Archive for the ‘US Constitution’ Category
Appearance on the Steve Malzberg Show: How guns help stop terrorism and the New York Times makes embarrassing mistakes
Founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of “More Guns, Less Crime” joins Steve to discuss how guns are helping to stop terrorists and how The New York Times is making up anti-gun information as well as whether or not the ATF is trying to neuter certain ammunitions in the U.S.
It’s hard to be a conservative when there’s little left to conserve. The increasing pace of America’s progression from free markets to a command economy has reached such a pace and become so obvious that way back in 2009 the Russian Prime Minister used his spotlight time at the World Economic Forum to warn America not to follow the socialist path. The Russian newspaper Pravda, once the leading communist voice on earth published an article entitled, “American capitalism gone with a whimper.” People around the world can see the individual decisions of producers and consumers are being replaced by the form letters of a faceless central-planning bureaucracy even if the Obama boosters still haven’t swallowed the red pill and watched the matrix dissolve.
Pushed by the breathtaking speed of America’s devolution into a command economy some conservatives have entered the ranks of the radicals. They’re beginning to think about how to cure the systemic political problems precipitating the November Revolution of 2008. One solution some are embracing is known as the Sovereignty Movement. This is a movement of citizens and state representatives attempting to right the listing ship-of-state by appealing to the 10th Amendment which says, “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 10th Amendment addressed one of the most hard-fought points in the establishment of a central government. The States even though they surrendered some of their sovereignty didn’t want to lose it all. Specifically they didn’t want to lose the power to make internal decisions. They did not want to be powerless before a distant national bureaucracy. So as the cap-stone of the Bill of Rights the 10th Amendment was meant to reassure the States they would remain sovereign within their borders. However, since the 1830s, court rulings have garbled the once universally accepted meaning of the 10th Amendment as the Federal Government extended its authority from roads to schools to GM to Health Care to whatever they want.
Now some are turning to a resurrection of the straightforward meaning of the 10th Amendment as a way to mitigate the ever expanding power of centralized-control and social engineering combined with perpetual re-election and runaway pork-barrel deficit spending. But, is this enough?
As a Historian I always believe even a little history might help push back the darkness swirling around us. In 1787, at the close of the Constitutional Convention, as Benjamin Franklin left Independence Hall a lady asked “Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy.” “A republic” replied Franklin “if you can keep it.”
Many have the mistaken idea that the United States is a democracy. It’s not. It’s a representative republic. The Framers distrusted unfettered democracy therefore they inserted several mechanisms into the Constitution which added some innovations between direct democracy and the power to rule.
One of the great innovations the Framers built into our system is the federal concept. Since this is an important component of our political legacy that has been overlooked in our contemporary education system let me define what is meant by federal. A federal system is a union of states with a central authority wherein the member states still retain certain defined powers of government.
One of the residents answered the door and was forced to the ground at gunpoint as the men ransacked the apartment, investigators said.
“He grabbed me by the throat. He took me a little further into the living room and pushed me down and said, ‘Don’t move. Just stay down,'” UCF student Nour Skargee, 22, said. “They didn’t realize my girlfriend was in her room and thank God she was in her room. I yelled, ‘Hey, grab the gun.'”
The second victim, Sable Nehme, ran to her bedroom, retrieved her gun and pointed it at the culprits, deputies said. . . .
Intended victim Sable Nehme: “when he saw the gun, he turned right back around, darted out and both of them fled the apartment”
Intended victim UCF student Nour Skargee, 22, said : “If we didn’t have a gun, it would have been game over. They were bigger than me, bigger than both of us. We had no way of stopping them. The gun was the one thing that made them run.”
By Alan Caruba
A President who lied to Americans about the Affordable Care Act, telling them they could keep their insurance plans, their doctors, and not have to pay more is surely not going to tell Americans that the planet is now into its 19th year of a cooling cycle with no warming in sight.
Marching out of Yorktown to surrender the British Army played the song “The World Turned Upside Down.” As I drive to Meg Lo Mart to make my latest deposit of monopoly money in a Chinese savings account all I can do is mumble the final tag-line of the Wicked Witch of the West, “What a world? What a world?”
There is a massive unspoken problem in America today, floating like the iceberg in front of the Titanic waiting to sink the unsinkable ship. Founded by revolutionaries crying “No taxation without representation!” the Republic these revolutionaries devised has devolved into a society where more than 40% of the people pay no Federal Income Tax and the number of people receiving government benefits is even higher. What incentive would these non-paying receivers have to reign in an overbearing and intrusive government? This unseen and unspoken problem is a cancer in the body politic.
Self-serving professional politicians buy votes by exempting non-productive people from personal financial responsibility while providing ever-expanding benefits at the expense of the productive. This is not the right versus left, conservative versus liberal, democrat versus republican he-said-she-said endless debate that devours the chatocracy of cable’s wall-to-wall talking-heads. This is not an academic exercise that pointy-headed political science and history majors with dueling pocket protectors debate for hours in their mother’s basement as they post their latest scoop on their samizdat blogs. If it is not any of these things what is it? It is a dagger pointing directly at the heart of our civilization.
Western Civilization awoke from the slumber of the Dark Ages enlightened and empowered by a belief, based in the Judeo-Christian tradition that humanity has an innate right to be free and a natural right to excel. Rights and freedoms are given by God not bestowed at the whim of some Legend-in-his-own-mind Leader. This civilization gathered steam in Europe exploding upon the world stage through an energetic period of exploration.
In America after a revolution fought by farmers and merchants against the greatest empire of the day the Founders, dared to declare “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.” After centuries of government thugs standing on the windpipe of everyday people these self-sacrificing giants observed that in a civilized world government was not imposed by the strong upon the weak it was instead built upon a social contract between the governed and those entrusted with the privilege to govern when they said, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Today this bold and unique experiment in freedom is being devoured from within and challenged from without. Those who believe the collective should reign over the individual, those who believe in the suffocating sameness of socialism over the rough-and-tumble of capitalism have worked for generations building a culture of dependency which has tempered the steel will of the pioneers into the sloppy demands of the couch-potato slacker waiting for someone to find their remote as they guzzle some refreshments and wait for the game as bread and circuses take the place of innovation and accomplishment.
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic” – Benjamin Franklin
For those paying attention, President Obama’s plan to “invest” $60 billion taxpayer dollars into community colleges, along with an additional 25 percent funded by “participating states,” is a clear political ploy to gain the allegiance of the low info crowd.
Under the hashtag, #FreeCommunityCollege the White House tweeted:
BREAKING: Watch President Obama announce his #FreeCommunityCollege proposal → http://t.co/8YTKdPKa7U https://t.co/vtM3wGwEUd
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 8, 2015
According to the White House “Blog:”
Federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. Participating states will be expected to contribute the remaining funds necessary to eliminate the tuition for eligible students.
Even more troubling, perhaps, is the administration’s proposal to “expand access to mortgage credit” for low-income families under HUD chief Julian Castro, doubling down on failed polices that led to the 2008 economic crisis.
While it should be common knowledge that a president has absolutely no power to make such decisions, as Congress has the “power of the purse;” this unconstitutional breach is barely noticed by those who applaud the idea of free stuff.
In the federal government of the United States, the power of the purse is vested in the Congress as laid down in the Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 (the Appropriations Clause) and Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 (the Taxing and Spending Clause).
But as it turns out, Congress has allowed this breach by giving up it’s own power. Consider a quote from a little-seen video posted by Regulations.gov:
Most people think of laws as being created by Congress or maybe through interpretations of the Constitution by the U.S. Supreme Court; but actually by volume and significance, regulations adopted by administrative agencies dwarf the decisions passed by Congress.
While speaking of the size of government, James Madison wrote in Federalist 48,
It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it
President Obama does not need to worry about backlash from the mainstream media, academia or the GOP establishment, unfortunately. In fact, the watchdog institutions praise these taxpayer funded “investments.” That leaves those who care about the future of America to educate others.
“It is the responsibility of the patriot to protect his country from its government.” – Thomas Paine
“It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams
What would the founding fathers say about such taxpayer-funded “investments?”
Consider these quotes (found here, and here):
“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” – Thomas Jefferson
“A wise and frugal government, shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
As Rush Limbaugh so rightly pointed out, “No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity.”
So many people have accepted the argument that progressive taxation is just, necessary, and fair, so I know this article will offend many. Hopefully it will also make a few people reconsider their acceptance of policy. Many who are vehemently opposed to socialism, collectivism, and all the other trappings of the centralized corporate state believe that any injustice that might result from a free society would and should be mitigated by a policy of progressive taxation. The government through its education arm and the politicians through their media arm have used both hands and done a superb job.
It hasn’t only been dumbing down it has also been indoctrination convincing the patient that it makes sense to cut off both legs to keep them from running amuck. However; as James Madison said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both.”
The easiest thing to do would be to ignore this 800 pound elephant. As the cop on the block says when something has happened and there is most definitely something to see, “Move along there’s nothing to see here.” However as the Historian of the Future that would be irresponsible. For it is in the mass acceptance of this inherently unfair coercive action as fair that the base of democratic irresponsibility forms the basis for the towering structure which is the Progressive State.
For generations this once unconstitutional procedure for wealth distribution has been accepted without question. This was not always the case.
James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, had some interesting things to say about unequal taxation. Such as in his Essay on Property, March 29, 1792, “That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.” And “A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species: where arbitrary taxes invade the domestic sanctuaries of the rich, and excessive taxes grind the faces of the poor.”
In Europe which is often the source and first scene of the crime when it comes to the Socialist/Utopian schemes foisted on the uninformed and unsuspecting American public, when progressive taxation was first proposed during the French Revolution the classical liberal Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, said, “One ought to execute the author and not the project.”
During the socialist led revolutions of 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels frankly proposed “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax” as one of the measures by which, after the first stage of the revolution, “the proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeois, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state.” And these measures they described as “means of despotic inroads on the right of property, and on the condition of bourgeois production …