1.) The Bible – Both Old And New Testaments
2.) The Unanimous Declaration Of The Thirteen United States Of America – aka The Declaration Of Independence
3.) The Constitution Of The United States Of America
— The Following 17 Are Submitted In No Particular Order Of Importance —
Magna Carta Libertatum
The Principia: Mathematical Principles Of Natural Philosophy (Isaac Newton)
The Wealth Of Nations (Adam Smith)
The Republic (Plato)
Relativity: The Special And The General Theory (Albert Einstein)
The Road To Serfdom (Friedrich Hayek)
Common Sense, The Rights Of Man And Other Essential Writings (Thomas Paine)
The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare
The Histories (Herodotus)
The Art Of War (Sun Tzu)
The Iliad/The Odyssey (Homer)
The Divine Comedy (Dante Alighieri)
Thus Spake Zarathustra (Friedrich Nietzsche)
The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)
Leviathan (Thomas Hobbes)
The Prince (Niccolò Machiavelli)
A Treatise Of Human Nature (David Hume)
Anyone at all familiar with Thomas Jefferson is well aware of our third president’s vital influence on the crafting of the American Constitution. While Jefferson is primarily known as the chief author of the Declaration of Independence and James Madison is primarily known as the early architect of what would become our Constitution and the prime mover behind the Bill of Rights, the two men were close friends, lived not very far apart in Virginia, and kept regular correspondence.
Jefferson and Madison were of like political minds, and during the Constitutional Convention, while Jefferson was across an ocean as U.S. Minister to France, the two men enjoyed an intense and productive correspondence about what the U.S. Constitution should look like.
My media hero of the week (more on this below), USA Today editor David Mastio, accurately sums up the rest of the story:
After the Constitution Convention was over, Jefferson had this other idea called a “Bill of Rights,” which you might have heard is a part of the Constitution. Jefferson sorta played a key role in all that First Amendment, Second Amendment stuff. If you don’t believe me, go ask the American Civil Liberties Union, which is big on rights like free speech and freedom of religion.
Saith the ACLU: “The American Bill of Rights, inspired by Jefferson and drafted by James Madison, was adopted, and in 1791 the Constitution’s first 10 amendments became the law of the land.”
The ACLU even quotes Jefferson’s argument: “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”
To get the basics of Jefferson’s role in the creation of the Bill of Rights, which are, as I mentioned, a pretty important part of the Constitution, all you have to do is read the Spark Notes version. Or you can get it in easy Q&A format from the U.S. Archives.
Not to take anything away from Mr. Mastio, who did a righteous thing defending Ben Carson, but none of this is a secret, or hidden history. It’s not even deep-dive history. Anyone who has picked up a biography of Jefferson or Madison is well aware of this.
Apparently, the following news outlets – CNN, Politico, and the Washington Post – have not picked up that biography, or they are intentionally smearing Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson… again.
During a Monday appearance on C-Span, Carson said, quite correctly, that he admired Jefferson primarily for his role in helping to craft the Constitution:
But I’m particularly impressed with Thomas Jefferson, who seemed to have very deep insight into the way that people would react and tried to craft our Constitution in a way that it would control people’s national tendencies and control the natural growth of the government.
The reaction from the DC Media on Twitter was not just instantaneously ignorant, it was fantastically ignorant. Within moments my Twitter stream was buried in smug reporters laughing and dehumanizing the black apostate conservative who doesn’t – har, har – know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Except, as Mr. Mastio points out, they are all wrong.
One-hundred percent wrong.
Rather than crack open a book or use that Google-thingy right in front of them, Politico, The Washington Post, and CNN actually went so far as to publish stories claiming Carson got it wrong.
Worse still, but to no one’s surprise, all three outlets have refused to properly correct their provable errors.
Politico’s Nolan McCaskill:
Carson says, wrongly, that Thomas Jefferson crafted the Constitution…
The problem: Jefferson crafted the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. In fact, Carson noted Jefferson’s absence in his book, “A More Perfect Union,” writing that he was “missing in action” during the birth of the Constitution as he served abroad as ambassador to France.
I’ve reached out to McCaskill to ask if he is going to correct his post. As of now, he has not responded. This is the same Politico that admitted to lying (only after being caught) about Carson’s West Point story.
CNN’s Gregory Krieg:
Carson flubs Thomas Jefferson’s role in the Constitution…
But as the Washington Post noted Monday morning, Jefferson was a no-show at the Constitutional Convention and was instead an ocean away in Paris as Minister to France, while his North American-based colleagues were crafting the foundational document.
I’ve reached out to Krieg to ask if he intends to correct his story. As of now, he has not yet responded. This is the same CNN that published racially-motivated serial lies about key elements in Carson’s biography.
Via Twitter, Mastio tells me CNN did update the piece. Nevertheless, the incorrect headline remains.
Washington Post’s Fred Barbash:
Ben Carson, author of book about the Constitution, incorrectly states that Thomas Jefferson crafted it…
That did not stop Carson from praising Jefferson in a C-Span interview Sunday as one of the most impressive of the Founding Fathers because he “tried to craft our Constitution in a way that it would control peoples’ natural tendencies and control the natural growth of the government.”
I’ve reached out to Barbask to ask if he intends to correct his story. As of now, he has not responded. This is the same Washington Post that lied about Carson comparing Syrian refugees to rabid dogs.
When the entire media has risen up and proclaimed that This Is The Narrative, it cannot be easy for one of their own to say, “Actually, uhm, you’re 100% wrong.” The USA Today’s David Mastio deserves enormous credit for publishing the truth and doing so using the mockery deserved.
According to a Defense Department approved “sexism course,” the Bible, the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence all contribute to modern sexism.
Those three cherished texts all count as “historical influences that allow sexism to continue,” according to a presentation prepared by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, whose mission is to give a ”world-class human relations education.”
According to the course, the Bible has “quotes” which can be interpreted as sexist by readers.
The Declaration of Independence is also an historical cause of sexism, as the document refers only to “all men” – not “men and women.”
And the Constitution, the Pentagon argues, is an historical source of sexism because “slaves and women were not included until later in history.”
Of course, members of the Armed Forces take an oath to defend the Constitution – which is, according to the DEOMI course, an “historical influence that allows sexism to continue.”
“The content of the lesson is provided to generate academic discussion concerning how these historical documents have been included in discussions about the topic of sexism,” Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Defense Department spokesman, told The Daily Caller.
But following TheDC’s request for comment, the sexism course – as well as two other courses listed on DEOMI’s website, entitled “Prejudice & Discrimination” and “Racism” – were taken offline.
“This course is currently offline and under revision,” a notice says under all three courses.
Asked about the sudden update, Christensen replied, “DEOMI online materials are periodically pulled to review to ensure accuracy and relevance. The racism, sexism and Prejudice & Discrimination are currently undergoing that review process.”
TheDC obtained copies of all three courses prior to their removal.
The “Prejudice & Discrimination” course was recently required for some Navy personnel who work in hospitals and clinics.
In the course, discrimination is divided into two categories: institutional and individual. Institutions can be a source of discrimination, as well as actions – or inaction – made by individuals.
Institutional discrimination, according to the DEOMI course, can be found in employment, education, housing and the military.
Examples of institutional discrimination in employment, according to DEOMI, are education requirements for employment:
The course teaches, “Individuals who have been segregated to inferior schools cannot find employment in businesses that hire according to specified credentials that inferior schools do not offer.”
Therefore, when employers institute education qualifications for prospective employees, they are engaging in a form of discrimination.
The DEOMI states more examples of institutional discrimination can be found in education:
Academic tests “may have inherent cultural bias,” the presentation argues.
Textbooks also perpetuate discrimination since they “provide little or no information on minority groups, especially minority histories and the contributions that minorities have made to American culture.”
DEOMI teaches students that they can also contribute to discrimination on an individual level.
The presentation asserts individuals can perpetrate discrimination through both active and inactive ways, including “refusing to acknowledge one’s own privilege.”
Active contributions to discrimination include verbal and physical assault, as well as “considering prejudices and discrimination to be a thing of a past.”
Inactive discrimination, according to DEOMI, includes failing to acknowledge personal “privilege.”
In the glossary provided by the course, “privilege” is defined as “a special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste.”
By an individual refusing to believe that he is inherently better off than another person as a result of his race or gender, DEOMI teaches that the individual is engaging in an act of discrimination.
At the same time, it is also viewed as inactive discrimination if an individual believes “you have experienced and fully understand the oppression of the target group.”
In addition to the presentation on “Prejudice & Discrimination,” DEOMI offers a broader course on the topic of “Racism.”
In the “Racism” presentation, individuals are cautioned against using “antilocution” — or using phrases that could have a racial connotation.
The graphic which accompanies the slide lists an array of naughty words, including “white men can’t jump” and “Jew.”
According to the presentation, the Defense Department also bans the word ”Redskin” — pitting the Pentagon against its hometown NFL team.
Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen said information in the DEOMI courses accurately reflects Department of Defense policy: “The Department of Defense Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity [ODMEO] in collaboration with the Military services review DEOMI’s education and training materials designed for Equal Opportunity Advisors [EOAs] to ensure that DoD policy is accurately reflected. DEOMI staff develops, in coordination with the ODMEO and the Military Services, standardized training templates to ensure only approved training materials are used during local training sessions.”
“While there is no DoD Policy that requires persons to take these online courses,” Christensen told TheDC, since 2011, 2,075 Department of Defense personnel took the “Sexism” course, 3,448 took the “Prejudice & Discrimination” course, and 3,028 took the “Racism” course.
Several Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) Penn State student activists were tabling for their organization in celebration of Constitution Day on Wednesday.
Jolie Davis, chair of her YAF Chapter, had copies of the Constitution as well as literature at the table informing students of Penn State’s “speech code” policies. On the 8,500 acres of Penn State, there are only 12 small spaces designated as “Free Speech Zones” on campus. The organization’s table, located outside of the Hetzel Union Building (HUB), had a poster that read “Free Speech Banned at Penn State.”
After an hour or so of tabling, the YAF table was approached by campus security personnel, who told Jolie to take the table down. Jolie pressed the official with questions, asking why she had to take down her table. The campus security officer replied, “You can’t have a table but you can pass out flyers.” It is important to note that the area in which Davis was tabling was a “designated free speech zone.”
Davis and other activists decided to film the whole encounter. Once the official realized he was being recorded, he said, “It’s not going to help your cause to put this on video.” The official brought two more people from the college with him, one of them from Student Affairs, where they explained to Davis that she needed to reserve the space. She asked why she would have to reserve the space since it is a “designated free speech zone.” The college representatives told her she could go inside and discuss the policy. However, when she did, the officials hurried away.
Davis and other YAF activists have tabled at this exact location before; the only difference this time was now her organization was highlighting Penn State’s ridiculous speech code policies. Davis said, “At Penn State not all free speech is created equal.”
Apparently, it isn’t enough to restrict students’ free speech rights on campus because now students’ rights are restricted even in designated free speech zones.
Sen. Jefferson Sessions – 71%
Sen. Richard Shelby – 64%
Dist.2: Martha Roby – 61%
Dist.3: Mike Rogers – 54%
Dist.4: Robert Aderholt – 57%
Dist.5: Mo Brooks – 73%
Dist.6: Spencer Bachus – 53%
Dist.7: Terri Sewell – 15%
Sen. Mark Begich – 15%
Sen. Lisa Murkowski – 50%
Dist.: Don Young – 56%
Sen. Jeff Flake – 81%
Sen. John McCain – 63%
Dist.1: Ann Kirkpatrick – 23%
Dist.2: Ron Barber – 13%
Dist.3: Raul Grijalva – 29%
Dist.4: Paul Gosar – 75%
Dist.5: Matt Salmon – 73%
Dist.6: David Schweikert – 83%
Dist.7: Ed Pastor – 22%
Dist.8: Trent Franks – 75%
Dist.9: Kyrsten Sinema – 15%
Sen. John Boozman – 55%
Sen. Mark Pryor – 20%
Dist.1: Eric Crawford – 61%
Dist.2: Tim Griffin – 65%
Dist.3: Steve Womack – 58%
Dist.4: Tom Cotton – 60%
Sen. Dianne Feinstein – 13%
Sen. Barbara Boxer – 14%
Dist.1: Doug LaMalfa – 65%
Dist.2: Jared Huffman – 35%
Dist.3: John Garamendi – 14%
Dist.4: Tom McClintock – 93%
Dist.5: Mike Thompson – 20%
Dist.6: Doris Matsui – 20%
Dist.7: Ami Bera – 10%
Dist.8: Paul Cook – 55%
<Dist.9: Jerry McNerney – 15%
Dist.10: Jeff Denham – 60%
Dist.11: George Miller – 24%
Dist.12: Nancy Pelosi – 17%
Dist.13: Barbara Lee – 28%
Dist.14: Jackie Speier – 23%
Dist.15: Eric Swalwell – 35%
Dist.16: Jim Costa – 18%
Dist.17: Michael Honda – 23%
Dist.18: Anna Eshoo – 20%
Dist.19: Zoe Lofgren – 24%
Dist.20: Sam Farr – 22%
Dist.21: David Valadao – 40%
Dist.22: Devin Nunes – 55%
Dist.23: Kevin McCarthy – 68%
Dist.24: Lois Capps – 21%
Dist.25: Howard McKeon – 51%
Dist.26: Julia Brownley – 10%
Dist.27: Judy Chu – 21%
Dist.28: Adam Schiff – 18%
Dist.29: Tony Cardenas – 31%
Dist.30: Brad Sherman – 21%
Dist.31: Gary Miller – 60%
Dist.32: Grace Napolitano – 22%
Dist.33: Henry Waxman – 19%
Dist.34: Xavier Becerra – 20%
Dist.35: Gloria Negrete McLeod – 33%
Dist.36: Raul Ruiz – 15%
Dist.37: Karen Bass – 24%
Dist.38: Linda Sanchez – 24%
Dist.39: Edward Royce – 73%
Dist.40: Lucille Roybal-Allard – 21%
Dist.41: Mark Takano – 30%
Dist.42: Ken Calvert – 51%
Dist.43: Maxine Waters – 27%
Dist.44: Janice Hahn – 33%
Dist.45: John Campbell – 71%
Dist.46: Loretta Sanchez – 26%
Dist.47: Alan Lowenthal – 30%
Dist.48: Dana Rohrabacher – 76%
Dist.49: Darrell Issa – 52%
Dist.50: Duncan Hunter – 76%
Dist.51: Juan Vargas – 30%
Dist.52: Scott Peters – 15%
Dist.53: Susan Davis – 17%
Sen. Michael Bennet – 10%
Sen. Mark Udall – 21%
Dist.1: Diana DeGette – 19%
Dist.2: Jared Polis – 25%
Dist.3: Scott Tipton – 76%
Dist.4: Cory Gardner – 72%
Dist.5: Doug Lamborn – 78%
Dist.6: Mike Coffman – 75%
Dist.7: Ed Perlmutter – 15%
Sen. Christopher Murphy – 15%
Sen. Richard Blumenthal – 10%
Dist.1: John Larson – 21%
Dist.2: Joe Courtney – 17%
Dist.3: Rosa DeLauro – 20%
Dist.4: James Himes – 11%
Dist.5: Elizabeth Esty – 25%
Sen. Thomas Carper – 14%
Sen. Chris Coons – 11%
Dist.: John Carney – 11%
Sen. Marco Rubio – 78%
Sen. Bill Nelson – 14%
Dist.1: Jeff Miller – 69%
Dist.2: Steve Southerland – 73%
Dist.3: Ted Yoho – 85%
Dist.4: Ander Crenshaw – 52%
Dist.5: Corrine Brown – 20%
Dist.6: Ron DeSantis – 85%
Dist.7: John Mica – 57%
Dist.8: Bill Posey – 88%
Dist.9: Alan Grayson – 23%
Dist.10: Daniel Webster – 64%
Dist.11: Richard Nugent – 69%
Dist.12: Gus Bilirakis – 62%
Dist.14: Kathy Castor – 11%
Dist.15: Dennis Ross – 78%
Dist.16: Vern Buchanan – 58%
Dist.17: Thomas Rooney – 73%
Dist.18: Patrick Murphy – 20%
Dist.19: Trey Radel – 70%
Dist.20: Alcee Hastings – 23%
Dist.21: Theodore Deutch – 14%
Dist.22: Lois Frankel – 25%
Dist.23: Debbie Wasserman Schultz – 15%
Dist.24: Frederica Wilson – 21%
Dist.25: Mario Diaz-Balart – 46%
Dist.26: Joe Garcia – 15%
Dist.27: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – 42%
Sen. John Isakson – 53%
Sen. Saxby Chambliss – 59%
Dist.1: Jack Kingston – 63%
Dist.2: Sanford Bishop – 28%
Dist.3: Lynn Westmoreland – 73%
Dist.4: Henry Johnson – 17%
Dist.5: John Lewis – 25%
Dist.6: Tom Price – 73%
Dist.7: Rob Woodall – 67%
Dist.8: Austin Scott – 73%
Dist.9: Doug Collins – 68%
Dist.10: Paul Broun – 90%
Dist.11: Phil Gingrey – 65%
Dist.12: John Barrow – 31%
Dist.13: David Scott – 20%
Dist.14: Tom Graves – 82%
Sen. Brian Schatz – 5%
Sen. Mazie Hirono – 12%
Dist.1: Colleen Hanabusa – 20%
Dist.2: Tulsi Gabbard – 40%
Sen. James Risch – 85%
Sen. Michael Crapo – 68%
Dist.1: Raul Labrador – 89%
Dist.2: Michael Simpson – 55%
Sen. Mark Kirk – 34%
Sen. Richard Durbin – 11%
Dist.1: Bobby Rush – 23%
Dist.2: Robin Kelly – 26%
Dist.3: Daniel Lipinski – 20%
Dist.4: Luis Gutierrez – 21%
Dist.5: Mike Quigley – 16%
Dist.6: Peter Roskam – 69%
Dist.7: Danny Davis – 24%
Dist.8: Tammy Duckworth – 15%
Dist.9: Janice Schakowsky – 23%
Dist.10: Bradley Schneider – 15%
Dist.11: Bill Foster – 13%
Dist.12: William Enyart – 20%
Dist.13: Rodney Davis – 65%
Dist.14: Randy Hultgren – 73%
Dist.15: John Shimkus – 53%
Dist.16: Adam Kinzinger – 59%
Dist.17: Cheri Bustos – 17%
Dist.18: Aaron Schock – 67%
Sen. Joe Donnelly – 23%
Sen. Daniel Coats – 71%
Dist.1: Peter Visclosky – 28%
Dist.2: Jackie Walorski – 55%
Dist.3: Marlin Stutzman – 80%
Dist.4: Todd Rokita – 71%
Dist.5: Susan Brooks – 55%
Dist.6: Luke Messer – 65%
Dist.7: André Carson – 16%
Dist.8: Larry Bucshon – 67%
Dist.9: Todd Young – 60%
Sen. Thomas Harkin – 14%
Sen. Charles Grassley – 61%
Dist.1: Bruce Braley – 19%
Dist.2: David Loebsack – 17%
Dist.3: Tom Latham – 50%
Dist.4: Steve King – 66%
Sen. Pat Roberts – 61%
Sen. Jerry Moran – 64%
Dist.1: Tim Huelskamp – 88%
Dist.2: Lynn Jenkins – 75%
Dist.3: Kevin Yoder – 70%
Dist.4: Mike Pompeo – 66%
Sen. Rand Paul – 94%
Sen. Mitch McConnell – 62%
Dist.1: Ed Whitfield – 52%
Dist.2: Brett Guthrie – 68%
Dist.3: John Yarmuth – 19%
Dist.4: Thomas Massie – 100%
Dist.5: Harold Rogers – 52%
Dist.6: Garland Barr – 65%
Sen. David Vitter – 58%
Sen. Mary Landrieu – 20%
Dist.1: Steve Scalise – 74%
Dist.2: Cedric Richmond – 23%
Dist.3: Charles Boustany – 58%
Dist.4: John Fleming – 82%
Dist.6: Bill Cassidy – 68%
Sen. Angus King – 15%
Sen. Susan Collins – 40%
Dist.1: Chellie Pingree – 28%
Dist.2: Michael Michaud – 28%
Sen. Benjamin Cardin – 17%
Sen. Barbara Mikulski – 13%
Dist.1: Andy Harris – 78%
Dist.2: C. Ruppersberger – 16%
Dist.3: John Sarbanes – 17%
Dist.4: Donna Edwards – 21%
Dist.5: Steny Hoyer – 16%
Dist.6: John Delaney – 21%
Dist.7: Elijah Cummings – 22%
Dist.8: Chris Van Hollen – 18%
Sen. Elizabeth Warren – 0%
Sen. Edward Markey – 22%
Dist.1: Richard Neal – 20%
Dist.2: James McGovern – 24%
Dist.3: Niki Tsongas – 16%
Dist.4: Joseph Kennedy – 31%
Dist.6: John Tierney – 26%
Dist.7: Michael Capuano – 27%
Dist.8: Stephen Lynch – 25%
Dist.9: William Keating – 24%
Sen. Debbie Stabenow – 18%
Sen. Carl Levin – 12%
Dist.1: Dan Benishek – 66%
Dist.2: Bill Huizenga – 75%
Dist.3: Justin Amash – 92%
Dist.4: Dave Camp – 52%
Dist.5: Daniel Kildee – 40%
Dist.6: Fred Upton – 48%
Dist.7: Tim Walberg – 69%
Dist.8: Mike Rogers – 51%
Dist.9: Sander Levin – 17%
Dist.10: Candice Miller – 51%
Dist.11: Kerry Bentivolio – 80%
Dist.12: John Dingell – 21%
Dist.13: John Conyers – 28%
Dist.14: Gary Peters – 17%
Sen. Al Franken – 7%
Sen. Amy Klobuchar – 7%
Dist.1: Timothy Walz – 17%
Dist.2: John Kline – 55%
Dist.3: Erik Paulsen – 69%
Dist.4: Betty McCollum – 21%
Dist.5: Keith Ellison – 23%
Dist.6: Michele Bachmann – 80%
Dist.7: Collin Peterson – 46%
Dist.8: Richard Nolan – 35%
Sen. Thad Cochran – 54%
Sen. Roger Wicker – 52%
Dist.1: Alan Nunnelee – 64%
Dist.2: Bennie Thompson – 26%
Dist.3: Gregg Harper – 67%
Dist.4: Steven Palazzo – 66%
Sen. Roy Blunt – 55%
Sen. Claire McCaskill – 17%
Dist.1: Wm. Clay – 24%
Dist.2: Ann Wagner – 63%
Dist.3: Blaine Luetkemeyer – 70%
Dist.4: Vicky Hartzler – 63%
Dist.5: Emanuel Cleaver – 23%
Dist.6: Sam Graves – 56%
Dist.7: Billy Long – 62%
Dist.8: Jason Smith – 75%
Sen. Max Baucus – 19%
Sen. Jon Tester – 22%
Dist.: Steve Daines – 60%
Sen. Deb Fischer – 70%
Sen. Mike Johanns – 68%
Dist.1: Jeff Fortenberry – 55%
Dist.2: Lee Terry – 56%
Dist.3: Adrian Smith – 69%
Sen. Harry Reid – 17%
Sen. Dean Heller – 73%
Dist.1: Dina Titus – 10%
Dist.2: Mark Amodei – 68%
Dist.3: Joseph Heck – 63%
Dist.4: Steven Horsford – 13%
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen – 9%
Sen. Kelly Ayotte – 68%
Dist.1: Carol Shea-Porter – 18%
Dist.2: Ann Kuster – 20%
Sen. Robert Menendez – 19%
Dist.1: Robert Andrews – 19%
Dist.2: Frank LoBiondo – 45%
Dist.3: Jon Runyan – 50%
Dist.4: Christopher Smith – 45%
Dist.5: Scott Garrett – 72%
Dist.6: Frank Pallone – 24%
Dist.7: Leonard Lance – 60%
Dist.8: Albio Sires – 11%
Dist.9: Bill Pascrell – 24%
Dist.10: Donald Payne – 26%
Dist.11: Rodney Frelinghuysen – 40%
Dist.12: Rush Holt – 26%
Sen. Martin Heinrich – 11%
Sen. Tom Udall – 21%
Dist.1: Michelle Lujan Grisham – 25%
Dist.2: Stevan Pearce – 55%
Dist.3: Ben Lujan – 19%
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand – 10%
Sen. Charles Schumer – 14%
Dist.1: Timothy Bishop – 20%
Dist.2: Peter King – 44%
Dist.3: Steve Israel – 18%
Dist.4: Carolyn McCarthy – 19%
Dist.5: Gregory Meeks – 19%
Dist.6: Grace Meng – 15%
Dist.7: Nydia Velázquez – 25%
Dist.8: Hakeem Jeffries – 35%
Dist.9: Yvette Clarke – 23%
Dist.10: Jerrold Nadler – 23%
Dist.11: Michael Grimm – 51%
Dist.12: Carolyn Maloney – 21%
Dist.13: Charles Rangel – 18%
Dist.14: Joseph Crowley – 21%
Dist.15: José Serrano – 23%
Dist.16: Eliot Engel – 18%
Dist.17: Nita Lowey – 15%
Dist.18: Sean Maloney – 20%
Dist.19: Christopher Gibson – 71%
Dist.20: Paul Tonko – 20%
Dist.21: William Owens – 22%
Dist.22: Richard Hanna – 50%
Dist.23: Tom Reed – 65%
Dist.24: Daniel Maffei – 22%
Dist.25: Louise Slaughter – 20%
Dist.26: Brian Higgins – 16%
Dist.27: Chris Collins – 60%
Sen. Kay Hagan – 13%
Sen. Richard Burr – 57%
Dist.1: George Butterfield – 16%
Dist.2: Renee Ellmers – 63%
Dist.3: Walter Jones – 78%
Dist.4: David Price – 19%
Dist.5: Virginia Foxx – 71%
Dist.6: Howard Coble – 66%
Dist.7: Mike McIntyre – 45%
Dist.8: Richard Hudson – 70%
Dist.9: Robert Pittenger – 55%
Dist.10: Patrick McHenry – 72%
Dist.11: Mark Meadows – 75%
Dist.12: Melvin Watt – 23%
Dist.13: George Holding – 68%
Sen. John Hoeven – 56%
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp – 21%
Dist.: Kevin Cramer – 55%
Sen. Sherrod Brown – 24%
Sen. Robert Portman – 50%
Dist.1: Steve Chabot – 63%
Dist.2: Brad Wenstrup – 60%
Dist.3: Joyce Beatty – 26%
Dist.4: Jim Jordan – 80%
Dist.5: Robert Latta – 72%
Dist.6: Bill Johnson – 66%
Dist.7: Bob Gibbs – 66%
Dist.8: John Boehner – 53%
Dist.9: Marcy Kaptur – 30%
Dist.10: Michael Turner – 47%
Dist.11: Marcia Fudge – 20%
Dist.12: Patrick Tiberi – 52%
Dist.13: Tim Ryan – 26%
Dist.14: David Joyce – 50%
Dist.15: Steve Stivers – 57%
Dist.16: James Renacci – 61%
Sen. James Inhofe – 72%
Sen. Thomas Coburn – 82%
Dist.1: Jim Bridenstine – 90%
Dist.2: Markwayne Mullin – 70%
Dist.3: Frank Lucas – 59%
Dist.4: Tom Cole – 53%
Dist.5: James Lankford – 66%
Sen. Ron Wyden – 17%
Sen. Jeff Merkley – 13%
Dist.1: Suzanne Bonamici – 29%
Dist.2: Greg Walden – 48%
Dist.3: Earl Blumenauer – 21%
Dist.4: Peter DeFazio – 32%
Dist.5: Kurt Schrader – 23%
Sen. Patrick Toomey – 67%
Sen. Robert Casey – 10%
Dist.1: Robert Brady – 21%
Dist.2: Chaka Fattah – 19%
Dist.3: Mike Kelly – 60%
Dist.4: Scott Perry – 70%
Dist.5: Glenn Thompson – 68%
Dist.6: Jim Gerlach – 40%
Dist.7: Patrick Meehan – 56%
Dist.8: Michael Fitzpatrick – 46%
Dist.9: Bill Shuster – 56%
Dist.10: Tom Marino – 57%
Dist.11: Lou Barletta – 60%
Dist.12: Keith Rothfus – 75%
Dist.13: Allyson Schwartz – 12%
Dist.14: Michael Doyle – 30%
Dist.15: Charles Dent – 45%
Dist.16: Joseph Pitts – 63%
Dist.17: Matthew Cartwright – 35%
Dist.18: Tim Murphy – 47%
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse – 11%
Sen. John Reed – 14%
Dist.1: David Cicilline – 27%
Dist.2: James Langevin – 20%
Sen. Tim Scott – 81%
Sen. Lindsey Graham – 63%
Dist.1: Marshall Sanford – 85%
Dist.2: Joe Wilson – 60%
Dist.3: Jeff Duncan – 85%
Dist.4: Trey Gowdy – 80%
Dist.5: Mick Mulvaney – 78%
Dist.6: James Clyburn – 20%
Dist.7: Tom Rice – 70%
Sen. Tim Johnson – 16%
Sen. John Thune – 57%
Dist.: Kristi Noem – 69%
Sen. Bob Corker – 66%
Sen. Lamar Alexander – 54%
Dist.1: David Roe – 74%
Dist.2: John Duncan – 81%
Dist.3: Charles Fleischmann – 69%
Dist.4: Scott DesJarlais – 78%
Dist.5: Jim Cooper – 23%
Dist.6: Diane Black – 66%
Dist.7: Marsha Blackburn – 63%
Dist.8: Stephen Fincher – 74%
Dist.9: Steve Cohen – 21%
Sen. John Cornyn – 69%
Sen. Ted Cruz – 95%
Dist.1: Louie Gohmert – 75%
Dist.2: Ted Poe – 71%
Dist.3: Sam Johnson – 65%
Dist.4: Ralph Hall – 60%
Dist.5: Jeb Hensarling – 66%
Dist.6: Joe Barton – 61%
Dist.7: John Culberson – 65%
Dist.8: Kevin Brady – 57%
Dist.9: Al Green – 24%
Dist.10: Michael McCaul – 61%
Dist.11: K. Conaway – 62%
Dist.12: Kay Granger – 51%
Dist.13: Mac Thornberry – 54%
Dist.14: Randy Weber – 70%
Dist.15: Ruben Hinojosa – 21%
Dist.16: Beto O’Rourke – 30%
Dist.17: Bill Flores – 68%
Dist.18: Sheila Jackson-Lee – 24%
Dist.19: Randy Neugebauer – 65%
Dist.20: Joaquin Castro – 25%
Dist.21: Lamar Smith – 54%
Dist.22: Pete Olson – 72%
Dist.23: Pete Gallego – 15%
Dist.24: Kenny Marchant – 68%
Dist.25: Roger Williams – 75%
Dist.26: Michael Burgess – 66%
Dist.27: Blake Farenthold – 71%
Dist.28: Henry Cuellar – 18%
Dist.29: Gene Green – 27%
Dist.30: Eddie Johnson – 19%
Dist.31: John Carter – 58%
Dist.32: Pete Sessions – 61%
Dist.33: Marc Veasey – 25%
Dist.34: Filemon Vela – 25%
Dist.35: Lloyd Doggett – 25%
Dist.36: Steve Stockman – 95%
Sen. Orrin Hatch – 58%
Sen. Mike Lee – 91%
Dist.1: Rob Bishop – 68%
Dist.2: Chris Stewart – 65%
Dist.3: Jason Chaffetz – 80%
Dist.4: Jim Matheson – 35%
Sen. Patrick Leahy – 16%
Sen. Bernard Sanders – 27%
Dist.: Peter Welch – 24%
Sen. Mark Warner – 13%
Sen. Timothy Kaine – 0%
Dist.1: Robert Wittman – 66%
Dist.2: E. Rigell – 68%
Dist.3: Robert Scott – 23%
Dist.4: J. Forbes – 57%
Dist.5: Robert Hurt – 71%
Dist.6: Bob Goodlatte – 61%
Dist.7: Eric Cantor – 56%
Dist.8: James Moran – 20%
Dist.9: H. Griffith – 80%
Dist.10: Frank Wolf – 49%
Dist.11: Gerald Connolly – 15%
Sen. Patty Murray – 11%
Sen. Maria Cantwell – 13%
Dist.1: Suzan DelBene – 30%
Dist.2: Rick Larsen – 18%
Dist.3: Jaime Herrera Beutler – 67%
Dist.4: Doc Hastings – 56%
Dist.5: Cathy McMorris Rodgers – 64%
Dist.6: Derek Kilmer – 25%
Dist.7: Jim McDermott – 25%
Dist.8: David Reichert – 39%
Dist.9: Adam Smith – 20%
Dist.10: Denny Heck – 20%
Sen. Joe Manchin – 35%
Sen. John Rockefeller – 13%
Dist.1: David McKinley – 63%
Dist.2: Shelley Capito – 46%
Dist.3: Nick Rahall – 34%
Sen. Ron Johnson – 86%
Sen. Tammy Baldwin – 27%
Dist.1: Paul Ryan – 58%
Dist.2: Mark Pocan – 40%
Dist.3: Ron Kind – 23%
Dist.4: Gwen Moore – 24%
Dist.5: F. Sensenbrenner – 77%
Dist.6: Thomas Petri – 61%
Dist.7: Sean Duffy – 63%
Dist.8: Reid Ribble – 72%
After deadly clashes with government forces for months, demands that new constitutional amendments in the Ukraine include the right for the people to bear arms are growing.
The Ukrainian Gun Owners Association has released a statement saying, “Today every citizen of Ukraine understands why our country has hundreds of thousands of policemen. Last illusions were crushed when riot police used rubber batons and boots at the Independence Square on peaceful citizens. After such actions we realize that it is not enough to only adopt the Gun Law. As of today Ukrainian Gun Owners Association will start to work on the preparation of amendments to the Constitution, which will provide an unconditional right for Ukrainian citizens to bear arms. People should have the right to bear arms, which will be put in written into the Constitution. Authorities should not and will not be stronger than its people! Armed people are treated with respect”
As Robert Heinlein once said, an armed society is a polite society.
Here is one of the proposed amendments from the UGOA. You can read about the rest here, but will need to translate the text first.
Amend Article 27, paragraph four as follows:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of owning a firearm to protect their life and health, housing and property, life and health of other people’s constitutional rights and freedoms in the case of usurpation of power , the encroachments on the constitutional order , sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine . Exercising the right to free possession of firearms is governed by applicable law and may be limited only by the court on the individual. “
Currently, gun laws in the Ukraine are categorized as restrictive and only “licensed gun owners may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition.” Ukrainians who apply for a firearms license must show “genuine reason” for why they are doing so, which must approved by the State.
Article V Symposium: Professor Philip Prygosi
Article V Symposium: Professor Robert Natelson (Part 1)
Article V Symposium: Professor Robert Natelson (Part 2)
Article V Symposium: Bill Walker (Part 1)
Article V Symposium: Bill Walker (Part 2)
Article V Symposium: Joel Hirschhorn (Part 1)
Article V Symposium: Joel Hirschhorn (Part 2)
Article V Symposium: Judge Thomas Brennan (Part 1)
Article V Symposium: Judge Thomas Brennan (Part 2)
Article V Symposium: William Fruth (Part 1)
Article V Symposium: William Fruth (Part 2)
Debunking The Myth Of The Runaway Convention: Goldwater Institute – Lecture
Debunking The Myth Of The Runaway Convention: Goldwater Institute – Q&A
Conference On Article V Convention: Harvard Law School
Conference On Article V Convention: American Legislative Exchange Council
Click HERE to purchase Joel Hirschhorn’s book Delusional Democracy: Fixing The Republic Without Overthrowing The Government
Click HERE to purchase Barbara Perry and Paul J. Weber’s book Unfounded Fears: Myths And Realities Of A Constitutional Convention
Click HERE to purchase Mark Levin’s book The Liberty Amendments: Restoring The American Republic
Justice Department attorneys are advancing an argument at the Supreme Court that could allow the government to invoke international treaties as a legal basis for policies such as gun control that conflict with the U.S. Constitution, according to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Their argument is that a law implementing an international treaty signed by the U.S. allows the federal government to prosecute a criminal case that would normally be handled by state or local authorities.
That is a dangerous argument, according to Cruz.
“The Constitution created a limited federal government with only specific enumerated powers,” Cruz told the Washington Examiner prior to giving a speech on the issue today at the Heritage Foundation.
“The Supreme Court should not interpret the treaty power in a manner that undermines this bedrock protection of individual liberty,” Cruz said.
In his speech, Cruz said the Justice Department is arguing “an absurd proposition” that “could be used as a backdoor way to undermine” Second Amendment rights, among other things.
The underlying case, Bond v. United States, involves a woman charged with violating the international ban on chemical weapons because she used toxic chemicals to harass a former friend who had an affair with her husband.
Under the Constitution, such an offense would be handled at the state level. In Bond’s case, the federal government prosecuted her under the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act.
That law implements the Chemical Weapons Convention, the international treaty Syrian dictator Bashar Assad is accused of violating in that country’s vicious civil war.
“The problem here is precisely that Congress, rather than implementing the treaty consistent with our constitutional system of federalism, enacted a statute that, if construed to apply to petitioner’s conduct, would violate basic structural guarantees and exceed Congress’s enumerated powers,” according to Bond’s lawyers.
The Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino said the Bond case could have ramifications for many other issues.
“If the administration is right, the treaty power could become a backdoor way for the federal government to do everything from abolishing the death penalty nationwide, to outlawing homeschooling, to dramatically curtailing the states’ rights to regulate abortion,” she told the Washington Examiner.
A group of truckers is reportedly planning to shut Washington, D.C. down for three days straight starting on Oct. 11 to protest the “corruption against the Constitution.”
The “Truckers To Shut Down America” Facebook page has more than 16,000 likes, though it is unclear how many truckers actually intend on taking part in the disruptive protest.
“The American people are sick and tired of the corruption that is destroying America! We therefore declare a GENERAL STRIKE on the weekend of October 11-13, 2013! Truck drivers will not haul freight! Americans can strike in solidarity with truck drivers!” the group’s description reads.
In a YouTube video uploaded by user “Kevin Allan” and linked on the “Truckers To Shut Down America” Facebook page, the event is labeled as a general “strike” by the American people against the federal government and its “bulls**t.”
The narrator in the video says he has received word from others that “truckers are organizing and are going to shut down D.C.” Watch the video below (Warning: Some strong language):
It is too early to tell if the “strike” will be successful, but “shutting down” the nation’s capitol would certainly have a huge impact whether you agree or disagree with the tactic.
The Facebook page provides some additional information on the motive behind the action, which ranges from Obamacare to the IRS scandal to Benghazi:
My fellow patriot this effort is to support the truckers in a major shut down of America ion [sic] a 3 day strike October 11th thru 13th. Obamacare will be in effect and most people will be ready to take action. No commerce on those days stock up on items that you will need. No banking no shopping no money transactions.
It does not matter if a million or 50 roll through DC in this effort. Congress will listen to We the People. Which is remove Obama from office for crimes of treason and misdemeanors. We want Congressional hearing on Benghazi and Seal Team 6. Louis Learner [sic] put in jail. No amnesty, remove all Muslims in our government that do not uphold the Constitution. Remove Eric Holder from office for crimes against the people and the Constitution. Last but not least is Fuel prices.
Kansas signed the Second Amendment Protection Act (SB 102) into law last month. The bill protects gun owners from from new federal gun control laws and would actually make it illegal to enforce those laws within the state of Kansas.
Eric Holder threatened Kansas last week calling the new state law unconstitutional.
In response Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, fired back. The general gist of the message was,
“You’re wrong. You don’t understand the Constitution. Bring it on.”
Via Guns Save Lives:
Kobach insisted the State of Kansas was determined to restore the Constitution to protect the right of its citizens to keep and bear arms.
So far, Holder has not responded.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday the country’s interpretation of the Constitution will “have to change” to allow for greater security to stave off future attacks.
“The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a press conference in Midtown. “But we live in a complex word where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”
Mr. Bloomberg, who has come under fire for the N.Y.P.D.’s monitoring of Muslim communities and other aggressive tactics, said the rest of the country needs to learn from the attacks.
“Look, we live in a very dangerous world. We know there are people who want to take away our freedoms. New Yorkers probably know that as much if not more than anybody else after the terrible tragedy of 9/11,” he said.
“We have to understand that in the world going forward, we’re going to have more cameras and that kind of stuff. That’s good in some sense, but it’s different from what we are used to,” he said.
The mayor pointed to the gun debate and noted the courts have allowed for increasingly stringent regulations in response to ever-more powerful weapons.
“Clearly the Supreme Court has recognized that you have to have different interpretations of the Second Amendment and what it applies to and reasonable gun laws… Here we’re going to to have to live with reasonable levels of security,” he said, pointing to the use of magnetometers to catch weapons in city schools.
“It really says something bad about us that we have to do it. But our obligation first and foremost is to keep our kids safe in the schools; first and foremost, to keep you safe if you go to a sporting event; first and foremost is to keep you safe if you walk down the streets or go into our parks,” he said. “We cannot let the terrorists put us in a situation where we can’t do those things. And the ways to do that is to provide what we think is an appropriate level of protection.”
Still, Mr. Bloomberg argued the attacks shouldn’t be used as an excuse to persecute certain religions or groups.
“What we cant do is let the protection get in the way of us enjoying our freedoms,” he said. “You still want to let people practice their religion, no matter what that religion is. And I think one of the great dangers here is going and categorizing anybody from one religion as a terrorist. That’s not true… That would let the terrorists win. That’s what they want us to do.”
The establishment media would have you believe that bitter clingers to the Constitution are tired old dinosaurs who won’t admit that the world has moved on without them. Brandon Smith isn’t buying it:
This argument is based on a series of lies, the first one being that American culture needs to “progress with the times” and shake off the dead skin of old and “unpopular” principles. Let’s set the record straight…
Some principles, like the liberties embodied in natural law and outlined in the U.S. Constitution, NEVER become outdated. They exist in the heart of mankind, and will remain as long as humanity remains. They cannot be erased, and they cannot be undone. They are inherent and eternal.
They can, however, be oppressed by those who seek to dominate the lives of others. This is what the establishment today calls “progress”. Their version of social order is not new, nor is it even clever. It is archaic, and has taken many forms, including oligarchy, aristocracy, mercantilism, monarchy, totalitarianism, despotism, fascism, socialism, communism, globalism, etc., etc. The goal is always the same; centralize as much power as possible into as few hands as possible while making the enslaved population as collectivized and dependent as possible.
The Liberty Movement is not some dying vestige of America’s past clinging to an antiquated philosophy. We are the new wave; the messengers of an ideal of freedom that in the grand scheme of history has been around for only a blink of an eye. Constitutional liberty IS the progress that humanity has been waiting for. We have only been led astray by those who would sell us on our own bondage.
I was thinking recently about how this nation, the brightest beacon of liberty on earth, has, since its beginnings been at the heart of the struggle between liberty, as Jefferson, Franklin, Adams (Samuel not John) Mason and Madison defined it, and ultimate tyranny. Even some “Conservatives” criticize those who cling too tightly to the idea of true liberty. They paint us as too extreme or too rigid. Those who desire Statism do not talk of liberty, they talk of rights, as if government is the source, and ultimate arbiter of what our rights are, and how much we can enjoy those rights. To our Founders, certain rights were natural rights, they ARE as much a part of mankind as ears and eyes are. Government does not “give” those liberties, therefore they cannot take them. That principle, more than any other IS our most basic founding principle.
The Left, of course, has been chipping away at every single liberty we have since the very beginning of America. Very early in our Republic we had the Alien and Sedition Acts, which John Adams signed, which is why I never name him among my favorite founders. These acts struck at the heart of free speech, and it was Madison and Jefferson who fired back with the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions declaring that such laws were not constitutional, and, Jefferson wrote that states had the right to nullify such acts. Of course anyone even using the word nullification today is brow beaten and labelled a fanatic. The Left uses this tactic very effectively.
Later, there were those who believed in something called “higher law”. Basically, what they held was that the Constitution need not be amended to be changed. Higher law superseded the Constitution. So, changing the Constitution did not require, in their view amending it. Now, was ending slavery the right thing, obviously it was. But was shredding the Constitution the proper way to do it? No, amending the Constitution was the prescribed, constitutional fix. Today those early Republicans are championed by today’s GOP because they argued against slavery and defended laws that violated the Constitution because of this “higher law”. And, anyone who dares bring up the history of that time is risking being labelled as a nut. What those first Republicans argued was akin to what we hear Liberals say today about the Constitution being a “living breathing document” meaning, in reality, that the Constitution can say whatever Liberals desire it to say. Odd that Democrats today and the first Republicans ignore the Constitution as they see fit. Whether it be higher law, or the living breathing document argument, the result is the same. The undermining of our Constitution. When that happens the door to tyranny is opened wide.
Later in our history we had men like Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, LBJ and of course President Obama who contributed mightily to the growth of Statism. Don’t think so? Think about the United Nations, Medicare, Social Security, Obamacare, government regulations and all the departments in our government that we have now. Think of the trillions of dollars sunk into these programs, and departments and regulations. Think of our bloated, punitive tax code, which is used as a weapon against some Americans, and as a tool to keep others dependent on government power. And, every day, Liberal Democrats cry for more. More gun laws that will only weaken the basic right of self-defense, more taxes, more spending, more government programs, more government agencies. All in the name of “progress”, which has replaced liberty as the basic principle of America. And every day, we trade more liberty for more progress, but progress to what? Bigger chains for us to wear?
Of course, we do have a few Republicans who will stand up and fight, but, they are castigated for their “extremism” and marginalized, even by the leaders of their own party. The bets hop for turning this around lies in a political party whose leadership is afraid of its own principles, and afraid to defend the principles that made America great in the first place.
God help us
How do Connecticut residents feel about the crackdown on the Second Amendment? Well, there are people from both sides making passionate arguments on the issue, however, one gentleman last week was able to make a particularly persuasive case against more gun control and in favor of the U.S. Constitution.
Meet Robert Steed, a resident of Vernon, Conn. who took three days straight off work to attend several gun control hearings in Connecticut. On March 14, Steed was more “aggravated” than usual with lawmakers and he let them know it in his fiery testimony, telling them that they were “coloring outside the lines of constitutional parameters.”
“This is the third day I’ve taken off of work to come here to, like so many of the rest of us, to plead with you for us to keep our guns because of some wing-nut in Newtown, Connecticut,” he said. “If that isn’t inherently wrong, I don’t know what is. That these bills are even in proposed form is scary enough. That any of you could possibly be undecided is scary enough. What are you looking at?”
He went on: “I can’t for the life of me understand how this state can have as many gun laws on the books as it does and have members of its Legislature need to take firearms 101. And as far as what I felt were potshots taken at the NRA, they’ve done more for gun safety – they’ll do more for gun safety this weekend than this committee will do in your careers.”
Watch Steed’s testimony in full below:
Connecticut will be the next state set to tackle new gun control measures is Connecticut, the same state where the tragic Newtown massacre occurred. On Tuesday, a key committee of the state’s General Assembly unanimously approved expanding criminal background checks. On Wednesday, lawmakers were set to discuss expanding the state’s current ban on so-called “assault weapons” to include even more firearms as well as additional magazine limits and universal background checks.
Last week, Steed told lawmakers who believe legislation will prevent tragedies that “evil exists” and “sometimes things are beyond your control.”
“Adam Lanza commits a crime, and I’m here to gr0vel and plead for my rights and explain to you that my firearms are kept safely?” he asked rhetorically. “I keep hearing the word “solution”… you’re not going to find a solution, it doesn’t exist. You can’t find a broad brush solution to evil.”
Connecticut state Rep. Steve Mikutel (D) refuted Steed and said lawmakers can craft a solution to gun violence. “We can solve this,” he said.
Mikutel admitted that “we live in an open free democratic society,” therefore lawmakers won’t be able to address all violence in society. If the U.S. was a “dictatorship” Congress would have a better chance of dealing with violence, but that’s not the way they want to go, the Democrat added.
“You’ll get a better handle on it maybe in a dictatorship where they just go in and take all your guns and lock-down, and they’ve got big brother watching all over you everywhere, they’ve got cameras on every corner, cameras in every neighborhood,” the Democrat continued.
“Well, we have some of that going on right now,” Steed interrupted.
Mikutel explained that Connecticut doesn’t want to go down that route and so it makes lawmakers’ job more “difficult.”
“The reason that your jobs are becoming so difficult is because you’re coloring outside the lines of constitutional parameters,” Steed shot back. “That’s the bottom line. You are trying to marriage up public safety with constitutional rights. The Constitution did not guarantee public safety, it guaranteed liberty. And sometimes what comes with liberty is tragedy, unfortunately.”
Read what Bob has to say, then I have some comments
It lies in state and county and local officials taking their oaths to The Constitution seriously.
It lies in people like Sheriff Tim Mueller of Linn County Oregon.
An Oregon sheriff says he will not enforce any federal regulation that President Barack Obama lays out in his package of gun control proposals Wednesday. Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller joins several other public officials across the nation who have decided to square off with the White House even before it outlines what its plans are for expanded measures.
Mueller sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden this week saying he won’t enforce any federal regulation “offending the constitutional rights of my citizens.” He won’t permit federal officers to come to his county to enforce such laws either, he said.
Mueller’s defiant stand exploded into a groundswell of support. His letter — posted on the department’s Facebook page — earned more than 59,000 likes and shares — and was growing by the minute.
It lies in thinking like this:
In Texas, a lawmaker said this week that he will introduce legislation that would make it illegal to enforce a federal gun ban.
“At some point there needs to be a showdown between the states and the federal government over the Supremacy Clause,” Republican Rep. Steve Toth told WOAI 1200-AM. “It is our responsibility to push back when those laws are infringed by King Obama.”
Indeed, it is time for a showdown between the forces that want to aggregate to the national government more powers than those that are enumerated in The Constitution and those of us who believe that it should be followed to the letter.
I could not agree more, it is all our duty to honor the Constitution. The federal government has, over the history of this nation grown far past the intent of the Founders. The Constitution constrained not the people, but the federal government. It enumerated certain rights, natural rights as Franklin called them that neither come from government, or can be restricted by government. That IS the most critical founding principle of this nation. And that principle has been under attack since the very birth of the United States. Alexander Hamilton fought against it, Madison and Jefferson battled for it.
The idea that States have a right to ignore, or even nullify certain federal laws originated after President John Adams signed into law the Alien and Sedition Acts, which, in part criminalized speech critical of the government. It was, again, Madison and Jefferson who fought against these laws, writing the Virginia Resolution, which Madison wrote, and the Kentucky Resolution, which Jefferson wrote. Anyone who questions the patriotism of those who still think the States are and ought to be sovereign should read these two pieces of our history
1. Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.
2. Resolved, That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations, and no other crimes, whatsoever; and it being true as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the Constitution having also declared, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” therefore the act of Congress, passed on the 14th day of July, 1798, and intituled “An Act in addition to the act intituled An Act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States,” as also the act passed by them on the — day of June, 1798, intituled “An Act to punish frauds committed on the bank of the United States,” (and all their other acts which assume to create, define, or punish crimes, other than those so enumerated in the Constitution,) are altogether void, and of no force; and that the power to create, define, and punish such other crimes is reserved, and, of right, appertains solely and exclusively to the respective States, each within its own territory.
3. Resolved, That it is true as a general principle, and is also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the Constitutions, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, our prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”; and that no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press being delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, and were reserved to the States or the people: that thus was manifested their determination to retain to themselves the right of judging how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged without lessening their useful freedom, and how far those abuses which cannot be separated from their use should be tolerated, rather than the use be destroyed. And thus also they guarded against all abridgment by the United States of the freedom of religious opinions and exercises, and retained to themselves the right of protecting the same, as this State, by a law passed on the general demand of its citizens, had already protected them from all human restraint or interference. And that in addition to this general principle and express declaration, another and more special provision has been made by one of the amendments to the Constitution, which expressly declares, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press”: thereby guarding in the same sentence, and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press: insomuch, that whatever violated either, throws down the sanctuary which covers the others, arid that libels, falsehood, and defamation, equally with heresy and false religion, are withheld from the cognizance of federal tribunals. That, therefore, the act of Congress of the United States, passed on the 14th day of July, 1798, intituled “An Act in addition to the act intituled An Act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States,” which does abridge the freedom of the press, is not law, but is altogether void, and of no force.
4. Resolved, That alien friends are under the jurisdiction and protection of the laws of the State wherein they are: that no power over them has been delegated to the United States, nor prohibited to the individual States, distinct from their power over citizens. And it being true as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the Constitution having also declared, 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,” the act of the Congress of the United States, passed on the — day of July, 1798, intituled “An Act concerning aliens,” which assumes powers over alien friends, not delegated by the Constitution, is not law, but is altogether void, and of no force.
5. Resolved. That in addition to the general principle, as well as the express declaration, that powers not delegated are reserved, another and more special provision, inserted in the Constitution from abundant caution, has declared that “the migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year 1808” that this commonwealth does admit the migration of alien friends, described as the subject of the said act concerning aliens: that a provision against prohibiting their migration, is a provision against all acts equivalent thereto, or it would be nugatory: that to remove them when migrated, is equivalent to a prohibition of their migration, and is, therefore, contrary to the said provision of the Constitution, and void.
6. Resolved, That the imprisonment of a person under the protection of the laws of this commonwealth, on his failure to obey the simple order of the President to depart out of the United States, as is undertaken by said act intituled “An Act concerning aliens” is contrary to the Constitution, one amendment to which has provided that “no person shalt be deprived of liberty without due progress of law”; and that another having provided that “in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to public trial by an impartial jury, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense;” the same act, undertaking to authorize the President to remove a person out of the United States, who is under the protection of the law, on his own suspicion, without accusation, without jury, without public trial, without confrontation of the witnesses against him, without heating witnesses in his favor, without defense, without counsel, is contrary to the provision also of the Constitution, is therefore not law, but utterly void, and of no force: that transferring the power of judging any person, who is under the protection of the laws from the courts, to the President of the United States, as is undertaken by the same act concerning aliens, is against the article of the Constitution which provides that “the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in courts, the judges of which shall hold their offices during good behavior”; and that the said act is void for that reason also. And it is further to be noted, that this transfer of judiciary power is to that magistrate of the general government who already possesses all the Executive, and a negative on all Legislative powers.
7. Resolved, That the construction applied by the General Government (as is evidenced by sundry of their proceedings) to those parts of the Constitution of the United States which delegate to Congress a power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imports, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” and “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution, the powers vested by the Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof,” goes to the destruction of all limits prescribed to their powers by the Constitution: that words meant by the instrument to be subsidiary only to the execution of limited powers, ought not to be so construed as themselves to give unlimited powers, nor a part to be so taken as to destroy the whole residue of that instrument: that the proceedings of the General Government under color of these articles, will be a fit and necessary subject of revisal and correction, at a time of greater tranquillity, while those specified in the preceding resolutions call for immediate redress.
8th. Resolved, That a committee of conference and correspondence be appointed, who shall have in charge to communicate the preceding resolutions to the Legislatures of the several States: to assure them that this commonwealth continues in the same esteem of their friendship and union which it has manifested from that moment at which a common danger first suggested a common union: that it considers union, for specified national purposes, and particularly to those specified in their late federal compact, to be friendly, to the peace, happiness and prosperity of all the States: that faithful to that compact, according to the plain intent and meaning in which it was understood and acceded to by the several parties, it is sincerely anxious for its preservation: that it does also believe, that to take from the States all the powers of self-government and transfer them to a general and consolidated government, without regard to the special delegations and reservations solemnly agreed to in that compact, is not for the peace, happiness or prosperity of these States; and that therefore this commonwealth is determined, as it doubts not its co-States are, to submit to undelegated, and consequently unlimited powers in no man, or body of men on earth: that in cases of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the general government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy; but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non fœderis) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them: that nevertheless, this commonwealth, from motives of regard and respect for its co States, has wished to communicate with them on the subject: that with them alone it is proper to communicate, they alone being parties to the compact, and solely authorized to judge in the last resort of the powers exercised under it, Congress being not a party, but merely the creature of the compact, and subject as to its assumptions of power to the final judgment of those by whom, and for whose use itself and its powers were all created and modified: that if the acts before specified should stand, these conclusions would flow from them; that the general government may place any act they think proper on the list of crimes and punish it themselves whether enumerated or not enumerated by the constitution as cognizable by them: that they may transfer its cognizance to the President, or any other person, who may himself be the accuser, counsel, judge and jury, whose suspicions may be the evidence, his order the sentence, his officer the executioner, and his breast the sole record of the transaction: that a very numerous and valuable description of the inhabitants of these States being, by this precedent, reduced, as outlaws, to the absolute dominion of one man, and the barrier of the Constitution thus swept away from us all, no ramparts now remains against the passions and the powers of a majority in Congress to protect from a like exportation, or other more grievous punishment, the minority of the same body, the legislatures, judges, governors and counsellors of the States, nor their other peaceable inhabitants, who may venture to reclaim the constitutional rights and liberties of the States and people, or who for other causes, good or bad, may be obnoxious to the views, or marked by the suspicions of the President, or be thought dangerous to his or their election, or other interests, public or personal; that the friendless alien has indeed been selected as the safest subject of a first experiment; but the citizen will soon follow, or rather, has already followed, for already has a sedition act marked him as its prey: that these and successive acts of the same character, unless arrested at the threshold, necessarily drive these States into revolution and blood and will furnish new calumnies against republican government, and new pretexts for those who wish it to be believed that man cannot be governed but by a rod of iron: that it would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism — free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power: that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go; and let the honest advocate of confidence read the Alien and Sedition acts, and say if the Constitution has not been wise in fixing limits to the government it created, and whether we should be wise in destroying those limits, Let him say what the government is, if it be not a tyranny, which the men of our choice have con erred on our President, and the President of our choice has assented to, and accepted over the friendly stranger to whom the mild spirit of our country and its law have pledged hospitality and protection: that the men of our choice have more respected the bare suspicion of the President, than the solid right of innocence, the claims of justification, the sacred force of truth, and the forms and substance of law and justice. In questions of powers, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. That this commonwealth does therefore call on its co-States for an expression of their sentiments on the acts concerning aliens and for the punishment of certain crimes herein before specified, plainly declaring whether these acts are or are not authorized by the federal compact. And it doubts not that their sense will be so announced as to prove their attachment unaltered to limited government, weather general or particular. And that the rights and liberties of their co-States will be exposed to no dangers by remaining embarked in a common bottom with their own. That they will concur with this commonwealth in considering the said acts as so palpably against the Constitution as to amount to an undisguised declaration that that compact is not meant to be the measure of the powers of the General Government, but that it will proceed in the exercise over these States, of all powers whatsoever: that they will view this as seizing the rights of the States, and consolidating them in the hands of the General Government, with a power assumed to bind the States (not merely as the cases made federal, casus fœderis but), in all cases whatsoever, by laws made, not with their consent, but by others against their consent: that this would be to surrender the form of government we have chosen, and live under one deriving its powers from its own will, and not from our authority; and that the co-States, recurring to their natural right in cases not made federal, will concur in declaring these acts void, and of no force, and will each take measures of its own for providing that neither these acts, nor any others of the General Government not plainly and intentionally authorized by the Constitution, shalt be exercised within their respective territories.
9th. Resolved, That the said committee be authorized to communicate by writing or personal conference, at any times or places whatever, with any person or persons who may be appointed by any one or more co-States to correspond or confer with them; and that they lay their proceedings before the next session of Assembly.
RESOLVED, That the General Assembly of Virginia, doth unequivocably express a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression either foreign or domestic, and that they will support the government of the United States in all measures warranted by the former.
That this assembly most solemnly declares a warm attachment to the Union of the States, to maintain which it pledges all its powers; and that for this end, it is their duty to watch over and oppose every infraction of those principles which constitute the only basis of that Union, because a faithful observance of them, can alone secure it’s existence and the public happiness.
That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.
That the General Assembly doth also express its deep regret, that a spirit has in sundry instances, been manifested by the federal government, to enlarge its powers by forced constructions of the constitutional charter which defines them; and that implications have appeared of a design to expound certain general phrases (which having been copied from the very limited grant of power, in the former articles of confederation were the less liable to be misconstrued) so as to destroy the meaning and effect, of the particular enumeration which necessarily explains and limits the general phrases; and so as to consolidate the states by degrees, into one sovereignty, the obvious tendency and inevitable consequence of which would be, to transform the present republican system of the United States, into an absolute, or at best a mixed monarchy.
That the General Assembly doth particularly protest against the palpable and alarming infractions of the Constitution, in the two late cases of the “Alien and Sedition Acts” passed at the last session of Congress; the first of which exercises a power no where delegated to the federal government, and which by uniting legislative and judicial powers to those of executive, subverts the general principles of free government; as well as the particular organization, and positive provisions of the federal constitution; and the other of which acts, exercises in like manner, a power not delegated by the constitution, but on the contrary, expressly and positively forbidden by one of the amendments thereto; a power, which more than any other, ought to produce universal alarm, because it is levelled against that right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon, which has ever been justly deemed, the only effectual guardian of every other right.
That this state having by its Convention, which ratified the federal Constitution, expressly declared, that among other essential rights, “the Liberty of Conscience and of the Press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained, or modified by any authority of the United States,” and from its extreme anxiety to guard these rights from every possible attack of sophistry or ambition, having with other states, recommended an amendment for that purpose, which amendment was, in due time, annexed to the Constitution; it would mark a reproachable inconsistency, and criminal degeneracy, if an indifference were now shewn, to the most palpable violation of one of the Rights, thus declared and secured; and to the establishment of a precedent which may be fatal to the other.
That the good people of this commonwealth, having ever felt, and continuing to feel, the most sincere affection for their brethren of the other states; the truest anxiety for establishing and perpetuating the union of all; and the most scrupulous fidelity to that constitution, which is the pledge of mutual friendship, and the instrument of mutual happiness; the General Assembly doth solemnly appeal to the like dispositions of the other states, in confidence that they will concur with this commonwealth in declaring, as it does hereby declare, that the acts aforesaid, are unconstitutional; and that the necessary and proper measures will be taken by each, for co-operating with this state, in maintaining the Authorities, Rights, and Liberties, referred to the States respectively, or to the people.
That the Governor be desired, to transmit a copy of the foregoing Resolutions to the executive authority of each of the other states, with a request that the same may be communicated to the Legislature thereof; and that a copy be furnished to each of the Senators and Representatives representing this state in the Congress of the United States.
These two wise men are, to me the best possible sources from which to draw on in this debate. The man who penned our Declaration of Independence, and the man who is known as the Father of our Constitution. Two men who were far different from the reactionary politicos we have too many of today. Two men who held the Constitution dear, two men who understood that a federal government, left unchecked, would soon rage out of control, and would subjugate both the States, and the people.
On the One Hand…
These should not be foreboding years. The U.S. is in the midst of a veritable energy revolution. There is a godsend of new gas and oil discoveries that will help to curtail our fiscal and foreign policy vulnerabilities – an energy bonanza despite, not because of, the present administration.
In terms of farming, the United States is exporting more produce than ever before at record prices. Americans eat the safest and cheapest food on the planet.
As far as high-tech gadgetry, the global companies that have most changed the world in recent years – Amazon’s online buying, Google search engines, Apple iPhones, iPads, and Mac laptops – are mostly American. There is a reason why Mexican nationals are not crossing their border into Guatemala – and it is not because they prefer English speakers to Spanish speakers.
Militarily, the United States is light years ahead of its rivals. And so on…
The New Poverty Is the Old Middle Class
We have redefined poverty itself through government entitlements, modes of mass production and consumerism, and technological breakthroughs. The poor man is not hungry; more likely he suffers from obesity, now endemic among the less affluent. He is not deprived of a big-screen TV, a Kia, warm water, or an air conditioner. (My dad got our first color television during my first year in college in 1972, a small 19 inch portable; I bought my first new car at 39, and quit changing my own oil at 44.)
In classical terms, today’s poor man is poor not in relative global terms (e.g. compared to a Russian, Bolivian, or Yemeni), but in the sense that there are those in America who have more things and choices than does he: a BMW instead of a Hyundai, ribeye instead of ground beef, Pellegrino rather than regular Coke, Tuscany in the summer rather than Anaheim at Disneyland, and L.L. Bean tasteful footwear rather than Payless shoes. I was in Manhattan not long ago, and noticed that my cheap, discount-store sportcoat and Target tie did not raise eyebrows among the wealthy people I spoke to, suggesting that the veneer of aristocracy is now within all our reach. When I returned to Selma, I noted that those ahead of me at Super Wal-Mart were clothed no differently than was I. Their EBD cards bought about the same foods.
Put all the above developments together, and an alignment of the planets is favoring America as never before – as long as we do not do something stupid to nullify what fate, our ancestors, and our own ingenuity have given us. But unfortunately that is precisely what is now happening.
The New Hubris
These are the most foreboding times in my 59 years. The reelection of Barack Obama has released a surge of rare honesty among the Left about its intentions, coupled with a sense of triumphalism that the country is now on board for still greater redistributionist change.
There is no historical appreciation among the new progressive technocracy that central state planning, whether the toxic communist brand or supposedly benevolent socialism, has only left millions of corpses in its wake, or abject poverty and misery. Add up the Soviet Union and Mao’s China and the sum is 80 million murdered or starved to death. Add up North Korea, Cuba, and the former Eastern Europe, and the tally is egalitarian poverty and hopelessness. The EU sacrificed democratic institutions for coerced utopianism and still failed, leaving its Mediterranean shore bankrupt and despondent.
Nor is there much philosophical worry that giving people massive subsidies destroys individualism, the work ethic, and the personal sense of accomplishment. There is rarely worry expressed that a profligate nation that borrows from others abroad and those not born has no moral compass. There is scant political appreciation that the materialist Marxist argument – that justice is found only through making sure that everyone has the same slice of stuff from the zero-sum pie – was supposed to end up on the ash heap of history.
Read the News and Weep
That is not conspiracy talk, but simply a distillation of what I read today. On the last day of the year when I am writing this, I offer you just three sample op-eds.
A journalist, Donald Kaul, in the Des Moines Register offers us a three-step, presto! plan to stop school shootings:
Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. …Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. …Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.
Note the new ease with which the liberal mind calls for trashing the Constitution, outlawing those whom they don’t like (reminiscent of “punish our enemies“?), and killing those politicians with whom they don’t agree (we are back to Bush Derangement Syndrome, when novels, movies, and op-eds dreamed of the president’s assassination.)
What would be the Register’s reaction should a conservative opponent of abortion dare write, “Repeal the First Amendment; ban Planned Parenthood as a terrorist organization; and drag Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi from a truck”? If an idiot were to write that trash, I doubt the Washington Times or Wall Street Journal would print such sick calls for overturning the Constitution and committing violence against public officials.
Ah Yes, Still More Redistribution
Turning to a column in The New Republic, John Judis, in honest fashion, more or less puts all the progressive cards on the table in a column titled “Obama’s Tax Hikes Won’t Be Nearly Big Enough” – a candor about what the vast $5 trillion deficits of Obama’s first term were all about in the first place.
Here is the summation quote: “But to fund these programs, governments will have to extract a share of income from those who are able to afford them and use the revenues to make the services available for everyone.”
Note that Judas was not talking about the projected new taxes in the fiscal cliff talks, but something far greater to come. He understands well that the “gorge the beast” philosophy that resulted in these astronomical debts will require enormous new sources of revenue, funds “to extract” from “those who are able to afford them” in order to “make services available for everyone.”
That is about as neat a definition of coerced socialism as one can find. Implicit in Judas’s formulation is that only a very well-educated (and well-compensated) technocratic class will possess the wisdom, the proper schooling, and the morality to adjudicate who are to be the extracted ones and who the new “everyone.”
The Constitution – Who the Hell Needs It?
The third item in my year-end reading was the most disturbing. A law professor (could it be otherwise?) named Louis Michael Seidman enlightens us with “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution” – yet another vision of what the now triumphant liberal mind envisions for us all:
As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.
Did Madison force Obama to borrow a half-billion dollars to fund Solyndra and its multimillionaire con artists?
Note Seidman’s use of “evil,” which tips his hand that our great moralist is on an ethical crusade to change the lives of lesser folk, who had the misfortune of growing up in America – a place so much less prosperous, fair, and secure than, say, Russia, China, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Spain, Greece, Italy, or Japan and Germany (in the earlier 20th century history). When I lived in Greece, traveled to Libya, and went into Mexico, I forgot to sigh, “My God, these utopias are possible for us too, if we just junked that evil Constitution.”
White Guys Did It
The non-archaic, un-idiosyncratic, and anti-downright evil Professor Seidman presses his argument against his inferiors who wrote the “evil” document: “Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.”
Ah yes, old white male Madison, who lacked the insight, character, and morality of our new liberal technocrats in our successful law schools, such as, well, Mr. Seidman himself:
As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official – say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress – reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?
I suppose human nature changes every decade or so, so why shouldn’t constitutions as well?
I can see Seidman’s vision now: Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi decides that semi-automatic handguns, not cheap Hollywood violence or sick video games, empower the insane to kill, and, presto, their “considered judgment” and favored “particular course of action” trump the archaic and evil wisdom of “white propertied men.” But if we wish to avoid the baleful influence of white guys, can Seidman point to indigenous Aztec texts for liberal guidance, or perhaps the contemporary constitution of liberated Zimbabwe, or the sagacity of the Chinese court system?
The Law Is What We Say It Is
Note the fox-in-the-henhouse notion that a constitutional law professor essentially hates the Constitution he is supposed to teach, sort of like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warning the Egyptians not to follow our own constitutional example, when South Africa has offered so much more to humanity than did Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson, and others: “I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the constitution of South Africa.” Ginsburg obviously vacations in Johannesburg, goes to Cape Town for her medical treatment, and has a vacation home and bank account in the scenic South African countryside.
Seidman looks fondly on Roosevelt’s war against the Constitution (especially the notion that law is essentially what an elected president who has proper “aspirations” says it is):
In his Constitution Day speech in 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt professed devotion to the document, but as a statement of aspirations rather than obligations. This reading no doubt contributed to his willingness to extend federal power beyond anything the framers imagined, and to threaten the Supreme Court when it stood in the way of his New Deal legislation.
Free at Last from Constitutional Chains
In the age of Obama, the constitutional law lecturer who once lamented that the Supreme Court had not gone far enough by failing to take up questions of forced redistribution, Seidman writes:
In the face of this long history of disobedience, it is hard to take seriously the claim by the Constitution’s defenders that we would be reduced to a Hobbesian state of nature if we asserted our freedom from this ancient text. Our sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has not produced chaos or totalitarianism; on the contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper.
But I thought it was the Constitution, not the anti-Constitution or egalitarian good will, that separated us from Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Tojo’s Japan, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and most of the miserable places that one sees abroad today, from Cuba to North Korea, which all had and have one thing in common – the embrace of some sort of national, republican, or democratic “socialism” guiding their efforts and plastered about in their sick mottoes.
The progressive mind, given that is it more enlightened and moral, alone can determine which parts of the “evil” Constitution should be summarily ignored (e.g., the Second Amendment) and which should not be: “This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands. Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.”
Give Real Freedom a Chance
I am sure that history offers all sorts of examples where people without evil documents like our Constitution protected free speech and religious worship – out of “respect.” Ask Socrates, Jesus, six million Jews, 20 million Russians, or those with eyeglasses during the days of the Khmer Rouge. Apparently, what stops such carnage is not the rule of constitutional law, but good progressive minds who care for others and show respect. I’ll try that rhetoric on the next thief who for the fourth time will steal the copper wire conduit from my pump.
So just dream with Professor Seidman:
The deep-seated fear that such disobedience would unravel our social fabric is mere superstition. As we have seen, the country has successfully survived numerous examples of constitutional infidelity… What has preserved our political stability is not a poetic piece of parchment, but entrenched institutions and habits of thought and, most important, the sense that we are one nation and must work out our differences. No one can predict in detail what our system of government would look like if we freed ourselves from the shackles of constitutional obligation, and I harbor no illusions that any of this will happen soon. But even if we can’t kick our constitutional-law addiction, we can soften the habit… before abandoning our heritage of self-government, we ought to try extricating ourselves from constitutional bondage so that we can give real freedom a chance.
I have seen their future and it is almost here right now. Scary times, indeed.
But, as a public service, we here at The Daley Gator are going to set them straight, with help from Silverfiddle
In the Church-State debate sidebars that have broken out on the fringes of the 2012 culture wars, a common liberal argument recurs:
“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t demand government stay out of religion, and then attempt to insert your religion into debates about government. The Wall of Separation between Church and State applies to church as well as state.”
That is wrong for a couple of reasons. First, there is no such thing as “a wall of separation” in the constitution. Here is what the First Amendment says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So, contrary to progressive arguments, it is legitimate and constitutional to bring one’s religious values to the public square. You can even bring them to the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Presidency, secure in the knowledge that you are a good American acting in accord with the US Constitution.
The second error in this statement is related to the first. The Constitution prohibits the federal government from establishing or prohibiting religion. It places no such strictures on citizens, so it doesn’t go both ways.
Consequently, We the People can have it both ways, freely exercising our religious rights in all public arenas while demanding government stay out of our business.
See, it is really VERY simple. The Founders deliberately gave us a constitution that is not too tough to figure out. And, frankly, let me add my two cents worth here. Those on the Left who argue that a Nativity scene on a courthouse lawn, or a student mentioning God at graduation violates the Constitution need to read the first amendment. It very clearly states that CONGRESS shall make no law…….. A high school student is not Congress. A town that has Santa in their Christmas parade is not Congress either. Sorry Liberals but the ACLU is wrong when they sue over a picture of Jesus in a school, or over a church using a school building for church services. And any judge that sides with the ACLU on such matters is wrong as well.
Again, the First Amendment is very clear.