Frankly, my blogging has taken a more religious turn. Why? Of course, I am fed up with the Liberals and RINOs, but mostly I just don’t know what else to do. With my hand in their hand, I watch my country as a small child might watch a drunken parent stumbling towards a cliff. I know neither my father or my mother should do that, but with my one small voice how can I make anyone listen? So I have turned to God, and He does listen.
Because God left us here to serve, we cannot withdraw from this world. Even if it is not enough, we must give it our best. So what is going on? Well, here is something bloggers should care about.
So-Called Net Neutrality
Because the topic is currently in the news, if we google internet regulation we will get plenty of hits. What is the problem with that?
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday adopted sweeping new regulations sought by President Obama for how Americans use and do business on the Internet, in a party-line vote that is sure to be challenged by the broadband industry.
The commission, following a contentious meeting, voted 3-2 to adopt its so-called net neutrality plan — a proposal that remained secret in the run-up to the final vote.
On its surface, the plan is aimed at barring service providers from creating paid “fast lanes” on the Internet, which consumer advocates and Internet companies worry would edge out cash-strapped startups and smaller Internet-based businesses. Chairman Tom Wheeler said it would ensure an “open, unfettered network.”
But the rules, more broadly, would put the Internet in the same regulatory camp as the telephone by classifying it like a public utility, meaning providers like Comcast or Verizon would have to act in the “public interest” when providing a mobile connection to your home or phone. (continued here)
When I was growing up, I discovered the news was interesting. Then I discovered the big three networks all said much the same thing. They did not compete based upon the quality of the news they presented. They competed based upon how well they presented the same news. Because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulated their ability to broadcast over the air, the FCC had control of their licences. That’s one reason the news media is largely Liberal.
How did I come to understand this? By accident. When cable TV and the Internet came along, I was too amazed to complain about the lost of objectivity in the news media. Instead, what the FCC’s lost of control demonstrated to me is that that objectivity had always been a phony charade.
Here are some other views.
- Remembering the Fairness Doctrine (aurorawatcherak.wordpress.com)
- Please…my fellow Virginians; do not be swayed in favor of “Net Neutrality”. (virginiavirtucon.wordpress.com)
- This Voting American Blog will not be Silenced by Net Neutrality Spambots! (votingamerican.wordpress.com)
- Obama, FCC, The Internet And A 1934 Law (roanokeslant.blogspot.com)
- Legislative Fix (www.dehavelle.com) – Note: This post is about “a possible fix for the tremendous flood of bureaucracy-generated legislation, in the form of a Constitutional amendment.”
- Net “Neutrality”: Turning The Internet Into MSNBC (crockettliveswordpress.jvcsen.com)
- Hillary Clinton of the FCC’s move: ‘It’s a foot in the door’ (bunkerville.wordpress.com)
Why Don’t The American People Understand What They Are Losing?
Why don’t the American people understand what they are losing? I don’t know. That is the reason I started the ANSWERING FOLLY series. Yet even after the series is over I probably won’t be able to answer my question. At best, I will just know more about how to avoid being a fool.
Even though our leaders and the educated among us know what such a thing is, we continue to creep step-by-step towards a police state. Our leaders and the educated among us have read about, seen pictures of, and heard from the victims of police states. So why are these people leading us towards that cliff? What makes them behave as if they were drunk?
Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, never can willingly abandon it. They may be distressed in the midst of all their power; but they will never look to anything but power for their relief. — Edmund Burke (Letter to a Member of the National Assembly (1791).) (from here)
On a lighter note and just for fun => Happy Caturday (bluebirdofbitterness.com).
Tom – Again your “we” often confuses me, as when you say that in the 1950s and 1960s “we were taught that states rights were something only racists defended”. I was never taught that, and I doubt that anyone else was either (other than you and your alter ego). What did happen in the 1950s and 1960s, however, was that racists endeavoring to hold back federal instructions to integrate public schools and other public facilities did invoke “states rights” as their rallying point and their justification for defying federal orders on those subjects.
The federal structure described in the Constitution reflects a compromise arrangement with the pre-existing sovereigns that came together to form the nation. That structure was, as you imply, partly intended to provide assurance to the individual states that federal authority would be bounded and confined to areas where the lack of central authority had proved problematic under the Articles of Confederation. I think it is imprecise, however, for you to say that “states rights” was intended to prevent one man or one group from gaining too much power. I suppose, very indirectly and loosely one might make that point. However, the checks on accumulation of power to individuals and groups within the federal structure are stated explicitly in the Constitution (age limits, term limits on the executive, checks and balances between the branches, etc).
citizens seldom exercise their powers to vote or petition their government, sadly freedoms are lost when they are not exercised.
unfortunately, we haven’t lived in the Constitutional US established by the Founders since 1861 and Lincoln’s War on States’ Rights. His own version of Marxist ‘National Socialism’ successfully prosecuted an Armed overthrow Coup and established the country we now inhabit.
Why do you think the 14th amendment reads like a reorganization of the Governmental relationship between states and federal power?
dem or repub, two sides of the only coin available to the blinded, deceived and intentionally polarized voters to choose from. truth be told, we are not free americans anymore. we are, especially as Christians, “Strangers in a strange land” singing the songs we knew when we actually HAD freedom.
the only option left to us is civil disobedience when the Dictates of the State interfere with the Individual Freedoms the are STILL just as Inalienable as ever, whether the State agrees or not.
Believe in God, love your family and prepare for the increasing intrusion of the Progressive National Socialists on BOTH sides of the Coup Government that now and still rule the United States.
Interesting comment. I agree with much of what you have to say, but that’s an inappropriate way to describe Abraham Lincoln and the 14th Amendment.
Did Lincoln do right when he fought the South’s decision to secede from the Union? Because the Constitution is ambiguous about the issue of succession, I don’t have a pat answer. Given the conniving efforts of the Southern states to spread slavery and their decision to leave the union in defense of slavery, I think Lincoln did right. God only knows what would have happened if he had not decided to fight.
Note Section 4 of Article IV of the Constitution. We can arguably justify Lincoln’s decision to prosecute the Civil War based upon those words.
The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments followed upon the heels of the Civil War. Since Lincoln led the Union to victory, I suppose he deserves some credit for these amendments, but he was dead.
Did any of the post Civil War amendments cause a loss of freedom? I don’t think so. These amendments did significantly alter Article IV in the Constitution. Yet they did so primarily by requiring the states to recognize of the rights of the people (especially the former slaves) within their states. These amendments were designed to outlaw slavery, not enhance Federal power.
I do think the 16th and the 17th amendments were big mistakes. I think the primary problem, however, is we are letting our leaders buy our votes. Because men cannot be trusted with power, when we give them power, we must do so with great reluctance. Unfortunately, in return for goodies like Social Security, Medicare, the public school system, and so forth, we are selling our birth right, and the Constitution does not even authorize goodies like Social Security, Medicare, the public school system, and so forth. Hence, in order to get goodies we want from the Federal Government, we are letting our leaders say the Constitution says things it does not say.
Just because some politician taxes our neighbor and gives us something does not mean that what that politician has given us rightly belongs to us. It doesn’t. It is just using the government to steal. Therefore, when our leaders redistribute the wealth, permitting them to do so makes us accomplices.
When our leaders commit larceny in our name, it is a certainty we will eventually pay for their sins too. Politicians don’t do what they call “charity” out of love. They do it to buy votes (Vote-buying is what makes programs like Social Security the third rail of politics.). When we choose men and women who are so willing to bribe us for our votes, who knows who they will allow to bribe them for their votes?
@”mike and brandy” who wrote:
I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the slaveholding states seceded from the union because the federal government was not enforcing its laws by overriding states’ rights. In other words, the southern states felt that states’ rights were given too much power. They stated this in their declarations of secession, which I wrote about years ago. (You may find the Civil War tag on that site useful; there were several discussions in succession on secession.)
Here’s an example of states’ rights as seen from the South, from South Carolina’s declaration of secession:
(Emphasis mine.) This reverses the commonly held idea of states’ rights and the Civil War, but that commonly held view is incorrect or at best incomplete. It went both ways, depending solely upon the relationship to Slavery. If a state enacted laws against slavery, it had no right to do so. If for slavery, it had the sovereign right to be so. So the issue, of course, was slavery, not states’ rights.
Remember the context here: One of the states, Illinois, had decided that slavery was outlawed and that it did not have to return slaves that made it to Illinois territory. The slaveholding states asserted that Illinois (the most recent example), as a mere state in the Union, did not have the right to assert its own laws over the Union holding that slavery was legal. Since they anticipated that Lincoln would not fix this and override the state of Illinois’ rights, they seceded. (Four of the states actually left after Lincoln took office, leaving Washington DC surrounded by enemy or near-enemy territory.)
Perhaps you are thinking of another issue: Many people complain about the wartime suspension of habeus corpus, but (1) the Constitution does not explicitly say who has the power to suspend it; (2) the Constitution states clearly that it CAN be suspected in times of “invasion or rebellion”; and (3) Lincoln felt (reasonably, it seems to me) that since “invasion or rebellion” was an emergency situation, a wartime situation, and one that could prevent Congress from even being assembled, it was up to the Commander-in-Chief to suspend it when necessary for the public safety.
Democrats disagreed, of course, but Congress did back him up by issuing their own suspension of habeus corpus in 1863. Lincoln still felt that this was unnecessary, and I agree. Of course, pro-slavery and anti-Lincoln judge Taney (who had recently decided against the rights of the slave Dred Scott) ruled against Lincoln, but Taney’s decisions on slavery-related topics were already largely held as utterly wrong.
I am curious as to your rationale for defending the slave states in this. I don’t see any evidence for an assertion of a “War on States’ Rights” when the evidence points rather in the opposite direction from the stated perspective of those same states. By the time the secession was a fait accompli, there was indeed the issue of whether they had possessed a right to secede, but that seems to be a different issue and is another not called out explicitly in the Constitution. It was the subject of subsequent rulings, but is still not entirely clear.
I see the erosion of the basic nature of our Constitutional republic as coming decades later, when the federal government decided that it would get into the wealth redistribution business. This was something that Grover Cleveland fought strenuously against in the 1880s at the federal level, though it was already happening to an extent in states. Now, of course, it is the major portion of the federal budget, and is on a clearly impossible, nation-destroying trajectory even as it destroys individual initiative.
==============/ Keith DeHavelle
When people argue that the Civil War was about states’ rights, I think the issue that they are referring to is the “right” to secede from the union. The Constitution spells out how a state can join the union, and it gives the Federal Government specific powers with respect to the states. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows a state to limit the Federal Government’s authority over it by leaving the union. Instead, the 10th Amendment merely states: 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.” Because seceding from the union would require a state government to assume powers specifically granted by the Constitution to the Federal Government, when a state tries to secede from the union, the 10th Amendment does not excuse that state.
Hence, if the states want to overcome the Federal Government, they have to band together in an Article V Convention of the States and then ratify appropriate constitutional amendments. Effectively, instead of fighting the union, the states have to make use the powers granted to them by the Constitution. At least, that is my opinion.
The secession crisis — the right of states to secede — would hardly be a cause of the secession and war — since the only time this would be an issue is if the states actually seceded. Every reference I’ve seen to states’ rights as a cause of the split was referring, ultimately, to slavery — though this is danced around. I’d be interested in “mike and brandy”‘s take on this. My friend “testing4L” in the comments here quoted reference after reference to slavery in the secession documents, each time asserting that this proved that the war was not about slavery. And one other friend, at the top of those comments, shared the “mike and brandy” view of Lincoln, at least at the time. I’ve actually seen people assert that Lincoln was not against slavery, and a couple of books have been put out with this laughable and evidence-denying assertion.
But speaking of slavery, did you know that there is still an amendment pending ratification by the states that would allow any of them to keep slavery if they wish? Here’s the wording:
This was to be the 13th amendment … which, of course, wound up being very different and having the opposite effect. But this one, it’s worth noting, DID pass both houses of Congress and was submitted to the states for ratification. It’s still out there. And if it were ratified now, it would still be decades shy of the longest time between approval and ratification for a Constitutional amendment.
As you know, I am very much with you on the Article V “Convention to Propose Amendments,” though I do wish people would get the name of the convention, as identified in Article V itself, correct.
==============/ Keith DeHavelle
Slavery was the issue. After listening to what Lincoln and Douglass debated, I have no further doubts about the cause of the Civil War.
Because we want to be ruled by the Law, not our fellow men, the states’ right issue remains a concern. One thing Lincoln must have considered is whether he had the Constitutional authority to stop a state from seceding. Back then citizens still elected people who took their oath to uphold the Constitution seriously.
“Convention to Propose Amendments?” Well, I guess that works too, and it is what the Constitution calls it. Okay.
Tom – you may be right that in the run-up to Secession some people meant secession when they spoke of “States Rights”, but secession was just the culmination of a lot of other sub-issues relating to interpreting the relationship between the powers of the states versus the powers of the federal government. Much of that debate preceded by 50 years the outbreak of the Civil War and it had elements that were not directly related to slavery. The example of protective tariffs comes to mind. Southern interests, which were defined to a considerable extent by wanting to have maximum competition for finishes goods so that non-agricultural products could be priced competitively between Europe and manufacturing centers in the northern states, favored low tariffs. The South would have been regarded as a “free trade” advocacy zone in the 1820s. The famous Webster/Hayne (sp?) debate was essentially a Customs/import duty debate at its root.
I say this without in any way meaning to dilute Keith’s point in this thread that the slavery issue dominated all when it came to ultimate secession in late 1860 and early 1861. He is quite right about that and makes his point ably.
When “states rights” became a rallying cry in the 1950s and 60s, the issue was whether the federal government could override state and local rulings on racial segregation. The feeling in the South was that public school integration was a state or local education issue and that the federal government’s writ did not run to that subject matter.
To some extent, tension between the appropriate, lawful role of the states vis-a-vis the federal government is baked into the federal constitutional structure. Virtually every term of the Supreme Court has some such issue before it. It is constantly being worked through.
Here’s a description of that debate:
And this I just saw today: It is sort of a Constitutional/historical view of Lincoln and the habeas corpus issue: It supports the previous discussion here:
==============/ Keith DeHavelle
scout – My point on states’ rights (and perhaps Keith’s) is that states’ rights can be use correctly or abused. In the 1950 and 60s, we were taught states’ rights were something only racists defended, and that is just BS.
As you observed:
States’ rights is incorporated into our Constitution as means of preventing any one man or group of men from gaining too much power.
Unfortunately, slavery turned out to be too divisive an issue for our Constitution to provide the means for peaceful resolution.
Keith – I was not aware of your previous post on this on your site (I didn’t know you back then), but thank you for this quite valuable point. The Secession ordinances and the rhetoric that preceded and surrounded them asserted that northern states were defying federal fugitive slave laws and that, under the Constitution, they did not have the authority to do so. This was sort of a reverse-Calhounist/Nullification doctrine. An accurate historical view requires us to be reminded that this was one of the Southern grievances and we need to be aware of the irony that both factions at various times and circumstances took the position that states could ignore federal law on this or that subject.
Your points of Habeas Corpus are also very well taken, in my opinion.
“…my blogging has taken a more religious turn…….I just don’t know what else to do.”
Me too! I used to be very civic minded, very politically focused, and then I realized there is far more going on here then meets the eye. Something is just all so very wrong with the whole picture. So you do what you have to do, and that is to turn to God. That’s a good thing, that’s a wise thing, and that is what we need more people to do. There are people standing up all over the country and changing the tone of things but they are hard to see sometimes. We just have to keep the faith, trust God, and try to focus on the positive.
Your last sentence is simple, but to the point.
Even in the darkest times, we can always find something for which to be thankful, and that is how we show our trust.
When we trust in God, we can believe Romans 8:28, and we can believe the verses that follow. Even when all hope seems lost, we can still believe that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, that He will overcome.
Enlightenment can be tough. I am of the mind that we are here on earth for our individual growth. We are living in a time of de-evolution and it is very difficult for those of us who have moved on. Keep the faith. That is all we can do. Thanks for the link.