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Tyranny is as Tyranny Does July 11, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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During the recent 4th of July celebration of America’s independence, Hillsdale College, a bastion of constitutional education and a powerhouse in the promotion of liberty, announced a “Read the Declaration” campaign. This campaign encouraged people who were gathered to celebrate the victory of freedom over tyranny to read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety.

Many of our fellow citizens have never read this foundational document. Many who have may have stopped after famous second sentence of the preamble, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” In the Dream Time before political correctness, no child left behind, and the dumbing down of America most of us memorized that sentence in grade school and never forgot it. Sadly many of those same people never read or remembered anything in the document after that sentence. The rest of the Declaration is a litany of the reasons why our ancestors felt that they needed “to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” Or as they expressed it, “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

The litany that sought to enlighten the opinions of mankind was a long list of the grievances they had with the King of Great Britain: George III.

I believe it would be a good exercise to see how many items on this list would make sense today if we substituted “The Federal Government” or “The President” for the “He.”

America was born out of the desire for people to be free from what they perceived to be tyranny.

At this stage in America’s History we seem to have come full circle. That which we rejected at our birth we find encumbering us once again. Through our own indifference we have forged our own chains and allowed the low-information voters to become the majority of those whose votes are counted. Those who should represent the true majority have been sidelined and cast aside almost as subjects in an occupied state. However people are willing to bear with injustice long and to suffer the insufferable in silence. As our ancestors framed it, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Our ancestors finally reached the end of their rope when the stated, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” Obviously we have not reached this state. The tyranny which we face holds the seats of power. It calls itself by the old names and all the old forms are still in place. Just as there was still a Senate in Rome even after Octavian became Augustus.

Looking at our present day litany:

The president refuses to enforce laws duly passed by the legislature and signed by the executive.

The Justice department incites racial division and covertly interferes in the judicial process.

The administration spies on its citizens and mandates that its employees spy on each other with legal penalties for those who fail to report..

The Federal Reserve creates money without any oversight and irreparably damaging the earnings and savings of the American people.

The Federal Government which is charged with protecting every state from invasion has refused to secure our borders and allowed tens of millions of people to enter and stay illegally adversely impacting every aspect of American life.

The IRS has targeted groups and individuals that hold opinions opposing the Obama administration.

The President has made  recess appointments when Congress was in session; he has waged war without Congressional approval or notification, he took an apology tour around the world, he casts our allies aside, and he promotes our enemies.

Look at this long train of abuses and the subjugation of our God-given rights to a capricious and overbearing perpetually re-elected government dominated by two parties that are merely two heads on the same bird of prey. At such a time as this it is good to recall “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or 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.”

A word to the wise they say is sufficient. After 50 years of ringing the bell of liberty I am beginning to wonder.

It is to the preservation of limited government, personal liberty and economic opportunity that we the descendants of the founders, the children of the Framers should “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” and “for the support of this Declaration … mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor.”

Be vigilant in the protection of freedom, 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 © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

The Forbidden Word Impeach February 23, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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What does History tell us about the impeachment of an American President?  It has only happened twice.

Today Lincoln is an icon.  His Roman style temple and oversized statue dominate one end of the National Mall.  But in 1864 he was an embattled president caught in a war he couldn’t win and running against George B. McClellan, a popular general who said he could end it.  Even History was against Lincoln. No president had won a second term in over thirty years.  Mr. Lincoln needed all the allies he could muster to win.  So the first Republicans led by the President tried to split the opposition.  They changed the party name to the National Union Party and chose a Southern Democrat as a running mate.  In a surprise to everyone including Lincoln, he won re-election positioning Johnson one heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

After the worst mistake by a Southern sympathizer since the attack on Fort Sumter, the assassination of Lincoln, Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency and almost immediately ran afoul of the Radical Republicans who had a three to one majority in Congress and who wanted to punish the South.  Johnson was the only Southern Senator to remain loyal to the Union.  He served as the Union imposed military governor of Tennessee until chosen to run for Vice President.   A mere forty one days into Lincoln’s second term Johnson was sworn in.  When he sought to allow the South a path back into the Union that re-imposed limitations upon the freed slaves and ensured the rise of ex-Confederates to power, he was impeached for breaking a law concerning the firing of appointees.  After a contentious trial he was acquitted by one vote.

Johnson and his presidency survived, barely.  He was afterwards relegated to irrelevancy and served as a mere caretaker until General Grant came along to become the face of Reconstruction.  In this first impeachment battle the President was acquitted, but Congress won.

If you ask the average person who lived through the national ordeal President Clinton was impeached because of his scandalous tryst with a young intern in the Oval Office.  Though this was a shameful betrayal of trust, it was not the reason he was impeached.  He was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice in a legal matter that had nothing at all to do with Monica Lewinsky.  And even though Clinton was later found in contempt by a federal judge for lying under oath and was later disbarred for ethical violations it was the leadership of the House that impeached him that paid the political price.  The Senate which on a strict party line vote (all the Progressives voted to acquit), came out relatively unscathed.  Today we are constantly told by the Progressive Press Mr. Clinton is a beloved elder statesman.

Etched upon the memory of the Republican wing of the party of power is the knowledge that unless there is a Senate willing to convict there is no glory in being a House ready to indict.

Republics rise and republics fall.  They rise due to the explosion of creativity and production which always accompanies freedom, and they fall when demagogues convince a majority that they deserve a free ride at the expense of a minority. The good thing about History is that if we are wise enough we can learn from other people’s mistakes.  And if we aren’t going to allow History to instruct us we should at least be wise enough to allow it to warn us.

Our History teaches us that the impeachment process is possible to initiate but difficult to consummate.  So what are we to do if History warns us that what we are witnessing is the fall of our republic?  Have we learned enough from History to navigate our way through to a safe harbor, or are we helpless in the face of a hurricane of transformation?

Due to the information developed by the American intelligence community and the bravery of Navy Seal Team Six we learned that the leader of Al Qaeda, the fraternity of terrorists America finds itself endlessly destroying, was not hiding in a cave.  He was instead living in a compound barely 1,000 yards from the military academy of our principle ally in our decade long undeclared war.  Today’s Hitler is dead, yet the war goes on as if nothing has happened.  We have victory after victory with no conclusion and no peace in sight.

Looking at our current economic and social situation America appears more like an occupied nation than the victor of the Cold War and the sole remaining Super Power on Earth.  Perhaps it is time to conceptualize the idea that our existential enemy is not a rag-tag group of malcontents dedicated to turning back the clock by six centuries.  The enemy that poses a mortal threat to our way of life is instead the homegrown Progressive Movement that has labored for more than a century to subvert our education, corrupt our politics, and evolve their way from constitutionally limited government to central planning and total control.

The visible head of the Progressive Movement today is President Barack Obama.  As portrayed by the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media he is not just an Alinsky style community organizer, he is a constitutional scholar.  We are told endlessly that he was a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago.  Leaving the reality of these claims aside suffice it to say that this constitutional scholar professes to believe that the constitution is a flawed document because it does not provide for positive rights such as guarantees of housing, jobs, etc.  The kind of rights that the constitutions of the Soviet Union did and of Red China does provide its slaves, I mean citizens.  Not to worry our constitutional scholar-in-chief also believes that our Constitution, written to set strict limits on the federal government is a living document that each generation is free to interpret: that is, change at will.

President Obama has presided over the most calamitous decline in American prestige and influence since his fellow Progressive Jimmy Carter disgraced the office.  Mr. Obama’s apology tours, his over-the-top spending which are nothing less than cross generational theft are eclipsed by his blatant assaults upon the very core of his responsibility: the integrity of the Constitution.

The president of the United States is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, but instead Mr. Obama has trampled upon the letter as well as the spirit of this document meant to define the perimeters of federal power.

Unconfirmed Czars rule like potentates over shadow departments dispensing huge budgets while creating a parallel government outside of citizen scrutiny or control.  Appointees at the National Labor Relations Board work at subordinating the nation to organized labor.  A rogue justice department provides guns to Mexican cartels, refuses to prosecute obvious instances of voter intimidation, gives a pass to Islamist groups,  and stonewalls Congress, while aggressively going after peaceful pro-life demonstrators and America’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  They sue states that try to enforce immigration laws they ignore and seek to try the perpetrators of 9-11 in a New York trial that would parade itself through our national consciousness like a Broadway production of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Superstar.

Beyond these abuses of power there are two glaring examples of the type of blatant transgressions of clear constitutional limits which, if not addressed set a precedent that may stand in the future as signs of the times that were missed at the time.  If not addressed, they will point accusing fingers at a generation asleep at the switch when the bounds of limited government were finally breached.

Ruling by decree from Chicago-on-the-Potomac our Leader has taken us to war without even consulting Congress and made recess appointments while Congress was in session.

Mr. Obama has said he can rule without Congress because he can’t wait.  He travels the country at tax payer expense campaigning for four more years to seal the deal, inflaming class warfare, and dispensing government giveaways to buy votes.  These two egregious affronts to the Constitution lie at the feet of the Washington Monument passed over by the media and explained away by the government’s propaganda arm.  And what does the loyal opposition do?  They huff and they puff but actually they do nothing.

Only two Congressmen had the integrity to point out that presidents are not allowed to take us to war by whim. And only one had the courage to point out that making high level appointments without Senate confirmation while the Senate is in session is more than bad form: it is unconstitutional and more compatible with a dictatorship than a republic.

We stand before the yawning maw of collectivism presided over by a self-proclaimed transformational president seeking to change us from what we have been to what he thinks we should be.  Mr. Obama is supported by what amounts to a personality cult in the media and a legion of fellow citizens addicted to either distributing or receiving the dole.  The Republican candidates are standing in a circular firing squad working hard at allowing the Progressive Media make them look like the bar scene from Star Wars.  At the same time the media gives the President a pass for everything from gas prices to artificially deflated unemployment figures.  If America as we have known her is to survive, we must elect a Congress with enough courage and enough votes to do what must be done.  The Congress we have now is passive in the face of serial provocations and outright illegality.  They will not call Mr. Obama to account on anything so he feels free to do everything.

If he wins again we all lose unless we replace those who merely go along to get along with those who are willing to speak the forbidden word…Impeach!

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

 

2012 What Will It Be January 5, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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The professional doom peddlers would have us believe that because a certain Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 the world is going to end.  With a bang or with a whimper they aren’t sure, but if you will just buy their book, CD, DVD, cruise, or survival pack the end of the world will somehow be better.

I’m not sure how making piles of more money just before the world is going to end makes a great deal of sense, but then again I’m not wise enough to know the world is going to end with enough lead time to produce my spiffy world ending products that people can buy on credit so what do I know?

Even the Mayans have been caught up in the world ending money making marketing frenzy.  They are hosting tours and throwing a year-long party even though they know, and they used to point out, that the apocryphal reference in one ancient calendar actually refers to the end of an age not the end of the world.  And the big secret anyone who has studied Mayan culture knows and the doomsday charlatans don’t want us to share is that the Mayans actually had numerous calendars and they don’t all agree.  The so-called long calendar is reset to day 0 every 1,872,000 days.  This is known as The Great Circle.  The next reset date is December 21, 2012.   Many cultures believe in ages. Even presumably educated, though not commercially prophetic, Historians speak of the Age of Enlightenment, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, etc.

The charlatans pontificate about the advanced astronomical calculations of the Mayans.  It is true they made accurate astronomical observations and for their time were one of the most advanced pre-telescope cultures on earth.  However their understanding of these observations was not along the lines of modern cosmology which is the study of the physical universe considered as a totality of phenomena in time and space.  It was less Astronomy and more Astrology.  Ultimately the fact that one of the Mayan calendars ends this year is about as relevant to the unfolding of reality as the fact that this is also the year of the Dragon according to the Chinese calendar.  This isn’t prophecy it is Profit-cy and the theme song of this cottage industry is the cha-ching of the cash register.

And while the calendar hanging on my wall says, “Don’t Step in the Leadership” which aptly describes what we have experienced for the last few decades. Any calendar’s predictive value for 2012 shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

So what does 2012 hold?  Will it be boom or will it be doom?  Will it be morning in America or will it be mourning in America?  Will we reclaim our place in the sun or will we continue our precipitous slide into the dustbin of History?  The answer to all these questions is the same: it depends.

It depends on whether the American electorate once again allows their hope for change to lead them to the hopelessness of more of the same.  Or will we rise above faction, self-indulgence and the mass hypnosis of demagogues and demand that our beloved nation return to its roots.  Will we demand that our government is once again limited, our liberties secure, and our economy free or will we fall for the siren song of “Spreading the wealth around” and sink into the morass of collectivism that has swallowed the hope of millions?

Looking to the Left all we see is the ultimate realization of the Progressive’s generational dreams of a centrally-planned regimented society based upon the dictum of “From each according to the ability to each according to their need.”  All we can look forward to under a second Obama Administration is a continued slide into the shoddy future of redistribution, political correctness, and loss of international prestige.

Somewhere amongst the challengers, the Republicans must find someone who is ready to re-invigorate the Constitution limiting government and securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.  Somehow the Republicans must see through the smoke and mirrors of the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media attempting to pick a suitable second place finisher to their previously chosen leader.

Even before the election we are faced with a power-grab by the administration of staggering proportions.

First there is the 2012 Defense Appropriations Bill ( NDAA 2012) which contains an amendment allowing the use of the military to arrest and confine American citizens indefinitely if they are accused of being a terrorist or of supporting terrorism.

As we look upon the Constitution voiding legislation passed as part of the NDAA 2012, it should be pointed out, though President Obama threatened to veto the bill, according to the amendment’s co-sponsor Sen. Carl Levin the controversial language inserted into the bill were lobbied for by the Obama White House.  This was a bi-partisan effort to gut the effectiveness of the 4th and 5th amendments, the other co-sponsor being, Republican John McCain once again reaching across the aisles to limit American freedom.

As bad as this monstrous bill is it was accompanied by a signing statement.   President Obama’s use of signing statements continues the George W. Bush legacy of de facto rule by “executive fiat.”   Often signing statements declare the intent of the executive to interpret laws in directions they were never intended to go.  At times they are used to in effect nullify the very laws just signed.   Further, Barack Obama has backtracked on his campaign promise not to use signing statements and executive orders to circumnavigate legislation signed into law.

What this inside-the-beltway maneuvering means is that President Obama has signed a law which gives him the power to detain indefinitely American citizens arrested on American soil, a provision he lobbied for while ingenuously criticizing.  He has issued a signing statement which acknowledges the receipt of the power he sought while promising not to use it for “military” detention.  Some are calling this the martial law bill instead of the NDAA 2012.  Whatever you call it, its implications are chilling, and I must admit I never thought I would live to see such a blatant assault upon our constitutional liberties introduced let alone passed in the Congress of the United States and signed by an American president.

Some have recently told this observer when discussing the unconstitutional aspects of this new federal power, “If they’re terrorists lock them up and throw away the key.”  How could such a provision affect you?   As one recent headline tells us, “Woman allegedly accuses man with Arabic surname of terrorist plane threat after he ends 4-day fling.”  Who might accuse who of what, might end up being a new question in a fundamentally transformed America.

Then there is President Obama’s decision to rule without Congress.  He has announced this intention repeatedly as part of his “We can’t wait” offensive.

He is now beginning to make recess appointments while Congress is still in session.  If this is allowed to stand the limits to the president’s power will be hard to locate.  He has taken us to war without Congress, he appoints without Congress, what is it that he cannot do?

We don’t need Mayan calendars or other gimmicks used by the doom and gloom profit seekers to tell us that 2012 may well spin out of control on many fronts.

Nothing sums up the Federal spending addiction which is driving us off the cliff better than the comment a Postal worker recently made to this observer after moaning about the possible closing of their tiny rural post office due to shortfalls in the USPS budget, “They print money don’t they?  Why don’t they just print some more?”

2012, a President determined to rule without Congress, no end to the spending in sight, legislation which could easily turn into martial law, an election choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.   2012 what will it be: boom or doom?  Will it be rebirth or revolution?  The choices we make, in this the most decisive election of our generation, will decide which way we go.  Will we re-limit our government, or will we be swallowed by a bloated federal government?

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 © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

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