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Why Empires Fall

Although the generalization is usually applied to republics, according to Sir John Glubb, a British author and lecturer, most empires don’t last longer than 250 years.

Or as Sir John said in summation:

As numerous points of interest have arisen in the course of this essay, I close with a brief summary, to refresh the reader’s mind.

  • We do not learn from history because
    our studies are brief and prejudiced.
    (b) In a surprising manner, 250 years
    emerges as the average length of national

    (c) This average has not varied for 3,000 years.
    Does it represent ten generations?
    (d) The stages of the rise and fall of great
    nations seem to be:
    The Age of Pioneers (outburst)
    The Age of Conquests
    The Age of Commerce
    The Age of Affluence
    The Age of Intellect
    The Age of Decadence.
    (e) Decadence is marked by:
    Defensiveness
    Pessimism
    Materialism
    Frivolity
    An influx of foreigners
    The Welfare State
    A weakening of religion.
    (f) Decadence is due to:
    Too long a period of wealth and power
    Selfishness
    Love of money
    The loss of a sense of duty. (Sir John Glubb)

Does any of this sound familiar? In other words all empires rise and all empires fall. It is the luck of the draw or the happenstance of birth that situates us as spectators of the fall.

I know from experience as the Author of The Constitution Failed that if you question the viability of the American experiment even the most humble participant in that experiment becomes indignant. As I have been asked repeatedly, “How can you say, the Constitution failed don’t you mean, we failed the Constitution?” This always elicits my response, “Is that a distinction without a difference?”

Since the declared and understood purpose to the writing and ratification of the Constitution was to create and sustain a limited government and since We the People now face an unlimited government I maintain we must face the painful reality that the Constitution has failed. With that failure the experiment in individual liberty, personal freedom, and economic opportunity is hurtling towards a destination with destiny as we become like all the other nations of the earth: a command economy with a permanent political class.

When did we start our slide from a limited government to a centrally-planned Leviathan masquerading as a utopian paradise?

The experiment jumped the tracks under the second president. John Adams signed the Alien and sedition Act and then used that act to arrest anyone who disagreed with him. This was not the beginning of our present slide into totalitarianism.

Abraham Lincoln waged total war against eleven States that sought to secede when the right to secede was not withheld from the states and the right to wage war against the States was not afforded to the Federal Government by the Constitution. He did however allow West Virginia to secede from Virginia without the approval of the Virginia government which is explicitly contrary to the Constitution. This was not the beginning of our present slide into totalitarianism.

In the midst of the banking crisis of 1932-33 FDR told America, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” He should have told us that we had him and his Progressive agenda to fear, at least as far as the fundamental nature of the American Experiment was concerned.

Despite the fact that by 1932 the recovery from the crash of 1929 was well under way as evidenced by freight loadings that rose 20 percent, industrial production 21 percent, construction contract awards gained 30 percent, unemployment dropped by nearly one million, wholesale prices rebounded by 20 percent, and the battered stock market was up by 40 percent. David Stockman goes so far as to say, “the Hoover recovery would be celebrated in the history books even today if it had not been interrupted in the winter of 1932-1933 by a faux banking crisis which was entirely the doing of President-elect Roosevelt and the loose-talking economic statist at the core of his transition team.”

At that time the banking crisis, as it was loudly and universally called, had Americans fearing that the economy was about to collapse. This has been called the failure of capitalism. However as David Stockman points out,

The truth of the so-called banking crisis is that the artificial economic boom of 1914-1929 had generated a drastic proliferation of banks in the farm country and in the booming new industrial centers like Chicago, Detroit, Youngtown and Toledo, along with vast amounts of poorly underwritten debt on real estate and businesses.

When the bubble burst in 1929, the financial system experienced the time-honored capitalist cure — a sweeping liquidation of bad debts and under-capitalized banks. Not only was this an unavoidable and healthy purge of economic rot, but also reflected the fact that the legions of banks which failed were flat-out insolvent and should have been closed.

How great was this meltdown? How many people lost everything in the bank failures? Was this a massive slide into a financial morass? As David Stockman summed it up, “Indeed, a single startling statistic puts paid to the whole New Deal mythology that FDR rescued the banking system after a veritable heart attack: to wit, losses at failed US banks during the entire 12-year period ending in 1932 amounted to only 2-3 percent of deposits. There never was a sweeping contagion of failure in the banking system.”

Foreshadowing President Obama’s first Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before,” FDR used this crisis to forever change the very structure of American government.

FDR didn’t introduce his sweeping changes in the dead of night. He campaigned on them. He said he would bring in a New Deal for all Americans and he did. As his first inaugural speech ended he laid his cards on the table, “It is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed (sic) action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.”

In these two sentences the new president announced that if he deemed it necessary to upend the balance of powers he would do so. He then threatened to do whatever he thought necessary in the 1933 version of President Obama’s “We can’t wait” proclamation. Instead of saying “I have a pen and I have a phone,” FDR said, “But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.”

Congress did not fight. They did not stand on their prerogatives as a co-equal branch. Instead they knuckled under and in 100 days created an alphabet soup of federal agencies to control everything from soup to nuts. America began its dramatic descent from freedom and liberty to servitude and regulation. With FDR’s imagery of a war against an emergency America found itself at war with a recession which had already ended successfully turning it into the Great Depression which wouldn’t end for eight more years.

Since that time we have declared war on poverty. Fifty years and several trillion dollars later and we have just as much poverty as before. We have declared war on drugs and hundreds of thousands of incarcerations and trillions of dollars later and the drug problem is worse than before. We have of course also been in either a hot or a cold war since 1941 and hundreds of thousands of lives and many trillions of dollars later we have less security than we had before.

All of this has led to an erosion of our individual liberty, personal freedom, and economic opportunity. The balance of power has all but dissolved as Congress ceded its power to the executive and the bureaucracy while nine Supreme Justices make all the final decisions.

The Constitution was written to set the foundations for how our nation should be ruled. The First Article of the Constitution established the Legislature and most of the document deals with the Legislature, obviously the most important part of our national government. The part that is closest to the people. Today that body has transferred its power and we are faced with an imperial presidency and a Supreme Court that has decreed itself to be the source and the summit of legitimacy.

John Locke, the inspiration of much that became our Constitution said in his Second Treatise of Civil Government, “The Legislative cannot transfer the Power of Making Laws to any other hands. For it being but a delegated Power from the People, they, who have it, cannot pass it over to others.”

Yet this is what has happened and this is why we are no longer forging ahead at the vanguard of humanity. We are instead rapidly becoming the source of raw materials and a market place for the goods of others: a colony in all but name. Or as the saying goes, the borrower is slave to the lender.

Everywhere I go and everyone I speak with knows America is losing its edge, sliding down a Progressive rat hole into an over-regulated shabby future in the dustbin of History. At the same time everywhere I go and everyone I speak to says, “At least it won’t happen in my day but I feel sorry for the generations coming after me.”

Why do empires fall? Because they think they won’t.

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 Are A Conquered Nation

It’s time to take the gloves off.  For decades I have been writing that the Progressives who have ruled our nation since 1988 have been using every tactic at their disposal to transform America from the indispensable nation to a disposable dystopia.  I have railed against the open border mass immigration importation of Democrat voters that has swamped our culture and warped our electoral process.

I have long believed we have passed the tipping point and the reason I keep on is so that when my grandchildren turn to their children living in a third world hell hole that was once the richest most powerful nation on earth they can say, “At least your Great Grandfather tried to let people know what was coming.”  For this reason I have written the History of the Future.  For this reason I ran a quixotic campaign for the Virginia State Senate in a gerrymandered district that was drawn for and belonged to a man famous for attending less than fifty percent of the Senate’s meetings and sleeping through much of those.  I won every vote that was not his by birth and lost by two to one.  However in that campaign I was free to say the things politicians can never say.

I told people that it was time for the States to stand up and bring federalism back from the brink of extinction.  That it was time to demand real money instead of fiat currency that destined to bring us to financial ruin.  I told them that it was time to declare English the official language for education, ballots, and government forms.  I called for a ten year moratorium on all immigration so that those who were already here legally could be assimilated.  I called for a vigorous enforcement of the laws against hiring illegals with massive fines for anyone who violated them.  Coupling this lack of work with a denial of all government benefits so that our illegal population would self deport and go home.  I called for the imposition of a 10% tariff on imported manufactured goods so that the native industries could be protected and the income could fund tax cuts for Americans.

That was my platform.  It was well received and well supported outside the areas of the district where public support was not the major industry.  It went down to a rousing defeat.

Over the years anyone who has read this column knows that I have called the two government parties two sides of the same coin and two heads on the same bird of prey.  I have pointed out that no matter which party is in power we end up with a bigger federal government, more laws, more taxes and more undocumented democrats.  Signaling that we have passed the tipping point in 2012 we re-elected the biggest spending president in American History in the midst of  a recession he has successfully turned into the New Normal whose actual platform was a bigger federal government, more laws, more taxes, and more undocumented democrats.  The handwriting isn’t on the wall, because there is no wall, because the executive branch has refused to build it even though the legislative branch mandated it and funded it.  The handwriting is in columns like this and in the works of Pat Buchanan, Anne Coulter, Mark Steyn, and the words of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and countless other watchmen on the walls.

However, even though Americans have and are listening. Conservative radio talk is ubiquitous; Fox has buried CNN and MSNBC.  Coulter, Styen, Levin, and many others write multiple best sellers.  The documentaries of Dinesh D’Souza break box office records.  Yet the political class continues to be re-elected to rule exactly in the opposite direction.

Socialism is dying everywhere in the world except in America.  Our progressive conquerors use the agencies of the imperial executive branch to harass, tax, prosecute, and spy.  We are watched, regulated and held back at every step.  They have used free trade to export our manufacturing base changing us from the arsenal of democracy into the marketplace for a communist dictatorship.  Crony capitalists walk away with billions, billions more disappear in federal rounding errors, and banks are bailed out as the Creature from Jekyll Island inflates bubble after bubble.

It isn’t time to roll over and go back to sleep.  People woke up in 2010 when the Tea Party was born.  I was there at the birth.  I went to the rallies.  I spoke at the meetings.  I attended the conventions and supported the candidates that swept the House in 2010.  What happened?  Those brave new world conservatives that had just turned out Nancy Pelosi went to Washington, voted to make John Boehner the Speaker of the House, renewed the Patriot Act, and then passed continuing resolution after continuing resolution to keep the money rolling and the government growing.

Knowing what was coming I wrote and published The Constitution Failed in October of 2010, which is a book many people still reject merely because of the title.  They erroneously think I am saying the document itself is a failure or that it was flawed from the beginning when what I am really saying is the execution of it has failed.  The thumbnail sketch being, “If the Constitution was written for the express purpose of giving us a limited government and we now have an unlimited government it has failed.”

I am not saying that it didn’t bring us the most freedom and the greatest opportunities any people in the History of the world have ever had.  It did.  I am not saying that it didn’t allow America to rise from 13 struggling states on the edge of the world to the greatest nation History has ever known.  It did.  What I am saying is that if our founding document guarantees us a limited government, individual freedom, and economic opportunity, and we are now laboring in the Progressives New Normal as the NSA watches our every move and listens to our every conversation something is very wrong here.

Everywhere I go and everyone I speak to seems to know intuitively how to solve our problems.  Seal the border, cut off the free meals, and the illegal immigration problem will solve itself.  Stop immigration long enough for the millions of legal immigrants to become culturally American.  We all came from somewhere else, and after a generation, or at most two, we are all Americans because the old melting pot was allowed to work instead of the Progressive smelting pot that is Balkanizing America.  Everyone can see we need to protect our industry and do everything we can to foster its resurgence.  Everyone knows we need more domestic energy not less, less regulation not more, and that the healthcare system was healthier and more affordable before the Affordable Care Act.

Everyone everywhere can see these things, or at least a vast majority of native born Americans can.  Yet does anyone honestly believe that the perpetually re-elected or their carbon copy replacements are going to shut down the nomenclature in OZ, the casino in New York, or the giveaway to China?  Everyone everywhere can see we are on a crash course to nowhere on the express to the dustbin of History.  The best people can say is it will last long enough for them to continue living the high life.

This is not the case.  I began this plea by saying it’s time to take the gloves off and it is.  The economy is heading for the biggest crash we have ever known.  Our foreign policy or lack thereof is leading us to international humiliation.  The immigration invasion is leading us to the third world.

Believing that once a people lose their freedom there is no way to restore it by internal means without a complete collapse of the ruling superstructure as happened in the Soviet Union I am soon bringing out a new book, Political Action Follows Political Philosophy.  While every author hopes his books will sell, this is a book I plant as seed for our descendants. It is a distillation of the Enlightenment political theory upon which our freedoms and our Constitution were founded as expressed against the background of the events which led to their demise: The History of the Future.

As I close today I pray for the freedom of all, and I counsel: keep the peace, keep the faith, we shall overcome.

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

 

Is the Culture War Over ?

Knowing that there is no fool like an old fool, the seasoned citizen trying to prove he hasn’t lost his grip on America’s rapidly changing culture says to his grandchild, “I’m not exactly your father’s Oldsmobile.”  His grandchild looks at him like he is a dithering old codger and says, “What’s an Oldsmobile?”

If the latest tech wonders seem more like science fiction to you.  If the Apple watch reminds you of Dick Tracey and 3-D printers of Captain Kirk’s replicator then the coming transformed America may remind you of the Oceania Eurasia and Eastasia of Orwell’s 1984.

Then again there are other things that remind me of 1984 in American society today.  For instance the outpouring of vitriol unleashed against anyone who the Corporations Once Called the Mainstream Media finds to have transgressed the politically correct standards of the Progressive Elites.

The case of Memories Pizza in Walkteron, Indiania is a case in point.  A reporter for a local TV station, Alyssa Marino, was out trolling for evidence to support a story she wanted to write.  Crystal O’Connor, the co-owner of Memories Pizza, after being asked if she would cater a gay wedding told WBND-TV she would serve a gay or non-Christian couple at the restaurant, but would not cater a same-sex couples wedding.

How did this media feeding frenzy come about?  According to Scott Ott of PJ Media:

Memories Pizza didn’t blast out a news release. They didn’t contact the media, nor make a stink on Twitter or Facebook. They didn’t even post a sign in the window rejecting gay-wedding catering jobs. They merely answered questions from a novice reporter who strolled into their restaurant one day – who was sent on a mission by an irresponsible news organization.

Next: ABC-57 anchor Brian Dorman leads the evening newscast dramatically with this:

Only on ABC-57 News tonight. We went into small towns looking for reaction to the Religious Freedom Act. We found one business, just 20 miles away from a welcoming South Bend…with a very different view….

Not only did ABC-57 News create that story ex nihilo (out of nothing), but the next day, the station’s Rosie Woods reported on the social-media backlash against the Christian pizza shop owners.

“Our Facebook page has been blowing up with comments after we aired that story last night,” said Woods.

You see, not only did ABC-57 manufacture the story with an ambush interview, it then doubled-down by making the reaction to the story into another story to give the sense of momentum, as if it were growing at its own impetus. Yet, everything about it is a fabrication.

Memories Pizza didn’t “publicly vow to reject gay weddings” as HuffPo says it. The O’Connors were just, quite literally, minding their own business.

Back in the ABC-57 studio, Rosie Woods read three negative social media comments attacking the pizza shop owners, and then said, “And that’s just one side of this debate that’s heating up as more people and business owners speak up about the law.”

She then quotes one (1) person, the owner of another business, who agreed with the O’Connors. Seems that “just one side of this debate” deserves more attention than the other.

Meanwhile, over at Yelp.com, more than a thousand “reviews” of Memories Pizza rapidly accumulated, quickly overwhelming the positive comments from actual customers who like the pizza, the hospitality and the small-town charm. Folks who never heard of Walkerton attacked Crystal O’Connor’s business, her morality, and her Lord. Many of the remarks included racially charged descriptions of genitalia and sex acts. “Reviewers” also posted pictures of naked men, of Adolf Hitler shouting “Ich habe ein pizza” (I have a pizza), and of Jesus gesturing with his middle finger. Over on Facebook, the restaurant’s 5-star average rating rapidly plunged to one star, as non-customers slammed away at Crystal’s little business.

In Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, a manifesto of political power, Rule No. 12 says, in part: Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

The Left doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as they get what they want. They’re willing — no, they’re eager — to sacrifice a small-town business, and its owners.

Lest you think I’m being too dramatic. Late Wednesday, word comes that Jess Dooley, a female coach at Concord High School 45 minutes away in Elkhart, has been suspended after tweeting:

Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?

All of this reminds me of the 2 minutes of hate that was a tool of Big Brother.  The Two Minutes of Hate is a ritual observance that is designed to use the collective rage of the people against supposed “enemies of the Party” to strengthen the Party’s position among the people. The ritual serves to unify the people in the observance of the ritual.

The Two Minutes of Hate also serves the purpose of religious observance by deifying Big Brother. It serves to channel the rage that persons may feel toward the lack of control over their own lives away from the Party and against purported enemies of the Party. Because Big Brother is proclaimed to be benevolent and good, any enemy is automatically evil and bad. While it is a “two minutes hate” the desired end result is less hatred of Big Brother.

This is very similar to what some politicians do to strengthen their position when they feel threatened. The politicians will invent an enemy and then channel the public rage against that enemy.

Then there is the double standard that shows this is not really about gay rights or gay weddings it is about attacking the religious liberty of Christians.  For instance Muslim bakeries in Michigan refused to bake cakes for gay weddings. You would think that would be news like Memories Pizza refusing to cater gay weddings. No. Muslims are part of the liberal media protected class. If Muslims want to follow their own religious beliefs and not bake cakes for gay weddings, you don’t hear any big outcry about bigotry of ‘homophobia.’ Instead, these Muslim bakeries in Michigan are given a pass to practice their religion as they see fit, unlike Christians.

Then of course there is the direct opposite of the Memories Pizza case where gay bakers refuse to cater a Christian wedding.

Tim Richards and Cheryl Johnson reported they were recently turned down for a wedding cake by Stewart’s Cakes in Kettering, Ohio.

“When we told the man what we wanted and where we wanted the cake delivered, he turned us down,” said Richards. “We asked if he could deliver a 4-layer chocolate and vanilla wedding cake to the Holy Calvary Church, and he told us it was against his principles to serve us.”

The owner of Stewart’s Cakes, Stephen Hillstrom, who married his partner in Washington D.C. last year, told reporters, “We’re a private business, and we’re allowed to serve or not serve whomever we’d like. It would violate our beliefs to serve people like that.”

Have you heard a media storm about this?  Don’t expect to because it isn’t coming.  This is a one way street and a classic case of Christian bashing by the media.

Thus the culture war of the 80s and 90s has morphed into the triumphant Progressive Elites and their majority hating storm troopers smashing anyone left who dares to stand for values not baptized in the politically correct secular humanism of the of the ascendant minority.  A coalition of Progressives in both parties, the left-wing media, various activist groups that live off the conflict, and the low information voters who empower it all ride rough shod over those who not long ago ruled the roost.

All this signals the last gasp of the once ruling majority as it accepts the control of the Progressive minority without even a whimper.

Let me ask one final question.  If you are treated this way when you are still the majority how will you be treated once you really are a minority?

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

 

Does the Sun Set in the West

I have taught the history of Western Civilization for many years. I praise God that I have taught at institutions that allowed me to teach this history without the disdain that is often heaped upon what some call Eurocentric culture. Personally I believe that Western Civilization which may have peaked before the beginning of our current Long War, brought humanity to the highest point so far attained.

Of course I am prejudiced. Of course my prejudice is informed and shaped by my heritage, my education, and my faith. Having made that disclaimer I still stand by my previous statement. Why? Because I believe that personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity which have been the hallmarks of Western Civilization created the only framework in which man could become what man is meant to be. A child of God who freely chooses to be so and is able to develop his God given talents to their fullest extent.

For the vast majority of human history humanity has been in chains. They were crushed by oppressive governments and exploited by centrally-planned collectivist economies. They were trodden down by the rapacious descendants of barbaric conquerors who established plunder empires. They were uneducated, unarmed and unable to resist the power of the government.

Beginning with the Magna Charta and the evolution of English Common Law which flowered into the clearest expression of Enlightenment thinking in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States limited government was born. Suddenly it was the government in chains so that people could be free. Suddenly there was a new dawn and a fresh wind. Within the short span of 150 years 13 struggling colonies grew into the greatest, richest and most powerful nation the world had ever seen. All fueled by the release of humanity from the chains of oppression.

Today this 239 year old experiment in personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity is in jeopardy. This is not a new development. It is the culmination of a long series of events that stretch back to our nation’s founding. From the beginning the forces of reaction have sought to re-forge the chains of oppression and regain their privileged positions with the whip hand driving humanity back into servitude.

This nation was founded upon and has stood upon the Constitution. It was the Constitution that limited government so that people could expand. It was the Constitution which set the limits for government and ensured the protection of the personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity which the Declaration of Independence had proclaimed were the endowed upon humanity by God. Then came the Progressives and their concept of a living document that had made the Constitution a dead letter.

I have said in the past and I say again The Constitution Failed. People often ask me, how can you say the Constitution failed?

The short answer is:

If the Constitution was written to ensure a limited government and if today we have an unlimited central government my question is, “How can anyone contend that the Constitution hasn’t failed?”

The longer version explains that:

For the last 100 years the Progressives have sought progress by changing the Constitution, which was written to establish unbreakable boundaries for government, without recourse to the amendment process. The Framers knew that without these boundaries government would grow into a millstone around the neck of the American people. Instead of a document establishing solid limits the Progressives say it is a living document that can be re-interpreted with each passing year evolving into whatever the current leaders may desire.

Our twin headed Progressive party of power expands and twists the General Welfare, the Commerce, and the Supremacy clauses to sanction any executive, legislative, judicial, or regulatory action they wish to impose whether it’s a welfare state, energy policies, or the mandatory purchase of insurance. However, nothing is more symbolic of the current irrelevance of the Constitution to our leaders than the utter contempt they hold for the 9th and 10th Amendments.

Back during the original debate to ratify the Constitution these two sentinels of limited government were forced upon the proponents of a strong central government by those much maligned patriots the Anti-Federalists. The Constitution never would have been ratified without an assurance that the first order of business for the new government would be the ratification of the Bill of Rights. The capstone of these sacred rights is the 9th and the 10th Amendments which state:

The 9th Amendment, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The 10th Amendment, “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.”

I present the following examples of how our Progressive central government infringes upon the rights of the States and the people:

Term limits:

While in almost every instance that voters have had an opportunity to voice their opinion they have overwhelmingly approved term limits, and the courts have just as consistently overturned the will of the people. Through ballot initiatives and Constitutional amendments to State Constitutions the people have spoken, but instead of the voice of the people we hear the commands of the elites.

The Supreme Court in a classic five-to-four decision in U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (1995) said the states don’t have the authority to limit the terms of their own congressional delegations. They further ruled that unless the Constitution is amended neither the states nor Congress has the power to limit the number of terms members of Congress can serve. Dissenting Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out that the majority ignored the clear meaning of the Tenth Amendment. Since there is no explicit denial of the power to limit terms to the States in the Constitution the 10th Amendment clearly states this power is reserved to the States.

Immigration:

When the Governor and legislators of Arizona attempted to address the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who are pouring over their border with Mexico each year they first had to admit that the Federal Government was not enforcing their own laws.   After the central government ignored their petitions and pleas for help for years the government of Arizona acted to protect their citizens.

Immediately, the Justice Department sued to block the law, contending it violates the U.S. Constitution. The Arizona law was subsequently struck down by the Federal Courts using the Supremacy Clause for their justification. Judge Richard Paez, said, “By imposing mandatory obligations on state and local officers, Arizona interferes with the federal government’s authority to implement its priorities and strategies in law enforcement, turning Arizona officers into state-directed [Homeland Security] agents.”

When it reached the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a three judge panel said, “Congress has given the federal government sole authority to enforce immigration laws, and that Arizona’s law violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution” The Federal Government has abdicated its responsibility to protect Arizona from invasion and in their opinion a law that requires law enforcement officials to enforce the law goes too far.

The intrusive actions of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):

Legislators in Texas decided to take action to protect their citizens from what many considered to be overly aggressive pat-downs. The reaction of the TSA to Texas attempting to protect their citizens from the molestation the Federal Agency calls a pat-down is indicative of the attitude our central government has towards any infringement of their absolute power. On their website The TSA Blog the gatekeepers of the air said, “What’s our take on the Texas House of Representatives voting to ban the current TSA pat-down? Well, the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article. VI. Clause 2) prevents states from regulating the federal government.” This says it all. As far as our Federal masters are concerned there is no limit to their power.

Obamacare: Mandating action and penalizing inaction:

The Federal Government is attempting to enforce the mandatory purchase provisions of Obamacare alternately as authorized by the Commerce Clause and as a tax, depending on which argument they think a judge will uphold. This massive invasion of personal liberty is currently being challenged by 28 States as being beyond the bounds of the Constitution. Two judges have ruled it unconstitutional and three ruled it constitutional.

The Supreme Court upheld the right of the Federal Government and so this provision wherein not taking an action is considered either engaging in commerce and thereby subject to regulation or if a non-action is taxable what is left of our precious freedom? What other non-actions will now be under the power of the government. If a government can control our non-actions what does that say about their power over our actions?

By ignoring the unambiguous meaning of the 9th and 10th Amendments and by stretching and twisting the meanings of a few vague clauses the Progressive leaders of our Federal government have interpreted our Constitution to mean anything needed to do anything desired. Once the words lose their meanings, once the sentences can mean anything the Progressives want, what power does the Constitution have to limit government?

Ultimately this is a message of hope because I trust in the ability of the American people to solve any problem they confront. However, we have to admit there is a problem before we can solve it, and if we refuse to admit there is a problem we have no chance of solving it. The problem is our limited government has become unlimited and does whatever it wants. How can I say, “The Constitution Failed”? What I am saying is our system is broken, it is no longer functioning as designed, and we need a re-set button.

I believe that the United States represented the Apex of Western Civilization, the vanguard and the protector of that civilization among the varied expressions of humanity. However, Western Civilization without personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity will become another example of what today we call State Capitalism, a system that has gone by other names in the past when governments rule and people obey.

The West began committing suicide in the two act disaster we call World War One and World War Two. He have swallowed the poison of political correctness. We have allowed contraception and abortion to lead us to a declining population. We have allowed unregulated and uncontrolled immigration to submerge the West in a rising tide from the South made up of people who have neither experience nor appreciation of our civilization.

If we aren’t dead already we certainly qualify for a suicide watch as we stick our head in a demographic noose, deny our own values and allow a minority of central planners to plan our own funeral and send our grandchildren the bill.

Every day must eventually end and we may be witnessing the sun setting in the West.

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

 

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?

hope11

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

 

What Happens When Progressives Tax (and Spend)

As Rush Limbaugh so rightly pointed out, “No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity.”

So many people have accepted the argument that progressive taxation is just, necessary, and fair, so I know this article will offend many.  Hopefully it will also make a few people reconsider their acceptance of policy.  Many who are vehemently opposed to socialism, collectivism, and all the other trappings of the centralized corporate state believe that any injustice that might result from a free society would and should be mitigated by a policy of progressive taxation.  The government through its education arm and the politicians through their media arm have used both hands and done a superb job.

It hasn’t only been dumbing down it has also been indoctrination convincing the patient that it makes sense to cut off both legs to keep them from running amuck.  However; as James Madison said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both.”

The easiest thing to do would be to ignore this 800 pound elephant.  As the cop on the block says when something has happened and there is most definitely something to see, “Move along there’s nothing to see here.”  However as the Historian of the Future that would be irresponsible.  For it is in the mass acceptance of this inherently unfair coercive action as fair that the base of democratic irresponsibility forms the basis for the towering structure which is the Progressive State.

For generations this once unconstitutional procedure for wealth distribution has been accepted without question.  This was not always the case.

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, had some interesting things to say about unequal taxation.  Such as  in his Essay on Property, March 29, 1792, “That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.”  And “A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species: where arbitrary taxes invade the domestic sanctuaries of the rich, and excessive taxes grind the faces of the poor.”

In Europe which is often the source and first scene of the crime when it comes to the Socialist/Utopian schemes foisted on the uninformed and unsuspecting American public, when progressive taxation was first proposed during the French Revolution the classical liberal Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, said, “One ought to execute the author and not the project.”

During the socialist led revolutions of 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels frankly proposed “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax” as one of the measures by which, after the first stage of the revolution, “the proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeois, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state.” And these measures they described as “means of despotic inroads on the right of property, and on the condition of bourgeois production … measures …which appear economically insufficient and untenable but which, in the course of the movement outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.”

According to John Chamberlain in 1961, “It was Marxian socialism—‘From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs—which fathered the great attack on proportional tax equity: a ‘heavy graduated income tax’ is a salient feature of the Communist Manifesto of 1848. But the Marxians would have made little headway if non-Marxian economists had not come unwittingly to their support with the theory that ‘it is not equal to treat unequals equally.’ In cases of charity, this is undoubtedly true, but no comprehensive legal system can be reared on a rule which begins by regarding everybody as an exception.”

After these proposals for income redistribution had been dismissed out of hand by economic experts and thinking people as inherently unfair they were smuggled in as supposedly rational arguments based on the need or desire to spread the sacrifice equally.  Those who presented this type of argument were careful to stress that they were not interested in income redistribution and that any progression beyond a modest scale should of course be condemned.  Opponents tried to point out that once the principle of progression was accepted there was no limit to which the progression could be pushed.  These opponents were said to be maliciously distorting the argument and showing a lack of confidence in democratic rule.  Even today the watch word for the advocates of progressive taxation is that everyone should pay their fair share.  This fair share is never defined.

The countries of Europe led by Prussia fell first to this pernicious scam.  In the 1910 and 1913 respectively Great Britain and then the United States bought into the lie that inequality in taxation provides equality in sacrifice.  At first the rates were moderate.  In Great Britain they started at 8.5 % and In America at 7%. However within 30 years the top rates were 97.5% and 91 %.  Within one generation that which its proponents said would never happen and its opponents said was inevitable came to pass.

This radical change in the rates and the progressive nature of the tax changed not only the degree but also the character of what was taking place.  This soon became a vehicle for income distribution and nothing more.  Social engineering based on the communist dictum “From each according to his ability to each according to his need.”  This is all based upon the difference between greed and envy.  Greed wants more and will do what is necessary to attain it.  Envy wants what someone else has and will do what is necessary to take it.

To solve the problem of greedy people making more than others, envious people created a system to take what the greedy had earned.

One of the foundation stones of the continuing support by the general non envious public for this institutionalized theft is the belief that the high rates levied on the rich make an indispensable contribution to the total revenue of the nation.  This is an illusion. If all the assets of the rich were expropriated in their entirety they would not cover the profligate spending of the political class.

In 2011 Steve McCann pointed out, “Using the latest statistics from the IRS, in 2004 there were 2.7 million adults with a net worth above $1.5 million.  If the government were to seize all the wealth above the $1.5 million threshold, Washington would realize a one-time windfall of $4.0 Trillion — and no one would again attempt to accumulate wealth.  Assuming it was applied to the national debt (unlikely with the Left in charge as they would spend it) the national debt would only be reduced from$14.5 Trillion to $10.0 Trillion.”  And that would be a once in a lifetime score. Today the debt stands above 18 trillion.

In 2012 John Stossel noted, “If the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income over $1 million, the take would be just $616 billion. That’s only a third of this year’s deficit. Our national debt would continue to explode.”

According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation’s David Logan, “Even taking every last penny from every individual making more than $10 million per year would only reduce the nation’s deficit by 12 percent and the debt by 2 percent.”  In any event according to Parkinson’s Law, “The expenditures of the State always rise to meet potential income.”

According to F. A Hayek:

“The real reason why all the assurances that progression would remain moderate have proved false and why its development has gone far beyond the most pessimistic prognostications of its opponents is that all arguments in support of progression can be used to justify any degree of progression.  Its advocates may realize that beyond a certain point the adverse effects on the efficiency of the economic system may become so serious as to make it inexpedient to push it any further.  But the argument based on the presumed justice of progression provides for no limitation, as has often been admitted by its supporters, before all incomes above a certain figure are confiscated and those below left untaxed.  Unlike proportionality, progression provides no principle which tells us what the relative burden of different persons ought to be.  It is no more than a rejection of proportionality in favor of a discrimination against the wealthy without any criterion for limiting the extent of this discrimination.”

  1. R. McCulloch expressed the problem with progressive taxation in this way, “The moment you abandon the cardinal principle of exacting from all individuals the same proportion of their income or of their property, you are at sea without rudder or compass, and there is no amount of injustice and folly you may not commit.”

When will the insanity of unequal = equal stop? It will never end because there is no ideal rate of progression that can be demonstrated by any type of formula. There is never a reason why “a little more than before” should not always be represented as just and reasonable.

Looking to the end result Alexis de Tocqueville told us long ago, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

Hayek assures us that this is not a general attack upon democratic principles.  It is instead the revelation that democracy must be guided by principles or it will founder on the shoals of expediency and the illusion of rationality.

Hayek expressed it well, “It is no slur on democracy, no ignoble distrust of its wisdom, to maintain that, once it embarks upon such a policy, it is bound to go much further than originally intended.  This is not to say that “free and representative institutions are a failure” or that it must lead to “a complete distrust in democratic government, but that democracy has yet to learn that, in order to be just, it must be guided in its action by general principles. What is true of individual action is equally true of collective action except that a majority is perhaps even less likely to consider explicitly the long-term significance of its decision and therefore is even more in need of guidance by principles.  Where, as in the case of progression, the so-called principle adopted is no more than an open invitation to discrimination and, what is worse, an invitation to the majority to discriminate against a minority, the pretended principle, of justice must become the pretext for pure arbitrariness.”

So what’s the answer?  First it should be obvious that the majority should not be able to impose a tax rate that it does not pay.  Secondly the maximum rate of taxation should be tied to the % of the GDP devoted to government.  If the government is absorbing 25% of the economy no rate higher than 25% should be allowed.  If in the case of a war or other national emergency the rate of government cost rises the rate could rise, and when it falls the rate should fall.

Raising tax rates as a way to solve the debt problem just doesn’t work.   Looking at the 1950s when the rates were higher than they are today Hayek pointed out, “How small is the contribution of progressive tax rates (particularly of the high punitive rates levied on the largest incomes) to total revenue may be illustrated by a few figures for the United States and for Great Britain.  Concerning the former it has been stated (in 1956) that the entire progressive super-structure produces only about 17 per cent of the total revenue  derived from the individual income tax’-or about 8.5 per cent of all federal revenue,– and that of this half is taken from taxable income brackets up through $16,000-$18,000, where the tax rate approaches 50 per cent (while] the other half comes from the higher brackets and rates.”

When Congress was debating the 16th Amendment to allow for individual income taxes Massachusetts Rep. Samuel McCall stated, “The character of the argument which had been made leads me to believe that the chief purpose of the tax is not financial, but social. It is not primarily to raise money for the state, but to regulate the citizen and to regenerate the moral nature of man. The individual citizen will be called on to lay bare the inner-most recesses of his soul in affidavits, and with the aid of the Federal inspector, who will supervise his books and papers and business secrets, he may be made to be good, according the notions of virtue at the moment prevailing in Washington.”

To paraphrase Parkinson ’s Law, “Government spending always rises to exceed revenues.”

So what happens when Progressives tax?  They tax us into poverty.

AND

Spend us into insolvency.

Dr. Owens’ newest book Colonial American History: The Essential Story is now available at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Colonial-American-History-Essential-Story/dp/1633911349/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420818654&sr=8-1&keywords=colonial+american+history+owens

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

Thoughts on the Coming Election

The Progressives in both parties may be the establishment now but they have always been and continue to be revolutionaries seeking to turn the American dream into a socialist nightmare.

Since the 1890s the Progressives have worked to change our American Experiment from a federal republic operating on democratic principles that recognized our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness into a democracy where the government grants rights and pursues its own happiness.

Inch by inch, step by step they have worked to change one aspect and then another until today the cacophony of minute changes has become a centrally-planned federally orchestrated symphony playing Hail to the Chief.

We have transitioned from federal republic into an imperial bureaucracy controlled by a Chicago-raised Alinsky-style outfit determined to reduce us to abject obedience. This is the direct result of an education system captured by the Progressives delivering generations of uninformed voters and of the entitlement society delivering a near majority of citizens who get more than they give from the federal trough.

This should be no surprise to anyone. A country once famous for the political engagement of its citizens has raised generations on the dictum that neither religion nor politics were the subject of polite debate. The culture of media-hyped sports addiction and hedonistic indulgence has produced millions who know more about their favorite team or about the latest fashion than about their own government.

I don’t know about you but I’m so tired of being lectured by people who get their news from Fallon, Letterman, Colbert, or the Daily Show that I have all but stopped speaking of anything of substance with most people. We have all developed ways to identify fellow patriots. We listen for anyone to say anything that will give us an indication that here is another American who realizes where we are and from where we have fallen. Then we have great conversations, comparing observations and trying to encourage each other that the United States as we have known it will survive four more years of America’s Chavez.

Often I wonder, are we just singing to the choir, lighting a candle in the dark, or sticking our thumb in the dyke? Will our clandestine discussions on the fringes of a complacent society make any difference? Or are we merely whistling in the wind as our beloved country changes forever into the dead letters of a living constitution?

We have to admit that the Progressives have out maneuvered and out organized those dedicated to limited government. They have turned the world upside down. They captured the Corporations Once Known as the Main Stream Media turning them into a propaganda arm dedicated to suppressing the truth and giving the government party all the cover they need to do anything they want. They radically empowered the federal bureaucracy ceding it powers granted to Congress to set policy and make law. This red-tape machine has grown to become the largest organization in the world. It is ever-expanding and filled with career people dedicated to enlarging their private kingdoms and increasing the power of the nomenclature at the expense of the people.

The courts have been packed, the banks have been bought off, and the unions use legally mandated dues to support candidates and policies their unwilling members don’t want. Check and check-mate. The situation has become so dire and the hour so late that it appears the only line of defense we have left between the USA and the USSA is a House of Representatives controlled by Progressive Republicans and the hope of a Senate controlled by the same crowd.

These Progressive Republicans want the same things as their Democrat counterparts: bigger government and more power even if they may want to drive us to the poor house a little slower.

There are a few younger ones who have been elected by the Tea Party such as Rand, Lee, and Cruz who are trying to make a difference. At every step the Progressive establishment in their own party tries to ridicule them into toeing the party line of compromise and surrender. The old bulls talk conservative to get elected then join hands across the aisles in a marriage of despotism with deceit.

The further we get from the puzzle factory in Washington one would think the closer we would get to our American heritage of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. However, the same uninformed disengaged voters form the majority all the way down to the precinct level. The community organizers have done their jobs very well. Try to name a state that isn’t in debt. Try to name a county that isn’t working to install Agenda 21, promote sustainability or cram its Master Plan down the throat of an unsuspecting public. Try to name a city, town, or village that doesn’t have its good old boy network that manages to stay in power year after year.

Several years ago after an unsuccessful attempt to unseat an entrenched state senator from a gerrymandered district my wife and I decided to become involved on the local level to try and make a difference. We spent several years battling Agenda 21 while watching the good old boys win by hook or by crook either ignoring or fooling the voters. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Chicago and was raised on the milk of “You can’t fight City Hall?” Maybe it’s because I have seen bribes work and honest petitions fall on deaf ears? Maybe I’m just a cynic at heart? Maybe it’s true that a pessimist is what an optimist calls a realist? Or that there really are only two types of people optimists and pessimists and the pessimists are better informed.

Although we shall not go gently into that good night it appears we are in the twilight of our Republic and about to enter the sunset of liberty and the dawn of an America with a living constitution, a herd mentality, and a cradle-to-grave welfare state. If the bell has not tolled yet it is about to. Even if the Obama Zombies don’t flock to the polls as directed and return Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House or even keep Harry Reid in control of the Senate so that a one party state can drive the final nail in Columbia’s coffin, the swelling debt will eventually bring collapse. This is of course the end result of the Progressive’s long march towards the realization of the Cloward-Piven Strategy for forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. After the engineered collapse these social planners believe they can impose any type of system they want on a public clamoring for relief.

Ready or not here it comes………………………..

So what can we do now that it has been done?

First of all we have to educate ourselves about American History and the principles of limited government. Principles which formed the cornerstone for our two century experiment with personal liberty, individual freedom, and economic opportunity so that we can educate future generations about who we were and what we hope someday to be once again. We can’t teach what we don’t know.

Then we have to build a library of books and DVD’s that tell the story of America. For books look for reading lists at Tea Party sites, also check out conservative media people such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck for suggested readings. For DVD’s the History Channel has produced many great series on such things as the Revolution, the Constitution, the Founders, etc. Individually or in local groups create an asset that our people can use to immerse themselves in the heritage of freedom.

Finally we need to stay engaged in the political process. Become involved with likeminded people and figure out what, where, and when is the best place for you to spend our political capital. None of us is as smart as all of us so if we all look for the way back to limited government eventually a spark will be ignited that will burn with the intensity of a thousand suns and a new chapter in freedom will begin.

In the upcoming election vote for whoever will step on the brakes as we rush to oblivion. There may not be any candidates that are independent enough to stay independent for long however at least there are a few who will vote to take the Federal Government’s foot off the accelerator as we head for the fiscal cliff.

As patriots do what you can do. It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

Keep the faith. Keep the peace. We shall overcome.

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

 

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