Had a great program on Vigilant Liberty Radio last night with my guest Doug Mataconis (@dmataconis), an attorney in private practice and prolific blogger at Outside the Beltway. We had a discussion across a wide range of issues, touching often on Doug’s expertise – and my layman’s interest – in the intersection of politics, law, and the Constitution. Continue reading TFH live on VLR from 2/3 – America Is Beautiful
On this day in 1933, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition as established by the 18th Amendment! Talk about a long national nightmare ending.
Prohibition is an interesting topic for the present day, in the case of the “war on drugs” and now-illegal products from marijuana to methamphetamine. Is continued prohibition the answer, or do we remove Federal restrictions and rely on the 10th Amendment and the laws of the states? Legalize everywhere?
With each passing day I’m becoming more libertarian on this issue and leaning towards a 10th Amendment fix. We are on safe ground when we stick to the Constitution.
Gah! Another topic to add to the list of things I’d love to write about when I have the time…
And yet however just these sentiments will be allowed to be, we have
already sufficient indications that it will happen in this as in all former
cases of great national discussion. A torrent of angry and malignant passions
will be let loose. To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall
be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their
opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their
declamations and the bitterness of their invectives. An enlightened zeal for the
energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized as the offspring of a
temper fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of liberty. An over
scrupulous jealousy of danger to the rights of the people, which is more
commonly the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere
pretense and artifice; the stale bait for popularity at the expense of the
public good. It will be forgotten, on the one hand, that jealousy is the usual
concomitant of love, and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty is apt to be
infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust. On the other hand, it
will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the
security of liberty; that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed
judgment, their interest can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition
more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people
than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of
government. History will teach us that the former has been found a much more
certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those
men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have
begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing
demagogues, and ending Tyrants.
I haven’t seen the text of the decision yet, but I’m very pleased that the California Supreme Court has decided to follow the will of the voters and not impose their will by judicial fiat.
This column from today’s The Wall Street Journal, “Chrysler and the Rule of Law” by Todd J. Zywicki, is an alarming summary of the complete disregard for our Constitution and the laws enacted under it by our President, New Soviet Man Barack Obama.
Professor Zywicki sets the stage:
Fleecing lenders to pay off politically powerful interests, or governmental
threats to reputation and business from a failure to toe a political line? We
might expect this behavior from a Hugo Chavez. But it would never happen here,
A recitation of the facts surrounding President Obama’s strong-arm of the Chrysler bankruptcy and the relevant Constitutional and legal provisions follows. He succintly points out that Chrysler’s secured creditors are being shafted in favor of the United Auto Workers – not conicidentally one of Mr. Obama’s favored constituency groups. He continues:
By stepping over the bright line beween the rule of law and the arbitrary
behavior of men, President Obama may have created a thousand new failing
businesses. That is, businesses thay might have received financing before but
that now will not, since lenders face the potential of future government
confiscation. In other words, Mr. Obama may have helped save the jobs of
thousands of union workers whose dues, in part, engineered his election. But
what about the untold number of job losses in the future caused by trampling the
sanctity of contracts today?
The value of the rule of law is not merely a matter of economic efficiency.
It also provides a bulwark against arbitrary governmental action taken at the
behest of politically influential interests at the expense of the politically
And what if the next time it is a politically unpopular business…that’s on
the brink? Might the government force it to surrender a patent to get the White
House’s agreement to get financing for the bankruptcy plan?
A dire, dangerous question indeed. In fact, it echoes of Ayn Rand’s “Directive 10-289“.
At this time, I’d like to call Mr. Obama’s attention to the text of Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution:
“He shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
I made the assertion around Election Day that if – and as it has turned out to be – when Barack Obama took the Oath of Office, the entire statement would be a lie.
Sadly, tragically, I was right.
Pray for our Nation.
(Hat tip: Drudge)
In her own words, Miss California USA on the First Amendment and what our forefathers sacrificed to protect:
Pittsburgh’s city council apparently does not. The council has preliminarily passed an ordinance requiring gun owners to report the theft of their weapons within 72 hours or face fines or imprisonment!
When asked for a reaction to this ridiculous measure potentially being at odds with Pennsylvania law, the Pennsylvania Constitution, and the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, Councilwoman Tonya Payne of District 6 actually said:
“Who really cares about it being unconstitutional?”
Not only does this measure need to be defeated or vetoed, Ms. Payne needs to be removed from office.
In his own words, here is Barack Obama in 2001:
His words, directly quoted:
To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive
This is frightening. The New Soviet Man is saying that the courts have a right, a responsibility even, to ignore the Constitution of the United States when its “essential constraints” forbid them from imposing his agenda and world view.
Negative liberties? Of course the Constitution controls what the government can’t do. An unchecked, omnipresent, unrestrained government is tyrrany, which by the way is why our forefathers fought a revolution to break away from they tyrrany of the Crown.
At the same time, the Constitution guarantees what the people can do. We can redress our government for grievances – kiss that one goodbye under Chairman Obama. Our speech and the press is free – kiss that one goodbye when the Fairness Doctrine is reimposed. Forget about the 9th and 10th Amendments too. Our last line of defense against tyranny – the 2nd Amendment – will assuredly be trashed.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Should the American people risk our republic by electing this man next Tuesday, on January 20, 2009 when Barack Obama raises his right hand and is administered the following oath by Chief Justice John Roberts:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of
President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve,
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Every word out of his mouth – every word – will be a lie. This man hates our Constitution. This man hates our Nation. This man hates everything that the United States of America stands for.
UPDATE @ 1231: Fox News has picked up the story.
Today, September 17th, is Constitution Day, celebrating the 221st approval by the Constitutional Convention of the text that defines our Nation!!!!!!
If you’ve never read the most important document in the United States, please do so today for the first time! You’ll be uplifted by what’s in there – and probably surprised (and hopefully uplifted and enlightened too) by what’s not.
Reinforce your learning by dipping into the Federalist Papers as well.
Use today to celebrate your Constitutional rights – blog, buy a gun, practice your religion – and reflect on how an overreaching government, enabled by activist jurists and the left-wing ethos, continues to trample and restrict our freedoms.
Without our Constitution, who knows what that which our Founding Fathers planted on July 4th, 1776 would look like today? I thank God we’ll never know.
The finalization of the Constitution of the United States of America guaranteed the longevity and survival of our American experiment and the great Nation that has grown and persists as the greatest Nation to this day. Without the United States, the freedoms our Constitution as amended guarantees, and our national will to protect, defend, and spread the same, I truly believe that liberty and freedom would have perished from the Earth and all humanity – as much of humanity today still endures – would be under the iron fist of tyrrany and oppression.
September 17, 1787 – a FINEST HOUR not only for the United States, but for Human Liberty, and all the world.
They don’t even have the power to make new laws, not that that stops them…