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This Blog's Purpose
This blog's purpose is to shed light on the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, and to apply them to current and historical issues.
- Media on Giffords shooting: as with Kennedy in 1963
- How to Stop the TSA
- TSA Child Abuse
- Unconstitutional Methods of TSA
- Lincoln's Prophetic Warning Fulfilled NOW
- What Is Socialism?
- Tax Cuts for Whom? Tax Increase for Whom?
- Obama's "Unity" or "Division"
- Origin of the "Credit Crunch" - Wrong Answer
- National Defense, Iraq, and al Qaeda
- Health Care
- Attack on the First Amendment - Threat of Censorship
- Attack on the Second Amendment and the Right of Self Defense
- Attack on the Fifth Amendment - Abuse of Eminent Domain
- The Company You Keep
- Attack on Fifth Amendment Due Process
- Illegal Immigration
When Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot, some in the media immediately tried to blame the political "right." They claimed the Conservatives had created an atmosphere of hate, etc. This was before the culprit, who was not a Conservative, had been found. History repeats. This was the same as the reaction of the media in 1963 when President Kennedy was shot. They accused the Conservatives of creating an atmosphere of hate. Then the culprit was found, and behold, he was not a Conservative, but a Communist.
Trying to boycott the scans when at the airport will likely get you in trouble, rather than bring change at the TSA. Boycott the airlines. Stop flying. Use "Go to Meeting," or similar software, or drive or take the bus or the train. If we as a people did that, even for only a few days, the airline industry would be screaming at the TSA, and the abusive practices of the TSA would stop. Let the airports be empty for a day, and see what happens. The pressure that would be brought to bear on and then by Congress would be enormous. If we bring enough pressure on Congress we might be able to accomplish the same thing, but maybe not. They have ignored the will of the people frequently the last two years. But let the airlines be on the brink of financial disaster, and the risk of the entire industry collapsing would drive Congress to act.
I have just witnessed the video of the poor three year old girl suffering a "pat down" by the TSA. She is clinging to her mother and screaming, and crying "Stop touching me." That is child abuse. If it happened in any other venue, people would be going to prison. Have we as a nation sunk so low as to tolerate this kind of tyranny?!
The current methods used for airport security by the TSA are insulting, intrusive, and abusive. They are also unconstitutional. The Fourth Amendment states that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." Both by the full body scans and the full body pat downs, the TSA is conducting unreasonable searches, without probable cause, and violating the fundamental right of the people to be secure in their persons.
In Lincoln's 1838 Address to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, parts of which are quoted at length on the Lincoln page of this website, he uttered a clear warning that rings true today.
Lincoln warned that men of ambition would seek distinction and glory. He speaks of how the American experiment in freedom and republican constitutional government was successful. In the beginning of this experiment, for the Founders, "Their all was staked upon it; their destiny was inseparably linked with it." Once it had succeeded, the Founders began to pass from the scene, leaving the nation to new generations. "This field of glory is harvested, and the crop is already appropriated. But new reapers will arise, and they too will seek a field."
When men of ambition and ability would arise and seek distinction and glory, they would scorn to add more stories onto monuments already built to the fame of others. Their desire would "thirst and burn for distinction; and if possible, it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves or enslaving freemen. . . . And when such an one does [spring up among us], it will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the governmnet and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs. Distinction will be his paramount object, and although he would as willingly, perhaps more so, acquire it by doing good as harm, yet, that opportunity being past, and nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would set boldly to the task of pulling doesn." I would add, that to frustrate his designs, the people need to be attached to freedom and the Constitution.
Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are such people. Right now, they are seeking to take away our freedom and to pull down our Constitution--a Constitution that they have sworn to uphold. The "health care" bill is about power and control over other peoples lives. The methods being used to try to secure its passage are corrupt. Special deals for Florida, Nebraska, Louisiana, and who knows how many more. Apparently the proposal would outlaw private banks being able to offer student loans--WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH HEALTH CARE?--except for one bank in North Dakota. Pelosi wants to "deem" the Senate bill passed without a vote. That is a clear violation of the Constitution. The blatant nature of all the deals being made and the special provisions are very destructive. The corruption reminds me of that which occurred in Parliament before America separated from Britain. (See chapter two of America's History Revealed, or Thomas Fleming's The Man Who Dared the Lightning.) It is certainly in violation of the basic principle of "equal protection of the law."
Some have defined socialism as government ownership of the means of production. That definition is too narrow. While that is one form socialism can take, there are many others. We can describe it more accurately if we start from the goals of socialists. They want to control the distribution of production. Their ideal is not equal opportunity, but equal economic results. To that end, they want to take earnings from the more productive and give those earnings to the less productive, or to the nonproductive. This idea used to be called, "leveling." More modern usage calls it the "welfare state," or "spreading the wealth," or "redistribution of income."
The first immediate result of socialism is to destroy the incentive and initiative of the productive. If they cannot have that which they earn, why bother? Socialism generally brings economic failure. On the other hand, the Reagan tax cuts brought strong and long lasting economic growth. The same thing happened in Ireland when they cut taxes from among the highest in Europe, to among the lowest. America has long been the economic wonder of the world, because she has been the freest country in the world.
Socialism's basis is what Lincoln called, "the same spirit that says, 'you toil and work and earn bread, and I'll eat it.'" It comes from a desire for power, and to control other people's lives and the fruit of other people's labor. (See our page on Lincoln.)
Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland said it well: "the individual--the man--has three great rights, equally sacred from arbitrary interference; the RIGHT TO HIS LIFE, the RIGHT TO HIS LIBERTY, and the RIGHT TO HIS PROPERTY. The three rights are so bound together as to be essentially ONE right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes life worth living. To give him liberty but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave."
Socialism destroys freedom.
For years some have repeated the lie that the Bush tax cuts were only for the rich, when they were cuts across the board. As a result of these cuts at all levels, there are now about 40% of America's people who file returns, but pay no income tax. None. The lie will remain a lie, regardless of how often repeated.
Now Obama claims that he will cut income taxes for 95% of Americans. This is Orwellian calling things what they are not. Lincoln once asked, "If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a sheep have?" The answer is four. "You can call a tail a leg, but that doesn't make it one." When 40% pay no income tax, you cannot give 95% a tax cut. Personally, I would call that a lie. What he is proposing is to give that 40% a check. That is not a tax cut, nor is it a tax credit. That's "welfare," or a "subsidy," or more precisely, it is what the great advocate for liberty, Frederic Bastiat, called "legal plunder." (Frederic Bastiat, 1801-1850, French statesman, author of The Law, What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen, etc.)
Now under Obama's plan, who gets a tax increase? We don't know. The figures keep changing. First he said those who make over $300,000 per year. Then he changed it to $250,000. Then he said, $200,000. Then Biden said, $150,000. The figure is dropping--rapidly. To pay for all the new spending that he wants, either the figure will have to drop a lot lower, or he will pay for it with massive deficit spending with new money. Then we will all suffer, paying for his programs by extreme inflation, loss of jobs, and a sinking economy.
Jefferson warned about those who would ""purchase the voices of the people, and make them pay the price."
For months, Obama has claimed that he will "unite" the country. He talks a lot about our need for "unity" instead of "division." It's difficult to conceive of a sillier hoax. Obama cannot unite this country. His recent comments about "spreading the wealth," his comments about "redistributive change" from the 2001 interview, and his plan for "tax cuts" for those who don't pay taxes, all show the true basis for his proposed programs. Noone can unify with a socialist program based on government theft and class warfare, enmity and oppression. He could only achieve even a surface appearance of unity by using government force to suppress dissent. My post below on the threat of censorship discusses how prominent Democrats plan to suppress dissent. Obama's claims make me wonder if he has more in mind than bludgeoning his opponents into silence with the "Censorship Doctrine" (that is, the so-called "Fairness Doctrine").
Obama is a divider. Independent groups rate him the most extreme left member of the U.S. Senate. This man is dangerous.
The origin of this "credit crunch" goes back to the Clinton years. Democrats especially, pushed for government to force banks to make loans to those the banks thought unqualified. Hence, they made laws and rules to that effect. Now many of the loans made between then and now are in trouble. Those who received some of these loans were poor risks, and are not repaying the loans. The bad loans put the banks in trouble, because they aren't recovering the money they loaned out. That means they can't repay their depositors. Four years ago, John McCain saw this coming, and urged new regulations for Fannie May and Freddie Mac. He said that if this were not done, that the taxpayers would end up stuck with the bill for these bad loans. Democrats in Congress fought against his idea. They said everything was fine with Fannie and Freddie. It wasn't, and McCain has been proven right. Meanwhile, two of the men who made millions while in prominent positions with those entities, are now "economic advisors" to Obama. I would say, that's putting the fox in charge of the hen house. My wife puts it differently: that's putting the inmates in charge of the asylum.
I'm not convinced that the government bailout is the right thing to do. Aside from that, however, is the question of how the bailout money is used. Using it to buy stock in the banks is the wrong way to go. First, it points the way toward nationalization of the private banks--socialism. Bush says the government ownership of this stock is temporary. He does not intend to nationalize the banks. But Bush will only be in office for another three months. Second, it does nothing directly for the credit market. Buying stock may help the stock market, but it does not add liquidity to the credit market. It could only add liquidity, if this were newly issued stock purchased directly from the banks. That, of course, would dilute the holdings of current shareholders.
The big question is, what would that $700 billion dollars do for the economy, if left in the private hands of the taxpayers? We don't know, because whatever they would do with it will be prevented. There's a good chance that it would do more good.
The single most important fact under this heading is this: al Qaeda has not succeeded in launching a terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001. We cannot doubt that they would have done so, if they had been able to do so.
Some have denied that there was any connection between Iraq under Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. That is a falsehood. No matter how many times it is repeated, it will remain a falsehood. Evidence of the ties between the Saddam Hussein regime and terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, is extensive, conclusive and irrefutable. After the first bombing of the world trade center by al Qaeda in 1993, an Iraqi participant escaped to Iraq with the assistance of the Iraqi government. They harbored other terrorists. They gave money to support an al Qaeda affiliate in the Phillipines. That al Qaeda affiliate had frequent contact with the Iraqi embassy there, including in the time just before an attempted bombing. When Federal Judge Gilbert S. Merritt was in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, he was shown an important document. It identified an Iraqi government agent in Pakistan responsible for coordination with al Qaeda. The document was signed by Saddam's son Uday.
In the first Gulf War, the U.S. and Britain drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait. To end the war, the Iraqi regime made an agreement with us. They did not keep it. In violation of that agreement, they fired on U.S. and British planes more than 750 times.
Saddam Hussein's Baath Party traces its origin back to Nazi Germany, with some tweaks along the way from the influence of Russian Communism. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, whose government committed mass murders. We do not know the number of deaths, but we have found the remains of more than 400,000 people in mass graves. We do not owe anyone an apology for removing such a man, and such a regime, from power.
Oh yes. And in spite of people like Harry Reid who said the war was lost, the surge is working.
Unless you are serving in the U.S. military, or receive health care benefits as an employee of the U.S. government, providing your health care is not a function of the federal government. Look through Article I Section 8, and a few other parts of the Constitution, at the powers delegated by the people to Congress. You will not find it there. Clauses 1 and 3 of Article I Section 8 have been greatly abused. I may write a future blog on that subject. Quite apart from that, why would anyone want government, which does so many things poorly, to take over health care. The more involved government becomes in it, the worse it gets. One of the things that drives up the cost of health insurance is government mandates. Typically, most, if not all, of the states require insurance companies to offer or include certain kinds of coverage. Every time you add another coverage, you force the cost to go up. If the state mandates coverage for mental health, or drug abuse treatment, the cost for everyone under that plan goes up, even though most will never need such coverage.
Government run health care destroys the quality and availability of health care. Many from other countries with such programs come to the U.S. for treatment, because they cannot get care in their home country. If the U.S. adopts a similar program, where will they go? Where will we go?
Canada provides a good example. Canadian Mark Steyn reports that "public health care in Canada depends on private health care in the U.S." He cites the case of a Canadian woman who gave birth to quadruplets, in Great Falls, Montana. "Health officials checked every other neonatal intensive care unit in Canada, but none had space." So the woman flew 300 miles to the nearest U.S. facility in order to get care. He continues, "Everyone know that socialized health care means you wait and wait and wait--six months for an MRI, a year for a hip replacement, and so on. But here is the absolute logical reductio of a government monopoly in health care: the ten month waiting list for the maternity ward."
(Quotes from Mark Steyn from a lecture September 29, 2007, found in Imprimis, January 2008, Volume 37, Number 1; reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.)
A number of prominent Democrats, in anticipation of winning the Presidency and controlling Congress at the same time, are planning to bring back the so called "Fairness Doctrine." As this doctrine operated a few decades ago, broadcasters on the radio were required to give free air time to advocates of different points of view, if they broadcasted anything controversial. The practical result was to restrict the content. The purpose in bringing back this doctrine is not fairness, nor balance, but censorship. It can truly be called the "Censorship Doctrine."
The purpose of its advocates is to destroy conservative talk radio. They will likely try to do the same thing to conservative blogs on the internet. They talk as if their concern is to assure the presentation of news and commentary from different points of view. The absurdity of that claim is immediately apparent, when we consider that the mainstream media--abc, msnbc, cbs, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, etc.--are all dominated by the political left. When Dan Rather and CBS publicized forged documents that were intended to bring disrepute on the military service of George W. Bush, it was the blogs who first exposed the fraud. It was then taken up by talk radio. Eventually CBS was forced to retract. The existance of this variety of outlets provides a healthier environment for political discussion and keeping everyone honest. Hence, the real purpose of the would be censors is to assure that only one side is presented--the left side. This is a clear assault on free speech and the first amendment.
One of the most fundamental of all human rights is the right to self defense. It is only the existance of this right that justifies the existance of government. Every person has the right to use force to defend his or her person, liberty, and property. Government is the organization of this individual right into a collective force to defend persons, liberty, and property. This right lies behind the Second Amendment, which specifies that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." The part of the amendment just quoted is an independent clause that can stand on its own. Preceding that clause, it says, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state," which is a dependent clause that cannot stand on its own. Those who try to make the dependent clause dictate the meaning of the independent clause, try to make the tail wag the dog. It is logically untenable.
When this was written, the militia included every able bodied man, and they were expected to provide their own arms. One of the purposes of the militia is to maintain freedom. To that end, it is to be made up of an armed populace, to serve as an obstacle to the erection of a tyrannical government. Tyrannies always seek to disarm the people. The National Guard is not the militia; it was created under Article I Section 8 Clause 12 of the Constitution, which authorizes Congress to create armies.
In the recent case of D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Second Amendment, and the fact that it protects an individual right to own firearms. The District of Columbia enacted an ordinance effectively disarming its law abiding citizens, and outlawing self defense. Even if you were one of the few who owned a gun, the ordinance required the gun to be kept in an inoperable condition, even in the owner's home. No wonder crime multiplied in D.C.; the citizens could not defend themselves. Such a law encourages crime. Criminals do not abide by gun laws. They are criminals; they do not respect law. Will the police protect you? In most cases, no. They usually will not be able to respond quickly enough. In D.C. some years back, victims brought suit against the city, after police ignored repeated urgent calls for help, for something like 14 hours. A D.C. judge ruled that the police had no obligation to protect the citizens. On the other hand, in several places, such as Florida, when strong concealed carry laws have taken effect, crime has gone down. Criminals do not want to face an armed citizen, prepared to defend himself or herself.
The justices who ruled in favor of freedom and the Constitution were Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Chief Justice Roberts, and this time at least, Kennedy. Those dissenting justices who would have ruled against freedom and the Constitution, and in favor of disarming Americans, were Breyer, Bader-Ginsberg, Souter and Stevens. We need more justices like those in the majority in this case. It may be that neither candidate for President would appoint such justices, but it's possible with McCain. Obama would give us more like Breyer and Bader-Ginsberg. Obama favored the D.C. gun ban, voted against confirmation of Justices Alito and Roberts, and when in the Illinois state legislature, voted to allow the prosecution of people who use a firearm for self defense in their own home. McCain has supported the right of self defense and the right to keep and bear arms.
Governments around the country, especially cities, are abusing the power of eminent domain to seize homes, farms, factories, churches and businesses. They are seizing them not for public use, but to give to other private entities, typically because they think a Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, or some other new development will bring more sales tax revenue. The Fifth Amendment from our Bill of Rights states, "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." This was made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court in the case of Kelo v. New London (2005), and in earlier cases such as Berman v. Parker (1954) and Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff (1984), has given government virtual carte blanche to take any property they please for any purpose whatsoever. The court has replaced the words "public use" with "public purpose," and have allowed virtually anything as justification of "public purpose." In essence, the court has amended the Constitution, without authority to do so.
They claim in theory to still deny the right of government to take property from one private party to give to another particular private party; but in practice they always rule in favor of the seizure. Hence, the claim is worthless. The offending justices in the Kelo case were: Stevens, Breyer, Bader-Ginsberg, Souter, and Kennedy. Those who stood up for freedom and the Constitution were Thomas, Scalia, O'Connor, and Chief Justice Rehnquist. O'Connor wrote a dissent of mixed quality, part good, part rather lame. Thomas wrote a masterful dissent. We need more justices like those who dissented. It may be that neither presidential candidate will appoint such justices, but it is possible with McCain. Obama will give us more along the lines of Breyer and Bader-Ginsberg.
The associates of Obama make up the worst collection of associates of a President or a presidential candidate in my memory. Worse even than Jenkins, Bobby Baker and Billy Sol Estes, the corrupt associates of Lyndon Johnson. To find a collection as ominous, one must go back to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, whose close associates in government included numerous men identified (in the Venona Papers, or by agents of the KGB) as communists--traitors and Soviet agents--such as Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, Lauchlin Currie, Harry Hopkins, etc. In Obama's case, his associates include his racist, America haiting minister of twenty years, a former member of the PLO, and terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn.
Obama has changed his explanations of these associations. Bill Ayers was not a casual acquaintance. He and Obama served on the same board for years, gave public speeches together, and have known each other for fifteen to twenty years. Obama chose this association. He chose his long association with Reverend Wright and his church. In Obama's own writing, he has spoken of carefully choosing his associates in college, including Marxist professors. Given that, and the long associations with Wright, Ayers, and Dorn, it is highly probable, that these radicals reflect the mindset of Obama himself.
The national government some years ago adopted a law known as RICO, purportedly to suppress racketeering and "corrupt organizations." A number of the states have adopted similar laws. One of the features of these laws is government seizure of the property of accused persons, prior to a conviction. Governments have also seized property suspected of being used for illegal activities. The owner may be completely innocent; nothing has yet been proven in a court of law. The owner may even be ignorant of the illegal activity. In the case of some of these seizures, the property seized has not even belonged to the person accused, but to a son or daughter, or a tenant, etc. On this basis they seize homes, cars, money, apartment buildings, etc. This is a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment's mandate that "No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Such laws should be amended or repealed.
The Declaration refers to the need for laws for the naturalization of foreigners, and complains of the king's obstruction of such laws. The Constitution gives Congress the power to "establish an uniform rule of naturalization." The common principles are the willingness to accept some immigration and for these legal immigrants to have ways to become naturalized citizens, and the need for this process to be governed by law. There are limits as to how many immigrants we can accept at a time, and still be able to assimilate them and retain our character as a free country. Now we have a flood of immigrants coming into the country illegally. We need to enforce the law, and to secure the border.
When illegal immigrants are referred to as "undocumented workers," you can be sure that the speaker does not want the border secured, and wants the illegal entries to continue. Why? Many on the political left want the flow of illegals to continue, and to make them citizens and give them the vote. They believe it will allow them to gain permanent power. (They want felons to vote also, and for the same reason.) It is easy to sympathize with those who come up from Mexico out of desperation, because of the lack of freedom and economic opportunity there. However, not only are they breaking our law, but many of the illegals now show a different attitude from those who came before them. They lack respect not only for our law, but for the United States; they show no desire to assimilate nor to learn the language; they have the arrogance to make "demands," when they do not even have a right to be here, and they march through our streets with Mexican flags. To turn this country into a clone of Mexico would mean destroying our economy, our Constitution, and our freedom.
Note: All prices in US Dollars
What Other Histories Won't Tell You
Principles of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, to keep America Free