Archive for the ‘US Constitution’ Category

Remember Your Right to Happiness

by Daniel Greenfield on Friday, July 4th, 2014

This is article 43 of 43 in the topic US Holidays

Revolutions are not unique. Some countries have revolutions all the time until revolution becomes their national sport. In banana republics the overthrow of one dictator to make way for another gives everyone a day off from work.

These revolutions, no matter how they are cloaked in the familiar rhetoric of liberty, are nothing more than tyranny by other means.

What made the American Revolution unique was that its cause was not the mere transfer of power from one ruler to another or one system to another, but a fundamental transformation of the nature of rule.

Every revolution claims to be carried out in the name of the people, but it’s never the people who end up running things.

The Declaration of Independence did more than talk about the rights of the people. It placed the people at the center of the nation and its government, not as an undifferentiated mass to be harnessed for whatever propaganda purposes they might be good for, but as individuals with hopes and dreams.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

That is not merely some bland reference to a mass of people. There is no collective here, only the individual. The greater good of independence is not some system that will meet with the approval of the mass, but that will make it possible for the individual, each individual, to live a free life, not a life lived purely for the good of the mass, but for his own sake.

In a time when government mandates what you can eat and how much of it, only one of the ways it seeks to regulate every aspect of daily life for the greater good– the declaration that started it all declares that the purpose of government is not social justice, a minimally obese population, universal tolerance or even equality. Equality is acknowledged as a fact, not as a goal.

Instead the goal of government is to allow people to be happy.

That seems like a silly goal. What kind of great nation gets started by asserting that government exists to allow people to be happy? But look at the common condition of any tyranny. Take in that sense of 1984ness and its most obvious characteristic is unhappiness. People are persistently unhappy under a tyranny, whether they are rich or poor, because they are robbed of the necessary freedom to pursue individual happiness.

They are not allowed to be individuals.

We live in an age of collective tyrannies under systems that seek to maximize the ideal welfare of the group. They care nothing for the happiness of the individual. And they care even less for the notion that the individual has a right to achieve that happiness by pursuing it on its own terms, rather than through their socially-approved and market-tested form of happiness.

The Declaration of Independence lays out the conundrum that governments exist to allow individuals to pursue their own forms of happiness.

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James Madison: The Indispensible Founder

by Alan Caruba on Friday, June 27th, 2014

This is article 135 of 135 in the topic History

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. … If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one. …

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. … The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general.

Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. … There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
- James Madison

When people are asked to name the Founding Fathers of the nation, they usually reel off Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, the first, second and third Presidents in addition to their earlier role in guiding the Revolution to success.

Occasionally, someone who, like myself, loves history will add Madison, the fourth President, but Lynne Cheney’s new biography of Madison rightly identifies him as the man most responsible “for creating the United States of America in the form we know it today.” It was Madison who guided the process by which the Founders arrived at the Constitution, contributing the fundamental principles it incorporated and writing the Bill of Rights, amendments that ensured its ratification by the original states.

Cheney’s biography, “James Madison: A Life Considered” ($36.00, Viking) benefits not only from her scholarship, but from her facility with the written word, making it a continual pleasure to read for a book of 563 pages, including its notes, bibliography, and index. If you were to set aside the summer to read just one book, this would be the one I would recommend.

If Cheney’s name rings a bell, it is because she is the wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney, but she is also a Ph.D. who has been studying Madison since 1987 when she was a member of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution. These days she is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

The Cheney’s reside in Wilson, Wyoming. She is making the rounds of radio and television shows to promote her book and, most notably, interviewers tend to ignore her book in order to pry an opinion out of her about current events and politics. One gets the feeling that most did not read her book.

Those short in stature and, compared to the other Founders, quite young, all who came to know him swiftly developed a profound respect for his intellect and his knowledge of how governments were structured with some succeeding while others failed. When Madison spoke, they listened. There were in those days “factions” (which today we call political parties) that opposed his and the other Founder’s views.

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US republic now gone–fully replaced by dictatorship

by Sher Zieve on Thursday, June 26th, 2014

This is article 984 of 986 in the topic Obama

I have been writing about this time for, at least, the last ten years. It has now arrived. It has occurred under Barack Hussein Obama. Those who say “Obama has now lost his political power” are either not seeing what’s going on or are willfully attempting ignorance. As predicted, Obama’s power as dictator-in-chief is on the rise and growing exponentially every day.

Obama and his criminal syndicate are completely and tyrannically running the show in the USA. US and Constitutional laws are not being followed – and have not been since Obama took the Office of POTUS – by Obama and the members of his ruling cabal. Obama’s legal authority is to enforce the laws of the land. Obama has – and is – doing neither. Instead, he is writing and judging laws – replacing both Congress and SCOTUS.

The Obama syndicate didn’t like SCOTUS’ Citizens United decision regarding political contributions from all – not just its own leftist supporters. Therefore, the ObamaGov sicked its now wholly-owned IRS on Obama’s enemies conservative, Christian and observant Jewish organizations in order to keep them all from being politically active in opposing his Orwellian and subversive policies. In an article from Huff Post – hardly a conservative or even “moderate” publication – Harlow Giles Unger writes: “Nothing in the Constitution gives a president power to issue executive orders or proclamations with the force of law. The opening words of Article I of the Constitution are quite clear: “All legislative powers… shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” ”

Obama’s message that the US’ Southern border is now wide-open has reached not only Mexico but, Central America and the Middle East’s jihadis…and they are entering what used to be a country – our country – by the thousands. Obama’s – or perhaps Jarrett’s – strategy seems to have been and-still-does “Let them know we’re no longer trying to keep anyone out and that they can send their kids here so that the stupid American people will feel sorry for them. Then, their parents can follow and be new Democrat voters!” Note: Without well-maintained and policed borders, there is not a sovereign country. And quite obviously the Islamic terrorist groups, drug cartels, human traffickers and Latin gangs (with MS-13 members reported to be in the forefront) are now entering at will. Obama said he would “transform” what was once our country. Transform to Obama means “obliterate”…and he has done so while Congress members still do nothing to stop him in the hopes that Obama will allow them to retain their “elite-ruler” status.

Obama has overtly turned against our veterans, is in the process of criminalizing his opposition, is removing our Constitutional rights, has illegally opened our borders to all comers (effectively “providing aid and comfort to our enemies” – that’s treason) each and every day (BTW, the Obama-directed Copyright/Patent office’s decision against the name “Washington Redskins” globally removes the owners of the team’s rights to that which they have paid for decades) so that the destruction of our country will soon be completed. And please don’t forget that Muslim Brotherhood members are running huge portions of the US federal government – including but, not limited to the US DHS.

Impeaching Obama is interesting but – unfortunately – won’t work…and he knows it.

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Newest piece at Fox News: “Obama making up facts about guns”

by John Lott on Thursday, June 19th, 2014

This is article 531 of 531 in the topic Gun Rights
My newest Fox News starts this way:

President Obama just can’t seem to help himself. Over and over again, he makes exaggerated or false claims about guns and crime.

Last year Obama kept asserting the bogus numbers such as “40 percent of all gun purchases take place without a background check.”  Besides the study being based on a tiny survey it was started before the Federal background check law went into effect.

Moreover, the 40 percent figure referred to all transfers, not just sales, and the vast majority of transfers took place within families through gifts and inheritances. Then, for good measure, Obama added an extra 4 percentage points to increase the number from 36 to 40 percent.

Unfortunately, this past Tuesday Obama was at it again.  He lamented:

“My biggest frustration has been that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage.  We are the only developed country on earth where this happens.” 

Does Obama not consider Norway a developed country?  After all, Anders Breivik shot 69 people to death and wounded 110 others.  That attack holds the record for a single-person shooting spree.

Is Germany a developed country?  While the president focused on school shootings, he never acknowledged that two of the three worst K-12 school shootings have occurred in Germany since 2000, not in the United States.  These were:

– Erfurt, Germany on April 26, 2002: a former student killed 18 at a secondary school.

– Winnenden, Germany, March 11, 2009: a 17-year-old former student killed 15 people, including nine students and three teachers.

A partial list of mass shootings in Europe from 2000 to early 2010 is available here.

Obama also claimed: “The idea, for example, that we couldn’t even get a background check bill in to make sure that if you are going to buy a weapon you have to go through a fairly rigorous process so that we know who you are so that you can’t just walk up to a store and buy a semi-automatic weapon makes no sense.” 

Obama ought to try purchasing a gun himself. . . .

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My newest piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer: Killers seek gun-free zones for attacks

by John Lott on Thursday, June 19th, 2014

This is article 530 of 531 in the topic Gun Rights

The newest piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The shootings last week at Seattle Pacific University and on Tuesday at a high school near Portland, Ore., both occurred at places that banned guns — gun-free zones. The shooting last Wednesday in Canada also took place where citizens were not allowed to carry guns.

Time after time these killers pick places where civilian guns are banned. Around the world, virtually all the attacks where at least four people have been shot to death occurred where civilians were not able to use guns to defend themselves.

Gun-control advocates claim that would-be killers don’t care about whether victims can defend themselves with a gun. After all, they reason, these killers are irrational and want to die anyway.

Elliot Rodger, who shot to death three people in Santa Barbara a couple of weeks ago, explained why he picked his target. His 141-page “Manifesto” makes it clear that he feared someone with a gun would stop him before he was able to kill enough people. He wrote:

“Another option was Deltopia, a day in which many young people pour in from all over the state to have a spring break party on Del Playa Street. I figured this would be the perfect day to attack Isla Vista, but after watching Youtube videos of previous Deltopia parties, I saw that there were way too many cops walking around on such an event. It would be impossible to kill enough of my enemies before being dispatched by those damnable cops.”

The Canadian mass shooter, Justin Bourque, also understood the importance of gun-free zones. On his Facebook page, Bourque posted comics poking fun at how gun-free zones make these crimes possible. One depicted a completely defenseless victim pleading with a man pointing a gun at him: “But wait … there’s a GUN BAN in this city … you can’t do this, we passed a law!” The gunman is shown thinking to himself: “Great, another one of these fruit loops.”

Bourque knew that no civilians would be able to legally carry a gun to stop him (since the 1970s, Canada has banned permitted concealed handguns).

The contrast on Sunday in Las Vegas couldn’t have been starker. Two killers shot two police officers to death. After they stole the officers’ guns and ammo, they proceeded to a nearby crowded Walmart. However, one customer, a concealed-carry permit holder, confronted the attackers and delayed them, giving other customers a chance to escape. Although the permit holder was killed, shortly after that the killers committed suicide.
All too frequently, mass killers can choose between many similar movie theaters or malls to attack. But they pick the one where victims can’t defend themselves.

The killer at the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting in July 2012 lived within a 20-minute drive of seven movie theaters that were showing the premier of the Batman movie. He could have simply chosen the theater that was closest to his apartment or the one with the largest auditoriums in the state. Instead, he picked the single theater where guns were banned and the victims would be defenseless.

And take Dylan Klebold, one of the two Columbine killers. He had been closely following and strongly opposed Colorado legislation that would have let citizens carry a concealed handgun.

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Brown University recognizes that Emma Watson was safer with an armed bodyguard at graduation

by John Lott on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

This is article 114 of 114 in the topic Hollywood
From Fox News:

A Brown University rep says he is unable to answer questions about why Emma Watson had an undercover armed guard with her during graduation ceremonies.
The 24-year-old British actress best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” movies graduated from the Ivy League university in Providence on Sunday.
She was photographed sitting and walking next to a woman who was wearing a cap and gown. Other photographs showed the same woman without a cap and gown, with a holstered weapon and a badge.
Providence Police Chief Steven Pare says the woman is not a Providence officer. . . .

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Huffington Post on the claim that “there is absolutely no evidence” of net benefits of guns

by John Lott on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

This is article 529 of 531 in the topic Gun Rights

From Mike Weisser at the Huffington Post:

The self-satisfied folks who really believe that ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people,’ simply refuse to accept the fact that if you pick up a gun, point it at someone else and pull the trigger, that the result is going to be very serious injuries or loss of life. There Is no other way, including running over someone with a car, that has such a devastating effect. The NRA gets around that problem by promoting, with an almost mystical reverence, the notion of using guns for self defense. John Lott’s nonsense to the contrary, there is absolutely no evidence which proves that guns save more lives than they destroy. . . .

“Absolutely no evidence which [sic] proves guns save more lives than they destroy”?  Seriously?  There are four more refereed studies that have since showed that guns on net save lives, but this is a start (see the list available here).  Why is it that people want to ignore the academic work of so many other scholars?

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Why Gridlock is a Good Thing

by Dr. Robert Owens on Monday, June 2nd, 2014

This is article 181 of 181 in the topic US Constitution

Gridlock is one of the greatest blessings bestowed upon us by the Framers.  It is a natural result of the checks and balances built into the system to stop any temporary majority from fundamentally changing the country.  If it wasn’t for the checks and balances FDR would have completely socialized the country back in the 1930s.  If it wasn’t for them now BHO would simply impose his agenda on us.  Wait a minute I think he is. 

Living as the occupants of an occupied nation those of us who believe limited government, personal freedom, and economic liberty are good things have to face up to the fact that a cadre of political savants who advocate for the collectivization of the American experiment have maneuvered their way into the halls of power.  They have captured the media, the unions, Hollywood, and a large segment of education.  The elections have been gerrymandered into a parody of democracy.  Political Correctness dries up free speech and affirmative action uses racial quotas and discrimination while saying they are doing it to increase integration. 

It takes a conspiracy theory wrapped in a spiral of silence to pretend the foregoing isn’t true.  Every day the regime is bent on fundamentally changing this country from a representative republic founded upon respect for the laws of nature and of nature’s God into a centrally-planned social safety net.  Our education system spends more money per capita than any other, and instead of academic superstars we produce illiterate whiners with high self-esteem.
 
The borders are open to a mass migration from the third world.  Free trade has gutted our industrial base.  Our foreign policy is in tatters as the conquerors of the republic allow our ambassadors to be murdered, our citizens to be unfairly imprisoned, and our national interests to be sacrificed for hidden goals and secret agendas. 

America the beautiful where have you gone?  From sea to shining sea your people watch as the alabaster cities rot into bankrupt hulks where socialism has failed.  At the same time those who exemplify and lead the destruction of the once proud land of the free and home of the brave point to the very instrument which provided the opportunity for humanity to excel in the bright sunshine of freedom. 

Seeing gridlock not as a brake upon the ambitions of temporary ruling factions to establish themselves as permanent oligarchies, President Obama attacks the structure of government as created by the Framers of the Constitution. 

One of the greatest mistakes ever foisted upon this country by the progressives was the passing of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution.  This change to the Constitution was pushed through in the early days of the 20th century finally becoming law in 1913.  This amendment took the election of U. S.

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Obama Considered Deploying Military On Bundy Ranch

by Bob Livingston on Friday, May 30th, 2014

This is article 291 of 300 in the topic US Military
Obama Considered Deploying Military On Bundy Ranch

FILE

President Barack Obama considered deploying the U.S. military during the Cliven Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada under the approbation of a Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities signed in 2010.

The Department of Defense directive provides U.S. commanders with the emergency authority to use military support to quell domestic disturbances where needed to “prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property” and when “necessary to restore government function and public order.” A second condition is when Federal, State or local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”

The military assistance can include loans of arms, ammunition, vessels and aircraft, and also authorizes the use of drones in operations against domestic unrest, though it prohibits the use of armed drones.

The directive and information that Obama considered deploying the U.S. military in Nevada were revealed by Bill Gertz of The Washington Times Wednesday and famously ignored by the rest of the corporate establishment media. Deploying the military in a domestic law enforcement scenario is a violation of posse comitatus.

A defense official opposed to the directive told Gertz, “This appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens.”

Actually it’s not the latest, though it may be the latest revealed. The regime has been arming alphabet soup agencies at an alarming rate, even as it works in nefarious and extra-legal ways to disarm law-abiding Americans and propagandizes against them. All the while, the regime is arming al-Qaida-linked terror groups in Libya, Syria and elsewhere, demonstrating exactly who the regime considers “terrorists.”

According to Gertz, defense analysts say there has been a buildup of military units within non-security-related Federal agencies, notably the creation of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. “The buildup raises questions about whether the regime is undermining civil liberties under the guise of counterterrorism and counternarcotics efforts,” according to Gertz.

Agencies with SWAT teams include the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Education Department.

So not only has the regime assumed the authority to disappear Americans without trial or habeas corpus under the Congress-passed National Defense Authorization Act, it has assumed under a simple DoD secretary’s signature the authority — and granted it to military commanders — to attack Americans with wanton force if it determines they are a threat. And the second most powerful man in American government, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has called Bundy supporters “domestic terrorists,” which crosses the threshold needed by the NDAA and the directive to deploy force against Americans standing up to government abuse and overreach.

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Democrats pushing for $60 million to “study” gun violence

by John Lott on Sunday, May 25th, 2014

This is article 528 of 531 in the topic Gun Rights
Does anyone really believe that the government can keep politics out of the research that it funds on controversial issues?  From the Washington Times:

Democrats in the House and Senate are pushing to spend $60 million for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to research gun violence, rekindling a debate over whether political agendas taint these taxpayer-funded studies.
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, New York Democrat, would provide $10 million a year for six years, beginning in 2015, for the research.
President Obama, who last year lifted the 17-year ban on studies of violence involving firearms, included $10 million for the research in his 2015 budget proposal. But that proposal went down along with the rest of Mr. Obama’s spending plan in a crushing 413-2 defeat in the House.
“It is time we study the issue of gun violence like the public health crisis it is,” Mr. Markey said. “If we want to prevent injury and deaths from guns, we need to know what can be done to prevent it. No one should be afraid of more nonpartisan, scientific research of this issue — not Democrats, not Republicans and not the [National Rifle Association].” . . .

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