Category Archives: supreme court

If We Only Had a Constitution

United_States_ConstitutionWe are learning today what it is like to live in a Democracy without a Constitution; and it is not pretty. No Democracy has ever lasted more than two hundred years before falling into chaos to be replaced by a tyrannical oligarchy headed by a “strong man” dictator. We have lasted a little longer only because of the lingering influence of the Constitution we once had. In a non-constitutional Democracy, or in our case, a post-constitutional Democracy, politicians have to give the majority of the people whatever they perceive it wants in order to hold onto power. This arrangement only lasts until the government has grown powerful enough that it no longer needs the approval of the people to stay in power. At that point, messy elections can be dispensed with, and the newly minted “leader” can rule by fiat until the next successful revolution.

Imagine how different things would be today if we had not abandoned our Constitution. We would not be sixteen trillion dollars in debt because the government would only be allowed to spend money for things the Constitution delegated as its responsibility. We would not be spending four million dollars to send our President on a Hawaiian holiday, because all expenditures would have to be first appropriated by the House of Representatives, and approved by the Senate for that particular purpose, with an accounting made to Congress and the people. The President would not be allowed to issue “Executive Orders” with the force of law, affecting the every day lives of the American people.

Federal laws would only be made by the federal legislature. Courts would not be making laws telling us how and when we can pray, or how we should educate our children.  Bureaucracies would not be issuing “rules” to tell us what kind of light bulb we should use, what kind of transportation we should buy, or what we should eat or drink and how much. Bureaucratic activity would be only what is needed to administer the specific laws written by Congress. Those bureaucracies and departments not established under the delegated powers of Congress would not exist. Our doctors would not have to consult with government to know how to treat our illnesses. Business failure or success would not be dependent on favorable laws by government; the market would determine what goods and services were needed and how much we were willing to pay for them.

We would have more control over the laws governing how we live because they would be made by our state and local legislative bodies whose members are within easy reach and more sensitive to our wishes. Laws passed would be more in keeping with the values of the community, not the values of politicians who had never set foot in our state, much less our community. We would not be working forty percent of our lives to supply the government with money used to buy the votes of its government-created dependents. Our tax burden would only be what is needed to carry out the delegated powers of government. Our schools would not be used to indoctrinate our children in statism and immorality, because they would be under our control and community supervision. Our teachers would consider their jobs a “calling” not a career and would teach for the love of teaching and not for fringe benefits.

Ah, for the good-old-days when America was ruled by law and not the whims of men; and those laws could be written in a few paragraphs easily understandable by the average person with a workable knowledge of the language and a good dictionary; when all laws flowed from the Supreme Law of the Land and not from the desire of “do-gooders” who believe that we all should live in a two-tier society made up of the ruling elites and the worker drones who subsist on the largess of government. Is it possible that liberty, once lost, can ever be regained? Let us pray that it can.

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The Progressive Mind: Socialist Planning for America

By Corliss Lamont

In this segment Mr. Lamont presents a hypothetical plan for the establishment of a central planning system for the entire nation. While this was written in 1939 and obviously did not materialize as he planned, the Lamont plan is only one of many that have been produced, over the years, by different socialist organizations like the Socialist Party USA, The Communist Party USA, The Democratic Socialist of America, and others. None of these plans have been realized in their entirety. The ones coming closest are Education and now Health Care. Tentative steps toward banking and manufacturing control were made with TARP and the GM bailout. You will notice, however, that the vast bureaucratic shadow government that manages our economy has many of the same characteristics as those foreseen by Lamont.

If Barack Obama is reelected to another four-year term, there is no doubt he will keep moving the nation in a direction similar to that advocated by Lamont.  The process of transitioning from capitalism to socialism will not be as smooth or as peaceful as that pictured by Lamont but in the end will be just as thorough, unless the trend is reversed by the American people. The hypothetical election date of 1952 chosen by Lamont could very well turn out to be 2012, with the first four-year plan ready to go into operation by 2016 or 2020. The two assumptions mentioned by Lamont, Congress and the Supreme Court do not look nearly as farfetched today as they did a few years ago. Think about that as you read the article.

Socialist Planning for America
To make the picture of Socialist planning more concrete, let us visualize how it would work out in a definite country. And let us take as an example our own U. S. A. Suppose that in the elections of 1952 or sometime thereafter the American people elect a President and a substantial majority in Congress [2008] pledged to establish Socialist planning throughout the country. Let us assume, furthermore, that the Supreme Court declares the legislative measures of the planning Party constitutional [Obamacare] or that they are promptly made so through amendment of the Constitution at [FOAVC] special state conventions. Leaving aside for the moment a discussion of the necessary transitional steps and without pretending to any finality, let us see what the pattern of American Socialist planning would in general be like.

Apart from the political field, the key organization in the American planning system, as in any other, would be the National Planning Commission, with headquarters at Washington, D. C. The President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, chooses the eighteen members of the Executive Council of this Commission, including its Chairman, who sits as a member of the Government Cabinet. The appointments are non-political and are made from among experts especially qualified by wisdom and experience to deal with broad social and economic problems. The Commissioners are to regard themselves as trustees of the public interest. They will each receive salaries of $15,000 a year, except the Chairman, who will draw $20,000. [in 1939 dollars]

Each of the Commissioners heads one of the eighteen different Divisions into which the Commission is organized. These Divisions, together with some of their more prominent Sections, are as follows:

Heavy Industry,
Steel
Machinery
Housing
Timber, Etc.
Light Industry
Clothing
Footwear
Furniture
Motor Vehicles
Finance
Banking and Currency
Capital Investment
The Budget
Taxation
Transportation
Railroads
Motor Transport
Air Transport
Shipping (Domestic)
Communications
Telephone
Telegraph
Radio [TV, Internet]
Post Office
Distribution
Retail Trade
Storage
Co-operatives
Consumers’ Needs
Social Welfare
Unemployment Insurance
Pensions
Public Health
Recreation
Education
Primary Schools
Secondary Schools
Technical Institutes
Colleges and Universities
Culture
The Arts
Motion Pictures
Science and Invention
The Press
Fuel and Power
Coal
Oil
Electricity
Gas [add bio, solar, nuclear, wind, etc.]
Agriculture
Cotton
Wheat
Dairy
Livestock
Conservation & Reclamation
Forests
Soil
Sub-soil Deposits
Flood Control
Foreign Trade
Exports
Imports
Merchant Marine
Foreign Exchange
Defense
Army
Navy
Air Force
Munitions
Labor
Wages and Hours
Workers’ Safety
Employment Exchange
Women Workers
Statistics & Research
Industrial
Agricultural
Population
Social Trends
Organization
Education of Planning Experts
Personnel
Coordination
Inter-Divisional Problems
Public Relations

The functions of all but the last two of the Divisions are clear enough from their names. The Organization Division has charge of managing and selecting the personnel of the Commission, which employs as trained statisticians or technical experts at least a thousand persons, as well as thousands of ordinary clerical workers. Appointment to a responsible position on the Planning Commission or the numerous subordinate commissions throughout the country is on a civil service basis. Only men and women who have fulfilled certain definite requirements are eligible for appointment. And one of the chief tasks of the Organization Division is to ensure the proper training of planning experts in a special Government institution or in already existing colleges and universities, which will establish special courses or graduate work for those who are aiming to enter the profession of planning.

The Co-ordination Division, the head of which is always the Chairman of the entire Commission, has the crucial task of constructing and synthesizing the final National Plan from the figures and projects submitted by the other Divisions and by the various sub-commissions throughout the country. It also oversees the relations between the National Commission and the Government, and through its Public Relations Section takes care of all publicity work for the Commission.

The Plans drawn up by the National Planning Commission and its subordinate commissions, while tremendously important and influential, are by no means final. Bills embodying the National Plans must be passed by Congress and signed by the President. They are subject to debate, criticism, and amendment like all other measures brought before the Senate and the House of Representatives*. Since, moreover, the Commission is not an administrative body, its different Divisions, except those of Statistics & Research and Organization, must be matched in the national Government by corresponding administrative Departments, each of which has a planning board within it as one of its Bureaus. This naturally entails a considerable amount of reorganization in the structure of the Federal Government. The Departments of State and of Justice alone will retain their present set-up. *[Ed. Note: We know by our experience with the bureaucracies and the President’s tzars how this will work]

Each of the forty-eight states in the Union has its own Planning Commission, of which the ten members are appointed by the Governor. Each of the territories and dependencies, such as Alaska and Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and the Canal Zone, also has its separate Planning Commission; and in addition there is a special Regional Commission with responsibility for them all. There are also nine regional Planning Commissions covering various states as groups according to the following arrangement:

New England Region
The six New England states; Headquarters at Boston
Middle Atlantic Region
New York down through West Virginia; Headquarters at New York City
South Atlantic Region
Maryland to Georgia, including Kentucky and Tennessee; Headquarters at
Atlanta
Gulf Region
Florida west to Louisiana and Arkansas; Headquarters at New Orleans
Great Lakes Region
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan; Headquarters at Chicago
Great Plains Region
Wisconsin in the east to the Dakotas in the west and Missouri and Kansas in the south; Headquarters at Des Moines
Southwest Region
Texas to Arizona Headquarters at Dallas
Rocky Mountain Region
Six mountain states with Montana in the north, Colorado in the south and Nevada in the West; Headquarters at Denver
Pacific Region
California, Oregon and Washington; Headquarters at San Francisco

Within the states each county and each city has its own Planning Commission. And in the more sparsely settled agricultural districts every unit of population amounting to 10,000 or more has a commission.

There are also Planning Commissions for each industry as a whole and for each sub-division of each industry. For instance, the entire steel industry as a unit has its Planning Commission; the various regional steel trusts, of course publicly owned and operated, likewise have their separate commissions; as does each substantial producing unit within each trust. Finally there exist planning committees in each factory and even in each shop of each factory.

Thus, all of the workers [unions] in a steel factory combine to put through a plan for that unit; all the factories in a certain district combine to put through a central plan for the steel trust of which they are part; all the trusts combine to put through a plan for the steel industry as a whole; and then the steel industry itself, the coordinating centers of which are a Division of the Planning Commission and a Department of the Government, combines with every other industry and economic activity to put through a balanced Plan for the entire country. The geographical planning bodies operate on the same principle, that is, from the smaller up through the larger. The cities’ plans fit into that of the county, the counties’ into that of the state, the states’ into that of the region, and the regions’ into that of the entire country.

Planning under Socialism is, then, a complex process embodying three different but intimately related aspects. All of the plans are, in the first place, plans over a definite period of time. Taking the presidential term in America as an appropriate time-span, our Commission adopts for the nation a First Four-Year Plan, a Second Four-Year Plan, a Third Four-Year Plan and so on. Inside these Four-Year Plans there are one-year, quarterly and even one-month plans.

In the second place, there is the geographic aspect of the plans. Besides the country as a whole, each region, state, county and city has its own four-year and one-year plan. In the third place, there is the functional aspect of the plans as applied to each industry and its sub-divisions. These three fundamental aspects of planning the temporal, the geographic and the functional are thoroughly integrated by the National Planning Commission in each big Four-Year Plan.

It is this Commission that welds together in one vast, integrated, long-range Plan all the minor plans and reports of all the various regions, states, counties, cities, industries, factories, distribution units, and cultural organizations throughout the entire United States. It is this Commission which takes the thousand and one estimates pouring in from all parts of the country and correlates them into the considered and rational whole which constitutes a National Plan.

It is this Commission at Washington which from week to week, from month to month, from year to year, casts its all-seeing eye over the economic activities of the nation and shifts the schedules within the Plan to keep pace with new and unforeseen developments. America’s First Four-Year Plan will need careful and extensive preparation before it can be put into effect. If our planning Party is victorious in the national elections of November, 1952, it will have two months of leeway before the new President and Congress come into office in the first week of January, 1953. Accordingly, it can be expected to have ready for action by Congress bills empowering the Government to take over at once a few key enterprises such as the railroads, communications, fuel and power, and most important of all the banks. Provision will be made for appropriate compensation of the owners over what must necessarily be a long period of years. The planning Party will also submit bills establishing the general structure of the planning system and giving very general estimates of what is to be accomplished during the First Four-Year Plan. I expect that the complete functional activation of existing capacity will be the main productive goal of this period.

Eight months later, September 1, 1953, the National Planning Commission will be ready with a preliminary draft, giving detailed figures and measures for the First Four-Year Plan. During the next three months this draft will be published abroad throughout the land and given the widest kind of publicity in newspapers, magazines, radio programs, public meetings, educational institutions, scientific institutes and other organs of public opinion. At the same time the Planning Commission will send out to all subordinate planning organizations the provisional quotas to be fulfilled in the geographical or
functional sectors for which they are responsible. Thus, the preliminary Plan will be discussed and criticized from one end of the country to another both by the public in general and by the specific planning, economic, and cultural agencies concerned in translating it into actuality. “How can we improve the Plan?” will become a nation-wide slogan.

By December 1, the various planning units, after careful consideration and in light of whatever suggestions have been made, will return revised drafts to the Planning Commission. During the next six weeks the Commission will proceed, after receiving all available information and criticism from its sub-commissions and other sources, to draw up a final Plan for presentation to Congress in the middle of January, 1954. Congress will then thoroughly discuss the Plan according to its regular procedures and will undoubtedly amend it to some degree. We can probably count on having the President’s signature on the final congressional planning bill by May 1, 1954, so that it can become definitely operative at the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1.

This means that the First Four-Year Plan (ending June 30, 1957) will be in operation as a completed and functional whole for only three years out of the full period. There is no way of avoiding this, however, for the first National Plan ; but the second will overcome any time-lag and will go into effect July I, 1957. All of the Plans will begin and end with the regular fiscal year. The Planning Commission will release its preliminary draft of the Second Four-Year Plan (1957-1961) on July 1, 1956, to run the gamut of public opinion. Its final version it will have ready promptly on January 1, 1957, for submission to Congress. The Commission will not wait for the formal completion of one Four-Year Plan before starting to draw up estimates for the next; and this preparatory work will ordinarily begin a full year before each Plan is due for presentation to Congress.

The standard-of-living goal for each family of four at the end of the First Four-Year Plan will be an annual minimum of $5,000 [1939$] in consumers’ values, including those made available by the extension of free government services. This goal will be achievable through the full utilization of our present labor supply, taking in the able-bodied unemployed but totally ruling out child labor, on the basis of a seven-hour day, a five-day week and a yearly holiday of three weeks. The minimum mentioned would be even higher if the new regime were able to eliminate America’s soaring defense and armament expenditures.

In any case, my $5,000 estimate by no means adequately represents the advantages which the American people will enjoy under Socialist planning. For it is impossible to evaluate in financial terms even the physical gains which will, for instance, accrue to the urban masses when they all live in houses or apartments which have plenty of room, good light and fresh air. And it is also out of the question to put a definite money value on the immense psychological boons which Socialism will bring, especially through insuring everyone a job and eliminating the chief economic worries of the present.

One of the most important problems that our planning experts will have to face is that of procuring trustworthy data on the capacities and needs of the various areas and of the country as a whole. It is not possible even to start planning without some such data; yet it is not possible to obtain complete and reliable data until planning is well under way. For only an organization like the National Planning Commission, with its hundreds of subordinate agencies in different localities and economic enterprises throughout America, is equipped to gather in and organize all the necessary statistics. The Commission’s own Division of Statistics & Research plays a central role here. Thus as planning makes headway, we shall see a steady improvement and enlargement of the statistical base, making the intricate network of economic forces more and more measurable and bringing about what has aptly been called by economists complete economic visibility.

In regard to this important matter of statistics, Socialist planning in America will not, as in Soviet Russia, have to start almost from scratch. For there already exist here a number of agencies, both public and private, which are constantly building up the kind of statistical knowledge that planning demands as a foundation. In the public field the most useful of these is the National Resources Planning Board, formerly called the National Resources Committee, which has published a number of volumes particularly pertinent to the subject of planning. Then we have the reports of the numerous local planning organizations, there being in the U. S. A. at present [1939] no less than 42 state planning boards, 400 county and over 1,100 municipal all with very limited powers, of course.

In addition, each of the main Departments of the Federal Government carries on vital fact-finding activities, outstanding in this respect being the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Standards, both under the Department of Commerce; the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the U. S. Public Health Service, both under the Treasury Department; the Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the Department of Labor; the Bureau of Home Economics, under the Department of Agriculture; and the Geological Survey, under the Department of the Interior. There has also been established recently at Washington a Central Statistical Board to render information and advice in the working out of inter-departmental problems. Under private auspices we find the substantial studies issued by the Brookings Institution and the Russell Sage Foundation, the reports of well-known research bodies such as the National Bureau of Economic Research and the National Industrial Conference Board, and the regular publications of organizations for the protection of the consumer such as the Consumers Union.

A huge aggregate of carefully organized and up-to-date statistics is as essential for the carrying out of a Four-Year Plan as for its preparation. For the National Planning Commission must keep informed on the progress or lack of progress that is being made throughout the country. For this reason the vast network of sub-commissions send into it frequent reports, at least once every two weeks. And the Commission has the duty, which is also an opportunity, of constantly revising the Four-Year Plans in the light of the specific situation at the beginning of each year, each quarter and each month. Whatever changes the Commission recommends to the Government Departments empowered to put them into effect, must of course fit in with the general perspectives laid down by the original Four-Year Plan, but need not conform exactly to the original figures.

These periodic readjustments are essential because in large-scale and long-range planning there are sure to occur both under-fulfillments and over-fulfillments. Then, too, it is perfectly obvious that a Planning Commission, even if composed of the wisest men in the world, is bound to make some miscalculations. Moreover, there exist certain factors which the most flawless technique of planning can hardly anticipate: weather conditions, for example, affecting the fortunes of crops throughout the country; new inventions and new discoveries of mineral wealth, affecting the progress of industry and agriculture; the movement of world prices, affecting payments for needed imports; and the whole international situation, affecting the day-to-day psychology of the people and the proportion of the industrial plant which has to be geared to defense. All of these reasons combine to make intelligent flexibility a natural and fundamental principle of social-economic planning in the dynamic and ever-changing society of today; the notion that Socialist planning implies some sort of strait-jacket thrown over the life of the people is very wide of the mark.

It is most important to note that the planning procedures which I have in mind make ample allowance for local initiative. The idea behind Socialism is not to set up a group of dictatorial supermen who sit in Washington and hand down orders to the rest of the country, but to provide for continuous and democratic interaction between the local planning units and the ones higher up, between the organizations on the circumference and those at the center. Within the framework of the National Plan it is possible and indeed highly desirable to give a good deal of leeway to the lower planning and administrative agencies in working out the details for their own particular sectors and in making final decisions on matters of primarily local significance. The National Planning Commission or the Federal Government steps in only if decisions seem to violate or disturb in some way the objectives and schedules of the National Plan.

Naturally enough, our Socialist planners are going to take full advantage of that bigness and concentration which is so marked a characteristic of American industry; and of the collectivism which objectively exists today in the form of mass concentration of workers in the factories, of extensive trade-union organization, and of the far-flung collective controls of corporate enterprise. A Socialist regime would find many problems solved in advance if it proceeded, for example, to take over the steel industry. For steel in the U.S.A., with a handful of monopolies ruling the roost, is already unified to such an extent that the step to total unification required by Socialist planning would be comparatively easy. And the same point holds true for a number of other basic industries. Indeed, if the present managements of these industries could be trusted to administer them faithfully on behalf of a Socialist commonwealth (and this is a very big if), they could be left substantially in charge.

Undoubtedly, in some cases concentration has already gone too far for the highest efficiency. There is such a thing as administrative breakdown from sheer bulk. But the unification intended by Socialism does not rule out decentralization in production. The over-concentration of industries in urban areas, resulting in crowded living conditions, bad air and lack of decent recreational facilities, is one of the first things which Socialist planning aims to rectify. The principle to be followed throughout is that of the greatest possible degree of decentralization and autonomy consistent with nation-wide co-ordination.

The final guarantee that local initiative will flourish under Socialism is that in the last analysis the drawing up and execution of any social-economic plan depends on individuals. The extent to which the beautiful blueprint of a Four-Year Plan is written into concrete material and cultural achievement rests upon the initiative and intelligence and energy of the workers and farmers, the technicians and professional people, throughout the length and breadth of America. Without their unceasing co-operation and support every Plan must fail. Hence the Public Relations Section of the National Commission has the vital task of educating every category of the population on the fundamentals of planning and of arousing their enthusiasm concerning the objectives and possibilities of the Four-Year Plans.

It must bring to every individual an understanding of his part in the total planning set-up and the connection between his own function and that of others. And this in itself constitutes one of the outstanding benefits of Socialist planning, since everyone in the community becomes able to see how and why his job fits into the larger scheme of things and to feel a significance and dignity in his work that was seldom present before. In this way central planning for the whole nation brings central planning into the activity of each person, pulling together the conflicting strands of his nature and making of them a
potent unity.

Socialist planning, carried out in America in the American way, will present to the citizens of this country the greatest challenge they have ever had. Limited as war planning was in the U. S. and destructive as was its objective, it did show that the theory and practice of nation-wide planning is not something entirely alien to the American genius. It is my firm opinion that under Socialism all the idealism and practical engineering technique for which America is so noted, freed at last from the shackles of the profit system, will have unprecedented opportunity for fulfillment in projects of almost unlimited scope and grandeur. There will be no lack of tasks to appeal to the imagination and ambition of new generations. And the American people in their boundless energy will sweep forward to conquer new heights of economic and cultural achievement.

Also See
Introduction to the Progressive Mind
The Progressive Mind, Part 1: Social Planning for Abundance

2012 Election Is Only the First Step

As a Constitution Conservative, I take a back seat to no one when it comes to defending the Constitution. In fact, I go much further than most conservatives do. I believe the Philadelphia Convention, and the thirteen state ratifying conventions were all done under the superintending providence of God. Therefore, I also believe that our founding documents contain God’s plan for the governing of America. Even a casual survey of American history clearly shows that whenever we deviate from that plan we pay a dear price in political turmoil and economic hardships.

It is imperative for the survival of the Republic that Mitt Romney be elected in November. Obama has to be turned out of office before he completes his mission to “fundamentally transform America” — if it is not too late already. Romney is the only alternative available at this time. However, we must not be misled into believing that electing Romney is going to turn things around overnight. Throughout his political life, Romney has been a follower, not a leader. That is not going to change automatically when he gets in the White House.

Furthermore, Romney has not exhibited a firm grasp of the Constitution during his campaign for the Presidency. For example, he has promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Millions of voters will cast their ballot for him based on that promise. However, when he makes it, he is being disingenuous. The President does not repeal legislation, only Congress can do that. Even Romney knows that much about the working of our government, therefore, he is being disingenuous with the American people when he makes the promise. What he should say is, “on my first day in office I will urge Congress to repeal Obamacare as its first order of business.”  That he can do.

He also says frequently, “On my first day in office I will, by executive order, issue waivers to the states exempting them from having to enforce the provisions of Obamacare.” (Paraphrased) Here he is violating at least two clear provisions of the Constitution. Executive Orders, in the sense he is using the term, carries the weight of law. The very first sentence in the body of the Constitution, First Article, First Clause, clearly states, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Executive Orders, other than administrative orders directed to employees of the Executive Branch directly in the President’s chain-of-command, are unconstitutional.

When he indicates that he will not enforce Obamacare as President, he is in effect, saying that he and he alone will decide what the law is. Unfortunately, the same conservatives who condemn Chief Justice Roberts and the Obama Justice Department for making one-man decisions concerning which laws to enforce or what the law is in the first place, are the same conservatives that are cheering Romney on in his promises. Far too many critical decisions are made in our government by one person, whether it is the President, a bureaucratic Czar, or the “swing vote” on the Supreme Court. This has to stop, and should never be encouraged by a Constitution Conservative, whether or not we agree with the intended outcome.

One of the most overlooked sentences in the Constitution is found in the last sentence of Article II, Section 3, “He (the President) shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed…”  This is one of the few specific duties of the President spelled out in the Constitution. Whether we like it or not, Obamacare was passed by Congress and signed by the President, therefore, it is the law and the President is responsible for its execution.

However, it is not the law of the land. Article VI, paragraph two says, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby,” Notice, it is the Constitution itself that is the Supreme Law of the Land, not the opinions of the Supreme Court or the acts of Congress when they conflict with the Constitution. One of the first landmark cases of the Supreme Court was Marbury vs. Madison in 1803. Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for the Court, said in his opinion, “a law repugnant to the Constitution is null and void.” Obamacare is not only repugnant to all thinking Americans, it is also repugnant to the Constitution; therefore, it is really no law at all. Nevertheless, until it is repealed by Congress, it is the duty of the President to enforce it. What then, can we do?

To answer that question we have to look to the hierarchy of sovereignty laid out in our Founding documents. In the Preamble to the Constitution which defines the purpose of our federal government, we read, “We the People…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights says, “The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In America, the supreme power resides with the people by natural law, as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. In order to maintain a civil society, the people delegate certain powers to representatives elected by them to serve in the state legislatures that, in turn, are restricted by State Constitutions. In 1774, the people of the original thirteen states formed state governments made up of their elected representatives. Those state legislatures delegated certain powers to the First Continental Congress to form a confederation, primarily for the purpose of conducting the Revolutionary War. In 1786, Congress authorized a convention in Philadelphia for the purpose of strengthening the Articles of Confederation to make them more effective in dealing with issues common to all the states that could not be adequately handled by the states individually. In that Convention, the Constitution was written creating a federal government with limited powers for carrying out a finite number of enumerated responsibilities dealing mostly with national defense and commerce.

In the hierarchy of powers, the federal government as a creation of the Constitution has the least amount of legitimate power, carefully limited to those matters delegated to it by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. In all matters not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, State Law is supreme over federal law. This power structure is not contradicted by the “Supremacy Clause” quoted above in Article VI. Since legislating health care is not one of the enumerated powers given to the federal government by the Constitution, the state legislatures can forbid the enforcement of Obamacare within its jurisdiction. Until it is repealed by Congress– hopefully in January 2013–, it is up to the state governments to prevent its implementation on a state-by-state basis.

While it is the responsibility of every Patriot to vote for Mitt Romney for President in the upcoming election, do not be misled into expecting President Romney to reverse the downward slide of American society without constant prodding from our side. Those patriots who expect to return to their slumber after the November election had better stock up on NoDoze. The real work begins in January of 2013 and we can expect it to continue for at least the next generation if we are to return America to the Constitutional Republic designed by our Founders. While we are attempting to regain control of our federal government, we also have to give serious attention to reforming our state governments. More on that later.

Happy IN-Dependence Day

Courtesy of NetRight Daily

Mitt Romney’s Super Awesome Awe-Inspiring Post Health Care Ruling Speech

I will not challenge Mitt Romney’s business acumen. He has a proven track record of success. However, success in business does not necessarily translate into success in the political arena and Romney’s inability to capture the highly charged emotions rampant across the nation last week was absolutely stunning. I don’t think any of us were expecting the fiery colloquy of Ronald Reagan but Reagan’s number one asset when speaking was the conviction of his words. He believed in what he said because he wasn’t trying to play all sides. That may be good for business, not so much for restoring our government to its’ founding principles.

If you missed it last week and can stay awake through it, I’ve attached a link to Mitt Romney’s super awesome awe-inspiring post health care ruling speech and posted the transcript as well. If you want to understand why every Constitutional conservative and libertarian are in a foul mood between now and November 6, it’s worth know what we hear and do not hear when Mitt Romney speaks.

 “Repeal and replace.”   Repeal sounds great until you realize the President, on his own, has no authority to repeal a law he does not agree with, (Current President aside). He needs a majority in the house and a filibuster proof (60 vote) majority in the Senate to repeal the health care act. It will take all of 2013 and probably a good part of 2014 to pick apart this health care bill piece by piece and he knows it. Hence the lack of conviction. Replace? Replace with what? Classic progressive RINO tactic. “We’re going to get rid of that horrible bill – except for the stuff that makes us look good.” There’s very little conviction in taking a stand against a bill while simultaneously defending parts of it.

“You can choose whether you want to have a larger and larger government, more and more intrusive in your life…”   Or you can choose to have just a larger government, that’s just more intrusive in your life. Slow it down a little. The current President is moving too fast.

What we did not hear in the speech outside of, “I agree with the dissent”, was an absolute admonition of the Supreme Court’s decision. The failure of the court to decide based on the Constitution. How a President Romney would choose a Supreme Court Justice.

Back in April, when Mitt Romney was feeling threatened by Rick Santorum’s improbable run for the nomination, he actually gave a couple of truly inspiring speeches. They were clear, concise and took a hard line on everything from religious freedom to the effect the current administration is having on small businesses and the economy. And then he became the “presumptive nominee”. It’s almost like an Etch-a-Sketch. You can kinda shake it up and start all over again. Right Mitt?

http://youtu.be/sp6d3JBLiAE

 “As you might imagine, I disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision and I agree with the dissent.

What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.

Let’s make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do.

What the court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it’s good policy.

Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It’s bad law today.

Let me tell you why I say that.

Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. Obamacare cuts Medicare – cuts Medicare by approximately $500 billion. And even with those cuts and tax increases, Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt, and pushes those obligations on to coming generations.

Obamacare also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep.

Obamacare is a job-killer. Businesses across the country have been asked what the impact is of Obamacare. Three-quarters of those surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce said Obamacare makes it less likely for them to hire people.

And perhaps most troubling of all, Obamacare puts the federal government between you and your doctor.

For all those reasons, it’s important for us to repeal and replace Obamacare.

What are some of the things that we’ll keep in place and must be in place in a reform, a real reform of our health care system?

One, we have to make sure that people who want to keep their current insurance will be able to do so. Having 20 million people – up to that number of people lose the insurance they want is simply unacceptable.

Number two, got to make sure that those people who have pre-existing conditions know that they will be able to be insured and they will not lose their insurance.

We also have to assure that we do our very best to help each state in their effort to assure that every American has access to affordable health care.

And something that Obamacare does not do that must be done in real reform is helping lower the cost of health care and health insurance. It’s becoming prohibitively expensive.

And so this is now a time for the American people to make a choice. You can choose whether you want to have a larger and larger government, more and more intrusive in your life, separating you and your doctor, whether you’re comfortable with more deficits, higher debt that we pass on to the coming generations, whether you’re willing to have the government put in place a plan that potentially causes you to lose the insurance that you like, or whether instead you want to return to a time when the American people will have their own choice in health care, where consumers will be able to make their choices as to what kind of health insurance they want.

This is a time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that: that we return to the American people the privilege they’ve always had to live their lives in the way they feel most appropriate, where we don’t pass on to coming generations massive deficits and debt, where we don’t have a setting where jobs are lost.

If we want good jobs and a bright economic future for ourselves and for our kids, we must replace Obamacare.

That is my mission, that is our work, and I’m asking the people of America to join me. If you don’t want the course that President Obama has put us on, if you want, instead, a course that the founders envisioned, then join me in this effort. Help us. Help us defeat Obamacare. Help us defeat the liberal agenda that makes government too big, too intrusive, and that’s killing jobs across this great country.

Thank you so much.”

Soldier On Patriots…..

If you consider yourself a Patriot and you’re not feeling anything now, you might want to check your pulse. The last time I felt like I did yesterday, I was in Bentonville, AK September 11, 2001. It was a sick to my stomach feeling that went well beyond what I was seeing on television that day – I knew something had “fundamentally” changed in the country in which I lived. And change it did. It brought about the Patriot Act, Homeland Security Act of 2002 (DHS) and the Transportation Security Agency just to name a few. To this day I have a hard time convincing some “conservatives” of the negative implications this has had and will continue to have on our individual freedoms. Maybe they don’t fly?

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin 1775

We have an Executive in the White House that sidesteps Congress through the use of “executive orders” and over and over again he refuses to enforce the laws that Congress does pass. That’s his job. For those of you that do not carry around a pocket constitution, Article II, Section 3, last sentence “He (the President) shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” It is what we hired him to do. So we’ve got a Legislative branch that has ceded their power and refuses “on the whole” to do anything of value, a President who rules by decree and that last bastion of separation of powers, the Judicial Branch, rewriting the government’s defense in order to push through a law that the majority of Americans do not want. And it’s still unconstitutional! The Sixteenth amendment authorized an income tax. All other authorizations for taxation are spelled out in Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution.

I won’t pretend I didn’t spend more than a couple of hours yesterday wondering what the point to all of this is anymore. All three branches of government are anything but what our founding fathers envisioned as the blueprint for this country. We’re surrounded on all sides by socialist progressives and communists and the rot and decay of progressivism has found its way right to the Constitution of the United States – The very document that the President swore an Oath to protect. And while voting out the President and repealing “Obamacare” are certainly positive steps in the right direction, voting in Mitt Romney and replacing “Obamacare” are not necessarily the answers to our Nation’s problems. I spent much of the day just thinking we’re doomed quite frankly.

And then I remembered a book I read a few years ago by David McCullough, “1776”. I don’t remember the specifics but I remember shaking my head several times through the book thinking, there’s no way we should have become a Nation. We would have a couple of hundred soldiers with rags tied around their feet for shoes surrounded by thousands of the greatest military in the world. The only thing one could hope to expect when they woke up in the morning was a complete and total defeat, death, and yet a storm would come along and save the day or the soldiers would steal away in the middle of the night. Every time it would look like all hope was lost, they would just keep going, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they stood no chance. And that, more than anything our nascent government was doing at the time in Philadelphia, is the reason we’re proud to call ourselves Americans to this day.

And so it’s time to soldier on Patriots. This is not the time to throw our hands in the air and give up. Our emotions cannot get the best of us in either victory or defeat. We’re just getting started. This may be a battle to November but it’s a war for the unforeseeable future. We can’t stop until we’ve forced our government, be they Republican or Democrat, to bring us back to our founding principles. I hope by now you’re fired up and ready for action. Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow’s still ahead of us. Let’s show this Administration whose moving forward.

The Biblical Foundation of Our Constitution

By Publius Huldah
The English Puritans who came here in the 1630s knew that the Old Testament has a great deal to say about civil government. And they came to build thatshining city on a hill.

They did not come here to escape from the World, to wait for the end of the World, and to surrender it to evil.

And so – we became a shining city on a hill. The fundamental act of our Founding, the Declaration of Independence, recognizes the Creator God as the Source of Rights;1 and acknowledges that the purpose of civil government is simply to “secure” the Rights God gave us. The Constitution we subsequently ratified was based on God’s model of civil government as set forth in the Bible.

That is why our Country was so much better than what the rest of the World has been.  For the most part, we followed God’s model for civil government; other countries didn’t.

The blessing which flows from God’s model is limited civil government which is under The Law. That is why our Liberty Bell quotes Lev. 25:10 – “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof.”

In this paper, I will show you Six Principles which come from the Bible and how our Framers applied them. In a future paper, I will show you Six Biblical Principles Thomas Jefferson listed in the Declaration of Independence, and how those Principles are also incorporated into our Constitution.

1. The Civil Authorities are under the Law. 

The Bible: God is The Lawmaker – the kings are to apply God’s Law. 2

  • Deut. 17:18-20: The king is to write out a copy of God’s Law. He is to have it by him and read from it all his life so that he may keep, observe, and apply it.
  • 1 Kings 2:1-4:  King David on his deathbed tells Solomon he must conform to God’s ways, and observe his statutes, commandments and judgments, as written in the Law of Moses.

The parallel in our Constitution is that the Constitution is the Supreme Law which the civil authorities are to obey.

Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines “constitution”:

“…In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution.” [boldface added]

Our Constitution is the Standard by which the validity of all Acts of Congress, all acts of the Executive Branch, all judicial opinions, and all Treaties is measured and judged (Art. VI, cl. 2).

Do you see?  Law comes from a higher source than the civil authorities. The “Rule of Law” prevails when the civil authorities obey that higher Law – be it God’s Law or our Constitution.

Tyrants, on the other hand, claim that they are the source of law.  The Roman Caesars, Stalin, Hitler, the dictator of N. Korea and Obama all claim that their  will is “law”. Consider Obama’s usurpatious executive orders and rules made by his executive agencies. This is the “Rule of Man” – when the civil authorities deny they are subject to a higher law (be it God’s Law or the Constitution), and hold that their will is “law”.

2. Civil Government has only limited and defined Powers:

The Bible: When you read through the Old Testament, you see that civil government is limited to:

  • Military matters
  • Enforcement of only a few of God’s Laws – the laws to which a penalty for violation is attached (laws against murder, theft, bearing false witness, negligence, etc.).
  • Judges are available to decide disputes between the people.

Most of God’s Laws are a matter of individual and family self-government (e.g., charity, family welfare, education, don’t drink too much, work hard).

The parallel in our Constitution is that it is one of enumerated powers only:

All other powers (except those listed at Art. I, §10) are retained by the States or the People. Self-government” means that as individuals, we govern ourselves in accordance with the laws of God [or the “Natural Law”].  It doesn’t mean that we elect representatives to manage our lives for us!

Tyrants claim the power to do whatever they want.

3. Civil Government is divided into Three Parts:

The Bible: Isaiah 33:22 says The Lord is our “judge”, “lawgiver”, and “king”!

The parallel in our Constitution is that the federal government is divided into three branches: Judicial, legislative, and executive.

No human can be trusted with all three functions, so our Constitution separates them into three branches, with each branch having checks on the powers of the other branches.

Tyrants seek to exercise all three functions. Obama is making Congress irrelevant: When they refuse to pass a law he wants, he implements it by “executive order” or “agency regulation”.  He’s making the judicial branch irrelevant by ignoring their decisions which go against his will.

 

4. The Civil Authorities promise to obey the Higher Law.

The Bible: The king promises to obey God’s Laws and to apply God’s Laws in the kingdom; and the people pledge themselves to this promise:

  • King Josiah’s covenant at 2 Kings 23:1-3:  King Josiah called all the people together and in their presence, read aloud to them the Book of the Law which had been found in the temple. Then King Josiah entered into a covenant with God that he would obey him and keep his commandments and statutes as written in the Book of the Law.  And all the People pledged themselves to this covenant.
  • Joash’s (via the priest Jehoiada) covenant at 2 Kings 11:17 and 2 Chron 23:16.
  • David’s covenant at 2 Sam 5:1-4 and 1 Chron 11:1-3.

Our Constitutional Oaths of Office:

  • Art. II, Sec. 1, last clause: The President promises to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”.
  • Art. VI, last clause: All other federal and State officers and judges promise to “support” the Constitution.

5.  When the Civil Authorities violate the Higher Law, We must Rebuke them!

The Bible: The prophets rebuke the kings when they forsake God’s Law:

  • Samuel rebuked King Saul (1 Samuel 13:10-14)
  • Nathan rebuked King David (2 Samuel 12)
  • A Man of God rebuked King Jeroboam (1 Kings 13)
  • Elijah rebuked King Ahab (1 Kings 16:29 – 1 Kings 17:2; 1 Kings 18:16-20; 1 Kings 21:17-29)
  • Elijah rebuked King Ahaziah (2 Kings 1:1-18)
  • Elisha rebuked Jehoram, King of Israel (2 Kings 3:1-14)
  • The prophets warned of the pending destruction of Jerusalem because of the sins of King Manasseh (2 Kings 21:10-16)
  • The book of Micah.

The Black Robed Regiment of Our Revolution: Some 237 years ago, our pastors were leaders in bringing about our Revolution.  They understood that the English king and Parliament were imposing tyranny on us in violation of God’s Law.

In the Declaration of Independence, we rebuked the British Crown when we itemized our grievances and recited how we had petitioned for redress and had warned that if they didn’t stop the usurpations, we would separate from them.

But today, we don’t have enough clergy with the knowledge and the spine to rebuke the federal government. Many don’t know what the Bible says about civil government,3 and they don’t know our Founding Principles and documents. Too many of our clergy just want to escape or withdraw from the World, avoid controversy, and preserve their 501 (c) (3) tax exemption.

The Catholic Priests are speaking out about being forced to provide contraception and abortion pills as violations of their religious freedom. But they should be denouncing the HHS rules as unconstitutional exercises of undelegated powers. 

Their goal should not be to carve out an exemption for themselves from rules they don’t agree with; but to enforce The Constitution for everyone.

“Rebuke” does not consist in saying, “I don’t agree” or “It violates my beliefs.”

A proper rebuke points out the Higher Law being violated, and demands compliance with that Higher Law – not with one’s personal views. 

Because the Priests have focused on their religious beliefs, instead of on biblical/constitutional principles; the discussion in the media has been about the percentage of Catholics who use birth control – the implication being that since most Catholics use it, the Priests are out of touch.

But if the Priests would say:

  • Obamacare is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated to Congress – the medical care of the People not being one of the enumerated powers; and
  • The HHS rules are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers granted to the Executive Branch, and as in violation of Art. I, § 1 which provides that only Congress  may make laws; 4

Then, they would make a proper Rebuke.  And the discussion would be where it should be: on the enumerated powers of Congress and the unconstitutionality of rule-making by executive agencies.

So! The purposes of Rebuke are to Warn and Teach:

  • To warn the civil authorities of their violations of the Higher Law, and
  • To educate the civil authorities and The People about the Higher Law.

The Constitution is a theological document! It is the job of our clergy – Catholic, Protestant and Jewish – to know this. And to defend God’s Word as expressed in our Constitution. God requires our clergy to take an active role in protecting the People from a civil government which violates the Higher Law – be it God’s Law or our Constitution which is based on God’s Law.

We The People must also rebuke the federal government when they violate our Constitution. We do it by posting on line, talking to friends, family, and everyone else within our spheres of influence. Stick to Principles – avoid personal opinions. Cite the provision of our Constitution they violated; or as is usually the case, show that what they have done is not an enumerated power. When they have town hall meetings, rebuke them there. Watch this magnificent woman and see how it is done!

6.  The Peoples’ Obligation to obey the Civil Authorities is conditional upon
the Civil Authorities obeying the Higher Law.

The Bible: As shown by the Scripture at Principle 4, civil government is a covenant between God, the king, and the People.  God makes the Laws; the king promises to obey and apply those Laws; and the people pledge themselves to the Covenant.

Out of this relationship between God, the king and the people, arises the peoples’ obligation to protest lawlessness on the part of the king.  If they don’t protest, God punishes the people because of the misdeeds of their kings – the people will suffer if they go along with the unlawful acts:

  • God sent a 3 year famine because Saul put the Gibeonites to death (2 Sam 21).
  • God sent a pestilence which killed 70,000 Israelites because David took the census (1 Chron 21 & 2 Sam 24).
  • God (via Elijah) sent a famine because Ahab & his house forsook the commandments of the Lord (1 Kings 16:29-33, 17:1, 18:1, 18:17-19).
  • God struck a heavy blow at Joram’s people because of Joram’s wickedness (2 Chron 21:1-14).
  • God visited 4 dooms upon Jerusalem & the Southern Kingdom because of the sins of Manasseh (2 Kings 21:10-17 & Jer 15:3-4).

The parallel in our Constitution is this: When Congress makes a law which is outside the scope of its enumerated powers, it is no “law” at all, but is void; and we have no obligation to comply.  Alexander Hamilton says this over and over in The Federalist Papers.  Here are a few examples:

“…If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify…” (Federalist No. 33, 5th para). [boldface added]

“…acts of … [the federal government] which are NOT PURSUANT to its constitutional powers … will [not] become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such…”http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/fed33.htm (Federalist No. 33, 6th para). [boldface added]

“…every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act …contrary to the Constitution can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm … that men … may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.” (Federalist No. 78, 10th para). [boldface added]

Hamilton also tells us that Congress can’t usurp powers unless the People go along with it! In Federalist No.16 (next to last para), he points out that because judges may be “embarked in a conspiracy with the legislature”, the People, who are “the natural guardians of the Constitution”, must be “enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority.

So!  Hamilton applies the Biblical model of what WE are supposed to do when the federal government acts outside of the Constitution. We are to recognize that their acts are “void”, and We are to take whatever prudent measures are necessary to enforce the Constitution.

What can We do?

Hamilton tells you to LEARN the Constitution; demand that federal and State officials obey it; and don’t go along with them when they violate it!

READ our Declaration of Independence and Constitution until you become familiar with them.  Stick to original sources (e.g., The Federalist Papers) and beware of the ignorant know-it-alls with their crazy theories.

REBUKE officials and judges who violate the Constitution! Specify the violation.  Usually, the violation is that what they did is not an enumerated power.

ELECT State & County officials who will nullify unconstitutional acts of Congress, executive orders, & judicial opinions.  Here are Model Nullification Resolutions for State Legislatures.

TALK to your pastor, priest or rabbi – we all share the Old Testament. We must dust off our copies and read them; renounce escapism & defeat; renounce the unbiblical doctrine of socialism (listen to Fr. Andrew!); renounce the unbiblical doctrine of divine right of kings – the false doctrine that God granted autonomy to the civil authorities; declare independence from the federal government and throw off the chains of the 501 (c) (3) tax exemption!  Start being the Salt & Light we are called to be – the Watchmen on the Wall. PH.

For additional articles by Publius Huldah click here

Endnotes:

1 Here are express references to God in our Declaration of Independence:

  • …The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God…
  • …endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…
  • …appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…
  • …with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence

Our Constitution at Art. VII, last clause:

  • …in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven…

2 “Lex, Rex” – the Law is above the king!  Not “Rex, Lex”.

3 Romans13 must be read in pari materia with everything the Bible says about civil government! The false doctrine of “divine right of kings” is based on ignoring the numerous Old Testament provisions addressing civil government. Romans13 actually says that the civil authorities are God’s ministers and agents, and if we are “good” we have no cause to fear them; but if we do “evil” we do have cause to fear them.

So! When reading Romans 13, Titus 3:1 & 1 Peter 2:13-14, we must keep in mind that it is God who decides what is “good” and what is “evil”. God never gave civil authorities the power to define “good” and “evil”; and God never gave them autonomy. Bad theology is, and has long been, the cause of much evil.  And Pride keeps it going.

4 Article I, §1 says:

“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

Only elected Senators (Art. I, §3, cl. 1) & popularly elected Representatives (Art. I, §2, cl. 1) may exercise legislative powers. Our Constitution doesn’t permit unelected bureaucrats to make laws. Federal judges have disgraced the Bench by permitting rule-making by executive agencies.