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Posts Tagged ‘Tenth Amendment’

What Needs To Be Said About What Needs To Be Done

Its spring and I’m in a motel snowed in for the second time in three days.  This past weekend I spoke at a symposium hosted by the Tenth Amendment Center at Southern New Hampshire University.  It was a power packed event.  A full day surrounded by people who not only see the hand writing on the wall but who also believe they know what the words mean left my head swimming with the ideas presented and the inevitable optimism created when people see a problem and take action.

Lead, follow, or get out of the way!  This has long been the battle cry of the do something even if it’s wrong lobby.  It also appears to have been the guiding philosophy of George the Second’s TARP and Obama the Only’s stimulus.

I once knew the manager of a Rock-N-Roll band famous for the on the road antics.  A constant string of motel mayhem, bar room buffoonery and generally boorish behavior devoured his attention.  He always managed to get the boys out of trouble and on to the next town.  I asked him once how he managed to smooth so many ruffled feathers.  His answer and his policy for living large in the Rock-N-Roll lifestyle, “Do whatever you want, and choke them with hundred dollar bills.” Or as our politicians lead by example, “Come on let’s throw some money at the problem maybe that will make it go away.”

On my way to my second snow day I drove past miles and miles and miles and miles of orange barrels blocking half the highway.  I could almost count them since the speed had been cut by about 30%.  After a minimum of twenty miles the construction ended, and I could once again drive at normal speed.  During all that time I saw not one worker, machine, or any evidence of human activity except the barrels. Our President has admitted that even though he sold us a trillion dollar pig-in-poke with the catchy little phrase there is no such thing as a shovel-ready job.  It now seems the Stimulus the Progressives foisted upon us was clearly a make-work boondoggle.  Now we are paying people to make signs telling us what wonderful things the Stimulus is accomplishing.  We’re paying people to put the signs up.  Paying people to put out the orange barrels, and then paying someone to pick up the barrels and take down the signs.  What’s next? Do we hire people to dig holes and then hire people to fill them up?

Once Americans said things like, “Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute!”  Once we said, “Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead!” And “I have not yet begun to fight!”  Today the whine seems to be, “Where’s my share?”  “How about me?” and “Don’t touch my entitlement. Cut someone else.”  We have trillions for the political hacks, sweetheart deals for the unions, bail-outs for crony capitalists, and all the other hucksters, but no one with the courage to say what has to be said or do what has to be done even if it won’t cost one cent.

What has to be said is that we’ve squandered all the treasure and we’re about to kill the economy which has always been the goose that laid the golden egg.  Generations of over-the-top spending have finally brought us to the day when the credit cards are about to be cut up and the notes are about to be called.

What has to be done is stop the over spending.  Every household in our transformed America is facing the reality of cutting the expenditures to meet the income.  It’s time the government did the same thing.  We don’t need to have a series of continuing resolutions providing token cuts in exchange for an Amen to continued spending at astronomical levels.  And we don’t need to raise the debt ceiling if we will begin to spend no more than what comes in.  Since we are currently borrowing approximately 40 cents of every dollar Washington spends this will of course mean austerity such as we have never known.  But what is the alternative, insolvency, default, and an America which will slide from the first world to the second.

This isn’t what we inherited from our parents and it isn’t what we should leave for our children.  The people who met to uphold the Tenth Amendment know 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.”  And we never delegated the power to spend us into serfdom or charge us into bankruptcy.  So the next time you crawl past miles of closed highway with no work going on make a mental note to contact your Congressman and Senators and tell them to quit the spending and quit digging holes you can’t afford to pay someone to fill up.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

The Great Civil Debate

Here Comes the Judge

Judging that the mandate in President Obama’s Health Care bill is an unconstitutional expansion of the commerce clause, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson struck a blow for a commonsense approach to constitutional interpretation.  He further decided that words actually have meanings and are not merely place holders for future generations to use as they deconstruct the document meant to limit government into a document used to expand it.

Judge Hudson stated “At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance — or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage — it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.”  In his well reasoned and well stated 42 page opinion, Hudson also said many things which have needed saying for quite some time.  After years of activist judges stretching our tortured Constitution from limiting the government to limiting the citizen it’s refreshing to see an American jurist proclaiming that the corruption of our fundamental charter is leading us towards the creation of an unlimited central government usurping the powers expressly reserved to the States and the people.

Several of his statements are so well worded and so important they deserve repeating by every patriot who has a voice:

According to Judge Hudson:

“Although the Necessary and Proper Clause vests Congress with broad authority to exercise means, which are not themselves an enumerated power, to implement legislation, it is not without limitation.”

“Every application of Commerce Clause power found to be constitutionally sound by the Supreme Court involved some form of action, transaction, or deed placed in motion by an individual or legal entity.”

“Although purportedly grounded in the General Welfare Clause, the notion that the generation of revenue was a significant legislative objective is a transparent afterthought.”

“The legislative purpose underlying this provision was purely regulation of what Congress misperceived to be economic activity.”

“[i]f a person’s decision not to purchase health insurance at a particular point in time does not constitute the type of economic activity subject to regulation under the Commerce Clause, then logically an attempt to enforce such a provision under the Necessary and Proper Clause is equally offensive to the Constitution.”

“The same reasoning could apply to transportation, housing, or nutritional decisions. This broad definition of the economic activity subject to congressional regulation lacks logical limitation and is unsupported by Commerce Clause jurisprudence….”

“Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market. In doing so, enactment of the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I….”

“The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers. At its core, the dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.”

“[T]he Minimum Essential Coverage Provision appears to forge new ground and extends the Commerce Clause powers beyond its current high water mark.”

These are the type of words patriots have been waiting to hear from the bench!  These are the bold and direct statements needed to reaffirm the truth that the Constitution is meant to limit government not to enable it to run roughshod over the freedom and liberty of the people.  If the original document did not make this clear the Tenth Amendment states this fundamental truth clearly for all to hear, “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.”

However gratifying it is to hear an American Judge stand up for American values we must keep this victory in perspective.  Two other Federal Courts have previously upheld the government mandate.  And one thing can be confidently predicted, all of these rulings will be appealed

There is no effective way to bring pressure on a federal judge.  They are insulated by lifetime appointments.  Therefore, We the People cannot influence any of them and our opinion means nothing.  Although some desire for the procedure to be shortened, having the matter immediately brought before the Supreme Court, even that wouldn’t bring a definitive answer until well into the next election cycle.  And then the decision as to the continued freedom of American citizens to refrain from economic activity and the freedom of American citizens to make personal choices for themselves will be left up to nine individuals.   

As the Anti-Federalists warned so many years ago in Brutus’s 15th essay; “The supreme court under this constitution would be exalted above all other power in the government, and subject to no control.” The essay continued to warn, “There is no power above them that can correct their errors or control their decisions.”  And, “The power of this court is in many cases superior to that of the legislature.”  Ultimately observing, “When great and extraordinary powers are vested in any man, or body of men, which in their exercise, may operate to the oppression of the people, it is of high importance that powerful checks should be formed to prevent the abuse of it.”  The ratification conventions of the States chose to ignore these powerful arguments; consequently, never has the freedom of so many rested upon the judgment of so few.  And, probably on a vote of 5 to 4 rests the fate of We the People and a limited government. 
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

The Ruling Class vs. All The Rest Of Us

By Tony Blankley
The cheerful, jaded, sneering question de jour from liberal journalists and Democratic Party commentators (I know, there’s a pretty fine distinction) is, “What will the Republican Party do if it gets back the House?” The question is phrased along the line of what a car-chasing dog would do if it caught the car.
As a conservative tea party Republican, I am not particularly worried about that eventuality. Despite itself, a majority GOP, driven powerfully by the unambiguous popularity of such an election, almost certainly would go about trying to repeal Obamacare and put serious, current-fiscal-year spending cuts into place — necessarily including “entitlements.” Republicans would try to reduce some taxes and start serious oversight of federal regulatory intrusions into traditional American freedoms — including a powerful pushback on administration regulatory efforts on climate change, illegal immigration and other left-wing agenda items. With sufficient votes in the Senate, they would block future liberal judicial appointments — from the trial court to the Supreme Court.
If they didn’t go all-out for such a basic conservative agenda in 2011 after such an election as is possible, Republican Party leaders would know that across the nation, even 50-year party regulars such as I would walk out and seek a third party to carry out the people’s business.
No, what worries me is a scenario in which the GOP does not take back the House and at least make major gains in the Senate, or takes it back but fails to find the power to begin having a serious check on administration policies and actions. I don’t say that with a mere partisan, bolstering mentality.
Rather, if the upcoming election results fail for any reason (including GOP campaign incompetence) to empower the public’s overwhelming desire to stop and reverse the “fundamental transformation” of the United States — I suspect the country will be rocked to its core within the following months and few years.
A foul and dangerous brew is heating up that is composed of: (1) The economic collapse that started in 2008; (2) the radical, “fundamentally transforming” left-wing agenda of the government; and, (3) the thwarting of the public will — with glee — by the entrenched, non-elected powers (in the courts, media, colleges and government bureaucracies) as they get into the face and under the skin of the cultural and political majority.
It is insufferable (and will not long be suffered) to be lectured to and imposed upon by a ruling class that loathes our nation’s history, values and accomplishments; by those who are not, in fact, our genuine betters. They are neither better educated nor more profoundly morally versed.
In fact, they are our intellectual and moral inferiors — not superiors. Constantly grinning Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan didn’t think the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that human beings “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” should in any way affect her understanding of our constitutional rights — presumably, if any.
Part of the building danger derives from the fact that Americans now tend to self-select our news, opinion and entertainment sources based on our political beliefs and cultural and religious preferences. As a result, the nation no longer shares a common database of civic reality. Many liberals have no sense of how deep and roiling this no-longer-just-conservative passion is. Or they assume it involves some small, mendacious, ideological faction rather than a broad-based, nonideological, building national majority, which it does.
Just one trivial example of the disconnection between the elites and the nation was the Newsweek headline “We Are All Socialists Now,” published last year (before the magazine was sold for $1 to the billionaire husband of a leading Democratic congresswoman). Two months ago, though, a poll by the Democracy Corps, a polling group run by Democratic operative James Carville and Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, asked how well the term “socialist” fit President Obama. Fifty-five percent of all Americans said “well” or “very well.” In that same month, the Gallup poll reported that Americans self-identify themselves as 42 percent conservative (a historic high), 35 percent moderate and 20 percent liberal. That would seem to leave 3 percent for socialists, communists, anarchists, fascists, monarchists, Nazis, ultramontanists, Falangists, klansmen, etc.)
I guess that Newsweek headline’s meaning depends on what the definition of “we” is. As military experts would say, the upcoming struggle for America’s future between the socialist powers and the rest of us would seem to be “asymmetrical.”
Much more profoundly, the gap between the consciousness of “we socialists” and “we the people” can be seen in the assertion by some liberals recently that the president’s collapse in the polls is part of this current reaction to events is but a passing thing. If they think that, they understand nothing of the forces they have unleashed by their tragically imprudent effort to fundamentally transform our country.
In 1856, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville, in analyzing the causes of his country’s revolution, observed, “Evils which are patiently endured when they seem inevitable become intolerable when once the idea of escape from them is suggested.”
A year ago, it seemed possible that a majority of Americans — rattled by economic collapse and under the sway of a popular, charismatic president — might buy in to plans to fundamentally transform America away from liberty, prosperity and greatness and toward security and a massive, protective state. At first, many of us were hesitant to speak out when we thought we might be but a few. (Of course, some of us saw what was coming and spoke out before the 2008 election.
But as the first details of the transformation were revealed to the nation — in Obamacare, the stimulus, bailouts, nationalizations and running roughshod over the Constitution — it became clear that the price for security turned out to be our birthright of liberty. Americans were not that rattled.
Now that we who cling to our liberty know we are a majority — and potentially a very large majority — we are aroused to the defense of our ancient rights — and we will not slacken in our efforts until that repulsive plan for transformation has been expurgated from the body politic — to quote Franklin D. Roosevelt — “so help us God.”

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