Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lack of Knowledge in America about the Constitution

Over the years, I've been astounded at how little (apparently) many Americans know about the Supreme Law in this land.  Example--- In one online discussion/comment venue, a person wrote back to me and said (paraphrased), "But, the Constitution doesn't say the President can't do that; therefore, he's allowed to."... Needless to say, I was flabbergasted.  Another example--- "The President is Commander-in-Chief of the military; that means he can go to war whenever he sees fit.".  Another example--- "Congress passed a resolution giving the President permission to go to war at some point in the future (the time to be determined by the President)."... Good grief.  [That last scenario has taken place for the last few wars we've been in, and it's completely unconstitutional.]

Because of the above, I offer a few truths about our system of government and the U.S. Constitution.  As a preface, let me begin by pointing out that the primary purpose of the Supreme Law of the Land is to limit/constrain/restrain the Fed Gov't.  That's the reason it was created in the first place.

1.  Ours is a government of Enumerated Powers (Google it.)  We the People delegated certain powers to the Fed Gov't...and only those powers.  If the power isn't listed, then the Feds don't have it.  That's how they are restrained, not by listing everything they can't do...that list would be endless.  The Gov't can gain new powers only by Constitutional Amendment or by a Constitutional Convention.  There are no other legal ways unless martial law is declared.

2.  The Bill of Rights (the first ten Amendments) does contain a few prohibitions that apply to the Gov't..."Shall not infringe upon...".  Perhaps that's why some people got the idea that everything the Feds can't do is listed in the Constitution.  Nope.  Also, some people have the idea that the Constitution GRANTS us certain Rights.  That's absolutely false.  Instead, the document is enumerating (listing) a few of the Natural Rights that all people possess.  It's saying that in this country, those rights will be protected ---not granted.  The difference is important.

3.  Yes, the President is Commander-in-Chief; however, that doesn't mean he gets to decide when to put us at war.  There are enumerated Constitutional restraints regarding uses of the military.  Only three such uses are permitted by the Constitution.  I listed them in this blog more than once; they are very straightforward...no other "interpretation" is reasonably possible.  One doesn't have to be a judge or attorney to figure out what the Founders meant.  It's crystal clear.  None of the permitted uses includes being the world's police force.  Such a use is blatantly unconstitutional.  Those who believe our military should be the world's police force need to lobby for an Amendment to that effect.  Either that, or propose it at a Constitutional Convention.  The way it is now, it's illegal.

4.  I've stated this next item over and over in past posts:  no Law supercedes the U.S. Constitution.  That's what "Supreme Law of the Land" means.  The Oligarchs in the Fed Gov't know that full well.  That's why they ignore the Constitution and instead point to the War Powers Act (or some other law) to justify having the President decide when and with whom we're going to war.  They know that if they try to get that authority from the Constitution, they'll be out of luck.  That's also why they rely upon the PATRIOT Act to allow FBI Agents to write their own search warrants, or allow the NSA to spy on people with no probable cause or proper warrant.  Those are not activities delegated by We the People to our Fed Gov't.  That means our Gov't, at the highest levels, consists of outlaws...they are violating the Supreme Law of the Land.  They also are violating this portion of their oath of office: ...to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

5.  For this country to be (constitutionally) at war, Congress must declare war, not pass a resolution saying, hey, Mr. President, we approve of you putting us at war at some point in the future.  That's why, in the beginning, both the Korean and Vietnam "wars" were called "conflicts".  The Oligarchs in Gov't knew that the Constitution required a Declaration of War by the Congress, so they figured they'd make things more palatable to the public by calling both of those wars "conflicts".  As the years passed, Gov't became bolder and simply dropped all pretenses regarding the Constitution.  They ignored the document.  And, lo and behold, very few people seemed to give a damn.  That's why, more than once, I've suggested that we throw out the Constitution...because ignoring it has the same effect.

People have said to me, this just can't be...you must be misinterpreting the Constitution somewhere, some parts of it.  My answer usually goes like this:  I spent a fairly significant portion of my full-time working life interpreting the most complex, convoluted U.S. laws and regulations in existence, the Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials laws and regs...and the Occupational Safety and Health laws and regs.  [To prove my claim regarding their complexity, Google:  40 CFR 261.3 - Definition of Hazardous Waste.]  Compared to those laws and regs, the U.S. Constitution is a second-grader's textbook...it's longwinded in parts, but it's very plainly written.  If you can read and have any common sense at all, you can "interpret" it.

As I said in my previous post, I think most people know that the Game is rigged, and so, they figure the whole situation is probably hopeless.  That's true only if we continue to rely on "voting" to save us, and that's because about 99% of all national political candidates (Republicans and Democrats) are chosen, groomed, and financed by the Oligarchy. There are other peaceful ways to bring about significant change.  First, though, we have to stop drinking the Propaganda Kool Aid...part of that Kool Aid is the lie that Republican and Democrat policy-makers are significantly different.

Partly just my opinion.
Happy Trails

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Congratulations

Someone in DC finally stated the obvious.  "Washington is not working for hardworking Middle Class families."  ~ Senator Elizabeth Warren.  It's significant that Warren, a Democrat, did not say, "Republicans are not working for...".  Her statement was totally nonpartisan.  She also went on to say, "The system is rigged."...and, "The large banks are now 38% larger than they were before the Bailout."...and, "They have not been held to account."...and more.  Congratulations to us, the People...we finally have at least one honest, national politician.  I predict that she'll be smeared, or marginalized, or both.  I hope I'm wrong.

It should be glaringly apparent that "voting" (in the present corrupt system) is not going to save us.  Ever since I took a keen interest in American politics (in 1956, Mr. Benson's American Government Class, Highland Park High, Highland Park, Illinois), I've watched our Fed Gov't, our society, and our country proceed on a steady downhill slide.  During the time from then to now, there have been periods when the Republicans were in the majority in our Gov't, and times when the Democrats were in the majority, and even times when the power was more or less evenly split.  Throughout it all, the downhill slide remained fairly steady.  Corruption grew, the Fed Gov't threw off its Constitutional restraints, the rich became the super-rich, poverty grew, the Middle Class continued to shrink, the Fed Gov't expanded and became more intrusive, unconstitutional wars became the norm, and politics became more and more about money.  It didn't matter whether Republicans or Democrats held the majority power.

On average, only about 50% (sometimes as high as 60%) of eligible voters actually bother to vote in any USA national election.  Before I became a nonvoter, I thought such people were lazy, or didn't care, etc.  For some time now, I've believed that the paragraphs above describe the real reason for people not voting.  The Game is rigged.  James Madison once stated something to the effect that there will come a time when our Republic will be in grave danger because wealth will be concentrated in the pockets of the very few.  We're in that era now.  He went on to say that it will be up to the People to change our laws if we are to remain a free, prosperous country.  Glenn Greenwald (a former Constitutional attorney and now a dissident independent journalist), Noam Chomsky, and others have explained very clearly how The Law is used to rig the Game.  [See YouTube.]

Who writes our laws?  Many, if not most, Legislative Bills are written by lobbyists...and then hawked to Representatives and Senators.  [A cabal of Fat-Cat Bankers wrote the Bill that became the Fed Reserve Act.]  Who determines Fed Gov't policies?  Let's take Hank Paulson as an example...net worth in 2012, over $700 million.  He came from Goldman Sachs (the world's largest investment bank)...he was the Head Honcho, salary---$40 million per year.  Both Dubya Bush and Obama had him as Secretary of the Treasury.  [Apparently the concept of a conflict of interest no longer exists in DC.  Just because he liquidated his Goldman Sachs assets doesn't mean he had zero conflict of interest.  By the way, because of an obscure tax loophole for the rich, he was able to avoid $200 million in capital gains taxes on those assets by going to work for the Feds...in case you're wondering why he would go from a salary of $40 million to one of $183,000 & change.]  During the financial crisis of 2008, "Too Big to Fail", Paulson tells Congress that we have to give billions to the big banks, including of course, Goldman Sachs.  He said our entire economic system would collapse otherwise...a complete fairy tale.  Bernanke and Paulson also decided that about $13 TRILLION in loans must be made available to the Big Banks...at POINT 25 (.25) % interest.  That whole scenario was the greatest heist in American history.  The legislative "reforms" since then are nothing but window dressing.  "Voting" will not solve this problem...at least, not until the system is unrigged.

So, what's to be done?  There are many good, peaceful options...none of them include the present bought-and-paid-for Republicans and Democrats.  [There are very, very few exceptions to that statement.]  That means the very first step is to stop drinking the Propaganda Kool Aid.  Until that happens, there's no point at all in even discussing the options.

Partly just my opinion.
Happy Trails