From One Assault on the Constitution to Another
Hat tip: Lou Rockwell
by Paul Craig Roberts
April 20th, 2009
Anyone who has been around for a while and who pays any attention to the news sees many disturbing changes. Recently, I read a report that two children, ages seven and eight, had an altercation at school during recess. They were carted off in handcuffs by the police. The teachers or principal had dealt with the boys’ disagreement by calling in the law.
I wonder if the kids now have felonious assault records that will cancel their Second Amendment rights when they come of age.
When I was a kid there were no age limits to the Second Amendment. We all had firearms before we reached puberty. Anyone with the money could purchase a .22 caliber rifle at the local hardware store. If you were too young to see over the counter, the proprietor might call your parents to get an OK. You could purchase .22 caliber ammunition and shotgun shells at most any gas station.
None of us ever shot anyone or any farmer’s cow or mule. There were no gun accidents among my armed companions.
My grandmother never batted an eye when I walked out of her farmhouse with my grandfather’s shotgun. Guns were just a routine item. We all learned gun safety from the Boy Scouts. My grandmother only became concerned for my safety when I became the proud owner of a spirited horse.
If the attitudes that exist today had been around when I was coming along, my entire generation would be felons. I had my first altercation at the age of three. Bullies were ever present. A kid had to steel himself against them. At six years of age I learned that, Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers bravado notwithstanding, an older and stronger kid was just that. Fortunately, my mother was there to rescue me.
In our neighborhood elementary school, to which we all walked or rode our bikes from kindergarten on, recess was where one’s mettle was tested. One of our classmates, Robert, was much bigger than the rest of us and became overbearing.
Generally, our fights were wrestling matches. The first to get a scissors or a headlock on the other party would prevail. But Robert was a boxer, and as he was a head taller and long-armed, he was a problem. One day Herbert had enough of Robert, and a fistfight emerged. It was the first time we saw blood. Herbert was game, but Robert had the reach and the punch, and Herbert got a bloody nose and a busted lip.
The fight lasted a fairly long time, but the playground monitor, Mrs. Humphrey, a pretty young woman who taught the second grade, finally broke it up.
No police were called.
Robert won the fight, but it was the end of his bullying. Herbert, who was about 14 inches shorter, had stood up to him and continued the fight until rescued by Mrs. Humphrey.
Fighting was just normal. It wasn’t a police issue. Notes might have gone home to parents to explain the cut lip and bloody nose, but fights were just part of growing up. A person had to learn how to stand up for himself.
By Chuck Baldwin
April 24, 2009
Hat tip: NewsWithViews.com
On his recent trip to Central America, President Barack Obama signed onto an international treaty that could, in effect, be used as backdoor gun control. It appears that Obama wants to use international treaties to do what congressional legislation is not able to do: further restrict the right of the American people to keep and bear arms.
Obama is using the oft-disproved contention that “90% of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States” as the stated basis of his support for the international treaty he is promoting. The treaty is formally known as the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA) treaty. The Bill Clinton administration signed the treaty back in 1997, but the U.S. Senate has never ratified the treaty. Obama intends to change that.
To date, 33 nations in the western hemisphere have signed the treaty. The U.S. is one of four nations that have yet to ratify it. According to one senior Obama administration official, passing the treaty is a “high priority” for the President.
If ratified, the treaty would require the United States to adopt “strict licensing requirements, mark firearms when they are made and imported to make them easier to trace, and establish a process for sharing information between national law enforcement agencies investigating [gun] smuggling.”
Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee promises to “work for its [the CIFTA treaty's] approval by the Senate.”
Should the Senate ratify CIFTA, Americans who reload ammunition would be required to get a license from the government, and factory guns and ammunition would be priced almost out of existence due to governmental requirements to “mark” each one manufactured. Even the simple act of adding an after-market piece of equipment to a firearm, such as a scope or bipod, or reassembling a gun after cleaning it could fall into the category of “illicit manufacturing” of firearms and require government license and oversight.
Hat tip: Raw Story
By David Edwards and Muriel Kane
President Barack Obama’s release on Thursday of four Bush administration memos sanctioning torture has been widely praised. However, questions have been raised by the statements from both him and Attorney General Eric Holder that they have no intention of prosecuting the low-level CIA officers who carried out the tortures.
“How about prosecuting the people who did the sanctioning, then?” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow wondered. She asked constititutional law professor Jonathan Turley whether Obama’s statement that “this is a time for reflection, not retribution” means he’s “promising to not prosecute officials who sanctioned torture.”
“It’s very hard to say,” Turley replied. “But what is really disturbing is that … he’s equating the enforcement of federal laws, that he took an oath to enforce … with an act of retribution in some sort of hissy fit or blame game.”
“It’s not retribution to enforce criminal laws,” insisted Turley. “What it is is obstruction to prevent that enforcement — and that is exactly what he’s done thus far. He’s trying to lay the groundwork to look principled when he’s doing an utterly unprincipled thing.”
“There aren’t any ‘convenient’ or inconvenient times to investigate war crimes,” Turley emphasized. “You don’t have a choice. … You have an obligation to do it.”
Turley believes that Obama is backing off from any investigation of war crimes “because an investigation will go directly to the doorstep of President Bush … and there’s not going to be a lot of defenses that could be raised for ordering a torture program.”
by Jim Quinn
Hat tip: www.opednews.com
Do you know the enemy?
Do you know your enemy?
Well, gotta know the enemy
Violence is an enemy
Against the enemy
Violence is an energy
Bringing on the fury
The choir infantry
Revolt against the honor to obey
Know Your Enemy – Green Day
Do you know the enemy?
Is it Iraqis, Iran, the Taliban, terrorists, Muslims, Russia, North Korea, China, or our government? General Douglas MacArthur had a distinct point of view on the more likely threat.
“I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.”
William Strauss and Neil Howe wrote the book The Fourth Turning in 1997. Their theory is that history is a series of repetitive 100 year cycles with four generations living through each cycle. Each cycle and generation has many similarities, only the particular events change. We are currently in the most hazardous part of the cycle with the most volatile generation in positions of power. Strauss & Howe foresaw perilous times ahead:
“Based on historical patterns, America will hit a once-in-a-century national crisis within the decade…’like winter,’ the crisis or ‘fourth turning’ cannot be averted. It will last 20 years or so and bring hardship and upheavals similar to previous fourth turnings, such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II. The fourth turning is a perilous time because the result could be a new ‘golden age’ for America or the beginning of the end. It all will begin with a ‘sudden spark’ that catalyzes a crisis mood around the year 2005.”
We are currently in the midst of the Fourth Turning, an era of upheaval, a crisis in which our country will redefine its very nature and purpose. The sudden spark that catalyzed this crisis occurred on the beautiful sunny morning of September 11, 2001. The crisis reached an initial crescendo in late 2008. Many believe that the worst is behind us and the future has begun to brighten. This is highly unlikely. Previous crisis periods lasted fifteen to twenty years. The Civil War crisis was confined to five brutal years that resulted in 600,000 American deaths. The crisis in our past history that appears most analogous is the Great Depression/World War II crisis that lasted sixteen years. A financial depression caused by the Federal Reserve pumping too much credit into the financial system during the 1920′s had been considered the worst in U.S. history. The current financial crisis, caused by the Federal Reserve pumping too much credit into the financial system along with politicians turbo charging the effort by eliminating all regulation of the financial system, has led to the Greater Depression. We are likely only half way through this crisis, with tears and bloodshed yet to follow.
by Judge Andrew Napolitano
“Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat… But, if it is flat, will the King’s command make it round? And if it is round, will the King’s command flatten it? … NO.”
When Robert Bolt wrote that truism in his play A Man For All Seasons, his protagonist, Thomas More, was attempting to persuade the jury at his trial for high treason that all governments have limitations, and that the statute he was accused of violating was beyond Parliament’s lawful authority to enact. Sir Thomas was there appealing to the natural law as well as to the common sense of his jurors: The government can’t change the laws of nature. As we know, he fared no better than those who today argue that Congress is not omnipotent, has natural, moral, and constitutional limitations on its power, and every day fails to abide them.
Jefferson wedded the natural law to American law in the Declaration of Independence when he wrote that our rights are “inalienable” and come to us from “Our Creator.” Not only does federal law recognize that, but the whole American experience recognizes the natural law as the ultimate source of our freedoms and as a restraint on the government. Thus, the traditional panoply of American rights is ours by birthright and cannot be interfered with by an act of Congress or order of the president, but only after due process.
Two of those rights are speech and contract. A law enacted by Congress punishing speech (such as the Patriot Act provision that declares to be felonious speaking about the receipt of certain search warrants) is no law at all, since the law itself violates the natural right to speak freely, which is expressly protected in the Constitution. The Framers fully understood this as they wrote in the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no laws … abridging the freedom of speech.” I have italicized the word the to make my point. The framers accepted the natural law premise that freedoms come with and from our humanity. The freedom of speech obviously preexisted the constitutional amendment insulating it from government abridgement, and the Framers’ use of the article the reflects their unmistakable acceptance of that truism.
Similarly, a law changing the terms of a private contract is no law since it violates the natural right to make binding agreements. The Framers knew that as well. The Constitution specifically forbids the states and, by requiring due process and expressly forbidding taking property without just compensation, the federal government, from “impairing the Obligation of Contracts.” This, too, is a personal natural right that pre-existed the constitutional clauses that bar the government from interfering with it.
A 1978 Ronald Reagan speech.
Solving problems of unemployment and inflation are often discussed in the context of what government intends to do about it. May I suggest for your consideration that government has already done too much about it? That indeed, government, by going outside its proper province, has caused many if not most of the problems that vex us.
How much are we to blame for what has happened? Beginning with the traumatic Great Depression, we the people have turned more and more to government for answers that government has neither the right nor the capacity to provide. Unfortunately, government always tends to increase in size and power.
The result is a fourth branch of government: a vast federal bureaucracy of enormous power that determines policy to a greater extent than any of us realize. And it can’t be removed from office by our votes.
To give you an illustration of how bureaucracy works in another country: England in 1803 created a new civil service position. It called for a man to stand on the cliffs of Dover with a spy glass and ring a bell if he saw Napoleon coming. They didn’t eliminate that job until 1945. In our own country, there are only two government programs that have been abolished. The government stopped making rum on the Virgin Islands, and we’ve stopped breeding horses for the cavalry.
We bear a greater tax burden to support that permanent bureaucratic structure than any of us would have believed possible just a few decades ago. When I was in college, government was taking a dime out of every dollar earned and less than a third of that paid for the federal establishment. Today, governments, federal, state, and local, are taking 44 cents out of every dollar earned, and two-thirds of that supports Washington. It is the fastest growing item in the average family budget, and yet it is not one of the factors used in computing the cost of living index. It is the biggest single cost item in the family budget, bigger than food, shelter and clothing all put together.
When government tells us that in the last year the people in America have increased their earnings 9 percent, and since the inflation is 6 percent, we’re still 3 percentage points better off, or richer than we were the year before, government is being deceitful. That was before taxes. After taxes, the people of America are 3 percentage points worse off, poorer than they were before they got the 9 percent raise. Government profits by inflation.
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.
By Chuck Baldwin
March 17, 2009
Thanks to a concerned Missouri state policeman, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host was alerted last week to a secret Missouri state police report that categorized supporters of Congressman Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and myself as “‘militia’ influenced terrorists.” The report, he said, “instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.”
Ignoring the threat of [suicide-bombing] terrorists, the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) report focuses on the so-called “militia movement” and “conflates it with supporters of Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr, the so-called patriot movement and other political activist organizations opposed to the North American Union and the New World Order.”
This report is not original, of course. During the Clinton admin-istration, a Phoenix Federal Bureau of Investigation and Joint Terrorism Task Force explicitly designated “defenders” of the Constitution as “right-wing extremists.” However, the MIAC report significantly expands on earlier documents and is the first known document to actually name names. According to the MIAC, opposition to world government, NAFTA, federalization of the states, and restrictive gun laws are a potential threat to the police. The MIAC report also refers to Aaron Russo’s film, “America: Freedom to Fascism.”
The [InfoWars.com] story exposing the MIAC report states, “The MIAC report is particularly pernicious because it indoctrinates Missouri law enforcement in the belief that people who oppose confiscatory taxation, the well-documented existence of a New World Order, and the obvious expansion of the federal government at the expense of the states as violent extremists who are gunning for the police. It specifically targets supporters of mainstream political candidates and encourages police officers to consider them dangerous terrorists.”
“…self-determination is a good principle. It’s a very American principle, so to me it’s a shame that we can’t discuss this.
Hat tip: Campaign for Liberty
Ron Paul: This weekend I got a couple of calls from the media asking me questions about Rick Perry, our governor here in Texas and the statements he made about possible secession. Now, he didn’t call for secession, but he was restating a principle that was long held and at least in the original time of our country, and that is that there was a right to secession.
Actually, after the Civil War, nobody believes there is a so-called right to secession, but it is a very legitimate issue to debate because all of the states that came into the Union before the Civil War believed they have a right to secede and New England in the early part of the 19th century actually considered it, and nobody questioned them about whether they had the right to do it or not.
Since the Civil War, it’s been sort of a dead issue, but he brought it up. It stirred the media and believe me, it really stirred some of the liberal media where they started really screaming about what is going on here. “This is un-American”, I heard one individual say, “This is treasonous to even talk about it.”
Well, they don’t know their history very well because if they think about it, it’s an American tradition. It’s very American to talk about secession. That’s how we came into being. Thirteen colonies seceded from the British and established a new country, so secession is very much an American principle.
What about all the strong endorsements we have given over the past decade or two of those republics that seceded from the Soviet system? We were delighted with this. We never said, “Oh no. Secession is treasonous”.
No. Secession is a good principle. Just think of the benefits that would have come over these last 230-some years if the principle of secession had existed. That means the federal government would always have been restrained, not to overburden the states with too much federalism, too many federal rules and regulations.
But since that was all wiped out with the Civil War, the federal government has grown by leaps and bounds and we have suffered the consequences, and we need to reconsider this. It’s not un-American to think about the possibility of secession. This is something that’s voluntary. We came together voluntarily. A free society means you can dissolve it voluntarily. That was the whole issue was about.
Just remember one of the reasons that Wilson drove us in unnecessarily into World War I. He talked about what we have to give, have every country in the world the benefit of self-determination, a good principle. Of course, I don’t think he really believed that. But self-determination is a good principle. It’s a very American principle, so to me it’s a shame that we can’t discuss this.
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever. George Orwell
Young preacher tasered, beaten at Arizona traffic stop for refusing to submit to warrantless search.
I told them I was a US citizen.
I told them I was on a business trip.
I told them I had no drugs or humans in the car.
That wasn’t enough. They wanted to search the car, and I invoked my 4th amendment rights.
I DID NOT RESIST OR FIGHT BACK. YET I WAS TAZERED REPEATEDLY AND SHOVED IN BROKEN GLASS REPEATEDLY!
I was IN the United States!!! I had crossed no international border!!!
Hat tip: The Daily Beast
by Bruce Fein
There were no professional interrogators involved in the creation of the CIA’s torture program.
It’s bad enough that we have war criminals running amok. Having one of them (Jay Bybee )sitting on one of the highest courts in the land (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit) is simply psychotic.
“The evidence is now undeniable. President Barack Obama is flouting his unflagging constitutional obligation enshrined in Article II, Section 3 to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” He is also reneging on his signature campaign promise to restore the rule of law, transparency, and accountability to the White House. He is displaying the psychology of an arrogant Empire as opposed to a modest Republic in continuing and escalating the Bush-Cheney duumvirate’s global and perpetual war against international terrorism heedless of foreign sovereignties or the lives of civilians.
Even more disappointing, Obama has proven a political coward dangerous to the Republic. Before April 16, he had decided against any criminal investigation of the Bush-Cheney duumvirate or their inner circles for their boasted complicity in torture, i.e., waterboarding, which Attorney General Eric Holder has declared is torture. He has similarly declined investigations of extraordinary renditions that have occasioned, among other things, the indictments and in absentia trials of 26 CIA operatives in Milan, Italy, for the kidnapping and torture of Egyptian cleric Abu Omar.
Obama asserted: “Enlisting our values [like the rule of law or transparency] in the protection of our people makes us stronger and more secure. A democracy as resilient as ours must reject the false choice between our security and our ideals [like the rule of law or government in the sunshine]… I believe strongly in transparency and accountability… The United States is a nation of laws.”
Obama has set a precedent whitewashing White House lawlessness in the name of national security that will lie around like a loaded weapon ready for resurrection by any Commander-in-Chief eager to appear “tough on terrorism” and to exploit popular fear.
- Bruce Fein, (Excerpt: “How Obama Excused Torture,” The Daily Beast, 4-17-09.