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A Rose By Any Other Name

The main lesson we learn from History is that we don’t learn from History.  The lack of historical perspective is, I believe, one of the major contributing factors in America’s current state.

People don’t realize that all of these novel fixes our collectivist leaders are shoving down our throats with regard to health care have been tried multiple times before.  Or that they have failed every time.

People don’t realize that preemptive imperial wars of aggression and suppression have been disguised as endless wars for peace since Sargon the Great marched out of Akkad to found the first known empire.

Running true to form most people, apparently including our national leaders both political and military and the news anchors for the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media, do not realize that ISIS is not an aberration in Islamic History.

Neither are the other forms of Islamic terrorist groups which have plagued the world since the late 1960s when Palestinian secular movements such as Al Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) began to target civilians outside the immediate arena of conflict.  These were self-proclaimed secular groups.  As pointed out by RAND’s Bruce Hoffman, in 1980 two out of 64 groups were categorized as largely religious in motivation; in 1995 almost half of the identified groups, 26 out of 56, were classified as religiously motivated; the majority of these espoused Islam as their guiding force.

Political versus Fundamentalist Islam

Political Islam, as opposed to fundamentalist or neo-fundamentalist Islam, posits a worldview that can deal with and selectively integrate modernity. In contrast, fundamentalist Islam calls for a return to an ontological form of Islam that rejects modernity; groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad are representative of fundamentalist Islam.

A Note on State Sponsors of Religious Terror Groups

Unlike the “secular” national, radical, anarchist terrorism which have been sponsored by states such as Libya, Syria, Iraq, Cuba, North Korea, and behind the scenes by the former Soviet camp, most of the religious Islamic terrorist groups have never been sponsored by states. Many Egyptian organizations emerged from the Egyptian domestic landscape. Algerian groups likewise were not sponsored by foreign states. Hezbollah certainly can be viewed as an Iranian surrogate, but other movements, while open to state assistance, remain operationally and ideologically independent.  ISIS is different in that it has declared itself to be a state.

This brings us to the willful disregard of easily accessible knowledge which brings all of our political and cultural leaders to constantly say:

  • That the forces of ISIS and other Islamic terrorist organizations are not Islamic.
  • That these groups have somehow hijacked Islam or that they are merely criminals hiding behind Islamic names and slogans.

For one thing who are we to judge another’s faith?  If someone says they are followers of Muhammed who are we to say they aren’t?  If someone says they are doing their best to live by their interpretation of the Koran who are we to say they aren’t?

This is one of the reasons it is so hard to get even the most “moderate” of Muslims to denounce ISIS and the other Islamic Terror organizations. Even if they personally disagree with their theology and their methods there is enough in their declarations of faith that align with traditional strains of Islam. It would be like a Catholic saying a Pentecostal isn’t a Christian because they have differing views of the actions of the Holy Spirit in the modern day.

This refusal to admit the Islamic nature of these groups disarms the West.  We cannot understand what they want, what they do, or why they have such a strong hold on the lives of so many.  Another aspect of our official blindness that prevents us from confronting this clash of civilizations appropriately is the oft repeated mantra that those Muslims who support the radicals is a tiny group, often mentioned at 1%.  We are also reminded often that 1.6 billion people make up the Muslim world.  If this second figure is correct the tiny minority of the first figure translates to 16 million people.

Sixteen million people willing to fight to the death, blow themselves up, or financially support them is larger than any army ever fielded by Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, or Stalin.  Obviously this is a threat that should be taken seriously.  It should not be dismissed by ignoring what they say about themselves.  Imagine if the leaders of the western democracies had bothered to read Hitler’s Mein Kampf and believe that he meant what he said.  They could have stopped him when he marched into the Rhineland with no trouble whatsoever.  Instead they ignored what he said and fifty million people paid with their lives.

Today we stand in a similar place.  We ignored Osama Bin Laden when he declared war on America in 1988 and 1996 with disastrous consequences.  Now we are ignoring the inherent attraction of those who claim the Islamic world as their own when we say they are not motivated by their religion.  It strips us of the ability to understand them, their objectives, their appeal, and their tactics.

Another disservice our leaders are foisting on us is the other mantra of their secular religion that Islam is a religion of peace.  This flies in the face of historical reality.  Islam did not initially spread as Christianity did by the power of its message and the blood of its martyrs.  Islam spread as a conquering religion.  Muhammed conquered Medina and Mecca, forced unity on the disparate Arab tribes before bursting forth from the Arabian Peninsula and spreading through military conquest and forcible conversions.

Rod Dreher in the American Conservative has done a masterful job of asking two important questions, “Is ISIS Islamic? How would we know?”   Much of what follows is excerpted from his penetrating analysis.

To take one example: In September, Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the Islamic State’s chief spokesman, called on Muslims in Western countries such as France and Canada to find an infidel and “smash his head with a rock,” poison him, run him over with a car, or “destroy his crops.” To Western ears, the biblical-sounding punishments—the stoning and crop destruction—juxtaposed strangely with his more modern-sounding call to vehicular homicide.  As if to show that he could terrorize by imagery alone, Adnani also referred to Secretary of State John Kerry as an “uncircumcised geezer.”

Adnani was not merely talking trash. His speech was laced with theological and legal discussion. His exhortation to attack crops directly echoed orders from Muhammad to leave well water and crops alone—unless the armies of Islam were in a defensive position, in which case Muslims in the lands of Kuffar, or infidels, should be unmerciful, and poison away.

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic.  Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.

Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel contends that the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor.  Of partial Lebanese descent, Haykel grew up in Lebanon and the United States.  Haykel regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous and sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he saidAccording to Professor Haykel, “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else” Haykel continued.

In Haykel’s estimation, the fighters of the Islamic State are authentic throwbacks to early Islam and are faithfully reproducing its norms of war. This behavior includes a number of practices that modern Muslims tend to prefer not to acknowledge as integral to their sacred texts. “Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings are not something that freakish [jihadists] are cherry-picking from the medieval tradition,” Haykel said. Islamic State fighters “are smack in the middle of the medieval tradition and are bringing it wholesale into the present day” says Haykel.

According to one thought passed along by Rod Dreher what we call “Islamic fundamentalism” or “Islamic extremism” is so hard to defeat because it is so clearly rooted in Islamic history and Scripture. To tell the followers of ISIS that they are “un-Islamic” in their practices when they are doing, or trying to do, exactly as the Prophet and his early followers did, is a hard sell to fellow Muslims.  It is also the kind of self-imposed blindness that stops us from effectively knowing what we are dealing with.

If we ignore what we know due to political correctness how will it ever be possible to do what needs to be done?  If we refuse to name something does that mean it isn’t what it claims to be?  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and an Islamic Fundamentalist is a follower of Muhammad no matter what we say or how we say it.  There are none so blind as those who will not see, and when the blind follow the blind they both end up in the ditch.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

We Need More of Moore

The Ninth Amendment to the Constitution states that, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

This past Sunday Chris Wallace interviewed Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.  Chief Justice Moore is once again in the news for standing up for the rule of law, limited government, and the viability of the Constitution as a meaningful document as opposed to a Living Document that means whatever the nine black robed oligarchs say it means.

This happened once before.  Back in 2000 he was elected to the position as Alabama’s top jurist on the promise that he would restore the moral foundations of the law in Alabama.  Several months later he made good on that promise when he set a Ten Commandments monument in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building.  He was promptly sued in federal district court by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State who complained that the Chief Justice’s actions were an unconstitutional “establishment of religion.”

The lawyers had charged the Chief Justice with illegally establishing “religion.”   But what religion was he trying to establish?  That remained a mystery since these aggrieved lawyers also argued that the court should not define the term “religion.” The federal district court judge, Myron Thompson, agreed with their argument refusing to render a definition of “religion.” Judge Thompson nevertheless found the Chief Justice guilty of establishing that which he himself could not define and ordered the monument removed.

The Chief Justice refused to comply with this order.  Chief Justice Moore said, “The entire judicial system of the State of Alabama is established in the Alabama constitution invoking the favor and guidance of almighty God. The 10th amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits federal courts from interfering with that power to establish a judicial system. They have no power, no authority no jurisdiction to tell the State of Alabama that we cannot acknowledge God as the source of our law.”

At least in Alabama the Chief Justice did not stand alone.  Another man elected by the voters of the State, Governor Bob Riley said, “I have a deep and abiding belief that there is nothing wrong or unconstitutional about the public display of the Ten Commandments and disagree with the court’s mandate to remove them.”

And yet this representative of the people of Alabama was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court in November 2003. A state ethics panel unanimously decided to remove him from the bench owing to his refusal to follow judicial rulings.

That was then.  This is now.

In 2015 the courageous Chief Justice Moore (he was re-elected in 2012) has ordered probate judges in his state to ignore a Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriages to go forward over the state’s constitutional ban.  Once again the Chief Justice is standing up for State sovereignty against a judicial system that believes they can make law.  This time the battle is over gay marriage.  The Alabama Constitution as amended in 2006 by Amendment 774, the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions.  This amendment was approved by 81% of the voters.  On January 23, 2015, Chief Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Callie V. Grenade, issued a ruling striking down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage as violations of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

This brings us to the aforementioned interview of Chief Justice Moore by Chris Wallace on his Sunday Fox television program.

Chris Wallace seemed baffled by Chief Justice Moore’s arguments as if he had never heard such things before.  When he questioned how anyone could dispute a ruling of a Federal Judge, Chief Justice Moore replied, “When federal courts start changing our Constitution by defining words that are not even there, like marriage, they’re going to do the same thing with family in the future,” Moore declared.  The Chief Justice went on to say, “When a word’s not in the Constitution, clearly the powers of the Supreme Court do not allow them to redefine words and seize power. 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. This power over marriage which came from god under our organic law is not to be redefined by the United States Supreme Court or any federal court.”

The look on Mr. Wallace’s face was one of bewilderment.

To support his argument that the words of Federal Judges are final Mr. Wallace appealed to President Obama who stated in an interview with Buzzfeed News about this controversy saying, “When federal law is in conflict with state law, federal law wins out.”

The Chief Justice answered, “I’d like to tell President Obama that he’s entirely correct, federal law does trump state law,” Moore said. “But what this Harvard professor who is president of the United States does not understand, is that a trial court’s decision on the constitutionality of a federal question is just that — it’s an opinion. It may be law of the case before her. It is not overturning the Alabama constitution. Federal law is not made by judges.”

Mr. Wallace looked at the Chief Justice as if he were speaking a foreign language.  I believe that the reason for this disconnect is not merely Mr. Wallace’s.  It is shared by many who have had the benefit of America’s progressive education.   It has been drummed into generations of Americans that the opinion of judges about the meaning of the Constitution, and not the Constitution itself, is the law of the land. For them, whether conservative or liberal they have an allegiance to the judiciary rather than to the Constitution and the laws enacted pursuant to it.

A still apparently amazed Wallace then accused Moore of being “a little fuzzy” on whether state judges would have to adhere by a SCOTUS ruling in favor of allowing same-sex marriage.

To which Chief Justice Moore replied, “State courts are bound by the ruling of the Supreme Court,” Moore replied. “But when a strict interpretation of the Constitution…is abandoned in the theoretical opinion of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution. We’re under the government of individual men who for the time being declared what the Constitution is according to their own views.”

As if saying something is the same as proving something Mr. Wallace replied, When Mr. Wallace stated that, “When the Supreme Court Rules, It Rules.”

However, there is a fundamental principle of constitutional law that most Americans have never been taught.  According to the Constitution Congress, and Congress alone, has the power to make law.  According to the Constitution Federal Courts have the power only to apply law in particular cases and controversies. Yet in the face of the clear language of the Constitution, most Americans who have been progressively indoctrinated over several generations blindly repeat the platitude as if it is common knowledge that courts make law.

An error that flows from this false view that courts have the power to make law is the belief that the law is not what the Constitution says but rather what judges say about the Constitution. Through a distortion of the common law principles of precedent and stare decisis, a court’s holding in a particular case is converted into a law binding on all persons within the court’s jurisdiction and all inferior courts. The proper use of the principles of precedent and stare decisis is that holdings in past court decisions serve as a compelling guide in subsequent proceedings, but they do not bind unless they are themselves consistent with the law.

We have come to the place where the Progressives want to ignore the clear language of the Constitution as in the Second Amendment protection of citizens to own and carry guns.  At the same time these same big government statists demand that citizens submit to decisions carrying the weight of law based on the partisan interpretations of words which are found nowhere in the document such as Privacy and Marriage.

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states that, “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.”

With a vision of State Sovereignty, individual liberty, personal freedom and economic opportunity framed by the ninth and tenth amendments to the Constitution. Looking at the current crop of right and left wing Progressives and the coming crop of potential right and left wing Progressives my only reaction is, “We need more of Moore.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Don’t Tell Someone Else

I’m thinking about changing my economic strategy. My parents were raised in the Roosevelt Depression and they taught me to work hard, save money, and pay for what I wanted. I was a deficit hawk when being a deficit hawk wasn’t cool’ Now that it isn’t even an option why should I stay at the party when there’s no one left to dance with?

In our new Omerica I think I’ll join the winning side and try spending more than I make every day for the rest of my life and see how that works out. If I can just manage to get to where I owe so much that I’m too big to fail I can start really living large on federal handouts, excuse me bailouts, excuse me stimulus. Won’t that be sweet? I’ll hold seminars on “How to Borrow Your Way to Wealth,” or “If You’ll Take a Check I’ll Take Two Please.” What a great racket, excuse me scheme, excuse me program. And technically it’s not a shell game if you don’t use shells.

According to a USA Today study back in 2009 at the beginning of the present Imperial Presidency American taxpayers assumed an additional $55,000 per household for federal spending and promises in the just the last 12 months of the Bush Debacle. That represents a 12% increase in the deficient just in George II’s final year in office and the media tells us he’s a conservative. Of course he’s the kind of conservative who can also use modern double-speak. I think this one should be above the door to his multi-million dollar presidential library down in Dallas, “”I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.” This spending spree raised the per household federal debt to $546,668 which is four times the average personal debt for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards combined. Instead of “Don’t Tread on ME” perhaps we should have flags that proclaim, “Send Me the Stuff And Send the Bill to Someone Else”

Don’t tell Someone Else but this means our runaway government assumed a staggering $6.8 trillion in new obligations during the government created crash of 2008 alone. Then along came Obama. His explosion of excess when added to the creatively hidden realities of the federal entitlement programs brings poor old Someone Else’s debt load (including unfunded liabilities) to the incomprehensible total of $187 trillion.

Some might say, “Wait a minute! This guy is way over board! Our national debt is only $18 trillion.” I wish I could convince myself it was only $18 trillion that would help me sleep at night. However, government books are so over-cooked they make Enron and WorldCom look as honest as the day is long. The real number doesn’t just cover what we’ve borrowed so far but what we’ve promised to pay in the future minus what we might conceivably raise to offset future borrowing. When you lump that all together you end up with the $187 trillion or some other such ridiculous number.

At least we can tell Someone Else that all this national shopaholicism isn’t being wasted buying $7,000 toilet seats and $800 hammers its buying things we really need. Remember the stimulus, the one that ended the Great Recession? It paid for such needed items as: $97 million for a program that was already cancelled at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In the interests of national defense our government decided to replace old nuclear warheads with new ones. The rocket-scientists in the planning department said they needed two new buildings to produce the necessary plutonium components. Then the program was cancelled.

Never fear government is here and when has the lack of common sense ever gotten in the way of a good boondoggle? Along came our earmark-free stimulus and the $97 Million enters stage-left. Now that the money was there of course we had to spend it otherwise who would get stimulated. So the construction continued for buildings that were no longer needed. At least all these shovel-ready jobs have the economy purring along like a well-oiled machine even if they weren’t as shovel-ready as our Dear Leader thought.

Remember the GM Bailout? Now there was a deal that just couldn’t lose.   It inspired the following joke.

A man walks into a bank to open a checking account the teller says, “I have good news and bad news.” The man asks, “What’s the good news?” The teller says, “When you open an account with us you can have either a new toaster or 1000 shares of GM stock.” “What’s the bad news?” “We’re all out of toasters.” No one would buy GM stock which is why it fell to the 1$ range and our Glorious Leader decided to spend money that was authorized under TARP to buy up toxic assets to instead buy GM. So out comes Uncle Sugar’s checkbook and out goes billions of Someone Else’s money to buy the majority share in a company that was estimated to turn a profit when?

How could this ever fail? It turned out after all the celebrations of success that Someone Else lost $11.2 billion on that deal. And how is the resurrected auto giant? In 2014 GM recalled more cars than they made and while they are closing plants in America they are building them overseas.

What dolts we were working and saving when all you have to do is want something, charge it to Someone Else and shazam you get the stuff and Someone Else gets the bill. That Someone Else sure is a generous person aren’t they? There’s only one problem with this perpetual-motion money machine. When you look in the mirror Someone Else is looking back.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

How Do We Get Back to Where We Were?

It’s hard to be a conservative when there’s little left to conserve. The increasing pace of America’s progression from free markets to a command economy has reached such a pace and become so obvious that way back in 2009 the Russian Prime Minister used his spotlight time at the World Economic Forum to warn America not to follow the socialist path. The Russian newspaper Pravda, once the leading communist voice on earth published an article entitled, “American capitalism gone with a whimper.” People around the world can see the individual decisions of producers and consumers are being replaced by the form letters of a faceless central-planning bureaucracy even if the Obama boosters still haven’t swallowed the red pill and watched the matrix dissolve.

Pushed by the breathtaking speed of America’s devolution into a command economy some conservatives have entered the ranks of the radicals. They’re beginning to think about how to cure the systemic political problems precipitating the November Revolution of 2008. One solution some are embracing is known as the Sovereignty Movement. This is a movement of citizens and state representatives attempting to right the listing ship-of-state by appealing to the 10th Amendment which says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The 10th Amendment addressed one of the most hard-fought points in the establishment of a central government. The States even though they surrendered some of their sovereignty didn’t want to lose it all. Specifically they didn’t want to lose the power to make internal decisions. They did not want to be powerless before a distant national bureaucracy. So as the cap-stone of the Bill of Rights the 10th Amendment was meant to reassure the States they would remain sovereign within their borders. However, since the 1830s, court rulings have garbled the once universally accepted meaning of the 10th Amendment as the Federal Government extended its authority from roads to schools to GM to Health Care to whatever they want.

Now some are turning to a resurrection of the straightforward meaning of the 10th Amendment as a way to mitigate the ever expanding power of centralized-control and social engineering combined with perpetual re-election and runaway pork-barrel deficit spending. But, is this enough?

As a Historian I always believe even a little history might help push back the darkness swirling around us.  In 1787, at the close of the Constitutional Convention, as Benjamin Franklin left Independence Hall a lady asked “Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy.” “A republic” replied Franklin “if you can keep it.”

Many have the mistaken idea that the United States is a democracy. It’s not. It’s a representative republic. The Framers distrusted unfettered democracy therefore they inserted several mechanisms into the Constitution which added some innovations between direct democracy and the power to rule.

One of the great innovations the Framers built into our system is the federal concept. Since this is an important component of our political legacy that has been overlooked in our contemporary education system let me define what is meant by federal. A federal system is a union of states with a central authority wherein the member states still retain certain defined powers of government.

According to the Constitution the Federal Government cannot mandate policies relating to local issues such as housing, business, transportation, etc. within the States. At least this was how the Constitution was interpreted by President James Madison, the Father of the Constitution. He expressed this clearly in a veto statement in 1817. In that there has never been anyone more qualified to address the original intent of the framers I believe it is important to bring his entire statement into this article:

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

Having considered the bill this day presented to me entitled “An act to set apart and pledge certain funds for internal improvements,” and which sets apart and pledges funds “for constructing roads and canals, and improving the navigation of water courses, in order to facilitate, promote, and give security to internal commerce among the several States, and to render more easy and less expensive the means and provisions for the common defense,” I am constrained by the insuperable difficulty I feel in reconciling the bill with the Constitution of the United States to return it with that objection to the House of Representatives, in which it originated.

The legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, and it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers, or that it falls by any just interpretation within the power to make laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution those or other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States.

“The power to regulate commerce among the several States” cannot include a power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of water courses in order to facilitate, promote, and secure such a commerce without a latitude of construction departing from the ordinary import of the terms strengthened by the known inconveniences which doubtless led to the grant of this remedial power to Congress.

To refer the power in question to the clause “to provide for the common defense and general welfare” would be contrary to the established and consistent rules of interpretation, as rendering the special and careful enumeration of powers which follow the clause nugatory and improper. Such a view of the Constitution would have the effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them, the terms “common defense and general welfare” embracing every object and act within the purview of a legislative trust. It would have the effect of subjecting both the Constitution and laws of the several States in all cases not specifically exempted to be superseded by laws of Congress, it being expressly declared “that the Constitution of the United States and laws made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges of every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” Such a view of the Constitution, finally, would have the effect of excluding the judicial authority of the United States from its participation in guarding the boundary between the legislative powers of the General and the State Governments, inasmuch as questions relating to the general welfare, being questions of policy and expediency, are unsusceptible of judicial cognizance and decision.

A restriction of the power “to provide for the common defense and general welfare” to cases which are to be provided for by the expenditure of money would still leave within the legislative power of Congress all the great and most important measures of Government, money being the ordinary and necessary means of carrying them into execution.

If a general power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of water courses, with the train of powers incident thereto, be not possessed by Congress, the assent of the States in the mode provided in the bill cannot confer the power. The only cases in which the consent and cession of particular States can extend the power of Congress are those specified and provided for in the Constitution.

I am not unaware of the great importance of roads and canals and the improved navigation of water courses, and that a power in the National Legislature to provide for them might be exercised with signal advantage to the general prosperity. But seeing that such a power is not expressly given by the Constitution, and believing that it cannot be deduced from any part of it without an inadmissible latitude of construction and a reliance on insufficient precedents; believing also that the permanent success of the Constitution depends on a definite partition of powers between the General and the State Governments, and that no adequate landmarks would be left by the constructive extension of the powers of Congress as proposed in the bill, I have no option but to withhold my signature from it, and to cherishing the hope that its beneficial objects may be attained by a resort for the necessary powers to the same wisdom and virtue in the nation which established the Constitution in its actual form and providently marked out in the instrument itself a safe and practicable mode of improving it as experience might suggest.

This is an eloquent expression of how the Constitution was meant to be understood. However, through expansive interpretations by activist judges this gradually morphed into almost limitless Federal control of the domestic affairs of the States.

Another vital component of our Constitutional heritage is the protection provided by a system of “Checks and Balances” wherein each level or branch of government acts as a barrier to other levels or branches of government from acquiring too much power. The most important check on the power of the Federal Government in relation to the constituent States was the Senate. In the Constitution the people directly elected the House of Representatives to represent their interests, the various State legislatures elected the members of the Senate to represent the individual states.

The adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913 mandating the popular election of Senators fatally damaged this system. Since then, the States have been reduced from equal partners with the Federal Government to a group of individual lobbyists. Before this amendment senators remained in office based upon how they upheld the rights of their state. The hot-and-cold winds of populist considerations didn’t compromise the Senator’s ability to serve. This freedom to vote against populist sentiment allowed the Senators to balance the directly-elected House.

Now we have two houses of Congress trying to spend enough of other people’s money to make political profits for themselves. So what do I propose? Resurrect the 10th Amendment, repeal the 17th and while we’re at it we should drive a stake through the heart of the 16th which allows progressive taxation and all that’s still on the conservative side of radicalism.

Restore the balance and save the Republic!

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Bankrupt Who’s Bankrupt?

A few years ago, with tongue securely in cheek, I wrote about the Fed buying Treasury Bonds. I tried using the absurd to make a point. I explained this would be like issuing your own credit card, buying everything you want, paying for the credit card with your checking account, and filling the checking account with cash advances from the credit card. I was just kidding. I never thought this would actually happen. It has. Similarly, years ago when I wrote about the nationalization of GM and the financial system I was again trying to use absurdity to make a point. My problem is that it’s getting hard to be absurd in America today.

When I read the headlines all I do is mutter to myself, “You just can’t make this stuff up” because when I did no one took me seriously.

Today with the Fed buying treasury bonds America has in effect declared bankruptcy. We might not think so because the mainstream media hasn’t mentioned it but our creditors have noticed. China wants higher interest rates and collateral. Dancing down the yellow-brick road to Insolvency City our leaders announce a new trillion dollar something or other every day. A trillion here, a trillion there and eventually trillion doesn’t sound so shockingly big any more.

What comes after a trillion? It’s a quadrillion with 15 zeros then a quintillion with 18 zeros. What’s the difference between these bewildering figures? A trillion is a million millions. There are a million seconds in 11 days. A billion seconds is around 32 years. And a trillion seconds in approximately 32,000 years. To the average person it doesn’t matter whether it’s a million, a billion or a trillion they’re all too big to wrap our heads around.

What’s next? Nationalize the New York Times and the rest of the liberal media because people won’t support them any longer. How about, the thousands of Acorn workers who suddenly disappeared when it became obvious what a corrupt democrat front organization it really was magically reappeared as ACORN by other names still receiving government money. How about Comprehensive Immigration Reform which Congress repeatedly refused to pass becoming law by presidential fiat, with voting for illegal aliens in an election coming to you soon. Then we have Obamacare nationalizing 17 % of the GDP which may soon squeeze the private healthcare insurance industry out of the market. As people who don’t work at Wal-Mart demonstrate to unionize Wal-Mart. The Federal Government listens to and records everything everyone says without a warrant and the person who tells us about it is a traitor.

Could any of this happen in America the land of the free and the home of the brave? Don’t be absurd!

The current economic woes may not be popular with Americans but George Soros the Bankroll of the Left loves it. He says, “the financial crisis has been stimulating.” Then after mentioning the 11.6 billion he made during the 2008 crash adds, “It is, in a way, the culminating point of my life’s work.” Capitalism may be dyeing all around us but at least the Socialists are making money. And how did this prime mover of the socialist agenda in America make all this money? Did he build factories? Create Jobs? No he runs a hedge fund and makes money appear out of thin air through manipulation of currencies, monetized derivatives, credit swaps and other types of voodoo economics.

Obama’s much ballyhooed recovery may look great from the White House even though it looks quite a bit like the Great Recession from our houses. The mood of the American people is cratering through this Great Recession into everyone’s personal Great Depression.

We may be feeling down but at least we’ve got the Progressives that Soros supports looking out for us.

For example after the crash there was second-generation Senator Dodd who inherited his seat from his father. He’s the guy who fought so hard to stop all those greedy AIG executives from getting their excessive bonuses after he forgot he inserted the amendment into the pork-laden stimulus boondoggle to make sure the AIG executives got their bonuses when the company went on welfare. I’m sure it was a coincidence he received his largest donations from AIG and his wife served as a director of an AIG company. Nobody told Senator Dodd where his money came from, who his wife worked for or what amendments he offered so his outrage and bluster were obviously much more than theatrics.

Here’s a guy who gets sweetheart deals on mortgages for multiple houses and has the nerve to tell a national news conference he didn’t know getting a VIP rate was a special deal. This paragon of fiduciary integrity also voted for a Treasury Secretary who blames his tax deficiencies on not understanding turbo-tax. Giving oversight of the IRS to a man who didn’t know he couldn’t deduct the fee for his children to go to summer camp as a business expense because Turbo-tax didn’t tell him? Maybe the Senate should have held a hearing and investigated Turbo Tax? Maybe they could have ponied up some donations to make all the hub-bub go away.

Having people like these look after our finances is sort of like having the fox guard the hen house. Of course even after they have eaten all the hens these chickens will still come home to roost.

Looks like Chicago has finally made it to the Big Leagues, Big Al would be so proud. I wonder if this administration knows how to appoint someone who pays their taxes. Remember how poor Limousine Tom Daschle was forced to withdraw his nomination just for being a tax cheat? Now it turns out that’s no longer a disqualifier since if it was who would we find to run the federal government and decide how much we should pay in taxes?

Speaking of Chicago one of the people who led Freddie Mac over the cliff was Rahm Emmanuel. He was on the Board of Directors for 14 months. And all he got was $320,000 which is barely $22,800 per month so how much due diligence could anyone expect? Yet another humble public servant from Chicago, while out serving hash to the poor unfortunates, some unpatriotic news hound noticed Michelle’s sneakers cost $540. Thus the theater of the absurd has become main stream.

Bankrupt Who’s Bankrupt? Don’t be absurd!

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Do You have Hope?

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Marching out of Yorktown to surrender the British Army played the song “The World Turned Upside Down.” As I drive to Meg Lo Mart to make my latest deposit of monopoly money in a Chinese savings account all I can do is mumble the final tag-line of the Wicked Witch of the West, “What a world? What a world?”

There is a massive unspoken problem in America today, floating like the iceberg in front of the Titanic waiting to sink the unsinkable ship. Founded by revolutionaries crying “No taxation without representation!” the Republic these revolutionaries devised has devolved into a society where more than 40% of the people pay no Federal Income Tax and the number of people receiving government benefits is even higher. What incentive would these non-paying receivers have to reign in an overbearing and intrusive government? This unseen and unspoken problem is a cancer in the body politic.

Self-serving professional politicians buy votes by exempting non-productive people from personal financial responsibility while providing ever-expanding benefits at the expense of the productive. This is not the right versus left, conservative versus liberal, democrat versus republican he-said-she-said endless debate that devours the chatocracy of cable’s wall-to-wall talking-heads. This is not an academic exercise that pointy-headed political science and history majors with dueling pocket protectors debate for hours in their mother’s basement as they post their latest scoop on their samizdat blogs. If it is not any of these things what is it? It is a dagger pointing directly at the heart of our civilization.

Western Civilization awoke from the slumber of the Dark Ages enlightened and empowered by a belief, based in the Judeo-Christian tradition that humanity has an innate right to be free and a natural right to excel. Rights and freedoms are given by God not bestowed at the whim of some Legend-in-his-own-mind Leader. This civilization gathered steam in Europe exploding upon the world stage through an energetic period of exploration.

In America after a revolution fought by farmers and merchants against the greatest empire of the day the Founders, dared to declare “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” After centuries of government thugs standing on the windpipe of everyday people these self-sacrificing giants observed that in a civilized world government was not imposed by the strong upon the weak it was instead built upon a social contract between the governed and those entrusted with the privilege to govern when they said, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Today this bold and unique experiment in freedom is being devoured from within and challenged from without. Those who believe the collective should reign over the individual, those who believe in the suffocating sameness of socialism over the rough-and-tumble of capitalism have worked for generations building a culture of dependency which has tempered the steel will of the pioneers into the sloppy demands of the couch-potato slacker waiting for someone to find their remote as they guzzle some refreshments and wait for the game as bread and circuses take the place of innovation and accomplishment. Schools teaching 2+2 might = 5, trophies for everyone, politically correct new-speak and affirmative action promotions have sapped the vitality from the citizens of our Republic. Politicians and their fellow-travelers use a system of cronies and sweet-heart deals to reward each other for siphoning trillions from the public treasury promising the dumbed-down descendants of revolutionaries that they just might win the lotto before they have to declare bankruptcy so they might as well re-elect the same old grafters once again.

There comes a time when those who are raising the sails and paddling the boat have to admit to themselves the ballast down in steerage weighs more than the cargo. There comes a time when even the most non-confrontational and loyal among us begin to ask, “Who is John Galt” as Atlas tires of his thankless job and shrugs the burden of dead-weight into the dustbin of history. As the perpetually-reelected and the propaganda spewing Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media trumpet the inevitability of government rationed health-care, cap-n-trade industrial suicide, comprehensive import-a-voter immigration reform and the surrender of sovereignty through treaties supposedly designed to deal with mythical global warming there shines a light in a bell tower, one if by land and two if by sea.

Without hope you’re hopeless and I refuse to allow the unbelievable changes currently assaulting our economy and our political system to bring about my own personal Great Depression. Those who believe in the Devil believe he comes to steal, kill and destroy. I believe if he can’t steal your joy he can’t keep your stuff and weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Don’t despair pray. Don’t give up, give it up to God. Let me ask you, “Do you have hope?” I hope so. Personally as for me and my house we will trust the Lord for our hope is in Christ.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

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