Category Archives: Constitution

James Madison: Father of the Implied-Powers Doctrine The Future of Freedom Foundation

TGIF: James Madison: Father of the Implied-Powers Doctrine The Future of Freedom Foundation.

by  July 26, 2013

James Madison famously wrote in Federalist 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined.” Strict constructionists are fond of this quote, and often cite it in defense of their view that the Constitution established a government of strictly limited powers.

But did it?

One way to approach this question is to look at Madison’s record. Some people will be surprised to learn that the author of the Constitution was also the author of the implied-powers doctrine, which would seem to run counter to the few-and-defined-powers doctrine.

The U.S. Constitution, of course, was America’s second constitution, the first being the Articles of Confederation (1781–1789). The Articles did little more than formalize the confederation of soon-to-be sovereign states, leaving few powers to the single-branch national government. (It created Congress only, no executive or judiciary.) This government lacked two powers that national governments routinely exercise: the power to tax and the power to regulate trade. Indeed, the power to tax is so essential to the identity of government that we are warranted in calling what the Articles created a quasi government. For its revenue it depended on the power of the states to impose taxes on the people, but it could not tax the people directly. (Attempts to permit the national government to impose a duty on imports failed.)

The bare-bones Articles left little for ambitious politicians to work with. What was a statesman to do? Less than two weeks after the Articles took effect, Madison hit on a solution. As a member of the Congress, he proposed an amendment:

A general and implied power is vested in the United States in Congress assembled to enforce and carry into effect all the articles of the said Confederation against any of the States which shall refuse or neglect to abide by such determinations.

Note the phrase “general and implied power.”

As his biographer, Ralph Ketcham, wrote, “Madison sought as well to make the mode of enforcement explicit: Congress was authorized ‘to employ the force of the United States as well by sea as by land’ to compel obedience to its resolves.”

The amendment, along with others that would have bulked up the central government, failed. (Ketcham noted that Madison then became “more devious”  in his attempts to enlarge its powers.)

The view held by Madison and other Founders that the central government was too weak paved the way to the convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Albert Jay Nock called this the “coup d’etat,” because rather than amending the Articles per its mandate, the convention, which worked behind locked doors, started from scratch. (Changes to the Articles would have required unanimous consent of the states. But the proposed Constitution set its own rules for ratification: only 9 of 13 states were required.

As Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson: “The evils suffered and feared from weakness in Government … have turned the attention more toward the means of strengthening the [government] than of narrowing [it].”

This was echoed by James Wilson, a well-respected judge from Pennsylvania and an ardent nationalist: “It has never been a complaint [against congresses] that they governed overmuch. The complaint has been that they have governed too little.”

Madison’s interest in implied powers is indicated by what didn’t get into the Constitution. For example, the Articles of Confederation contained this language in Article II:

Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expresslydelegated to the United States, in Congress assembled. [Emphasis added.]

Nothing like this appeared in the Constitution drafted in Philadelphia. On the other hand, the document did extend to Congress the power to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.”

This is the “necessary and proper” clause so feared by the Antifederalist critics of the proposed Constitution. As the Antifederalist “Brutus” wrote, “No terms can be found more indefinite than these, and it is obvious, that the legislature alone must judge what laws are proper and necessary for the purpose.”

Once the Constitution was released to the public, its champions set out to sell it to a skeptical populace. Wilson sought to assure the people that the government’s powers were expressly limited by enumeration:

The congressional authority is to be collected, not from tacit implication but from the positive grant expressed in the [Constitution].… [E]very thing which is not given [to the national government], is reserved [to the states].

But this assertion was met with incredulity by many who read the document. Jefferson responded:

To say, as Mr. Wilson does that … all is reserved in the case of the general government which is not given … might do for the Audience to whom it was addressed, but is surely gratis dictum, opposed by strong inferences from the body of the instrument, as well as from the omission of the clause of our present confederation [Article II], which declared that in express terms.

Arthur Lee of Virginia also scoffed (PDF):

Mr. Wilson’s sophism has no weight with me when he declares … that in this Constitution we retain all we do not give up, because I cannot observe on what foundation he has rested this curious observation.

The lack of something like Article II of the Articles of Confederation, along with the lack of a bill of rights, created enough concern about the proposed Constitution that its advocates felt compelled to promise to make things right.

After ratification, the first Congress, largely on Rep. Madison’s initiative, set to work writing a bill of rights. (Other nationalists would have just as soon broken their promise.) Twelve amendments made the final cut in the congressional committee. Amendment XII (later to become X when two failed to be ratified by the states) read,

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.

It was a pale reflection of the old Article II. On seeing this language, Rep. Thomas Tudor Tucker of South Carolina rose to amend the amendment by inserting the word expressly before the word delegated.

According to the record, Madison objected that “it was impossible to confine a government to the exercise of express powers; there must necessarily be admitted powers by implication, unless the constitution descended to recount every minutiae.” (Emphasis added.)

Tucker’s amendment failed, and failed again when submitted to the whole Congress. (According to the record, “Mr. Tucker did not view the word ‘expressly’ in the same light with the gentleman who opposed him; he thought every power to be expressly given that could be clearly comprehended within any accurate definition of the general power.”)

Thus, the man who promised that the powers of government under the new Constitution would be “few and defined” now said that any constitution must have unenumerated implied powers. His colleagues should not have been surprised. In Federalist 44 Madison had written that “No axiom is more clearly established in law or in reason than that wherever the end is required, the means are authorized; wherever a general power to do a thing is given, every particular power necessary for doing it is included.”

Even earlier, before the convention, writes biographer Ketcham, Madison “opposed a strict definition of ‘the extent of Legislative power’” in advising Kentuckians who were contemplating a state constitution.

Madison was right, of course. No constitution could expressly enumerate all powers without appending an endless list of minutiae. There must be implied powers — and that’s the danger of any constitution. Implied powers of course must be inferred, and inference requires interpretation. Who is likely to have the inside track in that process: those who seek to restrict government power or those who seek to expand it?

This post was written by:

Sheldon Richman is vice president of The Future of Freedom Foundation and editor of FFF’s monthly journal, Future of Freedom. For 15 years he was editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York. He is the author of FFF’s award-winning book Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s FamiliesYour Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax; and Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State. Calling for the abolition, not the reform, of public schooling.Separating School & State has become a landmark book in both libertarian and educational circles. In his column in the Financial Times, Michael Prowse wrote: “I recommend a subversive tract, Separating School & State by Sheldon Richman of the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank… . I also think that Mr. Richman is right to fear that state education undermines personal responsibility…” Sheldon’s articles on economic policy, education, civil liberties, American history, foreign policy, and the Middle East have appeared in the Washington PostWall Street JournalAmerican ScholarChicago TribuneUSA Today,Washington TimesThe American ConservativeInsightCato Policy ReportJournal of Economic DevelopmentThe FreemanThe World & IReasonWashington Report on Middle East Affairs, Middle East Policy, Liberty magazine, and other publications. He is a contributor to the The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. A former newspaper reporter and senior editor at the Cato Institute and the Institute for Humane Studies, Sheldon is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia. He blogs at Free Association. Send him e-mail.

© The Future of Freedom Foundation


Hunger Strike at Gitmo: ‘We Are Dying a Slow Death Here’

End Guantanamo

End Guantanamo (Photo credit: jezobeljones)

Though Moorbey and I do not agree on solutions we do both agree that this government is evil and oppressive. It is time the people find something else other than the system we currently have. Here is another example of that idiocy. The prisoners in Guantanamo need to be sent home. They are not terrorists for the most part. those who are should be charged and tried. Except the US govt. is afraid of the publicity should the people get any further information about the horrors of that place. 

Moorbey’z Blog

Article posted here: http://moorbey.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/hunger-strike-at-gitmo-we-are-dying-a-slow-death-here/

2013/04/14 · by 

By Pardiss Kebriaei April 13, 2013 MSNBC” –  I’ve just returned from Guantanamo, where my clients  and a majority of the other 166 men there have been on hunger strike for over  two months. Most of them have been cleared for release or will never be charged.  But the Obama administration has refused to send them home.

I met with men who are weak  and have lost between 30 and 40 pounds. They told me of other men who are  skeletal and barely moving, who have coughed up blood, passed out, and one who  tried to hang himself.
One of the men I met with,  Sabry Mohammed, a Yemeni who remains detained years after he was approved for  release by the Obama administration, said, “We are dying a slow death here.” Yet  the authorities say they will not let men die–they will force-feed them when  their body weight drops dangerously low, strapping them into chairs and forcing  a tube up their noses that pumps formula into their stomachs. The military  reports that so far, 11 men are being “saved” this way. Yet as one of the men  put it, the irony is that “the government will keep us alive by force-feeding us  but they will let us die by detaining us forever.”
Today, 166 men remain at  Guantanamo, more than eleven years after they arrived in hoods and shackles.  Most are being held without charge and will never be charged. The Obama  administration has approved more than half of the men–86–for transfer, but  hasn’t mustered the political will to overcome congressional hurdles, despite  saying it can and will. As their indefinite detention stretches into a second  decade, men are aging, declining and dying. Last September,Adnan Latif, a  husband and a father, a man twice cleared for transfer under the Bush and Obama  administrations, was the ninth prisoner to die. The current crisis at the base  had specific triggers, but there has been an emergency at Guantanamo for  years.
The strike was sparked in  early February, when prison authorities ordered searches of the men’s Qurans.  One man told me, “I won’t even touch the Quran without washing my hands, how  could I use it to hide something dirty?” The men viewed the searches as  desecration, which should hardly have been news to those in charge. A former  Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo once described the handling of the holy books as  “the most contentious issue” at the prison. Given the sensitivity of the  practice and the history of religious abuse at Guantanamo–acts like throwing  Qurans on the ground and shaving detainees’ beards as punishment–the authorities  should have known better. Indeed, former commanders did know better. In a 2009  review of conditions at Guantanamo, ordered by the Obama administration, a  commander at the base recognized that standard operating procedures “do not  permit searching of the Koran.” The rule reflected an “elevated respect” for  detainees’ religious concerns–a lesson learned from the early years. It is  unclear why that changed. Another of my clients said, “They are taking the camp  back to 2006.”
So far, prison authorities  have defended their actions and downplayed the scale of the strike. Inside the  prison, my clients have described various tactics used to make life even more  difficult and break the strike. Some have been life-threatening, like delaying  the delivery of filtered drinking water, forcing detainees to drink from the tap  of sink faucets attached to toilets in their cells. Before, there used to be  signs above the sinks saying it was not safe to drink the water. One man said he  would rather go without water than drink from the sink.
As the strike enters its third  month and the crisis deepens, the authorities must reach for a resolution before  someone dies. My clients are asking for assurances that their Qurans will not be  searched, or to hand them in altogether rather than see them  desecrated.
But the solution to the  broader calamity is closing Guantanamo, beginning with the release of men like  Sabry. He told me he does not want to die, he wants to return to his family, but  he and others are continuing the strike because they have been pushed too far  and this is the only means they have to protest peacefully. The only thing they  can control is their own bodies. It is an act of strength even as they are  growing weaker. They are desperately wanting to believe there is still a life  for them beyond the prison walls.
At the end of our meeting last  week, Sabry showed me a painting he made recently, of the prison surrounded by  mountains.  But outside the high, tight-mesh fence that encloses Camp 6, where  Sabry is held, there is ocean. “I don’t know what is outside. It is just what I  imagine.”  After more than eleven years, it is long past time for the United  States to send Sabry home.
Pardiss Kebriaei is a  senior attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights who represents men  detained at Guantanamo. She is lead counsel for CCR on the targeted killing  case, Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta.

News & Analysis From The Daily Bell

I would encourage all of my readers to subscribe to The Daily Bell™. Click on he Banner below to be taken to their site. (E)

News & Analysis

MONDAY, MARCH 04, 2013

Brilliant Polemic Defends US Freedom … and Demands Appropriate Incarcerations

By Staff Report

Americans – Like Nazi Germans – Don’t Notice that All of Our Rights Are Slipping Away … Americans Are Acting Like Slowly Boiling Frogs … The German citizens were boiling frogs … the water heating up so gradually that they didn’t realize they had to jump out of the pot to safety. Because the exact same thing is happening to Americans (fear of terror makes people stupid no matter what country they live in), let’s remember exactly what we’ve lost in recent years … – Washington’s Blog

Dominant Social Theme: US freedoms are slipping away and they must be brought back again by the people themselves, using all due enforcement tools.

Free-Market Analysis: In another brilliant polemic, the famous Washington’s Blog lays out a substantial litany of what the US has lost in terms of rights, and from this article’s point of view it is mostly everything. It is an article containing both truth and sincerity.

We agree with it on numerous levels and are most in agreement with the idea that a kind Nazi fascism is overtaking the US. It began long ago but was immeasurably increased under the reign of George W. Bush whose family was enmeshed in Nazi funding until public rage forced the US government to strip the family of German investment assets in 1942.

Bush’s efforts, nakedly pursued but rarely reported, included the leveraging of a police state, the creation of “Homeland Security” with its overtones of the Nazi Fatherland and the repositioning of the US’s various intelligence and policing agencies as the sword of the state to be turned aggressively against the American people.

Under Bush, various trends noted by Washington’s Blog were immensely exacerbated. Washington’s Blog points out that currently the US government “is arresting those speaking out … and violently crushing peaceful assemblies which attempt to petition the government for redress.”

He also points out that the government is flying spy drones over the American homeland. “The domestic use of drones to spy on Americans clearly violates the Fourth Amendment and limits our rights to personal privacy.”

And he adds, “Even without drones, Americans are the most spied on people in world history … The American government is collecting and storing virtually every phone call, purchases, email, text message, internet searches, social media communications, health information, employment history, travel and student records, and virtually all other information of every American.”

The article enumerates many other areas where rights are being lost, including the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and the right to travel from place to place without harassment. The end of the article provides a powerful summation, pointing out that “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.”

Today, most Americans believe that the government is threatening – rather than protecting – freedom … and that it is no longer acting with the “consent of the governed.” And the federal government is trampling the separation of powers by stepping on the toes of the states and the people.

The article closes by reminding us that both the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency “competed to weaken federal regulation and [tried] to prevent state investigations … against fraudulent mortgage lenders.”

This is an odd close and not the summation we were looking for. It leads to our one question: If the federal government is over-reaching horribly, then why is it wrong to “weaken federal regulation”? We’ve noted this contradiction. We don’t understand how one can be against the neo-fascism of the US Leviathan but still enthusiastic about bringing the US’s horrible and corrupt criminal justice system to bear … no matter the nature of the crime.

The prison-industrial complex, like the military-industrial complex, is a great US evil. It includes an illegally globalized FBI, an out-of-control civil policing establishment (at both the state and federal level) and of course, a penal-industrial complex that incarcerates more than half of those in jail around the world, increasingly in “privatized” penitentiaries.

Conclusion: Does not advocating its use – rather than its reform – perhaps undermine the very points that US patriots wish to make?

 


I Can Think Of No Reason To Add Anything To This.


Deagle @Neutrimedical Reports

This guy knows what he’s talking about. Worth listening to. http://www.tunewiki.com/posts/1345706982568710340


The Man Who Should Be President

From: Chuck Baldwin

Today, I am going to do something that I have never done: I am going to devote virtually my entire column to posting another man’s words. That man is the man who should be President of the United States: Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. The following is a written transcript of a speech Dr. Paul gave on the floor of the US House of Representatives back in 2007. Had Congressman Paul been elected President in 2008, the country would be four years into the greatest economic, political, and, yes, spiritual recovery in the history of America. As it is, the US is on the brink of totalitarianism and economic ruin. And you can mark it down, four years from now it won’t matter to a tinker’s dam whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney was elected President this November. Neither man has the remotest understanding of America’s real problems nor the courage and backbone to do anything about it if they did understand.

Read the following. This is a man who understands the Constitution. This is a man who understands sound economic principles. This is a man who understands liberty and freedom. This is a man who has the guts to tell the truth. This is a man who has put his life and career on the line for the principles of liberty for more than two decades. This is a man who has returned every dollar that he has been paid as a US congressman to the taxpayers. This is the man who should be President of the United States.

[Ron Paul’s speech begins here]

 For some, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. For others, it means dissent against a government’s abuse of the people’s rights.

I have never met a politician in Washington or any American, for that matter, who chose to be called unpatriotic. Nor have I met anyone who did not believe he wholeheartedly supported our troops, wherever they may be.

What I have heard all too frequently from various individuals are sharp accusations that, because their political opponents disagree with them on the need for foreign military entanglements, they were unpatriotic, un-American evildoers deserving contempt.

The original American patriots were those individuals brave enough to resist with force the oppressive power of King George. I accept the definition of patriotism as that effort to resist oppressive state power.

The true patriot is motivated by a sense of responsibility and out of self-interest for himself, his family, and the future of his country to resist government abuse of power. He rejects the notion that patriotism means obedience to the state. Resistance need not be violent, but the civil disobedience that might be required involves confrontation with the state and invites possible imprisonment.

Peaceful, nonviolent revolutions against tyranny have been every bit as successful as those involving military confrontation. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., achieved great political successes by practicing nonviolence, and yet they suffered physically at the hands of the state. But whether the resistance against government tyrants is nonviolent or physically violent, the effort to overthrow state oppression qualifies as true patriotism.

True patriotism today has gotten a bad name, at least from the government and the press. Those who now challenge the unconstitutional methods of imposing an income tax on us, or force us to use a monetary system designed to serve the rich at the expense of the poor are routinely condemned. These American patriots are sadly looked down upon by many. They are never praised as champions of liberty as Gandhi and Martin Luther King have been.

Liberals, who withhold their taxes as a protest against war, are vilified as well, especially by conservatives. Unquestioned loyalty to the state is especially demanded in times of war. Lack of support for a war policy is said to be unpatriotic. Arguments against a particular policy that endorses a war, once it is started, are always said to be endangering the troops in the field. This, they blatantly claim, is unpatriotic, and all dissent must stop. Yet, it is dissent from government policies that defines the true patriot and champion of liberty.

It is conveniently ignored that the only authentic way to best support the troops is to keep them out of dangerous undeclared no-win wars that are politically inspired. Sending troops off to war for reasons that are not truly related to national security and, for that matter, may even damage our security, is hardly a way to patriotically support the troops.

Who are the true patriots, those who conform or those who protest against wars without purpose? How can it be said that blind support for a war, no matter how misdirected the policy, is the duty of a patriot?

Randolph Bourne said that, “War is the health of the state.” With war, he argued, the state thrives. Those who believe in the powerful state see war as an opportunity. Those who mistrust the people and the market for solving problems have no trouble promoting a “war psychology” to justify the expansive role of the state. This includes the role the Federal Government plays in our lives, as well as in our economic transactions.

Certainly, the neoconservative belief that we have a moral obligation to spread American values worldwide through force justifies the conditions of war in order to rally support at home for the heavy hand of government. It is through this policy, it should surprise no one, that our liberties are undermined. The economy becomes overextended, and our involvement worldwide becomes prohibited. Out of fear of being labeled unpatriotic, most of the citizens become compliant and accept the argument that some loss of liberty is required to fight the war in order to remain safe.

This is a bad trade-off, in my estimation, especially when done in the name of patriotism. Loyalty to the state and to autocratic leaders is substituted for true patriotism; that is, a willingness to challenge the state and defend the country, the people and the culture. The more difficult the times, the stronger the admonition comes that the leaders be not criticized.

Because the crisis atmosphere of war supports the growth of the state, any problem invites an answer by declaring war, even on social and economic issues. This elicits patriotism in support of various government solutions, while enhancing the power of the state. Faith in government coercion and a lack of understanding of how free societies operate encourages big-government liberals and big-government conservatives to manufacture a war psychology to demand political loyalty for domestic policy just as is required in foreign affairs.

The long-term cost in dollars spent and liberties lost is neglected as immediate needs are emphasized. It is for this reason that we have multiple perpetual wars going on simultaneously. Thus, the war on drugs, the war against gun ownership, the war against poverty, the war against illiteracy, the war against terrorism, as well as our foreign military entanglements are endless.

All this effort promotes the growth of statism at the expense of liberty. A government designed for a free society should do the opposite, prevent the growth of statism and preserve liberty.

Once a war of any sort is declared, the message is sent out not to object or you will be declared unpatriotic. Yet, we must not forget that the true patriot is the one who protests in spite of the consequences. Condemnation or ostracism or even imprisonment may result.

Nonviolent protesters of the Tax Code are frequently imprisoned, whether they are protesting the code’s unconstitutionality or the war that the tax revenues are funding. Resisters to the military draft or even to Selective Service registration are threatened and imprisoned for challenging this threat to liberty.

Statism depends on the idea that the government owns us and citizens must obey. Confiscating the fruits of our labor through the income tax is crucial to the health of the state. The draft, or even the mere existence of the Selective Service, emphasizes that we will march off to war at the state’s pleasure.

A free society rejects all notions of involuntary servitude, whether by draft or the confiscation of the fruits of our labor through the personal income tax. A more sophisticated and less well-known technique for enhancing the state is the manipulation and transfer of wealth through the fiat monetary system operated by the secretive Federal Reserve.

Protesters against this unconstitutional system of paper money are considered unpatriotic criminals and at times are imprisoned for their beliefs. The fact that, according to the Constitution, only gold and silver are legal tender and paper money outlawed matters little. The principle of patriotism is turned on its head. Whether it’s with regard to the defense of welfare spending at home, confiscatory income tax, or an immoral monetary system or support for a war fought under false pretense without a legal declaration, the defenders of liberty and the Constitution are portrayed as unpatriotic, while those who support these programs are seen as the patriots.

If there is a war going on, supporting the state’s effort to win the war is expected at all costs, no dissent. The real problem is that those who love the state too often advocate policies that lead to military action. At home, they are quite willing to produce a crisis atmosphere and claim a war is needed to solve the problem. Under these conditions, the people are more willing to bear the burden of paying for the war and to carelessly sacrifice liberties, which they are told is necessary.

The last 6 years have been quite beneficial to the health of the state, which comes at the expense of personal liberty. Every enhanced unconstitutional power of the state can only be achieved at the expense of individual liberty. Even though in every war in which we have been engaged civil liberties have suffered, some have been restored after the war ended, but never completely. That has resulted in a steady erosion of our liberties over the past 200 years. Our government was originally designed to protect our liberties, but it has now, instead, become the usurper of those liberties.

We currently live in the most difficult of times for guarding against an expanding central government with a steady erosion of our freedoms. We are continually being reminded that 9/11 has changed everything.

Unfortunately, the policy that needed most to be changed, that is, our policy of foreign interventionism, has only been expanded. There is no pretense any longer that a policy of humility in foreign affairs, without being the world’s policemen and engaging in nation building, is worthy of consideration.

We now live in a post-9/11 America where our government is going to make us safe no matter what it takes. We are expected to grin and bear it and adjust to every loss of our liberties in the name of patriotism and security.

Though the majority of Americans initially welcomed the declared effort to make us safe, and we are willing to sacrifice for the cause, more and more Americans are now becoming concerned about civil liberties being needlessly and dangerously sacrificed.

The problem is that the Iraq war continues to drag on, and a real danger of it spreading exists. There is no evidence that a truce will soon be signed in Iraq or in the war on terror or the war on drugs. Victory is not even definable. If Congress is incapable of declaring an official war, it is impossible to know when it will end. We have been fully forewarned that the world conflict in which we are now engaged will last a long, long time.

The war mentality and the pervasive fear of an unidentified enemy allows for a steady erosion of our liberties, and, with this, our respect for self-reliance and confidence is lost. Just think of the self-sacrifice and the humiliation we go through at the airport screening process on a routine basis. Though there is no scientific evidence of any likelihood of liquids and gels being mixed on an airplane to make a bomb, billions of dollars are wasted throwing away toothpaste and hair spray, and searching old women in wheelchairs.

Our enemies say boo, and we jump, we panic, and then we punish ourselves. We are worse than a child being afraid of the dark. But in a way, the fear of indefinable terrorism is based on our inability to admit the truth about why there is a desire by a small number of angry radical Islamists to kill Americans. It is certainly not because they are jealous of our wealth and freedoms.

We fail to realize that the extremists, willing to sacrifice their own lives to kill their enemies, do so out of a sense of weakness and desperation over real and perceived attacks on their way of life, their religion, their country, and their natural resources. Without the conventional diplomatic or military means to retaliate against these attacks, and an unwillingness of their own government to address the issue, they resort to the desperation tactic of suicide terrorism. Their anger toward their own governments, which they believe are coconspirators with the American Government, is equal to or greater than that directed toward us.

These errors in judgment in understanding the motive of the enemy and the constant fear that is generated have brought us to this crisis where our civil liberties and privacy are being steadily eroded in the name of preserving national security.

We may be the economic and the military giant of the world, but the effort to stop this war on our liberties here at home in the name of patriotism is being lost.

The erosion of our personal liberties started long before 9/11, but 9/11 accelerated the process. There are many things that motivate those who pursue this course, both well-intentioned and malevolent, but it would not happen if the people remained vigilant, understood the importance of individual rights, and were unpersuaded that a need for security justifies the sacrifice for liberty, even if it is just now and then.

The true patriot challenges the state when the state embarks on enhancing its power at the expense of the individual. Without a better understanding and a greater determination to rein in the state, the rights of Americans that resulted from the revolutionary break from the British and the writing of the Constitution will disappear.

The record since September 11th is dismal. Respect for liberty has rapidly deteriorated. Many of the new laws passed after 9/11 had, in fact, been proposed long before that attack. The political atmosphere after that attack simply made it more possible to pass such legislation. The fear generated by 9/11 became an opportunity for those seeking to promote the power of the state domestically, just as it served to falsely justify the long-planned invasion of Iraq.

The war mentality was generated by the Iraq war in combination with the constant drumbeat of fear at home. Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, who is now likely residing in Pakistan, our supposed ally, are ignored, as our troops fight and die in Iraq and are made easier targets for the terrorists in their backyard. While our leaders constantly use the mess we created to further justify the erosion of our constitutional rights here at home, we forget about our own borders and support the inexorable move toward global government, hardly a good plan for America.

The accelerated attacks on liberty started quickly after 9/11. Within weeks, the PATRIOT Act was overwhelmingly passed by Congress. Though the final version was unavailable up to a few hours before the vote, no Member had sufficient time to study it. Political fear of not doing something, even something harmful, drove the Members of Congress to not question the contents, and just voted for it. A little less freedom for a little more perceived safety was considered a fair trade-off, and the majority of Americans applauded.

The PATRIOT Act, though, severely eroded the system of checks and balances by giving the government the power to spy on law-abiding citizens without judicial supervision. The several provisions that undermine the liberties of all Americans include sneak-and-peek searches, a broadened and more vague definition of domestic terrorism, allowing the FBI access to library and bookstore records without search warrants or probable cause, easier FBI initiation of wiretaps and searches, as well as roving wiretaps, easier access to information on American citizens’ use of the Internet, and easier access to e-mail and financial records of all American citizens.

The attack on privacy has not relented over the past 6 years. The Military Commissions Act is a particularly egregious piece of legislation and, if not repealed, will change America for the worse as the powers unconstitutionally granted to the executive branch are used and abused. This act grants excessive authority to use secretive military commissions outside of places where active hostilities are going on. The Military Commissions Act permits torture, arbitrary detention of American citizens as unlawful enemy combatants at the full discretion of the President and without the right of habeas corpus, and warrantless searches by the NSA. It also gives to the President the power to imprison individuals based on secret testimony.

Since 9/11, Presidential signing statements designating portions of legislation that the President does not intend to follow, though not legal under the Constitution, have enormously multiplied. Unconstitutional Executive Orders are numerous and mischievous and need to be curtailed.

Extraordinary rendition to secret prisons around the world have been widely engaged in, though obviously extralegal.

A growing concern in the post-9/11 environment is the Federal Government’s list of potential terrorists based on secret evidence. Mistakes are made, and sometimes it is virtually impossible to get one’s name removed even though the accused is totally innocent of any wrongdoing.

A national ID card is now in the process of being implemented. It is called the REAL ID card, and it is tied to our Social Security numbers and our State driver’s license. If REAL ID is not stopped, it will become a national driver’s license ID for all Americans. We will be required to carry our papers.

Some of the least-noticed and least-discussed changes in the law were the changes made to the Insurrection Act of 1807 and to posse comitatus by the Defense Authorization Act of 2007. These changes pose a threat to the survival of our Republic by giving the President the power to declare martial law for as little reason as to restore public order. The 1807 act severely restricted the President in his use of the military within the United States borders, and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 strengthened these restrictions with strict oversight by Congress. The new law allows the President to circumvent the restrictions of both laws. The Insurrection Act has now become the “Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act.” This is hardly a title that suggests that the authors cared about or understood the nature of a constitutional Republic.

Now, martial law can be declared not just for insurrection, but also for natural disasters, public health reasons, terrorist attacks or incidents, or for the vague reason called “other conditions.” The President can call up the National Guard without congressional approval or the Governors’ approval, and even send these State Guard troops into other States.

The American Republic is in remnant status. The stage is set for our country eventually devolving into a military dictatorship, and few seem to care. These precedent-setting changes in the law are extremely dangerous and will change American jurisprudence forever if not revised. The beneficial results of our revolt against the King’s abuses are about to be eliminated, and few Members of Congress and few Americans are aware of the seriousness of the situation. Complacency and fear drive our legislation without any serious objection by our elected leaders. Sadly, though, those few who do object to this self-evident trend away from personal liberty and empire-building overseas are portrayed as unpatriotic and uncaring.

Though welfare and socialism always fails, opponents of them are said to lack compassion. Though opposition to totally unnecessary war should be the only moral position, the rhetoric is twisted to claim that patriots who oppose the war are not supporting the troops. The cliché “Support the Troops” is incessantly used as a substitute for the unacceptable notion of supporting the policy, no matter how flawed it may be.

Unsound policy can never help the troops. Keeping the troops out of harm’s way and out of wars unrelated to our national security is the only real way of protecting the troops. With this understanding, just who can claim the title of “patriot”?

Before the war in the Middle East spreads and becomes a world conflict for which we will be held responsible, or the liberties of all Americans become so suppressed we can no longer resist, much has to be done. Time is short, but our course of action should be clear. Resistance to illegal and unconstitutional usurpation of our rights is required. Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes.

But let it not be said that we did nothing. Let not those who love the power of the welfare/warfare state label the dissenters of authoritarianism as unpatriotic or uncaring. Patriotism is more closely linked to dissent than it is to conformity and a blind desire for safety and security. Understanding the magnificent rewards of a free society makes us unbashful in its promotion, fully realizing that maximum wealth is created and the greatest chance for peace comes from a society respectful of individual liberty.

 [Ron Paul’s speech ends here]

There it is. The speech Dr. Paul gave in 2007 seems even more relevant today than it did then. Don’t you think?

You want to elect a real American statesman? You want to elect a man who would preserve liberty and freedom in America? You want to elect a man who would resist the devilish New World Order? You want to elect a man who would reestablish sound economic principles? If so, you will vote to elect Ron Paul as President of the United States. (And, no, no one has paid me a penny to post his speech or make this endorsement.)

Forget all the smoke and mirrors and the dog and pony shows that you see and hear from the other Presidential candidates. The issues that Dr. Paul addressed in this speech are the issues that are going to determine our country’s future. Again, this is the man who should be President of the United States.

And please visit my web site for past columns and much more at:

http://chuckbaldwinlive.com

© Chuck Baldwin


Ron Paul Revolution 2012 ((Awesome Song))

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKBfhyD0L8Y


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