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Why Have a Bill of Rights?

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.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens


Valerie Jarrett played role in effort to kidnap Amb. Chris Stevens

by Joe Newby

A video posted Tuesday by the Western Center for Journalism makes the explosive claim that White House adviser Valerie Jarrett played a role in what was to be an attempt to kidnap Ambassador Chris Stevens. The attempt was “botched,” ultimately resulting in the terror attack that led to Stevens’ death.

The video cites “Dark Forces: The truth about what happened in Benghazi,” a book by Kenneth R. Timmerman, that says Iranians were behind the 2012 terror attack on the Benghazi compound. Worse yet, the video claims, Jarrett may have been “pulling the strings.”

The book cited in the video claims Jarrett has maintained close ties to the Iranian government for decades, including one Ali Akbar Velayati, a man who served as Iran’s Foreign Minister from 1981 to 1996. According to “Dark Forces,” Jarrett and Velayati discussed a plan intended to make Obama look like a “diplomatic genius.”

“Velayati told Jarrett there were elements inside Iran (such as the Quds Force) who were ‘out of control’ and were planning to kidnap an American diplomat to show their displeasure with U.S. santions on Iran,” the video said. “Some claimed that Jarrett then proposed that they transform the kidnapping into a hostage exchange, with the United States freeing the Blind Sheikh in exchange for the kidnapped U.S. ambassador. That would make Obama look like a diplomatic genius.”

The “Blind Sheikh” is none other than Omar Abdel Rahman, the bearded Islamic extremist who helped orchestrate the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In January 2013, the Washington Post said Islamist leaders, including former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, have pressured the U.S. to release him.

According to Timmerman, the NSA intercepted communications by militants in Benghazi revealing a plan led by Iranians to kidnap Stevens and attack the CIA annex. The plan was reportedly stopped when Iranians — traveling in vehicles with Red Crescent markings — were attacked and captured by Ansar al-Sharia. But, Timmerman said, the attack was a ruse to make the CIA think the plan had been scrapped.

Instead, the video claims, the plan was simply altered to let Ansar al-Sharia kidnap Stevens and attack the compound. The Iranian leader behind the botched attempt reportedly did not believe Ansar al-Sharia could successfully kidnap Stevens and allegedly ordered him murdered.

The video goes on to say this is the reason the administration blamed the attack on an obscure online video for weeks. But, the video — which can be seen above — says more needs to be done.

“And this is why we must forcibly remove Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett from the White House and arrest them immediately,” the video adds.

Howard Stern – “If You’re Anti-Israel, You’re Anti-American!”

Wow. I never thought I would say this, but… I totally agree with Howard Stern.

Please don’t tell my mom. She’d never get over me saying that.

Look, I don’t like Howard Stern’s brand of entertainment – never have, never will – but that doesn’t mean he can’t be right now and again. This is one of those times. Last week he had a caller looking to goad him into a fight over whether or not Israel was at fault for what is happening in the Middle East, but Stern was having none of it. He responded in true Howard Stern style, lambasting NBA star Dwight Howard, pop star Rihanna, rocker Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, and anyone else seeking to lay the blame for violence in Palestine at Israel’s feet.

Stern pointed out that Israel is under constant attack; they are the only Western Democracy in the Middle East, and the only nation there with Western values willing to stand against terrorism.

I’ve posted the video/audio of his epic rant below, but please be warned…

The language is definitely not safe for work (or for genteel ears). Stern’s commentary is littered with F-Bombs and liberal use of other foul expletives. Please be warned.



4-day plan to solve the border crisis

by Garth Kant
WASHINGTON – It’s a trap.

That’s what Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, thinks about the plan fashioned by GOP House leaders to solve the border crisis.

He believes it is an attempt to pass so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform by another name because, not only does it not address the issue of amnesty, it would leave the door wide open for President Obama to extend amnesty to many more millions of illegal immigrants.

Another big problem in King’s eyes is that the revised plan that came out of a GOP House meeting on Friday is a “package,” or collection of many different ideas.

And, he told WND, “A package has no chance at becoming law and has every chance of coming back to us with who-knows-what hung on it. All it becomes is an excuse for us to say we did something.”

Instead, the congressman offered his simplified plan to fix the border crisis in less than a week.

“Monday, I would pass a resolution that was Rep. Trent Frank’s (R-Ariz.) idea, that says, ‘These are all the things the president did to cause this (crisis), and this is what he needs to do to fix it.’ The National Guard should be called up by all the border state governors.”
“Tuesday, I would send the Senate a fix to the 2008 bill (that requires all minors from Central America have lengthy judicial hearings before any deportation) as a stand-alone bill. That would take the fig leaf away from the president and the Democrats. Even though it’s not the cause of this problem (he believes the prospect of amnesty is luring the immigrants), it will take away the excuse.”
“Wednesday, I would send the Senate a stand-alone appropriations bill that gives funds directly to the states to send the National Guard to secure the border.”
“Thursday, I’d put the other good ideas that have been suggested into a much-smaller package bill and send it to the Senate.”
Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, had released her draft of the House leaders’ plan on Wednesday, which contained a litany of proposals but nothing addressing amnesty.
texas-mexico-bordereve King,

However, after a meeting of GOP House members on Friday morning in which conservatives had a chance to register their input, she said the plan had been pared-down to “bare-bones suggestions,” primarily: revising the 2008 law; allowing Border Patrol agents to access federal lands; deploying National Guard troops; assigning more immigration judges; and a call for greater cooperation with Central American countries to repatriate unaccompanied children.

What she called “bare-bones,” King still saw as an over-ambitious attempt to cobble together too many plans in one package.

King said if the House simply passed his four proposals, Congress would have done everything it could and “removed some of the tools people are using to play politics. ”

Otherwise, he said, Congress will have subscribed to the president’s agenda for the rest of his term, which is “open borders.”


Israel please don’t shoot at those Palestinian’s


ANOTHER PREZ SETBACK–Appeals Court Guts Obamacare

Written by Suzanne Olden on July 24, 2014Obamacare111
Obamacare Redux – US Court of Appeals Guts Obamacare

In a move that has Obamacare opponents doing a serious happy dance, the U.S. Court of Appeals just gutted the hated Act. In a well worded decision, the Court basically told Congress that if you want a law to say something, the words you choose are important. I’m thinking “pass it so we can see what’s in it” just backfired on Nancy Pelosi. In a very big way.

The case revolves around a few things, but basically it was challenged by those saying that the language of the act only allow subsidies for states that set up their own exchanges instead of relying on the federal exchange to step in. Supporters of the law argued that while that may be true, it was just a “typo” and should be ignored.

Sorry, that’s not how it works.

The U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with the challengers and set up another go round over Obamacare in the Supreme Court for most likely the upcoming session. Those in states that didn’t set up their own exchanges may find that the subsidies they thought they were getting will disappear because of Obamacare, much like their old policies did.

When Obamacare passed, only 14 states opted to set up their own health insurance marketplaces. Those states were California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Idaho and New Mexico were originally supposed to have state run sites, but went federal due to different constraints on their plans. The District of Columbia also has its own exchange site. Only those states, and DC, will be able to offer subsidies to people who purchase insurance through their state run exchanges.

In the rule making phase after the law was passed, someone realized there was a problem and wrote the IRS rules for subsidies, which are given in the form of tax credits. Making those subsidies broadly available was important in the left’s cries of “See! There were plenty of people who wanted and needed insurance through Obamacare.”

This, of course, led to the problems recently uncovered with verifying important information such as income and citizenship status. That meant more people received subsidies than probably qualified for them in the first place. Keep in mind that, per HHS records, 5.4 million have signed up in the 36 states that use the federal exchange, and 87% of those who did received federal subsidies. Either way, not being able to extend subsidies to residents in the 36 other states who use the federal exchange means that they will most likely not sign up for coverage, or keep the Obamacare policies they currently have.

The case itself, Halbig v. Burwell, was filed by small business owners. All the issues revolve around four words in the Act. Four. Those words are “established by the state.” The Court looked at the actual written law and the Congressional Record, which has the legislative history. They looked at the legislative history because Defendants Burwell, et al, claimed that the intent of Congress was to extend the subsidies. The Court found no such intent either implied or written in any of the legislative history, nor in the actual act itself.

The decision itself is lengthy, but the important parts discuss choice of wording and how important it is in law. “The crux of this case is whether an Exchange established by the federal government is an “Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the [ACA].” We therefore begin with the provisions authorizing states and the federal government to establish Exchanges. Section 1311 provides that states “shall” establish Exchanges. 42 U.S.C. § 18031(b)(1). But, as the parties agree, despite its seemingly mandatory language, section 1311 more cajoles than commands. A state is not literally required to establish an Exchange; the ACA merely encourages it to do so. And if a state elects not to (or is unable to), such that it “will not have any required Exchange operational by January 1, 2014,” section 1321 directs the federal government, through the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to “establish and operate such Exchange within the State.” Id. § 18041(c)(1) (emphasis added).

The phrase “such Exchange” has twofold significance. First, the word “such”—meaning “aforementioned”, see BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY 1473 (8th ed. 2004); WEBSTER’S THIRD INT’L DICTIONARY 2283 (1981)—signifies that the Exchange the Secretary must establish is the “required Exchange” that the state failed to establish. In other words, “such” conveys what a federal Exchange is: the equivalent of the Exchange a state would have established had it elected to do so…

The problem confronting the IRS Rule is that subsidies also turn on a third attribute of Exchanges: who established them. Under section 36B, subsidies are available only for plans “enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the [ACA].” 26 U.S.C. § 36B(c)(2)(A)(i) (emphasis added); see also id. § 36B(b)(2)(A). Of the three elements of that provision—(1) an Exchange (2) established by the State (3) under section 1311—federal Exchanges satisfy only two: they are Exchanges established under section 1311. Nothing in section 1321 deems federally-established Exchanges to be “Exchange[s] established by the State.”

This omission is particularly significant since Congress knew how to provide that a non-state entity should be treated as if it were a state when it sets up an Exchange. In a nearby section, the ACA provides that a U.S. territory that “elects . . . to establish an Exchange . . . shall be treated as a State.”2 42 U.S.C. § 18043(a)(1). The absence of similar language in section 1321 suggests that even though the federal government may establish an Exchange “within the State,” it does not in fact stand in the state’s shoes when doing so.”

The Court went on to conclude that “a federal Exchange is not an “Exchange established by the State,” and section 36B does not authorize the IRS to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal Exchanges”; and that section 36B of the IRS rules “plainly distinguishes Exchanges established by states from those established by the federal government.”

What is really interesting is another small, yet key phrase in the decision: “The government argues that we should not adopt the plain meaning of section 36B, however, because doing so would render several other provisions of the ACA absurd.” Mostly because Obamacare is absurd on its face! Here’s hoping that SCOTUS finds it just as absurd and concurs with the lower court!



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