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We Want Our Power Back! March 6, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy.
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The Constitution makes it clear that the power to declare war rests solely with the representatives of the people.  In Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 among a long list of things only Congress is empowered to do rests this long ignored gem, “To declare war.”

Ever since President Truman decided for domestic political reasons that it was more expedient to fight a war in Korea without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress Presidents have abrogated onto themselves the right to take us to war.  Like the divine right monarchs we fought a revolution to escape these imperial presidents commit America to what have become endless wars for peace.

We may be on the verge of an historic debate about who can send American troops into harm‘s way.  Citing section 2(c) of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 the Socialist Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders has joined together with the Senate’s strongest defender of the Constitution, Utah’s Mike Lee, along with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to introduce a resolution calling for an end to America’s support for the Saudi War in Yemen.

For almost three years, we have offered logistical and intelligence support to Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states in Yemen fighting to restore Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s government. Hadi has fled abroad and Houthi forces are attempting to take control of the entire country.  In a symbolic vote in November, the House declared by a tally of 366-30 that U.S. military assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen’s civil war is not authorized. Troops are allowed to fight Al Qaeda, the bill stated, but not Shiite Muslim rebels.  The nonbinding resolution adopted 366-30, does not call for a halt to the American support but publicly acknowledges the Pentagon has been sharing targeting information and refueling warplanes that Saudi Arabia and other allies are using to attack Houthi rebels in a conflict that is widely considered a proxy war with Iran — and a humanitarian disaster.

While mostly symbolic, the House vote was seen as a key victory for members of both parties who believe Congress, which is relegated the power to declare war in the Constitution, needs to reauthorize U.S. military operations overseas, which have expanded to many more countries and conflicts than envisioned a decade and half ago when Congress last voted for the use of force.

The Defense Department’s acting general counsel, William S. Castle sent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a letter criticizing the resolution on Tuesday.  His letter maintains that the U.S. support does not count as “hostilities” because American forces are not having exchanges of fire with the rebels, known as the Houthis, or commanding the coalition. It also suggests that the resolution threatens American authority to combat the local branch of the Islamic State ― and even holds that Congress cannot end the policy because it is the president’s prerogative, adopting an expansive view of presidential control over war-making.

At stake is a debate the likes of which hasn’t been seen in the Senate for decades over how America wages war.

Sanders said Wednesday, “We believe that, as Congress has not declared war or authorized military force in this conflict, the United States’ involvement in Yemen is unconstitutional and unauthorized, and U.S. military support of the Saudi coalition must end.”  Lee said the resolution will allow Congress to reassert its authority over foreign policy by voting on whether to withdraw American forces currently aiding the coalition.

Will it be possible in this day of swamp draining and populist activism to claw back this vital power from a runaway executive branch?  If it is maybe Congress will finally get the backbone necessary to start reigning in the nine black-robed Supremes who think they are the real rulers of the country.   Maybe we’ll finally remind the overlords that it’s We the People who own the sovereignty, we just lent them a little to do some very specific jobs and we want our power back!

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2018 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens


I’ll Try Not to Get Arrested September 5, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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Recently a person I know who saw himself as being in the forefront of the cultural revolution in the 60s and 70s proudly announced he was going to the 50th anniversary of the March   Washington. After his announcement he added the tag line, “I’ll try not to get arrested.”

Let me set the scene. Yes, this person did protest the Vietnam War by burning his draft card and applying and receiving conscientious objector status while going to school not jail. Yes he did turn his back on some traditional America traditions such as Christianity and eating meat. However, he did retain at least two traditions he learned from his family: he has always supported democrats and he is a capitalist.

Of course he would argue vehemently if anyone ever called him a capitalist since he will tell you all day long that he hates capitalists and capitalism. No, he is no capitalist, he is an entrepreneur. According to Dictionary.com “Capitalism is an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.”

Let’s see, my acquaintance is comfortably retired, living on a multimillion dollar private estate in a fashionable area. How did he grab the golden ring? He did it by his own hard work and enterprise. He invented and developed several products; he established a manufacturing company which employed others to do the actual manufacturing and sold enough products to make a living while investing for the future. Then he sold the company and lives on the dividends. But he isn’t a capitalist, he hates capitalism.

I know several people like this. They have reaped the benefits of capitalism yet they hate capitalists. Or as Lenin said, “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

Fifty years ago MLK participated in a march on Washington because Blacks in America were suffering from unprecedented unemployment, unspeakable inner city violence, and unconstitutional government surveillance. Fifty years later with the former revolutionaries of the 60s and 70s secure as the power elite, they have finally delivered unprecedented unemployment, unspeakable inner city violence, and unconstitutional government surveillance for everyone without regard to race, creed or color.

The only way someone could get arrested in today’s Washington ruled by Progressives and the very epicenter of Political Correctness is to counter-demonstrate on the other side of the street from the victorious revolutionaries at the MLK triumphal procession.

It amazes me that they cannot see their own inconsistency. They make a pilgrimage to worship a man who said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” and yet they support racial quotas, set asides and preferential treatment just to make things fair.

This proudly quintessential anti-war crowd now supports a regime that waged an illegal war in Libya and whose chosen leader wants to kick the hornet’s nest in Syria. These are needless wars that resulted in the establishment of Al Qaeda franchises in Libya and who knows what we will see from an attack on Syria.

The people who elected the Watergate Congress, the people who hounded Nixon out of office because they believed he had violated the Constitution now sow blindly supports our Imperial President, the purported constitutional scholar when he says, “Congress doesn’t have a whole lot of core responsibilities.” Yet the Constitution places Congress as first among equals and devotes more space to its powers than to any other branch.

As they used to remind us the powers of Congress include the sole and exclusive power to declare war.

When President Bush took us into what so many Democrats called illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan he sought a debate and received a vote of authorization from Congress. Our over-the-hill revolutionaries held vigils outside Bush’s Texas home and tried to ignite an antiwar movement. Yet when President Obama attacks Libya without even notifying Congress they said nothing.

Now there is a congressional debate over attacking Syria and that is a good thing.  And some are speaking out against a war that doesn’t have anything to do with American national interests.  But where are the limousine liberals?  Are they still supporting a president who is willing to take us to war to put the red in his line?  If they are I pray they remember that red will be the blood of American heroes and what we call so innocently collateral damage.

If you watch the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media tonight you can guess what these perennial revolutionaries will say tomorrow since their personal opinions are plagiarized.

Back during the Vietnam War they were duped into supporting the communists, and now they’re duped into supporting people who want to bring central-planning and eternal surveillance to America.

Is this naivety or hypocrisy? Is this selfless altruism combined with low information? Or is it the self-centered arrogance of people who can be proven wrong time after time yet still believe only they can see the right course.

These aging middle-class capitalists who hate capitalism, these social revolutionaries who live on private estates still see themselves as revolutionaries after they’ve won the revolution. They still worry about getting arrested after their Dear Leaders have taken over control of the police, the IRS, and the NSA. In their 21st Century utopian USSA we find that according  to a Department of Defense training material, “people who embrace “individual liberties” and honor “states’ rights,” among other characteristics, as potential ‘extremists’ who are likely to be members of ‘hate groups.’” In Amerika today the 60s radicals are the establishment and the silent majority has become the outsider.

So while I pray for my acquaintance’s safe return from his pilgrimage, I will keep writing about the need to preserve limited government and I’ll try not to get arrested.

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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