Archive for the ‘The Constitution’ Category
Celebrate Today; Pray For Tomorrow
Another Chance Is Coming, And It May Be Our Last…
by L. J. Martin
Subsequent to the political conventions the political campaigns will begin in earnest. Conservatives (whom I hope show some fiscal responsibility, which is why they’re called conservative) made some inroads in the “half-time” election, gaining control of the house and putting some so-called Tea Party folks in office. And they’ve tried to correct some of Washington’s sins, without much effect. They were able to make NO CUTS in the budget, only slightly denting this year’s increase in the deficit. Sorry, folks, but if it weren’t so sad, it would be laughable. Your country is being eaten from the inside by the tapeworm of liberalism, and there may be nothing left but fly encrusted road apples for your children and mine. It’s an unappetizing thought.
And nothing will change unless the administration changes and conservatives gain control of the Senate.
Jefferson said: I place economy among the first and most important virtues and public debt as the greatest dangers to be feared … We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude … The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the disposition of public money. We are endeavoring to reduce the government to the practice of rigid economy to avoid burdening the people …
But what does he know? He’s just an old guy who penned the greatest political document in the history of mankind. I wish I were where I could lay flowers daily at his grave, and apologize for what we’ve done to his careful planning, and that of his contemporaries.
To say I’m disappointed is one of the great understatements of 2012. I’m disappointed in what has happened in Washington since the last elections, but more so in what hasn’t happened. But I somewhat understand. In America you have to be willing to give up that hard won job of senator or congressman to get anything done. You have to believe that folks really sent you there to change something, and be willing to risk all…of course that’s an exaggeration as you have to be willing to risk your job, that’s all. Unlike our forefathers, who literally risked life, limb, property and family to bring us a country to be governed by the constitution they so carefully penned.
The concept of a Washington job being “public service” has become truly antiquated. But it seems politicians are like remoras, once they get attached to the shark that is money, power, and the perceived respect of high public office (which has all but disappeared), they won’t risk anything to lose that…. And they will willingly risk the future of the country in order to stay in power. What a shame, how self-serving, what a poor example of human dedication to doing what’s necessary, what’s right, what common sense dictates. And what may be the last gasp of a dying country.
Thomas Jefferson: When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property.
Your congressman or senator should be ready to go home after doing what he was sent to do, even if those who sent him cower and wonder why, even if those who sent him don’t glean more from the public coffers as all seem to want. Let’s see, is it better to have a half million dollar save-the-white-mouse project come to your state…or to save the country for your children and grandchildren? It seems it’s human nature in modern America to take, take, take. I wonder when I see something as inane as a state outlawing kickball and tag on the playground, are we becoming such a nation of wimps that we don’t deserve all our forefathers fought and died for? Thank God a governor with an ounce of common sense overruled the imbeciles who would destroy every vestige of youth facing a real world. Still, I fear it portends the future. No wonder kids are living at home until just short of thirty…they’re conditioned not to face the real world. Oh, my God, I scraped my elbow…quick mom, take me to the emergency room. And yes, there are bullies on the playground, and if you think they are bullies, join the Marine Corps or face the climb up the corporate ladder of any tough, self-reliant corporation in America. And that’s as it should be; you can’t make fighters out of little fairies; unless you’ve let them play a little kickball and take one in the chops along the way. Trust me, they’re still playing kickball and tag, and probably some damn sight rougher games, in Russia, China, Iran, and the rest of the world.
When you propose real cuts in spending, you become the villain to every hand-out palm-up type who acted as if they wanted something done in Washington, but when they were effected in the least, did the worm and wondered why they sent you there if what you try to do costs them a dime. And when I say hand-out palm-up, I don’t mean the guy on the street corner looking for a handout. I mean the farmer, the oil company, the college professor, the guy in the hardhat on the government funded construction project…it’s all of us are part of the problem, and all of us have to awaken.
This country is going to have to get very, very serious in order to awaken those still straddling the fence on the issue of fiscal responsibility. Of course they don’t recognize trimming the size of government, cutting programs, actually trying for a balanced budget as fiscal responsibility. If a politician suggests cutting a program that might encourage that ghetto mama whose living off the fat of those bloated government programs to get a job other than continue to pop out voters who’ll follow her horrid example, he’s a racist. It seems it’s all about the lexicon, about what things are called, and the press and liberal politicians are very good at firing back with: Mothers, Children, Education, the Old and Infirm, Veterans, the Sick, Social Security, School Lunches, the Underprivileged, Aids, and on and on. Anyone who suggests cutting programs is nothing less than a capitalist pig who hates all the above and would see them starve and rot in the street from disease and pestilence.
Seldom do you hear the very simple fact that we have to live within our means, and as I’ve said since I began this blog, everyone is going to have to realize that it’s their ox that’s going to get gored just like the next guys.
I have long preached to my own children and grandchildren, you can’t help others until you help yourself. It’s a simple concept, but one that is the heart of self-reliance and, yes, self respect. And it’s the concept that made this country great.
Maybe the real answer to the public awakening is something as simple, yet devastating, as gas prices. It seems to come home to “everyman” when he pulls up to the pump and his bill and those little digital numbers on the pump face roll over a Ben Franklin, a hundred bucks. Little digital numbers and every blink is a slap in his face, a shock to his system, an awakening. When my wife holds up a can of peaches in the market and her mouth drops open when she sees $2.50. When our propane bill (in Montana we used to heat the house with propane) comes in at what was $.80 a gallon fifteen years ago and is now $4.00, and it will be this year the way things are going. Prices up by five times in fifteen years, that’s more than doubling every five years, that’s more than 20% inflation…yet your government says there’s no inflation. A BIG LIE. But that’s okay everyman, they think you and I are dumb as a box of rocks. And so far, they’ve been right.
Maybe we will demand that the federal government stop lying to us and include the cost of fuel and food in those “so-called” inflation numbers they’ve been bragging about for the last few years. A BIG LIE.
Maybe we will awaken and elect some president, some senators, some congressmen and women, who have actually worked for a living and have actually had to comply with a budget. And I don’t care what you call them, liberal, conservative, libertarian, tea party, so long as they understand one thing: you can’t spend money you don’t have, which means you have to cut, cut, cut.
And increasing taxes is not the problem, to hear Obama you’d think those making over $250,000.00 a year, jointly man and wife, are the great culprits of the country. He forgets to mention that the top 1.7% of earners, making over $370,000.00 a year already pay 38% of the federal tax bill. Do I give a damn if some fat cigar smoking cat makes a hundred mil a year and has five yachts, two airplanes, a house in NY, Aspen, and Beverly Hills?… No, I don’t. I give a damn that he employees five hundred or more likely five thousand, and maybe fifty thousand Americans. Wake up, America, no poor person writes a payroll check. And I do give a damn that the fat cat smokes cigars, for he’s a health hazard, but other than that….
During the revolution Jefferson said: We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.
His words today would be: We should not expect to be translated from deep debt to fiscal sanity in a featherbed.
Your ox and mine will have to be gored. STAND UP, AMERICA.
The pendulum has swung far to far, it’s time to get back to the constraints of the Constitution, and to pay special attention to the 10th Amendment. Time to actually reduce the size of federal government, and give states the responsibility they were expected to assume when the second greatest of all political documents was written.
Nowhere in the United States Constitution does it say that every citizen is to have a government tit to suckle. We’ve strayed, and the result hasn’t been good.
L. J. Martin is a resident of Montana and the author of 30 book length works and of the conservative blog http://fromthepeapatch.com. Learn more at www.ljmartin.com and www.wolfpackranch.com.
I think Chief Justice John Edwards a man of the highest character and intelligence, and we should all look upon his vote as one of honor, and we should all remember that upholding the Constitution is not agreeing with a law that might be in compliance therewith. Edwards merely allowed Congress and the administration to make their own mistakes.
This is an excerpt from Allen West’s weekly roundup, which in my mind sums up what the Supreme Court did this past week, italics above and below mine for clarity:
And how those patriots (the forefathers) would have shed tears upon hearing the decision coming from the Supreme Court of the United States of America this past week. This decision has set a precedent by collectively subjugating the individual rights of Americans to the subjective whims of the Federal Government. This decision has given the Federal Government unlimited taxing authority to unleash a new era of behavior modification by way of taxation. This decision has taken us back to exactly the point and reason for America’s founding — onerous taxation.
As we come upon the 236th anniversary of the document setting America apart from all other nations, the Declaration of Independence, consider the achievement of Thomas Jefferson all those years ago. Thomas Jefferson would create the longest running Constitutional Republic the world has ever known. He would set forth a concept that was foreign at the time, of rule by the consent of the governed, not by the monarch. His idea that our unalienable rights did not come from a single ruler but were embedded in each of us from our Creator wholeheartedly altered the relationship between God, leaders, and the people.
Yet, in a single moment five Supreme Court justices decided that Jefferson’s words had no meaning. These Justices decided that James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton had it all wrong.
“A country, after all, is not something you build as the pharaohs built the pyramids, and then leave standing there to defy eternity. A country is something that is built every day out of certain basic shared values.”
– Pierre Trudeau
[Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau] (1919-2000) Prime Minister of Canada (1968-1979, 1980-1984)
Source: Memoirs (1993), Part 5, Life After Politics, p. 366
This is a quote I can both agree with and worry about. Those of us who are working or who want to work are not “sharing values” with those content to be on the dole, on the government tit, and it seems that segment is growing daily as the “fuzzies” the “libs” continue to buy votes with handouts of OUR money. Some things seem to be progressing, such as the new Florida law requiring those on welfare to take a drug test. GO FLORIDA! And the Supreme Court upholding Arizona’s right to check a person’s citizenship when they’re stopped by police.
Then our administration tries something so blatantly against our Constitution as removing 287G from Arizona’s rights. This from the ICE webpage:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative agency in the Department of Homeland Security, enforces federal immigration laws as part of its homeland security mission. ICE works closely with federal, state and local law enforcement partners in this mission.
The 287(g) program, one of ICE’s top partnership initiatives, allows a state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The state or local entity receives delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions.
So now, in the eyes of the federal government Arizona has no authority for immigration enforcement? But New Mexico, California, and Texas…and all other states do? The fed is saying if you want to use the Supreme Court to overturn what we want, if you want to comply with the ruling of the Supreme Court, we will punish you. I find it very interesting, and I’m sure the Supreme Court justices do as well, that Obama is trying an end run to punish a state who’s only following the courts interpretation of the Constitution. Then again, time and time again, the Obama administration seems to think the law of the land is something they can ignore. Something they are above.
If there’s one value we in this country should share, it’s a reverence for the document that’s the foundation of all that’s made us great, all that’s made us the go-to country in the world. And the Supreme Court is the supreme interpretation of that document. There’s no question in my mind that there’s one citizen who doesn’t share that particular value and that’s Barack Hussein Obama. He demonstrates it day after day after day. Sorry, Mr. President, but I don’t share your values. I comply with the rulings of the Supreme Court.
From Senator Fred Thompson:
The Fast and Furious investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has produced President Obama’s first executive privilege claim. The Committee has been aggressively looking into the ATF’s botched operation that deliberately allowed about 2,000 weapons to be sold into Mexico, and distributed among Mexican drug cartels. This resulted in the killing of at least one US Border Patrol agent. The committee has subpoenaed Justice Department documents pertaining to who in the department knew about the operation and when they knew it. The department has refused to turn over most of the subpoenaed documents.
Attorney General Eric Holder has been waltzing the committee around, producing selected documents and (you guessed it) blaming the Bush Administration for similar and worse activities. These charges were so clearly erroneous that Holder later withdrew them. This has resulted in a showdown, and Wednesday the committee voted to hold Holder in contempt. Shortly before the vote, Obama claimed executive privilege in order to refuse to prevent the production of the subpoenaed documents.
Issues as to the proper use of presidential executive privilege have arisen many times, since every president has used it at one time or another. Interestingly, executive privilege is not found in the Constitution, but neither is the right of Congress to investigate. But the Supreme Court has recognized both as implied powers, inherent within the powers that are given to both branches by the Constitution.
What About Executive Privilege?
With regard to executive privilege, the courts have recognized a qualified privilege to protect communications between the president and executive officials, as well as deliberations that go into advice given to the president.
George W. Bush successfully claimed the privilege with regard to matters pertaining to presidential adviser Karl Rove, White House counsel Harriet Meyers and Vice President Dick Cheney. Presidents have, on occasion, cast an even wider net over executive branch action. But I am not aware of any court case that has upheld the right to treat communications between people who work in a department, such as Justice , as privileged. In fact recently the DC Court of Appeals has held just the opposite.
Nevertheless, I believe these are precisely the kind of documents that Obama is claiming as privileged. If in fact the documents, or some of them, were sent to the President or his White House aides, then the President’s claim would be stronger. But it would also mean that they were much more involved in Fast and Furious than anyone knew.
In that case the President would take a public-relations hit (assuming anyone in the mainstream media would report it), but he could then raise another point: Courts are more likely to set aside executive privilege if it’s being used to shield information in a criminal investigation.
Everyone remembers that is what happened in President Nixon’s case. The Special Prosecutor was given access to the Nixon tapes. What is often not remembered is that the Watergate Committee, on which I served as counsel, lost its case and its attempt to obtain the same tapes. In both cases the Supreme Court balanced the legitimate, competing interests of the President, on the one hand and the Special Prosecutor and the committee on the other. The court held that the need to do justice in a criminal case overrode the President’s interest in protecting even his own conversations and that of his aides. On the other hand, the committee’s interest in educating the people and in informing itself with regard to possible future legislation, while legitimate, was not superior to that of the President’s interests, as described above. A congressional committee, of course, has no prosecutorial authority.
The favored position given to a criminal investigation was seen again in 1998 when a federal judge ruled that aides to President Clinton could be called by the Independent Counsel to testify in the Lewinsky scandal.
Getting To The Bottom Of It All
However, even under these circumstances the Obama team would have a problem. The House committee has already caught the Justice Department in a blatant misrepresentation. In February of last year the department in a letter to the committee flatly stated that there was no “gun walking” into Mexico. Now, some of the documents being subpoenaed have to do with determining if this was a deliberate lie to Congress. If the Committee can’t get to the bottom of that, then they might as well close up shop.
Roger Clemens can tell you that even weak cases are doggedly pursued. So, while the House is not in the business of prosecuting criminal cases, they could refer the case to Justice, and since Justice can’t investigate itself, call for Special Counsel. We know how far that would get us.
Others have suggested another approach that would probably be more fruitful — that the House file a civil suit in Federal Court for enforcement of the subpoena and request the court to look at the Justice documents “in camera” to determine if executive privilege is appropriate. I think that having this potential criminal shadow over the proceedings would help the House in this endeavor. Then, if the evidence dictates, a criminal case could be pursued.
A Very Simple Cause: Justice
At the end of the day, nothing will happen in the legal arena to settle the matter before the election, and Obama knows that. But the matter should still be pursued for a very simple reason: justice. Justice for the families of those killed in the botched ATF operation and for anyone who tried to cover it up.
As for right now it’s a political matter and it is apparent that the Obama team is sitting on damaging information. As my pal Andrew McCarthy points out, Holder paints his department as the heroes in all of this. After trying to blame his predecessor (unsuccessfully), he claims that he was the one that put a stop to Fast and Furious. McCarthy asks if you think that this administration, which shovels out the nation’s top secrets at the drop of a hat, would sit on this information if it made them look good.
As all of this plays out, Obama should be asked, again and again, “Why did you choose to wait and exercise your only executive privilege claim to prevent the disclosure of those responsible for the murder of at least one US Border Patrol agent and probably many innocent Mexicans?”
The First Amendment is just one of those pesky things in the Constitution. It has nothing to do with what Obama and his supporters espouse or support. Yes, you should obey the police…however when even they go against free speech and the right of assembly, you should stand up, even if it means being arrested. Check out the video….
Following the threat, the officer arrested the two journalists. Even though they were released a short time later, the incident has not gone unnoticed. According to the National Press Photographers Association, there have been 70 such arrests that they have documented since last September. Many of the arrests have involved the filming of news stories when the police decide they don’t want to allow it to be filmed. They seem to just arbitrarily decide on their own when it is legal and when it isn’t.
A Dangerous, Dangerous, Dangerous Precedent
From the United States Justice Foundation:
Two New York legislators have taken a page from the playbook of aspiring internet regulator Joe Lieberman by sponsoring a bill that would make the posting of anonymous comments illegal. The bill written by Republican State Senators Dean Murray and Thomas O’Mara states:
“A web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his…name to the post and confirms that his…IP address, legal name and home address are accurate. All web site administrators shall have a contact number or e-mail address for such removal requests clearly visible in any sections where comments are posted.”
The stated purpose of the Act is “…to amend the civil rights law, in relation to protecting a person’s right to know who is behind an anonymous internet posting.” Apparently, it has now become a civil right to know what your neighbor thinks of Barack Obama, the United Nations, or Jerry’s House of Pancakes.
According to Murray and O’Mara, passage of the Act would “…cut down on cyberbullying, protect small businesses such as restaurants from unfounded, negative reviews and, naturally, protect politicians from baseless, derogatory attacks during campaign time.” As one wag added, “I’m sure that last concern is only an afterthought.”
The contempt displayed by the nation’s politicos for the constitutionally protected rights of the American public seems to increase with each passing year. Some believe pressure brought to bear by Tea Parties or the occasional primary upset of a longtime incumbent will sort out political hacks like Murray and O’Mara. But so arrogant are these self-important law makers that even decisions of the Supreme Court are blissfully ignored.
End of Article
It’s my belief that this is unconstitutional, and a terrible infringement on free speech. Where in the Constitution does it say that if I shout, or publish, or whisper “You’re wrong” do I have to say, “You’re wrong, and my name is John Doe and my address is 123 Pine Street, Everytown.”
When did it become a law to know what your neighbor believes, and to make him sign in blood if he makes a statement? I cannot begin to tell you how every anti-Constitutional, anti-First Amendment I think this is. The Internet has become the bastion of free speech in this country of ours, a country whose very foundation is free speech, and it’s being attacked from every point on the compass. Now big brother wants to tell you how much smarter he is than you, how much better he can determine what you can believe in than you can. You are unable to determine what’s true and what’s not, and if something is unattributed it must have been posted with malice and is not to be considered…in fact, you’re not smart enough to consider if it’s relevant or true or false. Censorship is the beginning of total Communism/Socialism…. DON’T LET IT HAPPEN.
Here is the actual proposed New York State Law: