Thursday, April 26, 2018

Here's How They Do It -OR- The Biggest Flaw in the Constitution

I posted this piece almost three years ago; below is a significant edit of it.  I believe this essay is crucial in understanding how the Constitutional Republic of the USA essentially has been overthrown.  It all started as far back as Alexander Hamilton...and it's not any kind of "conspiracy".  It was (and still is) an in-plain-sight battle between those who believe in genuine democracy and those who believe in Rule by Oligarchs and Plutocrats.  The latter (who are not constrained by political Parties or labels) always have referred to the rest of us as "the little people".

"They" (in the title above) are the Neoliberals, NeoConservatives, and other Oligarchs who over decades and by sheer, disorganized, dumb luck have brought about a coup in our Government.  For years I wondered how so many unconstitutional laws could come into being in this Land with barely a peep of protest from anyone.  I think perhaps finally I've figured it out.  Over the years, now and again, I heard this-or-that politician mention the "necessary and proper" clause of the Constitution; but I never paid much attention to it until recently.

"The Congress shall have 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."
~ Article I, Section 8, Clause 18, United States Constitution

The Powers mentioned in that clause, "...the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers...", are those delegated by We the People to our Federal Government.  They are the Enumerated Powers that we have given to the Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch.  The Government has only those Powers.  Unfortunately, going all the way back to our Founding Fathers, some have claimed that Article I Section 8 Clause 18 gives other, implied Powers to the Government.  Hamilton and Jefferson debated that very point.

Alexander Hamilton was the Founder who proposed that our Gov't should be that of a Monarchy; he wanted a King as our leader.  Luckily, that idea quickly was scrapped.  Nonetheless, Hamilton kept fighting for a central government bordering on dictatorial.  He wanted a central bank, and he claimed that Article I Section 8 Clause 18 gave the Gov't implied Powers.  Hamilton argued that the "sovereign" duties of a government implied the right to use means adequate to its ends, regardless of specific Enumerated Powers.  Jefferson opposed him at every turn until Hamilton was killed by Aaron Burr in a duel, July, 1804.  Nevertheless, the seed had been planted.  Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall and others promoted the idea that the Government had implied powers.  At times, the "necessary and proper" clause was referred to as the "elastic clause".

The idea eventually lost favor in the late 1800's up until the 1930's.  With the Roosevelt Administration, the "elastic clause" was back in favor... and as the Fed Gov't expanded, the idea became more and more the flavor of the day.  As that happened, "Legislative Absolutism" took hold more and more.  In 1901, Supreme Court Justice Harlan coined that term, warning of a time when unconstitutional laws would be passed as a matter of course.  He was right.

Any examination of the "necessary and proper" clause with a view toward common sense tells us that no additional Powers are implied by it. Furthermore, it makes ZERO sense that so-called "implied" powers would be able to result in a law which would essentially nullify any specific written clause in the Supreme Law of the Land.  Finally, the use of "implied" powers apparently is virtually without limits.  It's whatever an indoctrinated, propagandized public will tolerate.

EXAMPLE---  The so-called PATRIOT Act essentially nullifies the Fourth Amendment.  Gathering of bulk data is permitted... without the people being intruded upon having to be suspects of any kind.  In addition, FBI Agents can write their own Search Warrants (called "National Security Letters")... the Fourth Amendment makes it clear that judges must issue those.  Finally, other portions of the Act violate the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.  [So do portions of the National Defense Authorization Act, the NDAA.]

All the "necessary and proper" clause is saying is this:  Congress can pass Laws in order to implement the specific Enumerated Powers that were delegated to them by We the People.  Nowhere does it say or imply that Laws contravening the Constitution also may be passed.  Only an attorney with no common sense would infer such a thing from that clause.  Both Hamilton and Marshall were attorneys.  [My admittedly limited experience with attorneys tells me that very few of them have any common sense whatsoever.  They appear to live in a very esoteric world; as with everything, I'm sure there are exceptions.]

In the "necessary and proper" clause, the "foregoing Powers" refers to the Enumerated Powers in clauses 1-17 of Article I Section 8.  "All other Powers" refers to Enumerated Powers in other parts of the Constitution...or, as the 18th clause puts it, "...vested by this Constitution...".  Nothing in this clause implies Powers that are not Enumerated.  That was Jefferson's position, and he was right on the mark.  The Monarchy-loving Hamilton thought otherwise.

So, here's the biggest flaw in our Constitution---
The following, or something similar, should have been added at the tail end of the "necessary and proper" clause and both the "commerce" and "general welfare" clauses:  "Nothing in this section should be construed to mean that the federal government has any powers other than those enumerated in the Constitution.".

My conclusion is that certain people in our political history wanted a way around the constraints of the Constitution.  It appears they desired a central government so strong that it bordered on dictatorial.  To achieve that objective, they inferred from primarily the "necessary and proper" clause, but also from the "commerce" and "general welfare" clauses, so-called implied powers.  I see that as pure BS.  I sincerely doubt that it was the intention of almost all our Founders to give the Government unknown, virtually unlimited Powers that could, in fact, contravene any of the listed or Enumerated Powers delegated by We the People.  That makes no sense... and more importantly, it makes the Constitution worthless.  The primary purpose of the Constitution is to restrain/constrain government; that's not possible if we accept the concept of "implied powers"... which can be almost anything.  

Unfortunately, "implied powers" has been the flavor of the day for decades & decades.  As well as some other people, Trump loves that flavor.  Most Presidents do.  Most people in both Houses of Congress do, too.  That's why we have so many unconstitutional Laws.  The Powers-That-Be have convinced themselves (and most Americans, it seems) that the bedrock of our Gov't, the Constitution of the United States of America, contains unknown, virtually unlimited, implied Powers.  There's no common sense in that view.

None of this bodes well for what is supposed to be a Free Society.  We are marching voluntarily straight into George Orwell's dystopian world.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Appalling Gall of the U.S. Government

From beyond the grave, George Orwell must be having a belly-busting laugh.  I wonder if he knew that his writings were so prophetic.

On the News tonight (Sunday, April 22), there was a piece titled "Accidental Americans".  It was about a few folks who had been born decades ago in the USA, and then shortly thereafter, they and their families went back home to (in these cases) France.  By "shortly thereafter", I mean days or a couple of weeks.

Enter the Fed Government's IRS...that's the part of our Gov't to which I'm referring in the title above.  The IRS has decided that income taxes should be levied against not only residents, but anyone born here as well...even if they left as babies, never to reside here again.  So now these adults in France (and probably some other countries) are faced with US Income Taxes on their French incomes.  That makes no sense whatsoever.  I challenge anyone to explain sensibly how that action is justifiable.

The US IRS has a long history of exhibiting very little common sense.  This is another example of that; additionally, the agency too often adopts Gestapo-like tactics in "enforcement" actions.  It also glaringly shows how the Fed Gov't often displays zero respect for an individual's sovereignty.

I suspect that some people, perhaps many, fail to grasp the concept of "sovereignty".  It seems that too many people believe only The State has sovereignty, and that the concept does not apply to individuals.  In an ethical world/society, The State only REPRESENTS the sovereignty of We the People.  It's individuals who possess sovereignty, not governments.  That's why Plutocracies and Oligarchies around the globe constantly are propagandizing their citizens to believe that they live in a "democracy".  The USA is a prime example:  we don't live in a democracy; instead, it's a Plutocracy through and through.  It always has been.  The few politicians in our history who tried to change that were either marginalized or eliminated.

Wake up, Americans--- the Rich & Super-Rich rule their benefit, and our detriment.  Now they're trying to do the same to people who don't even live here, and never have worked here.  Kudos to the lady in France who stated in the News interview:  "I'm not going to pay it [the U.S.-imposed income taxes].".  Why should she?  She never worked here in her whole life!  The gall of the IRS is beyond the pale.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well