. Obama's eligibility problem which Beck has only casually commented upon but which he has failed, so far, to properly research, for a inveterately busy and distracted citizenry unaccustomed to forming judgements based on anything but simple-minded sound bites, willful media disinformation and self-serving partisan talking points, on the whole I believe Beck's overall performance and his unique service to the people of this country have been nothing short of spectacular. Frankly, I have waited years for a media talking head who is truly committed to objectively educating and informing the American public at large, upon whom the republic's health is so utterly reliant. And in Glenn Beck I think we have found that man.

Finally, undergirding Beck's approach is his unapologetic commitment to reviving--not fundamentally transforming--the United States of America. And it this lofty and thoroughly American goal which remains the driving force behind his broadcasting efforts. Not to disparage other similarly skilled broadcasters, but as an American I couldn't be happier or more relieved to know that I can count on Beck for generally flawless, in-depth and objective research, analysis and education.

I sincerely thank Glenn Beck and his "traditional American" broadcasting compatriots for a job well done!

("An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight..." Thomas Jefferson)

("I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." Thomas Jefferson, 1820)

("The most effectual means of preventing the perversion of power into tyranny are to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts which history exhibits, that possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes." Thomas Jefferson, 1779)