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Why the Congress Must Reign in the Supreme Court June 28, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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“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.” Please notice that this, the foundational sentence of the American way of life does not say “endowed by the Supreme Court.”

Ever since the Supreme Court took unto itself the power to void laws passed by the representatives of the people in Marbury V. Madison the black-robed Justices have acted, and Americans have accepted them as if they are the source and the summit of what is and what isn’t allowed in America.  In most cases since the middle of the 20th century, the high court has sided with whatever the central government wanted to do in the way of extending its power and curtailing rights which any person who can read plainly sees protected in the document they are sworn to defend.

However, in Article Three of the Constitution, the one that outlines the judicial branch, after specifically enumerating which types of cases the Supreme Court shall try it says, “In all the other Cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

We often hear of obscure clauses of the Constitution which have been stretched and strained to sweep more power and authority into the never satisfied maw of the Federal Leviathan such as:

  • The “Necessary and Proper Clause” which is found in Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 states, “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the [enumerated] Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”  This is also known as the “Elastic Clause” because Congress and Presidents have stretched it to give them powers the Founders never would have dreamed possible outside a tyranny.
  • The “Commerce Clause” found in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 states, “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”  This is the go-to clause for the Progressive’s conquest of America.  This is the clause that was used in the 1930s by FDR to implement most of the New Deal.  It was used by LBJ in the 1960s to impose the Great Society.  And it is being used by BHO in the 21st century to shackle us with the social democracy brand of socialism which has devastated Europe and which has been repudiated by our former adversaries in the Cold War.

 

In the Supreme Court decision Wickard v. Filburn in 1942 it was handed down from on   high that wheat farmer growing wheat on his own property for his own use can be         legally regulated under the commerce clause because not selling your wheat and using it           yourself is actually competing with wheat that is sold and is therefore commerce.  This is the same clause the Obama Administration originally used as a defense to say they can fine people for not buying insurance arguing that not buying insurance is commerce.

Yes, these two clauses have been stretched and interpreted beyond any semblance of rationality to restrict and restrain Americans in the enjoyment of the freedom and liberty which should be our birthright, yet the clause which clearly states that Congress has the power to reign in the Court has been ignored.

Forget all the posturing about abortion by all the so-called conservatives in Congress. Has there ever been a concerted, protracted or sustained effort to remove abortion from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court?  No there hasn’t.  And yet tomorrow, or even today Congress could pass a law stating that abortion is an exception to the court’s jurisdiction and with the signing of this law by the president Roe V. Wade would be null and void, and all state laws affecting abortion would once again be in effect.  And this same procedure could be used for the representatives of the people to take back control of the law and the country from the Court.

The Congress is elected. The Supreme Court is appointed.  Congress can be replaced. The Justices of the Supreme Court serve for life.  They could be impeached and removed; however, none have ever been removed and the likelihood of that happening is remote.  There are checks and balances in the process of passing laws.  The Senate is a check on the House and the House on the Senate.  The President is a check on Congress and Congress is a check on the President.  There is a check designed to restrain the Supreme Court from becoming a black-robed committee of kings: Article 3, Section 2, Clause 2 giving Congress the power to create exceptions to the Court’s jurisdiction.  However, tradition and the desire of professional politicians to demagogue about issues instead of solve them keeps the perpetually re-elected from reigning in these want-a-be demigods.

Thursday June 28, 2012 will live in the memory of all patriotic Americans as a day of infamy along with Pearl Harbor, and 9-11. This is the day the Supreme Court ruled that if the Central government can’t force American citizens to do what they want them to do one way they can do it another.

When the Obama Administration and their co-conspirators, the Progressive Democratic Party in Congress, rammed Obamacare through Congress they argued that the fines imposed under the individual mandate upon anyone who didn’t purchase health insurance wasn’t a tax, but that it was penalty allowable under the Commerce Clause.  According to the Constitution all tax bills must begin in the House.  Obamacare began in the Senate; however, that was all right since the fines weren’t taxes they were penalties.

When the issue got to court and it became clear there wasn’t a majority ready to declare not buying insurance was commerce the Obama Administration argued there was no standing to litigate the individual mandate and the fine it imposed because it is a tax.  Through the looking glass inside the beltway and behind the curtain it’s a penalty when that argument works and it’s a tax when that argument works.

Sophistry is defined as “Reasoning that appears sound but is misleading or fallacious. In Metaphysics, Aristotle defines sophistry as ‘wisdom in appearance only.’”  When we look at that definition from now on it will be hard not to see the face of Chief Justice Roberts who today showed his true colors as the midwife of totalitarianism.  While declaring unconstitutional the very arguments used to pass the law the majority declared the law constitutional based upon the very arguments its opponents used to try and defeat the bill.  Up is down, right is wrong, and the government can do whatever it wants.

During the ratification debate when addressing the Supreme Court one of the leading Anti-Federalists wrote, “There is no power above them to control any of their decisions.  There is no authority that can remove them, and they cannot be controlled by the laws of the legislature.  In short, they are independent of the people, of the legislature, and of every power under heaven.  Men placed in this situation will generally soon feel independent of heaven itself.”

The balance between the central government and the once free citizens it is attempting to turn into dumbed down helpless dependents has been significantly changed.  As predicted by the Anti-Federalists, the courts have been used over and over to expand the power of the central government to the detriment of the States and the citizens.  Today we crossed a threshold; we passed a tipping point and are no longer at the edge of the abyss. We are careening down the cliff into the fearful embrace of totalitarianism.  An over the top Supreme Court has given the green light to an out of control Progressive Administration, and as of today there are no checks and there is no balance.

Those of us who love liberty and are dedicated to limited government must contact our representatives and demand that the Supreme Court be brought under control.  Something must be done to preserve liberty or the United States we have loved will become the one we have dreaded.  An all-powerful central government will continue to grow and bend all things to its will.  We must return to the literal definition of constitutional government or this living document will be the death of freedom and the graveyard of liberty.

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

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

Why the House Must Impeach President Obama June 21, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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In America today just like in Lake Woebegone every child is above average and every child gets a trophy.  We may score low in international grade comparisons but we rank number one in self-esteem.  In other words American students may not be doing well but they think they are.  Those of us old enough to remember how Dad could control the situation with a look and when you got in trouble in school your parents didn’t sue or contact the School Board you got in trouble at home too are also old enough to remember Watergate.

This scandal that the general public still does not understand brought down a president and led to the Watergate Congress which threw away the victory in Vietnam and solidified the Progressive control of Congress until 1994.  Today we are confronted with contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law that makes the Watergate Scandal look like the tempest in a teapot that it actually was.  How many people died as a result of the Watergate Scandal = 0.  How many have died as a result of the Fast and Furious debacle = at least 200 and still counting.  How did Richard Nixon disrespect, disregard or violate the Constitution in the Watergate Scandal = 0.  How many times has Barack Obama disrespected, disregarded or violated the Constitution during his time in office = at least twice as documented below by making recess appointments while Congress was still in session and refusing to enforce laws.

There is an old saying, “That’s good enough for government work.”  This saying comes out of the big government make-work programs of the 1930s and has been used ever since as short hand for “Approximate is close enough,” which might as well be the new national motto.  In societies that rob Peter to pay Paul the stage before all the Peters change their names to Paul is typified by government bean counters picking winners and losers.  This process discourages producers and encourages non-producers assuring you get less of the former and more of the latter.  As an educator I have a belief that if you don’t teach someone to do something right you are teaching them that doing it wrong is acceptable.

If Congress does not assert its place as a co-equal branch of government, the Imperial Presidency of Barack Obama will continue to usurp power.  From recess appointments while Congress is in session to refusing to enforce the laws of the land this President is fundamentally transforming our system of government.  Not through the amendment process, but through a campaign of unconstitutional and therefore illegal actions designed to buy him enough votes for a second term.  Whether it is through the money laundering schemes that are government negotiations with public service unions, pork barrel payoffs to political donors, or back-door amnesty this is nothing more than buying votes: a time-honored Chicago tradition.  Combine this with a campaign to resist any attempt to verify who is voting and the stage is set for an election that would make any managed society proud.

His supporters may call it the Audacity of Hope Campaign, but if it is successful it will be the audacity which crushes any hope of limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.  The dreams from his father will become the nightmares of our children and grandchildren.  With no authority Mr. Obama is attempting to rule by decree.  Executive orders have previously been used to direct the Executive Departments how to implement laws.  Mr. Obama is using them to legislate, and that is in direct contravention to the separation of powers clearly outlined in the Constitution.

President Obama has built a shadow government that parallels and is standing ready to supplant our constitutional government.  He has appointed more Czars than most of his predecessors and these Czars are not just advisors they are actually tasked with duties that under our traditional American governmental structure have been the responsibility of Cabinet Secretaries.  These Czars are not confirmed; they are anointed, and none of them are accountable to anyone but the President.  Even though Congress voted to defund his Czars, President Obama has said he will ignore that part of the Budget and keep them anyway.  A cult of personality surrounds him typified by a compliant media which fawns over his every action and defends his every transgression.

As if to add icing to the cake the Obama Administration has invoked Executive Privilege to support Attorney General Holder in his refusal to surrender all requested documents in the Fast and Furious Scandal.  What national security issues could there be in this matter?  If the documents proved that the operation really did start under the Bush administration as Mr. Holder contends does anyone doubt they would have been on the table yesterday?    Either the President is attempting to protect his Attorney General, some member of the Whitehouse staff or himself.  Either way this may eventually provide a real similarity to the Watergate Scandal.  Though in this case the cover-up could not be worse than the crime it could lead to enough fallout to make his own supporters leave a sinking ship to avoid the stigma of a failed presidency and a looming constitutional crisis.

If this slide into tyranny is not stopped it will continue. If it is not protested it will be accepted.  I know there are not enough Senators to convict but if these blatant attacks upon the checks and balances are not punished, at least by the shame and reproach of an Impeachment Resolution, they are being silently condoned.  Speaker Boehner stand up and lead the House!  Don’t just make a speech; present a case.  Don’t just give us a photo op; give us a fighting chance to save this great experiment in human freedom.

If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.  America it is time to stand up to this Southside Chicago bully, and let him know he can’t have our lunch money anymore, and he can’t subvert our Republic either at least not without us protesting and using every legal means available to stop him and preserve limited government.

We, the lovers of freedom and the supporters of limited government cannot merely wait the clock out on the Obama presidency.  Because if he wins another term with all these affronts to constitutional government unchallenged combined with a campaign based upon class warfare and the redistribution of wealth he and his statist backers will declare it a mandate for more of the same, on steroids.  An oligarchy of the perpetually re-elected veneered over a permanent nomenclature of federal bureaucrats will easily fall in line behind a complacent and complicit media to cheer the new order as the soft tyranny of the central planners tell us what is best for us and then forces us to say thank you.

Protest the lawless Progressive counter-revolution!  Contact you Representative and demand an impeachment hearing to investigate President Obama for the High Crimes of subverting the Constitution.  He should be investigated for:

  • making recess appointments while Congress was still in session
  • for ignoring his obligation to enforce the laws of the land in the areas of Immigration and the Defense of Marriage Act
  • for incorrectly using a claim of Executive Privilege to cover up reckless and possibly criminal activity in the Fast and Furious scandal.

Act today!  Contact your Representative and let them know patriotic Americans want this tyranny ended and limited government restored.  Keep the faith.  Keep the peace.  We shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

Not Worth a Continental June 15, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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The Federal Reserve System (the Fed) was established in 1913 as one of the cornerstones of the Progressive agenda.  They said it was a way to stop the boom and bust cycle which has always been a fixture of capitalist economies.  The Fed is America’s third Central Bank.  The First and Second Banks of the United States were born out of Alexander Hamilton’s ideas as expressed in his famous Second Report on Public Credit in 1790.  The first bank was allowed to expire and the last was ultimately killed by Andrew Jackson in 1833.  Jackson believed the Bank had too great an influence politically and economically.

The United States grew to become the greatest industrial power on earth in the next eighty years without a central bank.

Established in 1913, the Federal Reserve is America’s central bank.  It is semi-independent/semi-public depending on which role is needed to justify its actions.  It is run by a board of seven Governors.  These Governors are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.  Led by a Chairman who is also appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate these eight people control a system of twelve Regional Federal Reserve Banks which have numerous branches throughout the United States. The Fed can expand or contract the money supply in many ways.  They print money both physically and digitally, they set interest rates, they can loosen or tighten the regulations for lending, and they can purchase debt from the Treasury.  Most of these measures are neither understood nor noticed by the general public.  This helps build and maintain the impression of a mysterious institution behind a curtain pulling levers and pressing buttons secretly controlling the economy.  In many ways this impression is correct

Ben Bernanke is the current Chairman of the Federal Reserve.  Some believe that this is the most important post in the United States because the Federal Reserve controls our economy through its control of the money supply.  Mr. Bernanke acquired the nickname Helicopter Ben from a speech he delivered in 2002 entitled, “Deflation: Making Sure “It” Doesn’t Happen Here.”

In this famous speech he said, “The sources of deflation are not a mystery. Deflation is in almost all cases a side effect of a collapse of aggregate demand – a drop in spending so severe that producers must cut prices on an ongoing basis in order to find buyers. Likewise, the economic effects of a deflationary episode, for the most part, are similar to those of any other sharp decline in aggregate spending–namely, recession, rising unemployment, and financial stress.”  This is a well stated summation of the problem of deflation.

As a defense against the ravages of deflation the future Chairman of the Federal Reserve never actually said he would drop money from a helicopter.  What he said was, “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at no cost.”  Which was coupled by later analysts and pundits with the statement, “A money-financed tax cut is essentially equivalent to Milton Friedman’s famous ‘helicopter drop’ of money.”

In the popular imagination this has been shortened into the oft misquoted belief that he said he would get in a helicopter and drop bales of money to combat deflation.

The collapse of the Housing Bubble in 2008 brought the American economy to a standstill and threatened to escalate into a systemic collapse of major banks and other financial institutions.  To stop the wheels from coming off the commercial cart the politicians reacted with unusual speed and vigor.  George Bush famously said, “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system” when he advocated and passed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) which was designed to buy mortgage backed securities in an effort to inject money into the American banking system and thus restart the economy.  This 700 Billion dollar fund (later resized to 475 Billion) was eventually used instead to bailout major banks, AIG, and buy GM and Chrysler with only 22 billion ever going to buy toxic assets.

This was followed by President Obama’s stimulus bill which cost another 800 billion and was supposedly designed to kick start the economy by providing jobs.  The Congressional Budget Office eventually evaluated that these shovel-ready jobs cost 4.1 million each.  But then again as our President later joked, “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.”

Spending government money to prime the economic pump cannot work.  The government doesn’t produce anything.  It must either take the money out of the economy through taxation taking from the productive for the benefit of the unproductive or print the money thus causing inflation.  All the government can do is redistribute wealth; it does not create it.  And when the government is in the business of picking winners and losers we all lose freedom, liberty, and opportunity.

Inflation is a rise in the general level of prices related to an increase in the volume of money and the resulting loss of value of currency.   The Progressives didn’t invent inflation.  The Obama Administration isn’t the first to resort to inflation to keep the ball rolling without the pain of tax increases.  America was born in inflation.  During the Revolution one of the greatest problems was how to finance the war.  America was effectively blockaded by the massive British fleet and unable to trade with the rest of the world.  So the government printed the money they needed, and printed and printed and printed until the money was effectively worthless coining instead of wealth the shameful saying, “Not worth a Continental.”  These early ancestors to our dollar were eventually redeemed at 100 to 1.

Helicopter Ben has already overseen two rounds of monetary inflation referred to by the mysterious name of Quantitative Easing (QE) which is a fancy way of saying the Fed floods the banks with money.  The staggering size of these have only now begun to come to light showing that since the 2008 collapse the Fed has flushed more than 16 trillion dollars out of the pockets of taxpayers and into the hands of banks and corporations both foreign and domestic designated by the Federal Government as too big to fail.  That is more money in four years than the entire national debt which has taken 236 years to accumulate and QE 3 is on the way.

While running for office and telegraphing his distributive goals Mr. Obama said we need to spread the wealth around. Chairman Bernanke has said the government can produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at no cost.  However, no matter what these two wannabe puppet masters may believe there is no free lunch.  In their insolated ivory-tower gated community world they may never have to pay the tab for their misguided attempts to create wealth with the wave of their hand.  Those of us who work for a living who live in the world of family budgets will.  The money we earn will be worth less and less and less until it is worthless.  The money we have saved will lose value day by day.  Someday people may not say, “It’s not worth a Continental.” They may instead say, “It’s not worth a dollar.”

The problem with getting older is you can remember when what we now pay at the pump was a car payment, and what we now pay for groceries was a house payment.  The central-planers behind the curtain in OZ may tell us there is no inflation, but our eyes and our wallets tell us something else: the truth.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

Hunker in the Bunker and Wait for the Rain June 8, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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As those of you who follow these wandering pages know I have recently re-aligned my life to turn and face the strange changes that are overtaking Western Civilization with ever increasing speed.  Like ripples whose shape and size shifts but never leave the stream, change is the only constant in a society careening towards a cliff.

The descendants of those who built the empire no longer produce enough children to man the walls. The will to win and the desire to excel has been replaced by a complacency bred of bread, circuses, and entitlement checks distributed by a perpetually re-elected legislature designed to keep the marks from catching the con. A series of lack-luster presidents set the stage for collapse.  One declares a new world order and then loses his bid for re-election to a saxophone playing party-boy.  This surprise president sets the morality bar so low his scurrilous actions and obvious lack of character corrupt the very fiber of our nation.  The next two expand the government and spend us into oblivion.

Empires rise and empires fall.  That is the way of the world and the lesson of History.  From the 15th century through the 20th Western Civilization used a temporary advantage in technology to conquer the world.  Where our military conquered we imposed our culture.  Where we didn’t gain political control the vision of our seemingly invulnerable strength and our unstoppable progress led local leaders to discard much of what was theirs to imitate what they coveted of ours.

For five centuries Western Civilization ruled supreme.  It was our way or the highway so in our pride we decided ours was the High Way.  Then in two spectacular bouts of societal suicide, World War I and World War II, we killed, maimed, and butchered ourselves.  We wasted the accumulated riches of centuries and showed the millions of colonial subject people who were brought in to help kill whoever the enemy happened to be that Westerners weren’t invulnerable, weren’t unconquerable, and weren’t even smart enough to avoid the slaughter or hide the evidence.

The destruction of the economies and populations of the various colonial powers inevitably led to the break-up of the empires and the rise of a bi-polar world that pitted a world-wide Communism that was inimical to everything Western Civilization stood for against a united West now led by the newest edition to their ranks: the United States.

We had allied ourselves with the Communists to defeat the Fascists.  However the victory of 1945 vanished into fifty years of a Cold War that flashed hot enough times to kill many tens of thousands.  This epic struggle brought the Communists to their knees and us to the edge of bankruptcy.  As we defeated Communism its less threatening little brother Socialism crept in the back door.  We adopted the tenants of socialism: equality of outcome financed by expropriation and wealth and re-distribution to pacify our population through the long war.  Today we are fast becoming all we have fought against for the last sixty years: a centrally-planned economy, a regimented society, and a totalitarian state.

This century long series of debilitating wars sapped our will to reproduce just as technology gave us birth control and lax morals gave us abortion.  This unholy trinity turned into a demographic time bomb that ensures the eventual submerging of the peoples of the West beneath waves of immigrants swarming in to take their place. The moral rot swilled out from Hollywood, and a reality show culture exemplified and condoned by the political elite inspires and reflects a hedonism that would have made Caligula blush.  The entitlement mentality foisted and fostered by buy-a-vote-with-benefits governments has sapped people of the drive and desire to do anything more than sit on a couch and dream of their chance at the golden ring of fifteen minutes of fame.

Sounds like a dismal picture doesn’t it?  The most depressing part of the whole thing is that it is true.

Empires rise and empires fall and it is our lot to live on the declining end of Western Civilization: the greatest empire of all time (so far).

No one ever gets to live in the world they were raised in.  Time moves on and things change.  However most generations don’t watch the inversion of the world they grew up in.  Today things we thought were wrong are now right.  Things we thought were right are now wrong.  What made you healthy yesterday kills you today.  The wisdom of the ancients was once sought after in a world of constants today obsolesce often proceeds production in a microwave throw-away culture.

The world has been turned upside down.

Just as a British general marched out of Yorktown to surrender to a rag-tag bunch of summer soldiers, so we the children of those who stormed the beaches on D-Day to free Europe and end the darkness that was Nazism will wonder how were we defeated  by those we had once so easily dominated?

The answer will be the same as it was for the British in the Revolution and for the Nazis in World War II: we defeated ourselves.  Our over confidence and our desire to have it all led us to forsake the values that brought about our success and the principles that made us who we were.  While the Socialist Progressives march us off to the shabby future they have centrally-planned perhaps instead of the World Turned Upside Down we should sing a paraphrase of a line from the sixties, “In tattered tuxedos they face the new heroes and crawl about in confusion.  All the hands raised; they stand there amazed at the shattering of their illusions.”

We stand at the edge of the abyss.  We know not what will be only that it will not be what it has been.  Do not despair.  Do not lose hope.  Have faith in Christ.  Follow Him and He will guide you to a safe harbor amidst the storm.  I have found my place. I am preparing every day for the coming crescendo. My best advice is find Christ, find your place, and hunker down.

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

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

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