Posts Tagged ‘government’

Does the federal government work for us?

“Politics is the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest.”

~ Thomas Sowell, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

More than 200 years ago, the states united and wrote a contract, the Constitution, creating an employee, the federal government; and that contract outlined specific tasks the federal government would perform for the states’ combined welfare.

However, in the early 1800s, the Supreme Court ruled that it alone presided over the Constitution and it alone would decide what the Constitution said. Is this what the Founding Fathers and the states intended? Did they mean for the Supreme Court to decide its own powers and those of the rest of the federal government?

Gun control – the wrong discussion

“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.”

~ Thomas Jefferson, 1781

A Connecticut man murdered 20 children and 6 adults, gun control proponents again advocating that disarming law-abiding citizens will solve the problem. And though I believe their logic is folly, we still need a reasoned debate on the issue.

But, lest we forget, gun ownership is still a constitutional right; it is not a constitutional privilege; it is not a governmental privilege; it is not a presidential privilege. The Constitution does not allow the federal government to “evolve” the Constitution to address perceived changing times and needs. It must have the permission of “We the People” in the form of an amendment for change to occur.

Reclaiming the Constitution – Part V

In 1804, the United States Supreme Court claimed absolute control over the Constitution, declaring only it could decide the Constitution’s meaning and neither the president nor Congress could overrule it. More than 100 years later, through sheer intimidation, President Franklin Roosevelt got the Supreme Court to use this control to give Congress powers not in the Constitution.

In 1937, the court changed the meaning of the “general Welfare” clause, allowing Congress to do anything it deemed needed for the “general Welfare.” In 1942, ignoring the meaning and intent of the commerce clause, the Supreme Court ruled that anything an individual or company produces or purchases, even if only sold intrastate or if only for personal use, can be regulated by the federal government because it impacts “commerce among the several states.”

The path to socialism – Part I

“We do not have socialism. We have regulated capitalism.” – ISJ reader comment

Is that true? Is it all or none? Or is the path to socialism a process so slow that each individual step is logical, masking the eventual outcome and encouraging inattention and indifference until it’s too late? More important, if we are not yet socialist, is our federal government still the limited government the founding fathers created with the United States Constitution?

Does it still respect state’s rights? Does it still respect individual rights and freedoms? Before answering, remember that this past summer the Second Amendment was upheld by only a 5-4 vote of the Supreme Court, a constitutionally guaranteed right only one political appointment away from revocation.

Subject or citizen?

“Oh posterity, you will never know how much it cost us to preserve your freedom. I hope that you will make a good use of it.”
– John Adams, second U.S. president

No more apologies – Part II

We grovel before Gadhafi and hide our flag. Critics claim we are a self-centered and selfish country, providing less foreign aid than twenty-one other countries when comparing the aid as a percentage of gross national income. Are our critics right? Are we not what we believe?

Well, how might we fare if we looked at total foreign aid rather than percentages? In that case, the United States is first, giving more than $25 billion in 2008; the next 21 nations combined giving only $85 billion. The United States provides nearly 30% of the world’s foreign aid.

Fundamental rights of Americans

The government, determined it knows what is best for us, continues expanding its role beyond its constitutional authority. It has little need for the Constitution because over 60 years ago the Supreme Court ruled that the founding fathers erred and actually meant for the general welfare clause of the Constitution to be a specific enumerated power of Congress, in essence granting Congress unlimited power.

Do you think the founding fathers really intended for the government to do anything it deems needed for the general welfare of the country and to tax us whatever needed to pay for it?

Guns, the Constitution and Switzerland

A fact regularly ignored in much of the gun debate – the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.  In 2008, the Supreme Court revisited the constitutional meaning of the right of the individual to “keep and bear arms,” and unequivocally affirmed our constitutional right of individual gun ownership.

That should end the debate because a constitutional right is not the same as a governmental privilege; neither the legislature nor the Supreme Court can change a constitutional right.  Yet, gun control advocates continue discounting this reality with ongoing legislative assaults on our rights.

To be President of the United States

There are only two constitutional requirements to be president of the United States of America.  You must be a natural born citizen of the United States and at least 35 years of age.  That is all that is needed for the most important job in the world.  Although considered enough in 1787, is that enough today; or should we set more criterion for the office?

 

Today’s presidential races have entered the rock star media age of politics, an obvious difference between pre- and post-television presidential campaigns.  Candidates now have image consultants and are “packaged” for public appearances just like actors and actresses, even including $400 haircuts.

Who are ‘real’ Americans

“Our great modern Republic.  May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose.”  President Ulysses S. Grant said it well.  It is a blessing to be an American, protected under its flag.

But who are the “real” Americans?  I recently had occasion to ask myself this question.  What is required to be an American?  Is it citizenship?  Is it being born in America, others remaining immigrant Americans?  Are some races, some religions more American than others?  How do we decide who the “real” Americans are?

Is the government the new “company store?”

How well does the government manage our money?  Do our elected leaders spend it responsibly and frugally, as they should?  Sen. Charles Schumer answered these questions saying, “Let me say this to all the chattering class that so much focuses on those little, tiny, yes, porky amendments:  ‘the American people really don’t care.'”  He was speaking about the wasted spending, the pork, in the $787 billion stimulus package.  How much of the $787 billion actually stimulates the economy?  According to the Wall Street Journal, only 12 percent “is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus.”

“…equal protection of the laws”

New Haven, Connecticut, discarded a fire department promotion exam when white firefighters outscored minority firefighters. The city did so because it feared lawsuits, not because the exam was unfair.  The United States Supreme Court ruled against the city, with Chief Justice John Roberts suggesting that had the scores been reversed the city would not have discarded the exam.  

Frank Ricci, one of the white firefighters denied promotion, scored sixth highest of the 118 who took the exam.  According to the New York Times, he quit a second job, made flashcards, took practice exams, worked with a study group, took mock interviews and spent $1,000 to have textbooks read onto audio tapes because he was dyslexic.  

What do we see in our flag? – Fourth of July, 2009

A high school social studies teacher took a unique approach to teaching her classes the value of being an American.  She had all the student desks removed from her classroom. And, as each period’s class arrived, shocked there were no desks, she said to them, “I want you to have a desk, but before you can have one you have to tell me how you earned the right to sit at one of these desks.”  

The Socialist States of America

Sir Winston Churchill  said, “(Socialism’s) inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”  To this Margaret Thatcher added, “The problem with socialism is that at some point you run out of other people’s money.”  Shared misery and not enough “other people’s money.”  Doesn’t that sound like the agenda the United States Congress has for us?

Congress unashamedly follows the advice of socialist Norman Mattoon Thomas who said, “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism.  But, under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”  

Selective law enforcement

 

    

 

 What do you do with a county sheriff who treats criminals like criminals, who enforces all the laws, not just the politically correct ones? 

Simple. You claim racism, civil rights violations, and contact the Justice Department. His critics hoped it would seek to remove him from office. Instead, Loretta King, acting assistant attorney general in charge of the investigation, said that if the investigation uncovers violations, her office “will provide recommendations on ways to improve practices and procedures.”  

Can one person make a difference?

A nation with over 300 million citizens, over 10 million illegal aliens, 1 President, 100 United States Senators, and 435 United States Representatives. Can one person make a difference? No. Not anymore. That time has long since past.

But, what if? What if one person could not look the other way? What if one person saw a duty and cared enough to speak up? What if one person dared to try? What if one person said, “I will get involved?”

Can we tax our way out of irresponsible debt?

 Congress believes irresponsible debt and spending is needed to rectify the problems created by irresponsible debt and spending. Further, it believes raising taxes to pay for its irresponsible debt will actually stimulate spending.        

My father was raised on a farm in eastern Nebraska, sheltered from this unique congressional economic theory. He lived through the Great Depression, served in World War II, raised four sons, and never took a class in economics. Instead, he learned a simple, common sense, outdated, obviously flawed economic theory.  

Responsibility and self-respect

George Bernard Shaw said, “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” Are we willing to abandon self-respect for a handout? Are we willing to surrender risk and reward for indentured servitude to the government? Are we willing to exchange freedom and opportunity for a welfare state?   

We condemn the woman who recently gave birth to eight babies; eight babies the taxpayers will have the privilege of paying for. Do we have the right to disparage her? Is she really that different from the rest of us? Might she actually be a mirror, a mirror showing us ourselves? What do we see in that mirror? Do we see responsibility? Do we see self-respect? Why are we able to criticize other people’s irresponsibility while failing to recognize our own? 

Is the United States an empire in demise?

George Bernard Shaw said, “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.” What did our Founding Fathers want for this United States of America? Did they want complacency? Did they hope for mediocrity? Did they dream of dependency? Or, did they demand freedom and opportunity; freedom and opportunity at any price. What have we fought and died for this past 223 years? 

Are we still that proud, patriotic people? What about 911? Was our response the same as following Pearl Harbor, when we were willing to take on the world? Compare that to 911, an even more heinous attack that intentionally targeted civilians. Well, we were appalled for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. 

“Make my day” gun laws

Guns are back in the news, or perhaps more correctly, still in the news, this time in Colorado.  A 22-year-old man drove home with a blood alcohol of 0.26, three times the legal limit.  He drove to the wrong house, beat on the front door hollering obscenities when he could not get in, went to the back door beating on it while hollering more obscenities, and then broke a window, reaching in to unlock the deadbolt.  At that point, the homeowner, who had been on the phone with police the entire time, shot him twice, killing him.