Back during the eighties, Time-Life used to advertise their series on the Civil War with an advertisement showing a Civil War soldier with his rifle pointed at the viewer. The caption of the picture was stark and true: If the battle of Gettysburg were fought today, you would be the enemy.
I found that slightly chilling in a historical nerd way. Much more chilling is that documents are in circulation by our government that designate many of us as enemies of the state. Go here to Doug Ross @ Journal to read the below article by Michael Snyder who has done yeoman service in compiling the list linked to documents in which government officials give the tell tale signs of those Americans engaging in unpermitted free speech: Continue reading
“Here is nothing new nor aught unproven,” say the Trumpets,
“Many feet have worn it and the road is old indeed.
“It is the King—the King we schooled aforetime !”
(Trumpets in the marshes—in the eyot at Runnymede!)
“Here is neither haste, nor hate, nor anger,” peal the Trumpets,
“Pardon for his penitence or pity for his fall.
“It is the King!”—inexorable Trumpets—
(Trumpets round the scaffold at the dawning by Whitehall!)
. . . . .
“He hath veiled the Crown and hid the Sceptre,” warn the Trumpets,
“He hath changed the fashion of the lies that cloak his will.
“Hard die the Kings—ah hard—dooms hard!” declare the Trumpets,
Trumpets at the gang-plank where the brawling troop-decks fill!
Ancient and Unteachable, abide—abide the Trumpets!
Once again the Trumpets, for the shuddering ground-swell brings
Clamour over ocean of the harsh, pursuing Trumpets—
Trumpets of the Vanguard that have sworn no truce with Kings!
All we have of freedom, all we use or know—
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.
Ancient Right unnoticed as the breath we draw—
Leave to live by no man’s leave, underneath the Law.
Lance and torch and tumult, steel and grey-goose wing
Wrenched it, inch and ell and all, slowly from the King.
Till our fathers ‘stablished, after bloody years,
How our King is one with us, first among his peers.
So they bought us freedom—not at little cost
Wherefore must we watch the King, lest our gain be lost,
Over all things certain, this is sure indeed,
Suffer not the old King: for we know the breed. Continue reading
In Federalist 69 Alexander Hamilton responded to the criticism that the Presidency under the proposed Constitution established an elective monarchy which would be a perpetual threat to American liberties:
Hence it appears that, except as to the concurrent authority of the President in the article of treaties, it would be difficult to determine whether that magistrate would, in the aggregate, possess more or less power than the Governor of New York. And it appears yet more unequivocally, that there is no pretense for the parallel which has been attempted between him and the king of Great Britain. But to render the contrast in this respect still more striking, it may be of use to throw the principal circumstances of dissimilitude into a closer group.
The President of the United States would be an officer elected by the people for four years; the king of Great Britain is a perpetual and hereditary prince. The one would be amenable to personal punishment and disgrace; the person of the other is sacred and inviolable. The one would have a qualified negative upon the acts of the legislative body; the other has an absolute negative. The one would have a right to command the military and naval forces of the nation; the other, in addition to this right, possesses that of declaring war, and of raising and regulating fleets and armies by his own authority. The one would have a concurrent power with a branch of the legislature in the formation of treaties; the other is the sole possessor of the power of making treaties. The one would have a like concurrent authority in appointing to offices; the other is the sole author of all appointments. The one can confer no privileges whatever; the other can make denizens of aliens, noblemen of commoners; can erect corporations with all the rights incident to corporate bodies. The one can prescribe no rules concerning the commerce or currency of the nation; the other is in several respects the arbiter of commerce, and in this capacity can establish markets and fairs, can regulate weights and measures, can lay embargoes for a limited time, can coin money, can authorize or prohibit the circulation of foreign coin. The one has no particle of spiritual jurisdiction; the other is the supreme head and governor of the national church! What answer shall we give to those who would persuade us that things so unlike resemble each other? The same that ought to be given to those who tell us that a government, the whole power of which would be in the hands of the elective and periodical servants of the people, is an aristocracy, a monarchy, and a despotism.
One can only imagine what Mr. Hamilton and the other Founding Fathers would make of this:
According to a senior Democrat familiar with the plans, Obama will announce on Thursday that he is providing temporary protections to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. His orders will make up to 4 million undocumented immigrants eligible for temporary protective status and provide relief to another 1 million through other means. Continue reading
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Let’s see, it was only back in January that Piers Morgan, Brit and obnoxious CNN talking head, pooh-poohed the idea that America could ever have a tyrannical government. Go here to read my comment at that time. In the above video, in which he is talking to my favorite atheist, go here to see why I give Penn Jillette that title, he confesses that what was done with the IRS “borders” on tyranny.
Of course the IRS Scandal would not have surprised the Founding Fathers. They realized that govenment is necessary among men. As James Madison noted in Federalist 51: But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. However, the Founding Fathers also realized that government was no abstraction, but also an institution made up of men and not angels. That is why Madison in Federalist 51 went on to write: If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. And so the Founding Fathers framed a Constitution designed to minimize the possibility of government tyranny. They built wisely, but they did not delude themselves. The ultimate safeguard for American liberty had to rest in the American people.
That is why Benjamin Franklin, after a lady asked him as he left Independence Hall at the close of the Constitutional Convention what form of government the country was to have, told her, “A Republic madam, if you can keep it.”, placing the responsibility for the preservation of the Republic on each individual American. Continue reading
Hattip to Jim Treacher. CNN talking head Piers Morgan, desperately trying to hold on to any shreds of credibility after his shellacking by Ben Shapiro, emitted this email:
Where to begin?
First, it is unlikely that even the most mad US President would decide to use nukes to put down a rebellion in these United States. Too many of his own supporters would be killed and the overall reaction would likely be for the rebellion to grow as a result of his action.
Second, a wide spread rebellion in the United States would likely have the sympathy of factions within the US military, if not their active support. The order to nuke Americans might lead to an active revolt by the military.
Third, in the event of a widespread rebellion, the rebels would probably quickly have nukes of their own. In the case of Obama, most ICBMs and tactical nukes are located on bases in Red states. Continue reading
They Said If I Voted for John McCain the U.S. Would Engage in Endless Middle East Conflict with No Concern for Congressional Approval
And they were right.
For those who didn’t watch the video, skip to about the 3:35 mark where Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta responds to a question about creating a no-fly zone over Syria. He states that the administration would seek international approval and then inform Congress about its actions.
That’s right – international sanction for military action would take precedence over Congressional authority. And that makes complete sense, because in the United States Constitution it clearly states right there in Article I, Section 8 that international bodies shall have the power to declare war and therefore bring the United States into armed conflict.
Oh. Wait. It’s Congress that has the power to declare war. Silly me. But we live in an international age, and if the Supreme Court can rely on international law in order to decide cases, then by golly the President of the United States should be able to commit American troops to armed conflict with a nice note from the U.N. or some other international body.
And at least he’ll be nice enough to let Congress know. Maybe he’ll text Speaker Boehner about it, but only after he gets off the phone with Sandra Fluke. Priorities.
There seems an odd attraction towards Chinese-style authoritarianism among certain more technocratic/elitist segments of the left-leaning political elite. On the one hand we have we have people like Thomas Friedman arguing that Chinese one-party-autocracy is more efficient in passing the sort of regulations (“green” energy and nationalized health care) that he cares most about. On the other, we have Harold Meyerson’s claim that China is doing a better job of providing clean political process and economic recovery than the US, and that if Republicans don’t get in line behind Obama’s agenda the rest of the world will resolve to follow China’s autocratic example rather than American-style democracy.