A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC IN DECLINE

preamble to the constitutionDo I hate the US Catholic Bishops? No. Do I think they are especially bad people? No.  Nevertheless, I think their stance on immigration is stupidly immoral. What is their stance? See for yourself: Catholic Church’s Position on Immigration Reform.

How did I come across the statement the US Catholic Bishops made on immigration. A commenter (here) cited them as some kind of authority and posted a link. I replied (here). Here is the gist of what I said.

The Democratic Party advocates open borders; it just calls it something else. You pointed to a naive front group like the US Catholic Bishops. At the same time those bishops are suppose to be fighting against the killing of babies, abortion, they are working to guarantee Democrat victories at the polls. I don’t have to mock the authority of those men. They do it themselves.

What the US Catholic Bishops want is effectively a second immigration amnesty. SECOND immigration amnesty. We need a second one because the last one worked so well? For whom?

We have always had controlled immigration into this country. Now it is far more difficult. What is different now? People can travel more easily, of course, but what is crucial is our health, education, and welfare programs. Need I say the obvious? Democrats are eager to use these programs to buy the votes of gullible immigrants. (from here)

The US Catholic Bishops have a similar stance with respect to refugees. That is, they disliked President Trump’s Executive Order halting immigration from seven nations that are currently ungovernable. The US Catholic Bishops’ statement on the executive order is available at this post: US Catholic Bishops Publicly Shame President Trump Today At Church by Silence of Mind.

Disgusted, I commented that too. Here is the gist of what I said in my first comment.

What do we call people who substitute weeping emotion for rational thought? Helen Thomas, a White House reporter, ironically invented the expression when she told us how much her heart bleeds.

It is an unfortunate fact of life, but lots of clerics are bleeding hearts. Europe is being overrun by people who do not have any use for democracy. Once their government collapses, where are the Europeans supposed to go? Here? Why would want more brainless fools? Don’t we have enough already?

Seriously, when you play chess, to win you have to think 4 – 5 moves ahead. If we accept millions of refugees, I agree that solves the immediate problem. We have already put who even knows how many such people on welfare, and we are still not bankrupt. Just the same, if we keep accepting refugees and putting them on welfare, the consequences are readily predictable. The refugees will vote Democrat. That’s why the Democrats want them.

In addition, because our taxes are already out of sight because of expensive heath, education, and welfare programs, absorbing endless refugees will just cause our economy will fold up and close shop. We will also become a multilingual nation, a tower of Babel (That’s why the European Union never had a chance.). The collapse will be complete when our government becomes tyrannical. That is the only way it will be able to maintain order. If you have any doubts about the tyrannical part, consider all the disruptions the Democrats are causing Trump. The jackasses are deliberately trying to make the country ungovernable, and they think that is a smart move. The Nazis did the same sort of thing to the Weimar Republic.
🙄 (from here)

The US Catholic Bishops are ignoring the teachings of the Bible.  What is our basic problem? We don’t love each other enough, right? Does putting on a big show that supposedly shows how much we care solve that problem? No. Does overloading our health, education, and welfare systems solve that problem? No. Does electing a bunch of Democrats solve that problem? No. Does creating a situation that is guaranteed to foment immense social strife solve that problem? No.

Here is the other comment I left behind.

Hypocrites, people who only pretend to be highly and even perfectly moral, cannot make a constitutional republic work. The reason is simple enough. They won’t truly abide by the constitution. They will only make the pretense that that is what they are doing. Meanwhile, they will accuse their opponents of every damned thing they can imagine.

Still, the proof of their duplicity comes from their own lips. It is they, to excuse their lies, who call the Constitution a “living document”. With those two words they render the Constitution meaningless, and they think themselves clever. Yet with those two words they also expose the proof of all their own lies. (from here)

The modern Democratic Party and many in the Republican Party engage in legalism.  Like the Pharisees of old, they supposedly uphold a complex legalistic code. This code they tell us is quite honorable, but unlike the nonsense the Pharisees taught their lie can be easily seen. Their code is living; it conforms to the politics of the moment.  As they say, IT IS ALIVE! It is in truth a dishonorable monstrosity.

Should we help refugees from war zones? Of course, we should, but destroying our own culture and almost deliberately sowing social strife into our society will not help anyone. It just spreads the problems the refugees are trying to flee. Don’t we already have enough trouble getting along with each other? Isn’t adding bunches and bunches of poorly educated refugees, many accustomed to violence, like adding fuel to a fire?

Here is the order President Donald Trump issued: EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES. As you read it, consider what the Constitution says in Article I, Section 8. It explicitly authorizes Congress to control immigration policy. Effectively, the Federal Government (unless a Republican is in office) has plenary power over immigration policy.

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States; (from here)

Therefore, the only question before a court should be whether Congress has authorized the president to deny restrict travel to our nation from nations that are deemed threats. In fact, since the president’s primary job is commander-in-chief, doesn’t he have that responsibility already?

So what did the Ninth Circuit Court decide when the Trump administration appealed to it and asked it to stay District Court Judge James L. Robart’s order which had ruled Trump’s unconstitutional and effectively revoked it.  The Ninth Circuit Court let Robart’s order stand.  See Motion for Stay of an Order of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington James L. Robart, District Judge, Presiding. Why? Here are a couple of examples of the ridiculous logic.

  • Foreigners have 5th Amendment rights. Effectively, using such logic, foreigners have the right to enter the United States any time they want to do so. We may as well call them citizens.
  • Foreigners have 1st Amendment rights. Does that mean foreigners have freedom of assembly in the United States. Why don’t we just lay out the welcome mat for foreign armies? Congress has in the past favored immigration from certain nations over others. Why? We shared a similar cultural heritage, including religious heritage. Commonsense, now seemingly in short supply, dictates that immigration from such nations would be less disruptive.

So, do foreigners, foreigners who are not even in our country, have rights under our Constitution? Well, the Framers made it explicitly clear whose rights they wrote OUR Constitution to protect.  See the Preamble at the beginning of this post.

This is not just bad law. It is insane. Those judges need to be removed from the bench. This decision is legal malpractice. If the judges on the Supreme Court don’t have enough good sense to overturn such blatant BS, God help us.  Hopefully, our new Attorney General will take the case over and devise a successful strategy.

Other Views

WHAT A MONSTROUS LIE!

During the Irish rebellion of 1641, lurid reports of atrocities, including of pregnant women who had been ripped open and had their babies pulled out, provided Oliver Cromwell with justification for his subsequent slaughter of defeated Irish rebels. (from here)
During the Irish rebellion of 1641, lurid reports of atrocities, including of pregnant women who had been ripped open and had their babies pulled out, provided Oliver Cromwell with justification for his subsequent slaughter of defeated Irish rebels. (from here)

Sometimes I engage in side debates with Liberal Democrats (via email) and these debates often inspire posts.

What inspired this post? My debating partner complained about the Republican led Senate’s refusal to consider any more of President Barack Hussein Obama’s judicial nominees.  He was outraged by the Republican’s unwillingness to compromise. Since the subject of our previous debate had been on the merits of limited government versus those of Socialism, I sent him this observation.

Can we have it both ways? If we had a limited government, there would be room for compromise. People would worry more about what they should do instead of making other people do what they want them to do.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a limited government. When government becomes ever more important, partisanship inevitably increases.  At a certain point, people start fighting because the government is not giving them what they want.

That’s why Socialism is not a good solution. We should not be demanding of government things we can do just as well or better through private endeavors.

What I got back should not have surprised me, but it did. In fact, it shocked me.

‘Big Government’ Looks Great When There Is None (http://mobile.nytimes.com)

March 17, 2016

UNITY STATE, South Sudan — After hearing Republican presidential candidates denounce big government and burdensome regulation, I’d like to invite them to spend the night here in the midst of the civil war in South Sudan.

You hear gunfire, competing with yowls of hyenas, and you don’t curse taxes. Rather, you yearn for a government that might install telephones, hire a 911 operator and dispatch the police.

From afar, one sees the United States differently. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz seem to think that America’s Achilles heels are immigration and an activist government. But from the perspective of a war zone, these look more like national strengths.

Indeed, take what Trump is clamoring for: weaker government, less regulation, a more homogeneous society. In some sense, you find the ultimate extension of all that right here. (continued here)

Apparently, suggesting any reduction of the Liberal Democrat’s Utopian dreams is equivalent to turning the United States into an abysmal Third World nation. No Republican has even come close to proposing such anarchy, but that doesn’t stop The New York Times from demonizing the opposition. What is absurd about this is that views of The New York Times are so extreme they can lump Donald Trump and Ted Cruz together without missing a beat.

We are piling up debt. Our public schools are becoming indoctrination centers. The pressures of taxation and regulation have stagnated economic growth and forced companies to move overseas.  We risk losing religious freedom. Foreign enemies abound and our military is growing relatively weaker. We cannot even enforce our borders.  Our infrastructure needs repair. The cost of medical care continues to surge. Problem after problem after problem.

What do Liberal Democrats propose to fix problem after problem after problem? More and more of the same. More government.

Our Constitution says what the Federal Government is suppose to do, and the Tenth Amendment explicitly states that the Federal Government isn’t suppose to do anything that is not in the Constitution. No sane, honest soul can read the Constitution and use it to justify how Federal Government now spends most of the money it spends. Yet such observations apparently have nothing to do with how Liberal Democrats view the world. They just make up their own facts.

Two political scientists, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, argue that America’s achievements rest on a foundation of government services but that we Americans suffer from “American Amnesia” (that’s also the title of their book coming out this month) and don’t appreciate this.

“We are told that the United States got rich in spite of government, when the truth is closer to the opposite,” they write. Every country that journeyed from mass illiteracy and poverty to modernity and wealth did so, they note, because of government instruments that are now often scorned. (excerpt from ‘Big Government’ Looks Great When There Is None)

Given the context, that assertion is absurd. Did the United States become prosperous because of the type of government we once had? Yes, but the author of that New York Times op-ed would like us to believe that Americans have always had bunches of busybodies trying to run their lives. Not true. Read the Declaration of Independence. That document explains why the American colonists fought the American Revolution. The American colonists fought to preserve their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They did not want King George III, a would-be tyrant in distant land, trying to make tax slaves out of them.

Are you a tax slave? Have you ever added up all the money you pay in taxes? Have you ever looked at how much our government spends? Who benefits? How much of your money are our political leaders spending to buy things our country actually needs them to buy? When do taxes, regulations, laws — when does the iron hand of government — become so extreme we have an obligation to replace the rascals and send them home?

No Republican candidate has proposed to cut Federal spending to the bone his first day in office and starve people. However, that is obviously what The New York Times would like us to believe

What do Conservatives want? Conservatives today share goals similar to the Americans of 1776. We accept the fact that power corrupts, and we don’t want scheming, power-hungry politicians trying sell us out to whatever political donors give them the most money. Instead, we would like to make use of that blueprint for government we call the Constitution. We would like to reduce our government to a point where we have some control over it. That too extreme? Well, apparently some would like to frighten us and make us believe it is.

Is the author of that New York Times op-ed, Big Government’ Looks Great When There Is None, just demonizing anyone who has the temerity to disagree with him. Is enforcing the Constitution a wild idea? Not sure? Well, I can remember a time when my education (“free” from the public school system) was lacking too. Then I read documents like the following.

There are more such documents here => Citizen Library.

If we want to understand our history, what is the best way? Often it is best to read what people who lived at the time we want to understand wrote. Unfortunately, that is not what many of us did in school. But, we can change that.

 

THE STATE OF THE UNRAVELING ON INDEPENDENCE DAY, JULY 4, 2015

The Prayer at Valley Forge From the original painting by Henry Brueckner (from here)
The Prayer at Valley Forge From the original painting by Henry Brueckner (from here)

Article II., Section 3 of The United States Constitution says the following.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Like much of the rest of our Constitution, the interpretation of that section of the Constitution has degenerated. Thus, the State of the Union has become a grand stage show. Our president makes a flowery speech before both houses of Congress. Like many of his predecessors, only worse, the current occupant of the White House uses the opportunity to further his agenda by promising us “other” people’s money and defining his enemies.

Perhaps, if we held the State of the Union on Independence day, more of us would insist that our president’s speech focus on how well our nation upholds the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence. As it is, even on Independence Day, we rarely consider the cause of the celebration. We wave flags at marching bands and pretty floats, not the heroes who left as their legacy, our liberty. We ooh and we aahh to booming of fireworks. We have forgotten the sacrifices, the long campaigns, the endless waiting, the arduous marches, the cold, the heat, the desperation, the men and women who gave their all in hard fought battles. Instead, we use gloriously colorful fireworks to symbolize the struggles that gave us our liberty, not the drab weariness characterizes a long war.

Yet if we are more thoughtful, if we love our family, friends, and neighbors, the events here of late must alarm us. If we understand the value living in a free country — if we are not blind to the threat to our nation’s institutions — then we must see that those institutions are failing. We must see the unraveling of bonds that once united the People of United States.

What is happening? What is the difference between an enslaved people and a free people? Slave peoples submit to the rule of men. Free peoples uphold the rule of law.

Why would any people submit to the rule of other men, mere mortals like themselves. Because we have put our trust in the wrong place, we would do so in terror.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

Thus says the Lord:

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Instead of trusting in God, we look to our self. Because our pride is misplaced, we risk failing like that shrub in the desert. Instead of trying to see everything through our Lord’s eyes, we take the measure of all things relative to our own desires. Instead of serving God and our family, friends, and neighbors, we seek first and foremost our own wants.  Yet what matters is that God, the Creator, loves us, not that a puny man loves himself. We are nothing. The universe is too big, too complex, for us. Thus, the man who cares only himself finds himself alone, helpless, and afraid.

Why would a people submit to the rule of law? It is in the hearts of men to do so. Hence, we have the Code of Hammurabi and the Athenian and Roman republics. At God’s inspiration, Moses explained it to the Hebrews this way.

Deuteronomy 10:12-22 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Essence of the Law

12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good? 14 Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it. 15 The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. 16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 21 He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the Lord your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.

Because our Constitution is the creation of men, not God, many confuse the meaning of a secular government. Too many think we can govern ourselves without God. We cannot. Unless we each choose to be guided by God, then we cannot behave honorably. We cannot make honorable laws. Nor can we honor the laws we create.  We can only selfishly pursue our own ends. Then our leaders must divide us, terrorize us, and enslave us.

KEN CUCCINELLI ON A CONVENTION OF THE STATES

constitution1.pngAs one of Virginia’s most respected Conservatives and a legal scholar of note, Ken Cuccinelli opinion on a Convention of the States should carry some weight.  So here it is from the Cuccinelli Compass dated 02/01/2015.

The Controversial Convention of States‏

Dear Friend and Fellow Virginian,

One of the most unique and important discussions among constitutional conservatives is taking place right now in Virginia’s General Assembly.  It is the debate about whether the states (including Virginia) should exercise their rights to call an Article V Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution to limit the power of the federal government.

While I have good friends whom I respect on the other side of this debate, I support the effort of the states to call such a convention and I wanted to share my reasons with you.

I would note that there is a body that sits for nine months every year, “defining” our constitution, and sadly it seems to regularly undermine the original meaning of that sacred document… always seeming to grow the power of the central, federal government.  We call this body The Supreme Court of the United States.

We can continue to idly watch the Supreme Court and the federal government eat away at the constitutional foundation of this country, or the states that founded it can make an effort to limit the runaway growth in the power of the federal government.  Frankly, I don’t see – nor has anyone suggested to me – a viable alternative to the Convention of States.

The usual argument: ‘we just have to elect people who will rein in the federal government’ has not worked.  I would note that the Founding Fathers expected to be disappointed, and they tried to design a governmental system with checks and balances to curb the natural excesses of mankind, including a way to rein in the federal government when it got out of control.

Virginia’s General Assembly will vote to take the first step to rein in our runaway federal government in the next few days.  Your support is urgently needed!  The vote looks like it’s going to be very close.

Our Founding Fathers gave the states a method of proposing amendments to our Constitution to rein in the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.  Proud Virginian George Mason insisted that one day the federal government would outgrow its bounds, and when that day came, the states would need to have the ability to amend the Constitution to limit the power of the federal government.  An Article V Convention of States is the specific recourse he and our Founders put in the Constitution for that purpose.

I’d like to ask you to stand with George Mason and our Founding Fathers and tell your Virginia legislators to support HJ 497, HJ 499, and SJ 269!

Here are 3 Simple Facts that I Think Opponents are Getting Wrong:

  1. The States Control the Convention Process

A Convention of States was put in the Constitution for the express purpose of giving the states a way of limiting the federal government.  Under Article V it takes 34 states to start the convention process.  Then the states appoint the delegates to the convention.

No matter what Congress would like to do to influence or attempt to ‘control’ the convention, they have no authority to do so.  The convention can ignore anything Congress ‘says’ about the convention.

Finally on this point, and in my mind critically, 38 states have to ratify any proposals coming out of the convention before they become part of the Constitution – this is our ultimate ‘backstop.’  Put another way, at a time when Republicans control more state legislative chambers than ever before in my lifetime, only 13 legislative bodies (e.g., only the House of Delegates, even without the Senate, on behalf of Virginia) may block ANY proposed amendment.  Blocking votes are the most important, and there are more conservative states than liberal states; additionally, Republicans control approximately double the number of state legislative chambers across the country as Democrats right now.  That’s as good a backstop as we’re going to get – and don’t forget, the Supreme Court is out there whittling away our constitution and increasing the power of the federal government even as we debate this question.

The process is state-driven from beginning to end, and has numerous checks and balances to ensure its safety.  Our Founders knew what they were doing.

  1. Virginia is focusing on Amendments that Limit the Power of the Federal Government.

HJR 497 only allows a convention to consider amendments that will limit the power of the federal government.  HJR 499 only allows a convention to consider a balanced budget amendment.  This can be reflected in the qualifications of Virginia’s delegates. Your rights under the First, Second, or any other Amendment are not ‘up for grabs’ (compare that to the Supreme Court)!  The only people who need to fear a convention are the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

Remember, Virginia’s General Assembly will decide how delegates to a convention are selected, and while there are no absolute guarantees here, Virginia does have significant control of its delegates and a solid backstop in place.

  1. Who does and who does NOT support a Convention of States:

Opponents often accuse us of being supported by the likes of George Soros and Moveon.org.  This is not the case.  Have you ever heard any of them back it (I mean quotes from THEM, not someone who opposes it telling you ‘George Soros wants it’)?  Go look at their websites.  You will not find such support anywhere.

I’ve even heard things like ‘the NRA opposes it.’  If so, my understanding is that their lobbyist in Richmond is unaware of that fact… draw your own conclusions.

A wide range of conservatives support this effort, including people like Governor Bobby Jindal, Prof. Randy Barnett – the leading academic in the opposition to Obamacare, Mike Farris, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Colonel Allen West, Senator Ron Johnson, and Retired Senator Tom Coburn, just to name a few.  Countless other conservative leaders also support this effort.

I should note that I have never seen an issue that sees so many good conservatives on both sides.  But I want to ask you to stand with our Founders and the countless conservatives who have joined this cause.  Please contact your state legislators in the Virginia House and Senate and tell them to vote in favor of HJ 497, HJ 499, and SJ 269.

You can find out who your state legislators are here: http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

For liberty,

Ken Cuccinelli, II

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