Tenth Amendment Center commenter DWalla created this poster for displayal at a TEA rally in his area. Of course, Hussein Obama would be more appropriately portrayed as a King of Saudi Arabia than in the garb of an 18th century British Monarch. But the poster makes a pretty good political point nonetheless. And I've asked DWalla whether he can make one to go with that represents our leftist Congress as the New British Parliament. But then again, that wouldn't really be representative of what they actually are either.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The Tenth Amendment Center's newly inaugurated weekly podcast show has already featured such notables as Gary Marbut of Montana gun rights fame, and constitutional scholar and historian, Prof. Rob Natelson. Both interviews were well conducted and very informative, as I've mentioned in previous entries.
This week's guest on the show is Ok. Republican Rep. from district 90 (lucky dogs!) Charles Key, who is considered by some to be the founder of the modern tenth amendment resolution movement, among other notable achievements which we won't get into here. Indeed, though Mr. Key doesn't seem much inclined to toot his own horn, and he, accordingly, doesn't mention it in the interview, I'm pretty sure that he actually introduced a version of our tenth amendment resolution during his first stint in the Okla. House of Representatives back in 1990s. Of course he was way ahead of his time then. Besides, Oklahoma's legislature was then controlled by liberal democrats even though the people of the state were then (as well as now) by and large conservatives. But we've rectified that little situation, and Charles Key, thank goodness, is again representing the good people of his district.
Do go over to the Tenth Amendment Center and listen to the interview, though. It's only about 20 minutes long, and Key answers the critics and the naysayers who musn't have anything better to do than to critize the tenth amendment movement as being "ineffective," "just a resolution," "not really serious," and so forth and so on. Recall also that after the Oklahoma legislature overrode the Governor's veto of the measure, Key answered the question of whether secession might be in the cards basically by saying that Oklahoma will not dismiss any option available to us. And he's damn sure right about that.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
There's probably not a single political issue out there that unites more disparate factions than the term limit issue. Would-be government reformers seem to align on this issue almost to the man.
A few days ago I was reading a discussion involving term limits at the Tenth Amendment Center. Everyone was pretty much in agreement that we need to install term limits in the federal constitution, but one commenter in particular made the statement that term limits is a "no-brainer." Which is to say that if you don't support the popular idea of term limiting the federal Congress, then you're something like the village idiot.
Well, I must be the village idiot. And village idiot that I am, I dared to challenge this individual on his assumption. Anyway, the moral of that particular story is that if you lack a good workable knowledge of the constitution and its explication in the Federalist Papers, you best not tangle with someone that possesses it. Oh, I was nice about it; I didn't engage in any personal attacks (what would have been the point?). But when I suggested that this individual might want to read the Federalist Papers to gain a better understanding of the federal constitution, and why the framers included certain provisions therein while leaving others out, I was informed that I was the one that didn't understand the constitution, and that the Federalist Papers offered no instruction on the subject because that was the government they (the framers) were trying to improve when they wrote the Constitution. Well, at this suggestion I simply advised that my interlocutor google the terms "Federalist Papers," and "Articles of Confederation," because it seemed he might be confusing the two. These young whipper-snappers!, I don't quite know what to think about 'em sometimes. ;-) I tend to think, though, that the modern educational apparatus in America, with all of its concern about "self-esteem," absolute equality and so forth and so on, has a tendency to bring out the very worst in individuals and they lack a certain humility and deference that is proper for the relatively uneducated and inexperienced to possess. But that's just a theory and it's beside the point...
A few days later the question arose again under a different article at the Tenth Amendment Center. Same basic results -- people jumping on board advocating for a term limit amendment added to the federal Constitution. And again I felt I needed to challenge this position. But let me just say, without going into a lot of detail, that (1) the founders were well aware of so-called "career politicians," the avarice, inrigue, ambitions and so forth that they possess. Yet they still didn't include term limits (modern definition) in the federal constitution. And (2) the constitution the founders created is a complete working system; a system that, like any other system, when you begin mucking around with it making changes and alterations which, on the surface, appear to be "limited" you later tend to find that they have unintended, unforseen negative consequences which affect the whole structure, and therefore the whole effectiveness as to its original intent, of the government as the founders originally designed it. But our founders didn't leave us without explanation on this point of term limiting the federal Congress. We may read something about it in Federalist no. 64, among other places.
But my main point about federal term limits is this -- I personally couldn't ever support a constitutional amendment that alters the original fundamental structure of the federal government, or that undermines its design and its legitimate purpose. We've done that enough times already with everything from "birthright citizenship" for the children of illegal aliens, to the imposition of a federal income tax, to the "democratic" election of our Senators in the 17th amendment, to limiting the terms of presidents, etc. And this is the very reason I've never supported the FMA. I'm a strong advocate of traditional marriage, but I don't want some federal beaurocracy engaging in fraud, waste, and abuse, issuing marriage licenses and taking ultimate control of the marriage issue. No; my consistent position has been that I can never support a given amendment proposal unless it can be shown to be in keeping with the original intent and design of the government. And when you get down to where the rubber meets the road, this popular clamoring for federal term limits is simply an attempt to establish more mob rule. We've got enough of that already, in my humble opinion. Besides, what makes people think that a state like Massachusetts will not replace a Ted Kennedy with a clone of Ted Kennedy as soon as he's out, I will personally never know. If the people can't control themselves without term limits, how in God's name are they going to control themselves with them? And as our founding fathers were quick to point out to us, we can't always know that people are on the right side of an issue for noble reasons, and vice versa. In other words, don't think for a minute that everyone is on board with term limits because they want to "limit" the size and influence of the federal government. Let me tell you something -- probably the vast majority of people vying for federal term limits have an opposite goal in mind. But, you know, we moderns tend to think that democracy is the ultimate in good government.
Monday, June 15, 2009
When you've got 52 minutes to spare, follow the link provided to the Tenth Amendment Center and listen to Michael Boldin's podcast interview with Constitutional scholar and expert Prof. Rob Natelson.
The interview is well conducted, and Mr. Natelson's answers and explanations are very informative. Also on the page are links to articles published by Mr. Natelson, as well as a link to some of his fuller length essays on subjects related to the constitution.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Chiu Chunling wrote a post over at Loyal to Liberty from whence I extract the final interesting paragraph posted below.
Even so, I will make my plea to those without moral scruples. Make the smart choice. This communist revolution thing never works out anyway, not even when upgraded with fascist regulatory and propaganda schemes. And Obama has royally screwed up the whole timetable and provoked a counter-force. The fence is about to be torn down, so you'll be needing a new place to sit. You might even have to stand. Just don't stand with the commies, okay? I know it seems like they're 'the future' and all that, but that's all a bunch of propaganda. Learn from history. Or just ask yourself if you really want to be queuing up for bread and band-aids. (emphasis mine)
I'll admit up front that I'm partial to the view highlighted in italics, and that my partiality to it is the reason it caught my attention as well as why I chose to post it in its own blog entry here at Webster's. Part of the reason I'm partial to it is that I've been saying all along that Obama cannot possibly know what he's gotten himself into. And before the election that he could not possibly understand what he was about to get himself into. Part of the reason I've been saying that is because I don't believe he can possibly understand real people who still possess real souls, his being surrounded all of his life by people who had long since sold their souls to the devil. So he only knows what evil, soul-less people are thinking, and his radical movements are predicated on how he thinks people will react to his destructive policies and his radical drive to impose them; he thinks that all normal people have no souls and no consciences like those individuals who've always surrounded him. Hence, without some outside help from someone who does understand real people, only by blind luck itself can he possibly avoid provoking real people.
It is a serious problem for him. But that's what he gets for thinking he was qualified for the presidency in the first place.
But, of course, he couldn't accomplish any of this without the aid of the radical leftists in Congress who suffer from perhaps a somewhat milder form of Hussein Obama's delusion and misunderstanding of basic human nature of those whose souls remain intact.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Below is the text of the article posted at the Tenth Amendment Center.
Tennessee Senate Unanimously Affirms Sovereignty
Posted on 12 June 2009
Today, the Tennessee State Senate unanimously voted to pass, as amended, House Joint Resolution 108 (HJR0108). The resolution “Urges Congress to recognize Tennessee’s sovereignty under the tenth amendment to the Constitution.”
The State House passed the resolution on 05-26-09 by a vote of 85-2.
Tennessee joins Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho and Oklahoma - as the sixth state to have both their House and Senate pass a resolution in support of the 10th Amendment.
The final vote was 31-0. (h/t Steve Rowland)
Read the final version of the resolution below:
WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “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”; and
WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and
WHEREAS, the scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and
WHEREAS, today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDRED SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE SENATE
CONCURRING, that we hereby affirm Tennessee’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a committee of conference and correspondence be appointed by the Speaker of the House and of the Senate, which shall have as its charge to communicate the preceding resolution to the legislatures of the several states, to assure them that this State continues in the same esteem of their friendship and to call for a joint working group between the states to enumerate the abuses of authority by the federal government and to seek repeal of the assumption of powers and the imposed mandates.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, and to each member of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation.
Dr. Keyes posted an article at Loyal to Liberty titled Obama's Stubborn Coverup Leads to Civil Rights Violations. While I think there's a problem with the article that Chiu Chunling deals with pretty effectively in a couple of comments under the entry, the focus of this post is on the topic of Hussein Obama's eligibility generally, and the self-important arrogant, blatant stupidity of his citizen-defenders particularly.
Commenter smrstrauss writes:
Re: "Barak Obama is not an American citizen at all, having made legal declarations of foreign nationality after attaining his majority."
If you have proof of this, show it. If you are referring to the allegation that Obama became an Indonesian citizen and used an Indonesian passport, a simple telephone call to the Indonesian Embassy in Washington should confirm or deny this. I did call, but please make your own telephone call to check me, and Indonesian authorities say that he was never a citizen and hence never had an Indonesian passport.
I did call, but please make your own telephone call to check me, and Indonesian authorities say that he was never a citizen and hence never had an Indonesian passport.
And you take them at their word, eh? What complete idiocy. It's on the level of thinking that presumes the average American citizen is privvy to the same information and intelligence as the POTUS, or the Congress for that matter.
Why would the Indonesian government (or any of its agents) divulge any information they have - good, bad, or indifferent - about Hussein Obama to little 'ol insignificant you, or me, or any other private American citizen for that matter? What (Indonesian) interest could such a thing possibly serve? You do realize, do you not, that the Indonesian government is most partial to serving its own interests, or what it perceives as its own interests? To do otherwise would be tantamount to treason.
I'm reminded of a discussion I had with a certain Native American commenter at my blog some time back related to this same topic. He said to me, after I'd pointed out the clear anti-American implications of his previous statements, that he had been invited to the White House as a delegate from his tribe (by a Republican president, no less), and that therefore (non Sequitur anyone?) he could have no ambition of destroying America as we've always known it through the "change" agent Hussein Obama. I simply pointed out to him, as I point out in this particular instance, what a laughable argument he was making, as if to say that no-one with ill-intentions towards the United States has ever darkened the door of the White House, under a Republican administration or otherwise.
Again, pure unadulterated idiocy.
Put on your hip-waders y'all, because it's fixin' to get pretty deep in here.
Re: "and you take them at their word."
Actually, yes. Indonesia has become a Democracy over the last few years, and I have always found the Indonesian people caring courteous and polite. And, like the folks at the Economist and the Far Eastern Review, I really believe that Indonesia is now a democracy. [TM: He/she finds the Indonesians to be caring, courteous and polite. AND he really believes that Indonesia is now a democracy! On these bases does he believe that the Indonesian Embassy would divulge sensitive personal information about Hussein Obama to a private U.S. citizen, over the phone, by simple request. Indeed, they're ready and willing to freely give this information out to any and all comers. All you need to do is let your fingers do the walking. Dear Lord!]
Moreover, they have no reason to lie. [TM: **rolls eyes**] If Obama had become an Indonesian citizen, that is good for Indonesia. It makes the citizens proud. And, it is only you who allege that if Obama had become an Indonesian citizen he would lose US citizenship. No, he would not lose US citizenship. He would become a dual national, and there is nothing in the Constitution that bars a dual national (much less one who was once a dual national) from being president. [TM: insert William James quote here.]
You may disagree with this, but most of us believe it, and the Indonesian authorities are likely to be among this group. If they believe that Obama cannot be affected by having dual nationality in Indonesia (as I do), they have no reason to lie and say that he was never a citizen. [TM: Wow!, why didn't I think of that? The Indonesian government has no reason not to divulve to every Tom Dick and Harry who comes along and requests it, any and all information they have on Obama's relationship to their country. Duh!] They have just as much motive to lie and say that he was a citizen even if he wasn't. [TM: Sure, contradicting Obama's own statements on the matter. But no matter, were it true it would be something for the Indonesians to be proud of. Thus the benefits would far outweigh the costs of a friendly foreign nation officially contradicting an acting president of the United States. Allow me another outburst -- DEAR GOD!!!]
The flip side of this is that you have no proof that he was an Indonesian or had an Indonesian passport. There are claims that in order to get into an Indonesian school you had to be an Indonesian citizen. But this is simply not true. There were schools that accepted foreign students, so it wasn't against the law. Moreover, in the schools that did require you to be an Indonesian citizen, it was easy enough to just say that you were an Indonesian citizen and get away with it--no requirement for proof. [TM: Oh, so he's a liar in any event. Must be that Muslim bloodline.]
Finally, it was actually difficult to become an Indonesian citizen specifically because the did not accept dual nationalities. Since a US child cannot renounce US citizenship, and the Indonesian authorities know that, if they made him an Indonesian they would be creating a dual national, and since they did not accept dual nationality, they would not nationalize US children--only US adults, who were legally entitled to renounce citizenship.
There is absolutely no evidence that Obama became an Indonesian citizen and the Indonesian government says that he was never an Indonesian citizen. [TM: Yeah, you already told us about your phone call to the embassy.] There isn't even proof that he was adopted by his stepfather. If he had, there would have to be a document proving it filed in a district court in Indonesia. [TM: Ya don't say. But wait, they say there isn't any such document, I almost forgot. And, of course, since the Indonesians are such a selfless, caring, and dare I say honest democracy, they could never be part of any coverup protecting Obama's infamous past. That is, if he had one.]
No, he would not lose US citizenship. He would become a dual national, and there is nothing in the Constitution that bars a dual national (much less one who was once a dual national) from being president.
Let me give you a free piece of advice:
If you're going to defend Hussein Obama against accusations of ineligibility based on Article II, U.S. Constitution (and all laws made in pursuance thereof, etc.), then you should at very least get on the same page with the folks at FighttheSmears.com. As it is you contradict the clear implications of the postings on the site itself, to wit:
“When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.
Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4, 1982.”
Ask yourself this very simple question: If there's no prohibition against a dual "national" serving as Chief Executive Officer of the United States, and perhaps more importantly, if the Obama camp truly believes that no such prohibition in U.S. law exists, then what would be the point of Fight the Smears posting an excerpt from an article specifically addressing the question of dual citizenship and denying that he retains dual citizenship status in the first place? Moreover, why wouldn't they just answer the accusation the way you did if this were the case?
you think, because you think that Indonesia is a democracy, that their status as a democracy means that they're automatically going to divulge personal information about the current occupant of the White House to a private U.S. citizen whose motives they can have no knowledge of if there's any potential whatsoever of such information negatively affecting his presidency, and/or the relationship between the U.S. and Indonesia? You must be completely outside your mind.
End of initial entry.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Here's the beginnings of a discussion that may or may not prove to be fruitful. We shall see in time.
Someone named Dale Caruso posted the poem by Martin Neimoeller which I'm sure you've all heard some version of at one time or the other. Here is the text of the poem Caruso posted at the Tenth Amendment Center with Mr. Caruso's preparatory comments added:
There was a poem was written by Martin Niemoeller in 1946. It has been varied over the years to apply to different causes … but the original message carries a powerful moral impact;
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Yes, yes, by the time they got around to getting me they'd already long since disposed of everyone else. You know, the communists, the socialists, the Jews and trade unionists, etc. There I stood alone, with no one there to back me up -- you know, the communists and the socialists, friends I never knew I had.
Well, the poem did receive a couple of approving comments in the thread, to wit:
Michael Boldin writes:
The pastor Martin Niemoeller commentary is as relevant today as it ever was. We can’t just turn our heads because “they” are coming for someone we don’t like. Every time the government takes more power and violates another person’s rights is another step closer to you.
Jeff Matthews adds:
Exactly! That’s why I hate to see “enlightened” people submit so easily to laws that target the “unenlightened,” such as smokers and drinkers.
Huh?! I'm reminded here of the passage "...and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidding appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues and ending tyrants." (Can yo believe I had to look that one up? That's ok, I knew exactly where to find it. ;-))
Well, you know, with the approval rating of the poem quickly growing, I thought I might as well enter the fray.
Smokers and drinkers? Well sure. Certainly many of the same folks that support imposing “sin taxes” on personal practices and habits they don’t particularly care for as individuals, or that are not currently in vogue, engage themselves in practices and habits equally repulsive and self-destructive which they would never support the imposition of excessive taxation on. But Communism; Socialism? These are totalitarian philosophies of government which are completely and utterly antithetical to American Representative Republicanism. And the Constitution does, afterall, guarantee to each state in this union a Republican form of Government.
Apples and oranges you’re comparing here.
Jeff Matthews replies:
Not apples and oranges at all. Take the new bill that just passed into law by Congress submitting jurisdiction over tobacco to the FDA. Now, the FDA will have all sorts of fun running a tobacco-related political agenda.
The point I made above was that this is Unconstitutional, but the majority does not care because they support such usurpations against the minority. Divide and conquer.
It is directly on point to Michael’s comment that, “We can’t just turn our heads because “they” are coming for someone we don’t like. Every time the government takes more power and violates another person’s rights is another step closer to you.”
Okay, I'm a little bit confused now. Let's see what the following will yield:
So you’re saying the government has no more legitimate interest (neither authority) in preventing the spread of an ideology antithetical to itself within its jurisdiction, than it has tampering with the personal choices of individuals which can in virtually no conceivable way present it with an existential threat and has no ideological preferences one way or the other? Are we losing something in translation here? I’m a little confused.
Stay tuned. Or, of course, you can jump in there anytime. Because, you see, before they elicited a non-approving response out of me, they'd already scared away everyone else. You know, the Christians and the conservatives, the non-egalitarians, etc. ;-)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
On the destruction of local self-government/"establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states"
(Note: The entry has been updated below.)
By now you've all undoubtedly read about the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling on the matter of a local Oklahoma county's display of the Ten Commandments on the courthouse lawn, brought about by a single, solitary individual who was (gasp!) "offended" by such display, thus filed a complaint.
Our frequent and insightful commenter, Chiu Chunling disagrees with me on this point, but I, nonetheless, cannot fail to mention the establishment of a constitutionally recognized dual citizenship in that pesky fourteenth amendment, U.S. Constitution which has provided the impetus for the federal courts to deem all governmental entities, down to the smallest most local level, mere agents and arms of the "federal" government.
Notwihstanding that, how anyone in his right mind can derive from the unambiguous phrase "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." that the judicial arm of the central government has any jurisdiction, and/or, authority over the procedures (or displays, as it were) of a county or municipal government (re: local government) is beyond me. Our county and municipal governments in the State of Oklahoma are not arms and agents of the federal authority in any event. Whenever they become that, tyranny reigns supreme.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invaribly 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 create new guards for their future security.
But I've also quoted, many times, Hamilton from Federalist #84:
I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.
On the subject of the liberty of the press, as much as has been said, I cannot forbear adding a remark or two: in the first place, I observe, that there is not a syllable concerning it in the constitution of this State; in the next, I contend, that whatever has been said about it in that of any other State, amounts to nothing. What signifies a declaration, that "the liberty of the press shall be inviolably preserved''? What is the liberty of the press? Who can give it any definition which would not leave the utmost latitude for evasion? I hold it to be impracticable; and from this I infer, that its security, whatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government.3 And here, after all, as is intimated upon another occasion, must we seek for the only solid basis of all our rights. (italics added)
If I thought there was the slightest chance in hell that any relief was to be had via our "illustrious" legislators in Congress whose prerogative it is to tell the federal courts to take a proverbial hike in this matter, you can bet I'd be doing all in my power to persuade them to do so. As it is, though, I think it's more or less a collaborative effort.
Posted below the fold is the NewsOK article on the subject.
DENVER — An appeals court ruled Monday a Ten Commandments monument on the Haskell County Courthouse lawn in Stigler violates the Constitution because its primary effect is to endorse religion.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 against the 8-foot-tall monument in a challenge brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma and a Haskell County resident who said it offended him.
The ACLU said the decision means "the county cannot continue to display it on the courthouse lawn. That said, nothing prevents any individual, group, or congregation from publicly displaying the same monument on their own property — and we would defend their right to do so.”
An attorney for the commissioners said the judges erred "for many reasons” in Monday’s decision, and he cited Supreme Court decisions in similar cases to support his conclusion. Attorney Kevin Theriot said he is recommending to the commissioners that they ask all 12 judges of the court to reconsider the decision of the three-judge panel.
Monument endorses religion, judges say
The monument was erected in 2004.
The Haskell County commissioners’ authorization of the monument "had the impermissible principal or primary effect of endorsing religion in violation of the Establishment Clause” of the Constitution, the judges wrote in a 52-page decision.
The establishment clause of the First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The judges said the Supreme Court has interpreted the clause to mean a government action must not have a primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion.
The judges wrote that, "in the unique factual setting of a small community like Haskell County,” the Christian origins of the monument’s erection "tended to strongly reflect a government endorsement of religion.”
Monday’s decision overturned a 2006 ruling by a Muskogee federal judge who concluded the commissioners did not overstep the constitutional line "demarcating government neutrality toward religion.”
Circuit Judge Jerome Holmes of Oklahoma City, a conservative appointed by former President George W. Bush, wrote the decision for the Denver-based appeals court.
End of initial entry.
Update: A short discussion on this topic has been had over at the Tenth Amendment Center where commenter Patrick Henry Lives first sounded the alarm. Also, he's written a supportive letter to the Haskell County Board of Commissioners and posted it in a comment under the thread. Here is the text of his letter:
Haskell County Board of Commissioners
E Main Street
Stigler, OK 74462-2439
Phone: (918) 967-4352
Dear Board of Commissioners,
It was with saddened hearts that we learned of the recent ruling of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals declaring that the display of the Ten Commandments was an unconstitutional “endorsement of religion.” However, we were greatly encouraged by the statement of Commissioner Mitch Worsham indicating it was your intention not to obey or to take the monument down. We write to strengthen and confirm you in that resolve.
It has been the sovereign right of the People of the several States to acknowledge God in our public places since before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. All of our nation’s organic documents acknowledge Christ and God. This is historically true. The Tenth Amendment reserves to the States and to their peoples all powers not given to the federal government nor prohibited by the Constitution to them. The First Amendment prohibition against an Establishment of Religion applies by its express terms only to Congress. The usurpation of reserved States Rights by liberal, activist judges cannot override the written Constitution nor can it obviate our duty before the Majesty in Heaven. We must obey God more than men. We implore you not to yield to spiritual wickedness in high places by surrendering your ground.
Oklahoma recently passed a Tenth Amendment Resolution claiming sovereignty under the U.S. Constitution. To date, 34 States have followed or are following Oklahoma’s example in telling the federal government to cease and desist it unlawful intrusion into and usurpation of reserved States’ Rights. To bring this matter to an immediate Constitutional confrontation and crisis, we encourage you to petition the Oklahoma Legislature to enact legislation making it unlawful for any officer of the State or any of its subdivisions to obey a federal court judgment purporting to invade reserved States’ Right by ordering the removal of any monument displaying the Ten Commandments, the Cross of Christ, or other acknowledgement of God as the Supreme Majesty in Heaven, who alone is the author of our being, the guardian of our liberties, and the wellspring of our happiness.
God bless you as you endeavor to persist in your moral courage and resolution to resist the unlawful acts of a usurping federal judiciary. Better that Oklahoma secede from the Union than to abandon its duty to its citizens and to God.
Patrick Henry Lives
Sunday, June 7, 2009
There is a school of thought that says of secession that, pacifists that we (modern Americans) are, there would be no agressive counter-movement by the central authority were a state or a group of states to secede from the union.
At the Tenth Amendment Center Jeff Matthews argues this position (albeit he doesn't use the term "pacifists," but I think this is essentially what he's getting at).
Jeff Matthews writes:
No way we’d have civil war if one or more states seceded. Not in these days of thinking we Americans are above the fray. We have it in our minds that civil wars and unrest are for the Middle East and perhaps, Korea, but not for here. We are far too good a people for that. There is no way the feds would even dream about it. They’d be pissing their pants, thinking about what to do, but there is no way, they’d invoke martial law and start shooting, dropping bombs, throwing grenades, and launching rockets. Not if it happened now.
No disrespect intended, but sometimes I have to wonder about these people, about their personal experiences, their upbringings, etc., -- what it is that convinces them to believe that any government, including (or especially) our own, cannot be provoked to take up arms against its own citizens. The thinking, in my opinion, besides being pretty naive, is a bit dangerous as well.
I personally cannot imagine a scenario involving the secession of one or more states in which the central government would not see it as a hostile act by the offending party/parties. Thus, I cannot imagine a secession scenario that would not involve aggressive action by the central government eventually resulting in bloodshed. So Jeff and I are on opposite ends of this particular spectrum. Okay, I'll grant a 1% chance that a state or states would be allowed to secede from the union peacefully, with no immediate violence done to them on behalf of the union. But that's about all the chance I'd give it. And notice that I said immediate.
Does it never occur to people that it's easy to be pacifistic whenever pacifism is made easy? Sorry if it sounds a little too cliche', but isn't it the truth? I mean, what need have our northern neighbors the Canadians of a strong, viable military? What need of national strength and masculinity when the most powerful nation on God's earth shares a continent and a border with you? However, whenever someone feels like he's being backed into a corner and fears for his life, he's liable to come out swinging. But our government isn't run by a bunch of pacifists anyway. They just like to give that impression because they think it's in vogue. Besides, I hold that any government capable of a Waco style massacre is capable of just about anything.
Update: The discussion took off after I mentioned in the thread the implications of the Waco massacre.
Patrick Henry Lives wrote:
The one thing about Waco, though, was that it was secretly torched. Attacking a seceding State would have to be open and overt war, so the dynamics are different. At Waco, they had to conceal the arson and murder of 80 people, including women and children, and thus play homage to virtue and moderation by hiding what they wre really like and lengths they willing to go to. With a seceding State they could not conceal the aggression and killing. The whole facade of pretending to be righteous would have to be shed.
Jeff Matthews follows up:
Also, Waco was perceived as a small group of nutjobs. It’s far different than taking on a whole state.
You guys are making the point and then missing it. What do you think a seceding state would be made to look like but a bunch of nutjobs hostile to the United States? C’mon.
…even by a (large) segment of its own citizenry, by the way; a segment of the citizenry that enjoys a form of dual citizenship - state and national.
Hannibal Barca weighs in:
Constutional convention or secession…This is why it is important - NO, it is CRUCIAL, to take over the state legislature. Everything else is smoke and mirrors. The tenth amendment is about the states. We should be focusing on the states. We should be looking at pulling people out of office via recall. We shouldn’t be waiting to just vote them out. Rip them out.
The good news is that WE THE PEOPLE happen to live in the states, not WE THE FEDERAL GOVERNNMENT.
TM follows up on Patrick Henry Lives's comments:
“The one thing about Waco, though, was that it was secretly torched.”
True. But let me just point out that that was after the ‘compound’ and the people in it were ruthlessly attacked (by land and air) by a bunch of jackboot thugs who had already tipped off the media and everything else. So what, in reality, is different about it?
The ATF wasn’t too concerned about the image it was going to project, other than it concerned itself pointedly to projecting the image of POWER wielded for the noble cause of ‘justice’. Not to mention that there was a fifty one day ’standoff’ in which all manner of evil and lewd and lascivious behavior was going on at the hands of our illustrious government law enforcement officers taking their orders straight from the top (granted, this was all concealed). But the Congressional hearings on the matter, in which such things came out, were an absolute joke in which the government was made to look like the innocent and noble victim of a bunch of religious crazies in spite of it all.
Yeah; I can see that happening again.
Jeff Matthews replies:
You are all letting your imaginations get the better of you. Our federal government will not start a war with a seceding state. Think about it and tell me who will. Congress? Not on your life! The President? Fat chance. It will not happen. The feds would rather write them off than suffer the blow in the world’s eyes of having a civil war - not to mention the cost of such a war.
TM replies to Jeff:
A flyover state like Oklahoma (perceived by the general public to be populated by a bunch of ungovernable backwoods hillbillies) secedes. Upwards of thirty percent of its citizens cry foul. The U.S. government has an interest in that thirty percent because they are also U.S. citizens who disagree with Oklahoma’s move to secession. On top of everything else that group would be perceived as victims of an aggressive majority population whose rights would be threatened, and the U.S. government would be pressured (as if that would be necessary) to come to their rescue. And on and on and on.
Now, you can say I’m letting my imagination run away with me, but it doesn’t make it so. And you can’t simply say “not on your life,” “fat chance, it isn’t going to happen.” That’s a bit weak, don’t ya think? But what in God’s name does the fed care about world perception on the subject of a seceding American state? ‘The World’ routinely puts down such movements. So whose side do you think it would take?
I can imagine any number of scenarios involving secession that would ultimately result in bloodshed, but I can’t imagine a single scenario that would not. Nonetheless…
I’m content to leave it at that. We’ll undoubtedly see eventually because a state will definitely cross over that rubicon at some point in the not too distant future. And I imagine that others will soon follow. Until then, it’s all just speculation on our parts. But I’ll wager a cup of coffee on it if you like. ;-)
I see the issues you raise, Terry. I imagine it is possible to manufacture a “Fort Sumter” scenario all over again.
I find the whole scenario kind of eerie in a “Hotel California” sort-of way. “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
Believe it or not I’ve actually quoted that exact Hotel California line myself (several times) in these same kinds of discussions.
And don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that a state seceding would necessarily result in an immediate aggressive counter-move by the national government (although that, to me, seems like the most likely scenario if some latitude is given to the term “immediate, for the reasons I’ve already listed and more.). On the other hand, I can hardly envision a “fractured” America (an America that does not universally recognize a single central governing authority) that could live in mutual peace and harmony for very long. So when I say that secession means civil war, I’m saying that a fractured America, from the very moment that it fractures into different (independent) governing entities and onward, is an America whose exposure to internal disputes automatically increases exponentially. Independent governing entities have, by nature and by necessity, authority to enter into treaties with other nations and states, coin money, provide for its own defense, declare war, and so forth and so on. So in the end, it all boils down to internal disorder between the various governing entities, and civil war. At least that’s the way I see it. And let’s face it, there’s no love lost between certain states and certain others in this union. But anyway…
I will add further comments as they're posted.
Also, not that I'm trying to cover every possible scenario, or to mention every single contingency that would ultimately factor into a likely scenario (as if to say that I'm capable of it in any event), because I think it is important that different perspectives be offered, but I cannot fail to mention that in addition to the "upwards of thirty percent" of U.S. citizens that the U.S. government would be "bound" to defend, there are also the "birthright" children that the government would consider, under such a scenario, wards of the state. Again, I think the Waco incident is a good analogous example of how this might all play itself out.
Update: Jeff Matthews responded to my last post above:
I see it not as a matter of will everyone think what everyone else does is okay after a secession. I highly doubt that. We certainly don’t agree with all that England or France does, but we get along with them just fine (for the most part).
I see no problem existing that way and being the happier for it.
I would as soon see the Union stick together, but these clowns in D.C…. They are ruining it for all of us.
I chose not to respond under the article because I figure it's probably time to let the discussion die in that particular thread. Plus, I wanted to give Jeff the final word, since it's his article'n'all. ;-) We can take the subject up again somewhere else. However, let me just say that in his comments above Jeff reveals more lack of discernment. First of all, comparing the severing of the United States into two or more independent sovereign governmental entities to our relationship with Great Britian and France, et al, is like comparing apples and oranges. To have mentioned our relationship with Canada and Mexico, given that we share the same continent and are not separated by a whole ocean, would have been a better example, but it would still be apples and oranges. I trust that you understand why.
As I've said, it doesn't matter to me, at this point, whether he is a Muslim -- in truth -- or not. He IS a Muslim in spirit, thus hostile to America and everything America has historically stood for. For me personally, his debasing himself, the presidency, and the United States before the Saudi King, was the final straw. Nothing can change it now. Come get me.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I've been spending quite a bit of time lately over at the Tenth Amendment Center where they're doing a good job of keeping up with all of the tenth amendment resolutions, and other state enactments and citizen movements as they're happening.
Just a few days ago New Hampshire became the sixth state in the union to authorize gay "marriage." In praise of this radical move by the New Hampshire legislature, Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center writes that,
Whether you support this particular issue or not, I think people across the political spectrum can see this as a victory for decentralization. The 10th Amendment makes it quite clear that the most important social issues should be handled on a state level, or by the people themselves.
Really? I'm not going to dispute that the tenth amendment reserves to the states and to the people the great residual of political powers, obviously, it being a central theme of this blog the principle of Balanced Constitutional Government. But exactly how is this instance some prime example of a "victory for decentralization?" And if it is an example of such a victory, isn't the fact that 34 or 35 other states in this union which have explicitly denied homosexual "marriage" is the more important and more decisive victory ... for decentralization?
I suppose I understand the impulse to applaud movements which seem to favor the decentralization of political powers consistent with the constitution, particularly in an era in which centralization of political powers is not only commonplace, but one of the ruling principles of our degenerating society. On the other hand, something so obviously self-destructive to society as undermining its foundational institution hardly seems to me to be especially deserving of praise and adulation, particularly when the exact same principle one is supposedly applauding has been applied in six times the number of states, albeit with diametrically opposing results.
I won't say that Boldin has some kind of underlying homosexual advocacy agenda here, because we know that people are often on the wrong side of an issue for all the right reasons, and vice versa. But it seems rather odd to me, nonetheless, to praise this radical, self-destructive movement by the state of New Hampshire while neglecting to mention the movement amongst the states to protect the institution of marriage. But maybe it was just an error of omission.
Y'know, had the New Hampshire legislature voted the other way, not only would it be able to claim a victory for decentralization, but it would have also retained its dignity. As it is, the state is apparently ruled by sodomites.
One of my favorite Psalms is not a widely read or widely quoted passage, but it's a favorite of mine nonetheless. But then again, I'm something of an eccentric when it comes to reading God's revelation to man. I prefer reading the first several chapters of Genesis to reading the book of Acts or the book of Revelation for instance. But that may simply be a result of those books being the (almost) exclusive emphasis of my childhood church.
Here is the second Psalm in its entirety (from the KJV):
WHY DO the heathen rage, and the People imagine a vain thing?
2 The Kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto me. Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed ye judges of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
I generally quote from the first four verses of the second Psalm, or paraphrase those verses when I see specific examples of the heathen raging and imagining vain things, demanding that the cords of the righteous be broken and cast away from among them, as if to say that the end result of the severing of those cords, once complete, is a world that any decent human being would care to live in. And all in the name of "liberty" you see, which is simply a word that means, to these people, license to practice any lasciviousness conceivable to the mind of man.
Among examples of this is the radical homosexual lobby. It seems pretty obvious to me that the homosexual lifestyle is - besides being a complete violation of nature involving unmentionably perverse and inordinate behaviorisms exercised by ungovernables - an agressive and radical lifestyle at its very roots. Let's face it, some folks are peculiarly in need of external government. They certainly exhibit little to no innate ability to govern themselves and their inordinate passions. Any society that permits such ungovernables to rule it has sealed its own fate.
But this insignificant group would simply fade into the background where it belongs had it not the backing of the radical leftist "change" agents which dominate in our society. "Breaking their bands asunder", and "casting away their cords from among us", encompasses, when you boil it all down, the whole of the radical leftist agenda. In other words, to create a world so very permeated with evil that it would literally be "hell on earth."
I once heard a certain minister of the Gospel state that there are merely two kinds of people in the world -- those who say to God "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says "thy will be done." His point was well taken. And I think we know which of the two groups dominates in American society these days. Forgive us Father, for we know not what we do.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I wrote once, in passing, about Google books. And I included a link in the post to Noah Webster's (America's Schoolmaster) "History of the United States." I thought that I had included a favorite passage of mine from the book in the entry, but a search of the blog archives proves that that is not the case, so I shall include it here. In the introduction to the book, Noah Webster wrote:
The brief exposition of the Constitution of the United States will unfold to young persons the principles of republican government; and it is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the BIBLE, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion.
So much for the doctrine of "the separation of church and state," eh? By the way, how is it that one is to "separate" his religion (or the lack thereof) from his politics. I hold that it is impracticable; that those who vie for such a thing are irrational.
Someone named "Zapem" invokes the authority of General Washington in a comment posted under Dr. Keyes's latest entry over at Loyal to Liberty. My reply to Zapem involves the importation of foreign ideas of God, man, and government to these shores. It once was, you see, a great concern of Washington's, the witness of American youth migrating to foreign countries in order to acquire the higher branches of erudition. Why? Because, in his words, the great possibility existed that these students, ill-eqipped as they were to well understand the value of their own system of government, would thus imbibe principles not congenial with republicanism and bring them back with them on return to America. But we needn't worry with that anymore, as I intimate in my reply to Zapem.
Yes! In the same way that Hussein Obama (a Muslim, a closet-Muslim, a non-Muslim with sympathies for, and intimate ties with, Islamism; it matters not generally, but in this instance it matters particularly.) is disqualified.
We had this discussion way back when. M. Mason and I tended to agree on the substance of Romney's faith, and the implications thereof. And now Mr. Mason invokes the Christian Research Institute. Yet another of our common interests. Hmm.
President Bush's phrase came to mind this morning while I was making my rounds at my regular stopping places ... blog-wise. Several bloggers in my blogroll have mentioned Hussein Obama's recent statements claiming that America is a Muslim country. The phrase in the post title I think applies to all of those Obamaites out there who have been saying, essentially, that Hussein's intimate connections with Islam will not affect the way he governs. Thus, if these people are being honest with us, then they are (soft) bigots of the first order.
Now, I personally do not give a hoot whether Hussein is a Muslim in truth or not. He's as dangerous to this nation as a non-Muslim (or closet-Muslim, as it were) as he is, or ever could be, as a Muslim. And I've said this since way back when (way before his candidacy was made official). But like I said a while back, when he debased himself, the Presidency, and the United States of America before the King of Saudi Arabia, any question that lingered in my mind concerning his politico-religious allegiances at once vanished. Notwithstanding anything he has ever said, or will ever say in the future, concerning his personal faith.
I have also mentioned several times before the now prophetic words of our founding fathers who wrote in the fullest explication of the U.S. Constitution in existence -- the Federalist Papers -- that among the reasons chosen for the Constitutional mode of selecting our president, chief among them was to prevent foreign powers from "raising a creature of their own to the chief executive magistracy of the union." This, of course, makes perfect political sense to anyone who retains the slightest sense of patriotism and loyalty to his own country. But if the late election is any indication, modern Americans are loyal, not to their fellow countrymen, not to the constitution, and, no, not even to an ideal. They are indeed loyal, first and foremost, to the basest of human instincts; they're all about no. 1.
The fate of such societies is already written.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Our female German correspondent, The Editrix, has some intriguing insights about the female sex, and what causes women (as women) to do some of the things they do.
At VFR is posted an article concerning the actions of a Dutch female reporter putting herself in harm's way. Read the article -- titled: Wilders tells the Dutch elite what they are -- to understand what exactly I'm talking about.
Now, I'm not trying to make any sweeping generalizations, truly, but I've witnessed this kind of thing before in certain women who are (relatively) close to me. They engage themselves in certain self-flagellating, ceremonious, ritualistic behaviors, and in their particular cases I've generally identified it as a self-centered grasp for the sympathy due to victims as well as the applause and adulation due to someone so obviously self-less, warm, loving, non-judgmental, and so forth and so on. In other words, my sense in this particular case is that this woman seeks self-promotion and self-gratification, and she was willing to put everything (including her life) at risk to get it. What I find so irritating sometimes, is that people go along with it, legitimizing this kind of behavior, thus effectively creating a monster, er, a whole host of 'em.
But I want to hear (or read) Nora's point of view, as well as any other woman's perspective who would like to add her own thoughts or insights.
Why do I always put the term federal, as generally applied to the central government, in scare quotes?
Well, partly because the U.S. Government, as it now stands, is probably about as far away from being a "federal" government as any government can possibly be. And partly because when we ... spontaneously? ... refer to the central government as THE Federal Government, we simply obfuscate the meaning of the term federal and its derivatives, rendering the term, particularly as it applies to these United States, effectively meaningless (I'll grant that some people understand what the term means, yet still use the descriptive "federal government" in reference to the central authority as a matter of convenience and habit.).
If it is even possible, at this point in the game, to save the country, we must restore the federal principle to its rightful place in our system of government. To do that, we must know first what the term means. But, irregardless of whether we can save the country or not, it will serve us all well to be considerate about the way we use such terms.
I will quote again William James who said:
"There is nothing so absurd than when you repeat something often enough, people begin to believe it." (the statement doesn't originate with James, but he is most often accredited with it, nonetheless.)
Referring to the central government as The Federal Government, as we're so apt to do these days, has (had) this effect I think. Likewise, it has been stated so frequently and so often over the course of decades in this country -- the doctrine of the "separation of church and state" -- that people actually think that the actual words are contained in the U.S. Constitution. And, of course, you all know by now that one of my pet peeves is the common reference to the Constitution as being (in and of itself) the Supreme Law. But the term federal has a specific meaning, particularly as it applies to the United States.
There is an article by Clarence B. Carson newly posted at the Tenth Amendment Center this morning, originally published in 1983 (several years before I became politically aware), entitled The Meaning of Federalism. I posted a short comment to the article this morning in which I invoke Noah Webster and his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, as well as his descriptive of the United States as a Federal Representative Republic. Also, the author mentions the original mode of selecting U.S. Senators as an integral part of preserving (or, re-establishing in our current situation) the federal principle in American government. Do read the article. And keep in mind that it was originally published back in 1983. Further erosion of the federal principle has since occured.