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Is the Necessary and Proper Clause either Necessary or Proper? May 30, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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2 comments

I want to begin by saying that I believe the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, with the Bill of Rights included, comprise the most enlightened, ennobling, and beneficial documents ever penned by the hand of man. I also believe that the Constitution afforded the United States the greatest level of freedom and opportunity ever experienced by humanity. This freedom and opportunity in turn released the talents and abilities of the American people to build the greatest nation ever to exist, rising from thirteen states exhausted and impoverished from years of war into a prosperous and powerful nation which by the end of the twentieth century stood upon the world stage as the uncontested sole superpower.

Simplicity is the essence of genius while over-simplification is the essence of fraud. In a picture perfect example of the truism “The victors write history” what we have been taught concerning the writing and ratification of the Constitution is actually a politically slanted version of the truth. This highly patrician account is also an example of over-simplification.

We are taught that the Articles of Confederation were an abject failure because they were too weak. Shay’s Rebellion scared the venerable leaders who had led and won the Revolution. George Washington and Co. came back from retirement to once again save the nation writing an “almost” divinely inspired document. There was only token dissent to the immediate acceptance of this tablet from the mount by some shadowy unknown people collectively called the “Anti-Federalists.” However after some well-written articles by future leaders called the Federalists, We the People overwhelmingly voted for ratification and the Constitution immediately ushered in the blessings of liberty and opportunity for all rescuing the United States from anarchy and stagnation. Amen.

This is a thumb-nail sketch of what our thumb-nail sketch type history education once delivered as gospel in American public schools. Today, those lucky enough to live in a school district that still includes American History are instead treated to the progressive’s litany of American crimes and debauchery. However, as our constitutionally limited government exceeds all previous limits, is either of these offerings good enough? Americans from all walks of life watch in stunned disbelief as the Federal Government on steroids swallows the economy, health care, the financial system, major manufacturing, the insurance industry, and anything else that doesn’t move fast enough to get out of the way. Can the States themselves be far behind?

How did this come about? How did a government born in the shackles provided by a written constitution designed to limit its power swell into the all-powerful OZ?

Quite simply it was through the deception of the Progressives evolving our Constitution from a rock-solid framework limited to what it actually said to a living document that is constantly being re-interpreted. Thus without amendment, without debate, without a vote our leaders have nudged us from land of liberty to the centrally-planned surveillance state which today sends the IRS after their enemies, leaves our borders open, our opportunities closed, and our sons and daughters manning hundreds of garrisons around the world.

One of the key tools in this century long quest to transform America has been the use of the so-called elastic clauses in the Constitution. One major clause used to accomplish this is found in Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 which states, “The Congress shall have Power To …make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

There are several ways to look at this clause and its meaning. First we need to look at what is called “Original Intent,” or what those who wrote the clause meant. Then we will look at what those who ratified the Constitution thought it meant. Finally we will look at how the Progressives interpret and re-interpret their favorite clause.

The necessary and proper clause was added to the Constitution by the Committee of Detail with no debate. Nor was it the subject of any debate during the remainder of the Convention. The reason why this clause was neither attacked nor defended during the Convention becomes clear from the statements of the Framers during the ratification process. James Wilson, one of the most eloquent defenders of the Constitution, a signer of the Constitution, and one of the first justices of the Supreme Court, said that this clause gave the federal government no more or other powers than those already enumerated in Section 8 of Article I and that “It is saying no more than that the powers we have already particularly given, shall be effectually carried into execution.” The Framers felt as if the clause was merely saying that which had been delegated could be used.

During the ratification debates this clause was a hot topic. Brutus proclaimed that through the Necessary and Proper Clause “This government is to possess absolute and uncontrollable power, legislative and judicial, with respect to every object to which it extends…” the debate raged back and forth between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists in newspapers, pamphlets, and on the floor of the ratification conventions. Eventually the Federalists won the day and the Constitution was ratified. The result? The interpretation of this clause that was generally accepted by the ratification conventions was that it added no new or expandable powers to the federal government.

Since the New Deal era, Progressives have argued that the Necessary and Proper Clause expands the powers of the federal government to any it deems necessary and proper. In other words the federal government has all the power necessary to do whatever they want about anything they want. The executive department has been using this clause to grab power since Hamilton used it to found the First bank of the United States in 1791. The Supreme Court has been stretching this clause since they ruled in Mcculloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819) to give themselves the power of judicial review. This expansionist interpretation has been upheld by the Supreme Court on numerous occasions and is today the accepted opinion amongst the political-media-corporate establishment.

It is my belief that if we have a better understanding of where we came from and how we got here that we would have a better understanding of where we are. If we understand where we are perhaps we will see the way to get back to where we wanted to go when we started: back to a limited government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Knowing how a simple clause meant to say that what had been delegated could be used has evolved into near totalitarian power shows us that just as the present use of the Necessary and Proper Clause is neither necessary nor proper.  And thus a government of the people, for the people and by the people has been hijacked and become something else.

No matter what we have been taught, no matter even what the reality was the reality is that the Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation as the supreme law of the land. The announced purpose of the Constitution’s writing and adoption was to provide a limited government which respected both the rights of the States and the people. Since this was the stated and accepted purpose of the Constitution after two centuries and several decades can We the People deny any longer that it has failed?

Failing and failure are two different things. Everyone who has ever succeeded has failed. It is falling forward from that failure which ultimately brings success. If the Constitution has failed what do we do now? Where’s the reset button.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

“A nickel isn’t worth a dime today” May 16, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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2 comments

On Sept. 22, 2011 in a speech to business executives Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “Debt is the biggest threat to U.S. national security.”  When the leader of the people famous for $800 hammers and $640 toilet seats has to lecture business leaders about the perils of deficit spending we know capitalism in America has jumped the track.

After World War I the world’s monetary system was in disarray.  The victorious Allies sought to revive the gold standard.  However the structure which had been put in place after 1918 collapsed during the Great Depression. Some economists believe that the world’s attempt to remain on the gold standard prevented central banks from expanding the money supply enough to revive the world’s economies.

After World War II, representatives of the once again victorious allies met at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to create a new international monetary system. At the time the United States accounted for more than 50% of the world’s manufacturing capacity and also held most of the world’s gold.  Since America was the uncontested economic Superpower these leaders decided to tie world currencies to the dollar.  The value of the dollar would in turn be controlled and supported by the fact that the dollar would be tied to gold at $35 per ounce.

While the Bretton Woods System was in force the central banks were given the task of maintaining fixed exchange rates. This was accomplished by massive and continuous intervention in foreign exchange markets. When a country’s currency became too expensive in relation to the dollar, that country’s central bank would sell its currency for dollars thus driving down the value of its currency.  And if the value of a country’s money became too low, that country would then aggressively buy its own currency to drive the price up.

This Bretton Woods System worked well until 1971.  By then, due to the “Guns and Butter” economic policies of the Johnson and Nixon administrations inflation in the United States and America’s rapidly expanding trade deficit undermined the value of the dollar. As a result America urged the now recovered and economically powerful Germany and Japan to increase the value of their currencies. Both nations did not want to do this. Raising the value of their currencies hurt their exports by increasing the prices for their goods in the United States which was their largest market.

When the pressure became unbearable, when too many nations were redeeming too many dollars against America’s dwindling gold supply the United States unilaterally abandoned the fixed gold value of the dollar allowing it to “float.”  Floating with relationship to money means it is allowed to fluctuate when compared to the currencies of other countries. Immediately the value of the dollar fell substantially when compared to other currencies, especially those of Germany and Japan.

This caused turbulence in the economies of nations and sent shockwaves through the political systems of the world.   In consequence the leaders of the major countries made an effort to revive the Bretton Woods system.  They came together in 1971, and reached the Smithsonian Agreement which for the first time allowed for the negotiation of fixed exchange rates.  However, this attempt soon failed.

In 1973, The United States and the other major economic powers agreed to a new system known as Managed Float.  This meant that central banks would still intervene with the buying and selling of their own currencies to eliminate any changes that might be perceived as too dramatic.

How long will this system of floating money, fiat currency, and systemic debt last?

Since I started with a quote from my favorite American philosopher, Yogi Berra I will frame my comments about the end result of America’s love affair with monopoly money and ever growing debt with another nugget from this source of double think profundity, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”

You know, I know and anyone who has enough economic awareness to realize you can’t spend more than you make forever knows that our present governmental financial framework is unsustainable.  Why?  Apparently our leaders believe you can spend more than you make forever.

If you have ever tried to manage your Visa payments by charging them to MasterCard you know the end of that game.  Our leaders have pawned our grandchildren’s future for the votes they buy with social programs, tax give-aways, and bail-outs.  However it is hard to lay all the blame on the shoulders of the perpetually re-elected.  The government is the people writ large.  Almost every household in America is in debt.  Almost every business in America is in debt.

Debt is not a bad thing in and of itself.  Actually it is one of the most liberating inventions in the world.  It allows economic activity to grow based upon future activity instead of just on current holdings.  This provides a multiplier effect that has given rise to the modern world.

However, when we spend more of the future than the present can service we have inverted the pyramid and are inviting a correction.  Even if the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media are blathering on about how good the stock market is doing, that the pretend unemployment rate is falling, that there is no inflation, and that the President says everything is getting better, the alternative media knows the present course is unsustainable.  Unsustainable. That word is spoken day after day on Fox and printed multiple times every day online from thousands of blogs, magazines, and newspapers.  All it means is it can’t last forever, or as an alarmist might say, “A crash is coming!”

Sure the stock market is flying high.  With the Fed pumping 85 billion a month into the banking system why wouldn’t it?  With that kind of money coming in why not play the Lotto?  Sure the unemployment rate is falling as long as you don’t count the people who have quit looking for a job.  Sure there’s no inflation as long as you don’t count energy or food.  And of course the President says everything is getting better all the time that is what his teleprompter tells him to say.

So, how long will this system of floating money, fiat currency, and systemic debt last?  None of us gets to live in the world we grew up in because the world moves too fast.  Things change. What was science fiction yesterday is your cell phone today.  One thing we can know for sure is that it isn’t over till it’s over.  Yet from a realistic evaluation of the deep hole we have spent ourselves into the future isn’t what it used to be and if the world were perfect it wouldn’t be.

Is there any way to stop this train wreck before we hit the wall?  Can we reign in Washington and stop the 6.85 million per minute that the best and the brightest are spending?  What do you think?  The great Tea Party victory of 2010 affirmed Boehner as the leader of the co-opted opposition, voted for multiple debt ceiling increases, and renewed the Patriot Act.  Do you think another Progressive Republican à la Romney has a chance to beat Hillary or would make any difference if they did?  I wish I had an answer to that because I’m tired of answering the question.  What do you think?

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Did You Do Anything to Keep Liberty Alive? May 10, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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One day our grandchildren may ask us this question.  Will we have an answer that will make us and them proud or will we have to sit silent knowing we stood silent when it was time to speak or remained passive when it was time for action?  Now is the time for all believers in limited government to stand up and be counted.  Now is the time for all who believe, “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”  to remember “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The coming 2014 mid-term elections may well be the most important in our lifetime.  America faces a crisis as profound as the Revolution and as divisive as the Civil War.  This has been brought on by the Progressives who seek to fundamentally transform America through evolutionary means.  Incrementally, one entitlement program, one regulation, and one tax rate increase at a time, these Evolutionaries have used class warfare, activist judges, a politically-correct education system, and a complicit media to create a dependent constituency.   They’ve constructed a matrix of sports addiction, celebrity worship, and recreational prescription medicine that makes the bread and circuses of Rome appear as crude as they were effective.  Welcome to the Brave New World.

In 2008 the Progressives achieved what the media called a “Veto Proof” majority in both houses.  This was typical of the Progressive-controlled media’s spin.  With a fellow Progressive holding court in the White House there was no chance the long cherished dreams of national health care, massive interference in the economy, and expansion of the bureaucracy would be vetoed.  The description of the majorities should have been “Filibuster-proof” meaning there was no way for the minority party to thwart the will of the majority.  Even when the Democrats lost their 60th seat in the Senate with the addition of a Progressive Republican taking Teddy Kennedy’s seat, they still had a filibuster-proof majority.  The only reason they did not achieve more of their agenda such as amnesty for illegal immigrants is that members of their own party balked at a complete surrender of our heritage.

Fast forward to 2013 and after 3 years of the 2010 Tea Party led re-capture of the House Nancy Pelosi and her troops are chomping at the bit to finish their Evolution and drive the final nails in the coffin of limited government.

Those who wish to stop the mad rush into the arms of an all-embracing Federal Government must register!  They must vote!  They must do all they can to influence anyone and everyone to elect a true veto proof majority with the power and the will to reverse the slide into insolvency, which will trigger either a default upon our overwhelming debt or a collapse of our economy.  Either of which opens the door for the current administration to impose their statist solutions irrevocably altering the nature of the United States.  The name will remain the same but let no illusions of normalcy cloud your sight; this will be a new nation, the Obamanation.

In the coming mid-term elections it is imperative that those who wish to reverse course send a veto- proof majority in both the House and the Senate to Washington or President Obama will block every attempt to return to the traditional American model of limited-government.  And even if this happens the newly awakened Patriots must realize their victory will energize the portion of the country desiring a European-style welfare state.  They must realize just as Truman in 1948 ran against the “Do-nothing Congress” more than against Tom Dewey and Clinton in 1996 ran against the “Mean-spirited” Congress more than against Bob Dole, in 2014  Mr. Obama and his surrogates will run against the “Obstructionist” Congress more than against any individual opponents the Republicans might nominate.

The Town Hall meltdowns of 2009 and the Tea Party phenomenon of 2010 have surged across America as no spontaneous movement has in many years.  The energy and enthusiasm of this grassroots explosion has rocked primaries from Coast-to-Coast.  The political establishment in both parties were bracing for a tsunami of popular indignation at the ballot-box in 2012.  Instead the republicans nominated another Progressive which left the conservative base sitting on the sidelines.

The Republicans managed to hold the House leaving the Democratic Majority Leader to lead well-disciplined troops in blocking every move the Conservatives make, and the media will hang the ensuing deadlock squarely around the neck of the Tea Party.

In 2014 to make sure that the rising Tea Party Samson successfully pulls down both the House and the Senate pillars of the Temple of Progressivism, the novice Conservative political activists need to understand voting is not enough.  We need to exert every ounce of influence among friends, neighbors, and family to bring out an historic vote.  We should stand ready to drive people to the polls, work the polls, do anything we can to plant the flag of Liberty once again in the capital of the Land of the Free and the home of the Brave.

Turning to the Word of God we’re counseled, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  Our Founders declared, when tyranny raises it head, when a government founded to ensure the rights of citizens begins to trample upon those rights their descendants should remember, “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness.”

As peaceful citizens let those who love Liberty use their guaranteed rights to write, speak, assemble, and vote to preserve what we’ve been given for our children and our grandchildren.  Let every politician know, whether they wish us well or ill, that “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”  If we will do this, if now that it’s our time upon the stage we’ll take a stand beside the Founders, the Framers, and the Greatest Generation when our children or grandchildren ask us, “Did you do anything to keep liberty alive? we will be able to say more than, “I didn’t notice what was going on,” or “I couldn’t find the remote.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

Why I am No Longer a Conservative Republican May 3, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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5 comments

Maybe it’s just me but I’m tired of the same old same old in our politics.  The big-box monopoly parties have morphed into two sides of the same coin, two heads on the same bird of prey.  Today our choice boils down to the Conservative Republican tax and spend, infringe personal liberty, and outsource or sovereignty policies or the Liberal Democrat tax and spend, infringe personal liberty, and outsource or sovereignty policies.  But of course, since we don’t want to throw away our vote we must vote for one of the big boys.   Conservative?  Liberal?  Tweedle Dee Or Tweedle Dum?

As a voter I’ve had my Damascus Road experience, the scales have fallen from my eyes, and I have reached the point where I would rather throw away my vote voting for someone who might actually try to find a different way to operate our government besides taxing like the Sun King and spending like a drunken sailor.  (By the way, do you know the difference between how a drunken sailor spends and how the Republicrats spend?  The drunken sailor is spending his own money.)

And what might this different way be?   How about this for radical: let’s return to constitutional government?   WOW!  what a concept.

How did we arrive at the current situation?  James Madison in his speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788 said, “There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.”  We didn’t get here all in one jump.  First the camel said, “Can I just stick my nose in your tent to stay warm?” and finally the generous man found himself out in the cold as the camel settled down for a nice warm nap, one inch at a time.

The compassion of our people built a safety net for those who needed help, and the greed of the lazy have turned it into a hammock.  America, the Land of the Free has turned into America, from each according to their abilities to each according to their need. The willingness to share our heritage has led America to welcome more immigrants each year than the rest of the world combined, and the abuse of our generosity has turned into a migration invasion that threatens to overwhelm us and destroy the future of our children.  Taxes imposed to meet the ever-swelling demands of government have turned into a blatant wealth re-distribution program that makes most pyramid schemes look fair.  Sometimes I think our government looks at a productive citizen as merely a source of residual income.  Or as the ads promise, our leaders lay on the beach of self-importance and our checks just keep pouring in.  We are no longer respected as Citizens.  Instead, we are coveted as consumers, or human capital.

Albert Einstein said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

If we want a different world we have to start at the only place we have the absolute sovereign ability to make a change, we must start with ourselves.

I quit the Republican Party once it was obvious that the Republican majority in Congress I had spent my entire adult life working for was just a change in leadership and not a change in direction.  I quit calling myself a conservative after the second Bush debacle made it obvious that the conservative movement had been hijacked by the neocons and I realized that you can’t defend a captured position.  You can’t conserve what has already been lost.   I realized that we as a people, we as a federation of States need to find a different way.

One thing I know, no one person can do this alone.  No one group can do it.  To make any headway in the face of the electoral monopoly held by the party of power the many third party groups are going to have to coalesce into en effective opposition.  We can’t let divisions divide us any more, egos will have to be suppressed, and we will have to bond together with everyone dedicated to limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.

None of us can roll this big rock up this steep hill by ourselves.  However, together we can.

Winston Churchill said, “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival.  There may be a worse case.  You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

Looking at the increasing speed with which the Progressive regime is building its command and control structure, the future is invading the present at an ever accelerating pace.  Their living document has made the Constitution a dead letter.  Their mixed economy has as many people on the dole as on the job.  The Fed’s printing press is burying us, our children, and their grandchildren taking out a mortgage on lives that haven’t been lived and spending money from taxes on work that hasn’t been done.

We must unite if these United States are to once again become the land of the free and the home of the brave instead of the land of the free lunch and the home of the knave.

Quoting  Ben Franklin, “We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

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