Archive for the ‘Bill of Rights’ Category
In any free society that area of life which is left to the sole discretion of the individual includes all actions that are not specifically forbidden by a general law.
In our nation when it came time for the ratification of the Constitution it would have been impossible to gain the votes needed if the backers of a centralized national government had not promised that the first thing they did was pass a Bill of Rights. It had been asserted by the proponents of liberty that to enumerate such a list would eventually become a statement that only those rights enumerated were protected. However, it was generally believed certain rights were so important and so open to suppression that fundamental guarantees were needed. In consequence the Constitution was lengthened to include the first ten amendments as the opening business of Congress.
Over time the argument that these enumerated rights would come to be seen as the only ones protected has certainly come to pass, which is another of the assertions of the Anti-Federalists that have stood the test of time. However, it has also been shown that without these constitutional protections these enumerated rights would have long ago been relegated to the ash heap of History.
Even with the protection of the Bill of Rights there has been a steady chipping away at the rights our forefathers thought were so important. A Supreme Court that has abrogated onto itself the power to nullify the will of the people as expressed in legislation and to invent rights that are nowhere enumerated debates whether or not “shall not be infringed” really means it is legal to restrict.
In our age of seemingly endless technological change we must admit that any enumerated list of rights cannot be complete. What about surveillance? Does our right to privacy which has been asserted to allow tens of millions of abortions extend to our growing Orwellian Omni-present surveillance state? Does the state have a right to follow us with drones? To kill us without due process? To collect our emails, our phone calls or keep a ledger of where we go? Under President Bush people demonstrated because his administration wanted to see the records of library withdrawals. Under President Obama the populace is silent about the most egregious violations of our rights.
What about the rights of the States? Do they have the right to be protected from invasion? Do they have the right to pass and enforce laws that call for local agencies to enforce the federal laws that the central government refuses to enforce? Ever since the 17th Amendment stripped the States of their representation in Congress our federal system has been debilitated to the point of paralysis. Today the central government runs roughshod over the States demanding that they stand by helplessly as their citizens are harassed and their sovereignty is evaporated.
If the Bill of Rights is to remain as any type of bulwark against tyranny it must be accepted that they contain a general assumption that government is restrained from infringing upon the traditional rights that we have enjoyed. If we stand ideally by while our rights are redefined to irrelevance we will one day wake up to find ourselves in a prison camp we once called the United States of America.
We have experienced over the course of the last two hundred years that the Constitution could be no more than a somewhat porous protection from the assumption of total power by a centralized government. Today we endure levels of control and taxation that make the causes of our own Revolution pale in comparison. It is hard not to believe that if Washington, Henry, and that generation were with us today they wouldn’t be issuing declarations and raising the alarm, “The totalitarians are coming! The Totalitarians are coming!!”
The only protection of this creeping corruption of our constitutionally limited government is an informed public. If the people sleep the tyrants dream. They dream of ordering society to match whichever version of a utopian pyramid scheme they adopt to fool the people. It matters little whether they call it communism, fascism, or progressivism a re-education camp is a prison by another name. It matters little whether we call it censorship or political correctness. It matters little whether we call it taxes or penalties. It matters little whether we call it coercion or regulation.
What does matter is whether we are truly free or free only in name. Can we do what we want or can we merely do what is allowed?
Outside of the bounds of the constitutionally established amendment process the Progressives have used the fiction of a Living Document to make the Constitution a dead letter. Executive orders, signing statements, court decisions, and the bewildering framework of regulation stretch the power of government while restricting the freedom of the people.
Empires rise and empires fall. Some fall due to invasion and some due to suicide. The European Empires committed suicide in two fratricidal World Wars that destroyed their cities and left their people shell-shocked and unwilling to bear the burden of power.
Today we watch while our great republic jettisons the world girdling empire it inherited from the exhausted Europeans. We stand mute as our leaders abandon the leadership not only of the free world but of the world itself. Not for the noble cause of reasserting freedom at home but instead because we have spent ourselves into bankruptcy with bread and circuses to amuse the masses while a clique of elites concentrates power. We have empty suits leading representatives who have gerrymandered their way to perpetual election presiding over an unelected bureaucracy that rules by decree.
Does liberty still ring or has the bell finally cracked beyond repair? Why do we have a Bill of Rights? So we can remember who we once were.
The impossible just got legs for a potential possibility; and not a good one at that. In a bare-faced political move, forty-six elected Democrats in our United States Senate; that’s EIGHTY-SEVEN PERCENT of all Democrats, are willing to make a change to our most predominant, most revered and oldest established legal document, the United States Constitution, all for their desire for more political power in our government.
These self-loathing discriminators, just for personal gain, would change the most important document in the American arsenal of judicial decrees, destroying any and all credence in the minds of the American people. They would ban free speech for Americans if they chose not to like it. No political discourse would ever reach our newspapers or airwaves if those Democrats chose to block it. Two sides to every political discussion would be gone forever if banned by our Constitution as the Democrats are successful in their banning efforts.
This is brazen and unmitigated impudence and gall. Has God suddenly decreed that ONLY discourse spoken by Democrats can be aired or printed? If this Democrat proposed constitutional amendment is passed we would only be allowed to hear THEIR side of any political discussion. How kingly, or dictatorially decadent can we sink to?
My thoughts at this point are that perhaps we the people, currently unburdened by filthy and arrogant legislation that would, in effect, put one class of people, namely those of the Democrat Party who would deny the rest of the Americans the joy of unrestrained free political speech, honor the balance of people and country caring elected United States Senators, numbering NINE of that group of 55 in total. They are the only true American believers holding office in the United States Senate.
Not only would these forty-six cretins so greed inspired with possessive insanity destroy the freedom of speech rights for ALL Americans, but their actions, if successful, would backfire on them should the balance of power tip back to the other party. A move such as this, even if successful, could not be durable and any mood swings could turn their joy into deep sorrow quite rapidly.
This movement of desperation shows how unsure the Democrat Party is of providing leadership. That thought is understandable with feeble minds such as Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, Gore, the Clintons, Rangel, Lewis, etc. and multitudes more standing in the wings. They are blessed by having huge followings of people of similar mental deficiencies and expert practioners at the sleazy art of multi-voting and machine rigging.
This new scheme of underhanded manipulation of freedom of speech, so very common in socio-communist and enslaved peoples countries, is nothing more that a grand grab at power over minorities. America’s days of slavery was legislated to an end by a Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, a century and one-half ago. Preventing freedom of speech is as much, if not more than hand-and-leg shackles on the minorities.
A bright new light in the Republican Party, a freshman Senator from Texas named Ted Cruz has made this public on July 14, 2014, on Patriot Action Network, as a nefarious liberal Democrat plot against a party lacking a mere six votes to change the fortunes in the coming November elections.
Could the writers of The Bill of Rights have anticipated modern guns? Meet the auto cannon, the Puckle gun, from 1718
Click on pictures to enlarge them.
Here is a gun from 1718 that can fire 9 or so cannon shells very rapidly. Once the principle was developed the number of shells that could be quickly fired could be increased even more. The Puckle gun was developed long before the Gatling gun in 1862. If a auto cannon was developed well before The Bill of Rights, how could it be claimed that they couldn’t foresee machine guns and other modern weapons?
We the People are the opening words of the preamble to the Constitution. Many patriots glory in that name, “We the People” holding it aloft as a banner against the encroachments of an ever expanding central government. In the minds of many it is connected somehow to Lincoln’s famous description of America’s government, “Of the People, by the people and for the people.”
Both of these were revolutionary terms when first spoken.
The people of the founding generation did not think of themselves as “Americans,” instead they saw themselves as citizens of their respective States. The thirteen colonies, with the singular exception of North and South Carolina, were each founded as separate entities. Each had its own history and relationship with the crown. They banded together for the Revolution during which they established the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation. This established a confederation composed of thirteen independent States.
When the secretly drafted Constitution was finally revealed to the public many of the leading lights of the Revolution were enraged by what they saw as a counter-revolution seeking to supplant the legally constituted Confederation of States in favor of a consolidated central government. Some of them say the truth was revealed in the first three words, “We the People.”
Every school child can recite the most famous words of Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death.” You probably said those words in your head before you read them once you saw his name. He is synonymous with America’s defiance to tyranny. While these famous words ring in the heads of all, few know his opinion on the Constitution.
At the Virginia Ratification Convention in 1788, Patrick Henry said,
And here I would make this inquiry of those worthy characters who composed a part of the late federal Convention. I am sure they were fully impressed with the necessity of forming a great consolidated government, instead of a confederation. That this is a consolidated government is demonstrably clear; and the danger of such a government is, to my mind, very striking. I have the highest veneration for those gentlemen; but, sir, give me leave to demand, What right had they to say, We, the people? My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask, Who authorized them to speak the language of, We, the people, instead of, We, the states? States are the characteristics and the soul of a confederation. If the states be not the agents of this compact, it must be one great, consolidated, national government, of the people of all the states.
Ever since the Civil War fatally warped the original federal structure and We the People became a reality the central government of the United States has assumed more and more power until today totalitarianism appears to be within its grasp. I am not referring to the crude overt totalitarianism of a Nazi Germany or a Soviet Russia instead I am referring to a soft totalitarianism, a kind of nanny state smothering of individual freedom, personal liberty and economic opportunity. After the complete subjugation of the States to the central government by the Lincoln administration combined with the increased mobility of the modern era, we the people actually became the way most people think of themselves.
In America today we have a president who in a 2001 interview expressed his inner most thoughts about the Constitution,
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court.
A federal judge in New York City ruled on Friday that the so-called “Obama spy program” is constitutional despite the Fourth Amendment’s protection of Americans against unlawful search and seizure, according to several national news reports.
Ruling in the lawsuit filed against the National Security Agency by the American Civil Liberties Union — ACLU v. Clapper, (13-cv-3994) — Judge William Pauley of the Southern District of New York found that the National Security Agency’s (“NSA”) program that spies on over 300 million Americans is allowed under the U.S. Constitution.
According to a legal watchdog group’s lead attorney, Judge Pauley claims the Obama-NSA intelligence gathering program is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and that “[t]his blunt tool only works because it collects everything.”
Pauley’s decision contradicts that of Judge Richard Leon of the District Court for the District of Columbia — Klayman v. Obama (13-cv-881) — who ruled on Dec. 16, 2013, that the NSA’s spy program violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Judge Leon characterized the intelligence program as being “almost Orwellian.”
“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for the purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,” said Judge Leon.
That successful ruling was the result of a lawsuit filed against President Barack Obama by Larry Klayman, former prosecutor for the U.S. Justice Department, founder of Judicial Watch and now chairman and general counsel of Freedom Watch.
However, Judge Pauley’s ruling is evidence that this important issue must be decided by the highest court in the land, according to attorney and political strategist Mike Baker.
“It’s obvious that the Judicial Branch is the only one that can save Americans’ freedoms including those protected by the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and other Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. If the courts go along with the political radicalism of this administration and the majority of U.S. Senators, then Americans are stuck fending for themselves,” said Baker.
In responding to Judge Pauley’s decision, Klayman said, “Judge Pauley rules that the American people have no rights regarding the government and should be kept in the dark. His decision was obviously political and not based on the U.S. Constitution and the law.”
“This leftist judge rules that the government should control and rule over our entire lives. His decision empowers the government to keep secrets to itself and that the so-called monitoring – which has been proved nonexistent – by the Obama Justice Department and a dysfunctional and compromised Congress is sufficient to protect the American people,” stated Klayman after hearing Pauley’s court decision.
Klayman and Freedom Watch point out that Pauley is a Democrat appointed by President Bill Clinton — who had his own spy program, according to an Examiner news story — and his decision and ruling create the appearance that he is currying favor with another Democrat president, Barack Obama, in the hopes of securing an even higher position within the federal judiciary.
Unlike Judge Pauley, who is a Clinton appointee, Leon is a Bush appointee who’s served on the federal bench since 2002.
What do a reality show star, a cakemaker and a photographer have in common? They’re all victims of a political system in which the mandate to not merely recognize gay marriage, but to celebrate it, has completely displaced freedom of speech.
The issues at stake in all three cases did not involve the Orwellian absurdity of “Marriage Equality”. The cases of a Christian cakemaker and a Christian photographer whom state courts have ruled must participate in gay weddings or face fines and jail time were blatant violations of both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion in the name of outlawing any dissent from gay marriage.
That is why Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty was suspended. Robertson, unlike Bashir, didn’t take to the air to make violent threats against an individual. He expressed in plain language that he believes homosexuality is wrong. And that is something that you aren’t allowed to do anymore.
The left sneers that A&E isn’t subject to Freedom of Speech because it’s a private company. And they’re right. But then they insist that a cakemaker and a photographer aren’t protected by Freedom of Speech or Religion because they’re private businesses.
In their constitutional universe, companies have the right to punish speech in the name of gay rights, but not to engage in protected speech in dissent from gay rights. And that’s exactly the problem. It’s not just gays who have been made into a protected class, but homosexuality itself. To dissent from it is bigotry that you can be fired for, fined for and even jailed for.
Gay rights were not settled by legalizing gay marriage. We are facing an ugly choice between freedom of speech and gay rights.
In these three cases, gay rights activists have made it clear that we can have one or the other. But we can’t have a country where we have both gay weddings and people who disagree with them.
And that’s unfortunate because even the most generous interpretation of the benefits of two men marrying each other would struggle to prove that it is more beneficial to a society than the ability to speak your own mind and to practice your own religion without being compelled to violate it.
If we have to choose between gay rights and the First Amendment, the moral arc of the universe that liberals like to invoke so often will not swing toward the bullies who insist on dealing with their self-esteem problems by forcing everyone to consent and approve of their lifestyle.
Gay marriage was sold to Americans by cunningly crafted “gay families” on popular sitcoms. Now Americans are discovering that real gay activists aren’t friendly people who just want to make jokes between commercial breaks, but are neurotic and insecure bullies who attack others from behind the safety of the politicians that they bribed with the massive disposable incomes that comes from not having families or long-term relationships.
Most Americans still believe that homosexuality, adultery and a range of other deviant sexual behaviors are sins. They also, like Phil Robertson, believe that disapproving of a behavior does not mean rejecting the person.
Barack Obama, already up to his neck in a plethora of “phony scandals,” has a new headache to fret about, just in time for his Christmas invasion of Oahu, Hawaii for a 17-day respite.
As reported, America’s alleged “constitutional scholar” and most proliferate violator of the Constitution in the history of US presidents, was slapped down by a federal judge for wanton abuses of the 4th Amendment, carried out in Obama’s name by NSA squirrels against innocent American citizens:
A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency program which collects information on nearly all telephone calls made to, from or within the United States is likely unconstitutional.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon found that the program appears to violate the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. He also said the Justice Department had failed to demonstrate that collecting the information had helped to head off terrorist attacks.
Acting on a lawsuit brought by conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, Leon issued a preliminary injunction barring the NSA from collecting so-called metadata pertaining to the Verizon accounts of Klayman and one of his clients.
However, the judge stayed the order to allow for an appeal.
“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,” wrote Leon, an appointee of President George W. Bush.
The preliminary injunction Leon granted Monday does not require him to make a definitive ruling on the constitutional questions in the case, but does take account of which side he believes is more likely to prevail.
Once again, American Exceptionalism is rewarded as a high-school drop with high-tech skills named Edward Snowden manages to outsmart and out-maneuver the “smartest man” in the room!
Take THAT, Barack!
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called the right to be left alone the “most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by a free people.” It would even be fair to say that without the right to be left alone no other rights exist.
Amendments one through ten of the Bill of Rights are essentially an enumeration of the ways that government is obligated to leave people alone. This is most explicitly true of the First Amendment which definitively sums up areas of human life into which government under no circumstance may trespass on.
Unlike other amendments, the territory that the First Amendment deals with is intellectual and spiritual, the world of ideas, the realm of faith and the defining right of political advocacy. The freedoms of the mind, heart and voice are the most essential of freedoms because they free us to be individuals. They allow us to have our own values. Without these freedoms, no society is free.
Those who sought to undermine these “Freedoms from Government” did so by offering alternative “Freedoms of Government.” Countering the Founding Fathers’ DMZ’s of self-determination, they promised freedom from social problems. A second Bill of Rights would offer the freedom from fear and want. Instead of a liberation from government, the new rights would trade social benefits for freedoms. A right would not mean a zone of freedom the government, but a government entitlement.
The Orwellian inversion of rights has meant that civil rights perversely take away rights. No sooner is a right created than it is used to deprive other people of their rights. Instead of rights freeing people from government repression, they act as a means of government repression. Freedom is treated as a limited commodity which, like wealth, must be redistributed to achieve maximum social justice.
The right to be left alone, freedom of speech and conscience, have taken a back seat to the redistribution of freedom. Government rights violate individual rights by compelling everyone to participate in the process of distributing entitlements.
A wedding photographer in New Mexico was ordered by a court to participate in a gay ceremony violating both her First Amendment rights to Freedom of Religion as a Christian and her right to Freedom of Speech as an artist. A baker in Colorado was ordered to make a gay wedding cake or face penalties ranging from fines to a year in prison. The ACLU is after even bigger game suing Catholic hospitals for not engaging in abortion contending that patients are being deprived of their rights.
The fundamental issue in all these cases is whether our rights are defined by the ability to be left alone or by the opposing ability to compel others to do what we want them to. Is the right to force someone else to participate in your wedding or perform your abortion more compelling than the right to opt out of being forced to engage in behaviors that violate your deepest religious convictions?
America is a nation founded by religious dissenters. Its founding documents, from the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights make the moral case for dissent.
Thank you, Hobby Lobby
by Michelle Malkin
Religious liberty is front and center on the nation’s Thanksgiving table. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. The family-owned craft store company is intrepidly challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare’s abortion coverage mandate. Hobby Lobby’s faithful owners deserve our thanks and praise as they defend freedom of conscience for all Americans.
The privately held retail chain’s story is the quintessential American Dream. Founder David Green started out making mini picture frames in his Oklahoma garage in 1970. He recruited his two sons, Mart and Steve, to pitch in at an early age. The family’s first establishment took up a tiny 300 square feet of retail space. Hobby Lobby now runs nearly 600 stores across the country, employs 13,000 people and topped $2 billion in sales in 2009.
The Greens’ Christian faith is at the heart of how they do business. They are dedicated to integrity and service for their customers and their employees. The debt-free company commits to “honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles,” as well as “serving our employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies that build character, strengthen individuals and nurture families.”
The company donates more than 10 percent of its income every year to charity. All stores are closed on Sundays to allow employees more family and worship time. It’s the company’s dedication to biblical principles that led Hobby Lobby in April to raise full-time employees’ starting minimum wage to $14 an hour at a time when many other firms have been forced to slash both wages and benefits.
“We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees,” CEO David Green pointed out. “We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy; we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80 percent above minimum wage.”
Many of Hobby Lobby’s employees are single moms working two jobs. Green doesn’t need federal mandates to tell him how to treat and retain good employees. He does it because it is the “right thing to do.” While countless businesses have been forced to drop health insurance for their shrinking workforces during the Age of Obama, Hobby Lobby headquarters opened an onsite comprehensive health care and wellness clinic in 2010 with no co-pays.
Hobby Lobby employees are covered under the company’s self-insured health plan, which brings us back to the company’s legal case. Last September, Hobby Lobby sued the feds over Obamacare’s “preventive services” mandate, which forces the Christian-owned-and-operated business to provide, without co-pay, abortion-inducing drugs including the “morning after pill” and “week after pill” in their health insurance plan. The company risked fines up to $1.3 million per day for defying the government’s coercive abridgement of their First Amendment rights.
As Lori Windham, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby in its court battles, said at the time: “Washington politicians cannot force families to abandon their faith just to earn a living.