Tag Archives: Thomas Jefferson

Bill Lockwood: Judicial Supremacy? 4 (1)

by Bill Lockwood

Thomas Jefferson warned us that the Supreme Court itself had the potential to distort the original intent of the Founders by using “Judicial Review.” He saw that the Court might begin creating law instead of merely interpreting the laws passed by the legislature and applying them in the cases that came before it. Late in life he wrote:

It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression … that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal judiciary; an irresponsible body, (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one. To this I am opposed; because, when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.

While there are certainly other factors involved in America’s decline from its original constitutional model, Jefferson’s admonition strikes at the heart of the issues involved today.

With the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and President Trump’s constitutional role in filling that vacancy, the war that is shaping up in Washington, D.C. is ominous. Showing complete disdain for our Constitution, the frenzied left is promising such outlandish measures as bringing impeachment charges against our president solely for the purpose of hindering him from doing his Constitutional duty.

Let’s look, however, behind the mayhem to see the foundational issues involved.

Constitutional Nonsense

One rude and reckless blogger posted this on Facebook. “With justice Ginsberg passing today, all my female and minority friends better vote like your life depends upon it … these … Republicans are going to have you barefoot and in the kitchen with zero rights over your genitals and put minorities ‘back in their place’ in society …!!”

It is difficult to imagine a more frantic and ignorant statement than this. But it does highlight some major erroneous thought processes that live on the socialist left. Before noting them it is worth mentioning that the comment above focuses upon the issue of abortion. That is noteworthy because it is the lefties and socialists in America who like to say, “You conservatives are a ONE ISSUE group of people—always mentioning abortion!” In point of fact, that is inaccurate—however, surrounding the war pertaining to Ginsberg’s replacement, just who is riveting attention to one single issue? The Liberal Left.

Judicial Supremacy

Judicial Supremacy is a “radical over-extension”, indeed, perversion – “of the legitimate doctrines of ‘judicial review and stare decisis (‘to stand by matters that have been settled’). In brief, the modern doctrine of “judicial supremacy” is as follows: (1) That the Supreme Court has the authority to construe the Constitution in issues that come before the Court and that that meaning of the Constitution, instead of applying only against the parties that come before the Court, applies against everyone in the country situated in similar circumstances.

(2) That an opinion of the Supreme Court can only be modified or cancelled by a later opinion of the Supreme Court or by a formal amendment to the Constitution.

(3) Nothing can be done to any justice of the Court as a consequence of any opinion handed down, no matter how fraudulent or willfully false it may be.

(4) Most importantly: Judicial Supremacy assumes that the meaning of the Constitution’s provisions are: (i) largely unknown and even unknowable, unless that provision becomes illuminated by the Supreme Court itself; (ii) politically plastic, in that the meaning of those provisions can, and even should, change from time to time as the Supreme Court deems advisable.

What Shall We Say to These Things?

Like liberal views of the Bible, so these views of the Constitution and of the role of the Supreme Court land us in nothing less than an oligarchy whereby we are ruled by a board of nine judges—not the Constitution itself. And in case of a 5-4 decision by the Court, the fate of the nation can be decided by only one single judge. Little wonder therefore, that the Political War of 2020 is heightening.

First, the Constitution had a Definite Meaning Before the Supreme Court was Formed. The Constitution and all of its provisions were well known by the people much before the Supreme Court was formed. The Constitution was ratified in 1788 and the Bill of Rights in 1791. However, the Supreme Court was not formed until 1789 and the first cases reached it in August of 1791. In other words, the Supreme Court did not even exist when the Constitution was ratified. Are we to believe that it was passed and ratified by “We the People” but that they had no idea as to its meaning until nine black-robed justices began handing down decisions?

Further, public officeholders have been “bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support the Constitution” and the president to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”—no person could honestly have taken this oath before the formation and decisions of the Supreme Court if “Judicial Supremacy” be true.

Second, Judicial Supremacy is Self-Contradictory. Article 3 of the Constitution covers the Judicial Branch. “The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” Section 2 describes the cases that come before the Supreme Court. Those who favor the modern doctrine of “Judicial Supremacy” point to this Section to establish it. But that presupposes that we are able to comprehend the meaning of its provisions without Supreme Court clarification.

This is the same fundamental contradiction made by the Roman Church when seeking to establish papal supremacy. Catholic defenders run to Matthew 16:16-18 in an effort to establish the doctrine in the minds of doubters. However, this maneuver assumes that one may read and understand the text without papal assistance. In point of fact, the text actually teaches no such thing as papal supremacy any more than Article 3 gives foundation for Judicial Supremacy.

Third, the Constitution is Self-Defining. One is able to read and understand the meaning of the text without assistance from an “inspired” Court of Nine. If there are challenges to interpretation, one need only read The Federalist Papers, the commentary composed by those who actually wrote the Constitution, to determine its meaning. As a matter of fact, it was upon this basis, by the notes put together in articles by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton, that the colonies learned and accepted the Constitution to begin with.

There is a frenzy of activity surrounding the replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, but the real reason the Democrat/Socialists of America are waging war is found in the following statement from the Tenth Amendment Center. “Progressives want a living, breathing Constitution because they want to mold society into their own image. They crave power. Originalism restrains power.” Without rule of law, government becomes arbitrary and despotic. Exactly where the Socialists will take us.

 

 

 

Bill Lockwood: Losing Property Rights 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

Fox & Friends reported Monday that an Ohio business owner “is receiving threats for cooperating with law enforcement officials investigating the looting of her cupcake store last month.” “Kelly Kandah, the owner of Colossal Cupcakes in Cleveland, which was destroyed by looters, said some of those threats include people telling her that when her store is rebuilt, ‘it’s going to happen again.’”

Ms. Kandah said that some of the “complaints” of rioters were due to the fact that her cooperation with the FBI is “upsetting people” because she would involve the police over something such as property.”

The family-owned business, which is Ms. Kandah’s investment of her own private capital, is afraid to re-open after repairs because her plea to law enforcement for protection is seen by the looters as “racist” for “not supporting ‘black lives.’”

Kelly Kandah’s story is only one example of literally hundreds and thousands of private business owners who have lost, and are in the process of losing their own private property to the forces of evil. Violence is sweeping the country in the aftermath of the George Floyd death leaving cities such as Minneapolis looking like the streets of Baghdad.

Socialism Cancels Property Rights

Much of the current hedonistic lawlessness, inclusive of the disrespect of private property, is due to the infusion of socialistic “values” in our people. The doctrine of socialism disdains the very concept of “private property.” Private property is itself considered to be evil, according to Spargo & Arner (Elements of Socialism).

Not only is private property considered to be evil, but is the very cause and root of all societal problems. “Dishonesty” is supposedly caused by “private property” (p. 23); property is that which “divides mankind into classes” (p. 206), and therefore, all property must be leveled.

A malicious view of these socialists is found in their comment regarding “Negroes” and private property. “The ‘thieving propensities’ of the Southern negro do not come from a criminal nature, but from the failure of a simple barbarous people fully to appreciate the conception of private property” (p. 71).

Since private property is seen as a development of evolutionary changes through centuries, and people are as well, Spargo & Arno are suggesting that blacks have not evolved to the point where they have appreciated the developments of civilization.

It is ironic that the current slew of Marxists and socialists in our universities have maligned Christianity with a backward view of blacks and private property—when in point of fact, it is SOCIALISM itself which teaches it.

Like Spargo & Arno of yesteryear, the current Mayor of NYC, Bill de Blasio, himself a Marxist, has decried the very concept of private property in a 2017 interview, as reported by USA Today (9-13-17). Private property is a roadblock to economic progress, per de Blasio.

The mobs, looters, and violence mongers stalking our city streets agree with him. Private property is for destruction. A godless worldview.

The Founders

The founders of America correctly recognized that all of private property is an extension of one’s life, energy, and ingenuity (see W. Cleon Skousen, The Five-Thousand Year Leap, 171). Therefore, “to destroy or confiscate such property is, in reality, an attack on the essence of life itself.”

“The person who has worked to cultivate a farm, obtained food by hunting, carved a beautiful statue, or secured a wage by his labor, has projected his very being—the very essence of his life—into that labor.”

Property rights—or more correctly, the right to property, is in reality an extension of personal liberty. Justice George Sutherland of the U.S. Supreme Court once stated, “… the individual—the man—has three great rights, equally sacred from arbitrary interference: the right to his LIFE, the right to his LIBERTY, the right to his PROPERTY.”

He went on to note that “the three rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worthy living. To give him his liberty but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

Property rights is an essential ingredient to liberty and freedom. John Adams saw it clearly. “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secure or liberty cannot exist.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings.”

For the reasons cited above, “Life, liberty, and property” is the phrase enshrined two times in our Constitution.

What Occurs When Property Rights Are Not Respected?

W. Cleon Skousen, in The Five-Thousand Year Leap, observed that FOUR things will occur, and have occurred, where the right to property is not preserved.

One, the incentive of an industrious person to develop and improve property is destroyed. This is exactly, to the tee, what is occurring in America right now as Marxist lawless gangs loot and destroy. Kelly Kandah is “AFRAID” to re-open her business, just as she was afraid to DEFEND her business as thugs destroyed it while she hid in the back rooms while the ransacking occurred. “My family built it up, [I] listened to it get absolutely destroyed,” she said on June 2. “That whole time we were locked in there [back bathroom]… I just listened to everything getting shattered and crushed.”

Two, the industrious individual would also be deprived of the fruits of his (or her) labor. Witness again Kelly Kandah, as well as a host of other law-abiding citizens who have lost their life fortune’s while their businesses went up in smoke in recent George Floyd riots.

Three, marauding bands would be tempted to go about the country confiscating by force and violence the good things that others had frugally and painstakingly provided. Who has not seen the video clips of huge Black Lives Matter crowds plus Antifa and useful idiots robbing and pillaging businesses, homes, and grocery stores?

Four, mankind would be impelled to remain on a bare-subsistence level of hand-to-mouth survival because the accumulation of anything would invite attack. Kelly Kandah, who has laboriously accumulated something of value through the years in her Colossal Cupcakes, invites lawless attacks simply due to that fact alone. It matters not that she declares she is “absolutely for the cause” (Black Lives Matter). That cuts no figure to Marxists and violence-mongers. She has accumulated something of value.

Be sure of this. In the wake of destruction of private property also comes destruction of innocent lives. Indeed, some of this has already been occurring. And all of this from a “WOKE” crowd.

Bill Lockwood: May Christians be Engaged in Politics? 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

“Politics” is one of those words that has taken on ugly connotations in almost every context in which it is used. It has the air of manipulating people for some personal gain. Indeed, one of the definitions of “politic” is “shrewd, crafty, unscrupulous.” If we leave it right there, then the issue of Christian involvement settles itself.

However, political science refers to the methods and principles of governing. When used in this sense, it is more statecraft, which is “the art of managing state affairs.” Used in this way the entire issue of Christian participation takes on a different color. Let’s back up to some basics.

Genesis Account

God created man in his own image (Gen. 1:26). Only mankind (humanity) was created by God with this “image.” This apparently refers to the capacity of humans to exercise free will; to have moral sensitivity; to manage rational behavior. The point, however, is that humankind only, of all of God’s creation, has intrinsic value. 

An extension of this value is liberty—freedom of movement and choice. This is man’s endowment from God because man cannot sustain himself without labor or work. Man is to utilize (subdue, have dominion over, Gen. 1:28) the creation to that end. The original order from the Creator was to work or labor in order to eat (Gen. 2:15-16). God’s design therefore implies liberty in order to accomplish this.  

At the same time, private property is an extension of my labor, an extension of myself. “Thou shalt not steal” implies private ownership of property. Even the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the same in 1972 in Lynch v. Household Finance. Property rights are “fundamental civil rights.” Further, the right to property is inseparable from the right to liberty. One cannot exist without the other.

What is Law?

“Law” is simply “rule of action.” Frederic Bastiat, in his classic essay The Law, wrote it best. “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” Are Christians banned from crafting laws by which to protect their God-endowed rights? Surely not.

Law then, as Bastiat breaks it down, is defined as “the common force that protects this collective right [and it] cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute.” That is to say, law is the common force of a number of people and only has the authority of those individuals in defense of life, liberty, and property. 

We ask: Is it right to defend my life with force? If yes, then, I may do it collectively as well with a “common force.” Is it right to defend my liberty with force? My property? “Thou shalt not steal” is again, good law—but it is meaningless without an enforcement mechanism. Empty words without teeth. Remember, even the apostles carried swords (Luke 22:38).

If the answer to any of these questions is “no” then we might ask how was it that God Himself so provided for those things in the Old Testament? Defense of any of these is certainly not inherently wrong. The “common force” is nothing less than government. If a Christian may engage in defense of life, liberty or property as an individual, he or she may do so as part of government.

Is it possible that a “common force” (government) can be used for nefarious ends? Of course. But it is also possible for the collective force or governing authority to do right. This is the basis of Romans 13:1-7.

The New Testament

Let’s check our answer with the New Testament. The apostle Paul was arrested in Jerusalem (Acts 23). Kept in a Roman prison, he discovered that a plot had been laid for his life by the Jews. This conspiracy (23:12) was made known to Paul by his nephew while visiting the apostle. Paul instructed the young lad to take the information to the commandant. The commandant considered the news credible and prepared almost 500 armed soldiers—acting as a police force and deterrent to the murderous plot of the Jews—to transport Paul to Caesarea.

Here is a case of an apostle, utilizing the lethal force of government to protect his life and ensure a miscarriage of justice did not occur. It is certainly right to use violence for self-preservation. If it is right for Paul to use it, it is right for another Christian to participate in the governing authority that Paul used.

It seems less than satisfactory for one to respond, “Well, the Roman soldiers and governing authorities are going to hell anyway, so let them to the killing.” By that lack of rationale one would hope that conversions among the military or police or state officials would not occur so that we may protect ourselves with the devil’s population!

It seems clear that a Christian may engage in statecraft—organizing laws and regulations for a community based upon Christian standards, including enforcement mechanisms. The only issue therefore, is: What kind of governance is it by which we can best maintain the liberties granted to us by God? The perfect answer is provided succinctly by the one and only Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson

In a letter to Gideon Granger in 1800 Jefferson explained how centralization of government would lead to despotism and loss of freedom.

Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens, and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite the public agents to corruption, plunder and waste. And I do verily believe, that if the principle were to prevail, of a common law being force in the United States, … it would become the most corrupt government on the earth.

If you wish to maintain your liberties, keep the governing powers local. With words that are so accurate they ring prophetic, he continued,

What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating, plundering, office-building and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the State powers into the hands of the General Government. The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the States are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations. Let the General Government be reduced to foreign concerns only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves, and our General Government may be reduced to a very simple organization and a very inexpensive one; a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants.

Bill Lockwood: Good-bye American Heritage? 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

The inspiring ideals enshrined in the founding documents of our nation include a limited government that allows maximum personal freedom, equality of opportunity, and equal justice under the law. These are founded upon the pillars of inalienable rights, including the fact that all men are created by God as equal. But we have gone about “as far left” as socialist policies can take us if the Democratic debates are an indication of where America will be tomorrow.

“Our job,” Bernie Sanders spouted in the Iowa debate, “is to build the United Nations.” Not surprising from a socialist who has been photographed enjoying toasts with the leader of the old Soviet Union’s gulag communistic state. But frightening that he maintains substantial support in the Democratic Party.

The United Nations has been from its inception a design for socialistic world government. In its most recent COP 25 climate summit in Madrid, Spain, Executive Director Stuart Scott called for the UN to implement drastic population-control policies and “family planning” such as control the Chinese. Other plans include a massive transfer of wealth from “western countries” (read, “United States”) to third world poorer nations in the form of “climate reparations.” The UN is a world dictators’ dream. This is what Bernie Sanders favors. National Socialism is not brave enough—we need International socialism.

It is inescapable, however, that we have already lost so many of our freedoms that have made America the envy of the world. Whether due to taxes, to regulations on our businesses, farms, homes, cars, to our activities, to our speech, and to our abilities to exercise without government interference our religious liberty—our American heritage has dwindled.

So the issue is whether we will preserve even the semblance of our once-cherished ideals of limited government, the sovereignty of the States, the protection of life and property that is so nobly enshrined in our founding documents? Will we maintain any semblance of our freedom over our own health care or will we capitulate to the totalitarian proposals of the Democrats by which the government becomes a monopoly funded 100% by the American taxpayer? Will we continue the path to a more limited government under president Donald Trump or listen to the siren song of socialists?

Samuel Padover edited Thomas Jefferson’s letters in Thomas Jefferson on Democracy. He refers to Jefferson as “the St. Paul of American democracy.” Padover completes his introduction;

“The modern trend is in the direction of greater concentration of power in the hands of government. The problem of individual freedom within the framework of a more or less regulated economy will have to be fought out in our age, just as the question of political liberty and the free market were the issues in Jefferson’s day. … Jefferson felt that without liberty, life was not worth living. …In the difficult years that undoubtedly lie ahead, Americans will have to gather all their moral forces for the preservation of their way of life, their liberties, and their opportunities.”

These words were written in 1939.

E.W. Jackson & Jerome Corsi: The Impeachment Show Trial 0 (0)

by E.W. Jackson & Jerome Corsi

Representatives Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler set a very dangerous precedent when they refused to conduct impeachment hearings according to constitutional due process standards. Democrats are so desperate for power that they would overturn the election of a President of the United States based on their biased and partisan interpretation of his telephone conversation with a foreign leader.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was initially reluctant to risk the electoral backlash of impeachment. She finally bowed to far-left pressure, ignoring the President’s astounding economic and foreign policy successes. Her worst nightmare is coming true — rising approval for President Trump and rising disapproval for the Democrat Party and their presidential candidates.

This is because the impeachment process we are witnessing is decidedly un-American. Using secretive, totalitarian-style, one-party interrogations is not due process and is unworthy of a constitutional republic.

Democrats ignored the constitutional standard for impeachment to remove a president:  “Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”  No unbiased  adjudicator could conclude that President Trump’s telephone discussion with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is an impeachable offense. Far from a “high crime,” the President was carrying out his duty to the people of the United States. He was guarding our treasure and protecting our national integrity. Ukraine has been one of the most corrupt nations in the world, and he was right to request an investigation. If taxpayer funded aide was used as leverage to enrich the former vice president’s son, the American people should know.

Instead of thanking the President for his diligence, Democrats in Congress had the temerity to accuse him of committing an “abuse of power.” The Executive Branch of the United States government is separate and co-equal. George Washington University law professor and constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley told the House Judiciary Committee that it would be Congress abusing power if they try to stop the President from exercising his constitutional prerogatives. Schiff, Nader and Pelosi ignored that unbiased counsel.

They have chosen instead to drag the country through an impeachment process while trampling the constitutional and due process rights of a sitting President. If they ignore his rights, why would they respect those of the average citizen?

Due process rules are not reserved to criminal trials alone. They are essentially the same in regulatory and administrative hearings. Those rules reach even to private entities operating under “color of law.” To suggest that a proceeding as grave as a presidential impeachment need not follow the same basic procedural rules of fairness is ludicrous on its face.

Hearsay is excluded from evidence in court proceedings because it is notoriously unreliable. Yet Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent and acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor were called before the House Intelligence Committee with great pomp and ceremony to offer only hearsay. Defendants always have a right to confront their accusers, yet the “whistleblower” remains an anonymous figure.

Adam Schiff went beyond hearsay to outright falsehood. Speaking on the floor of Congress, he reported that President Trump said to President Zelensky, “I want you to dig up dirt on my opponent and lots of it.” The President said nothing of the kind. Schiff later claimed it was a parody.”  This is the same Adam Schiff who said he had incontrovertible evidence that President Trump colluded with Russia. The only conclusion supported by evidence is that Adam Schiff is a pathological liar.

Democrats also violated the principle that the accused has a right to a vigorous defense. The earliest hearings were closed to Republicans. Information from those inquiries was selectively leaked to the press. Depositions were taken in secret. Rep. Andy Biggs, Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, compared the sessions to Soviet secret hearings. He proposed a resolution on the House floor to condemn and censure Schiff, but of course House Democrats tabled the proposal.

Long gone is the Democratic Party of President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Senators Scoop Jackson and Sam Nunn. It is now a party of hardcore leftists, more aligned with Karl Marx than Thomas Jefferson. They are now completely driven by extreme leftist ideology.  Lacking evidence that President Trump committed any crime or even did anything morally wrong, they recklessly passed articles of impeachment, with no regard to the great damage they are doing to our Republic. The Democratic Party once had statesmen, but it is now the refuge of demagogues.

Their Stalinist impeachment show trial demonstrated gross disrespect for our elections and the peaceful transition of power. This has been nothing less than an attempted coup d’etat, but these de facto communist revolutionaries will face the wrath of the American voter. Tuesday, November 3, 2020 will be a day of reckoning.

AT: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/12/the_impeachment_show_trial.html


Bishop E.W. Jackson, retired attorney and Dr. Jerome Corsi, author and journalist are members of the STAND Against Communism Political Action Committee. www.standagainstcommunism.com

 

Bill Lockwood: Why Do Christians Support Donald Trump? 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

Not presuming to speak for all Christians, I do, however, wish to offer a few observations regarding the general support of Donald J. Trump by Christians and Constitutionalists. This is timely seeing that so many on the socialistic/Democratic side of the political spectrum love to harangue Trump-supporting Christians about the past personal behavior of Trump. They seem to delight in pointing out his multiple marriages, his infidelities, his foul language, or other personal indiscretions, always with a view to shaming Christians for their support.

What Shall We Say to These Things?

First, no Christian of which I am aware excuses Trump’s personal sins. But this is a far cry from an elected official such as Bill Clinton using his powerful position as the chief executive to assault women in the oval office. On a broader scale, if an angry press would devote itself to scouring all public officials with the scrutiny they have applied to Donald Trump, I doubt there would be many officials to escape unscathed. So, what does this mean? Stop participating in the election process because those whom we elect have soiled lives? I suspect that is what the left really desires.

Second, I readily confess that the ideal is as stated by John Adams. “He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries the most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.”

Thomas Jefferson agreed. “For promoting the public happiness, those persons whom nature has endowed with genius and virtue … should be able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens …” But where are we as a society?

It is needless to point out here that our entire culture for the past 75 years has been more reflective of Sodom and Gomorrah than the “shining city on a hill” that John Winthrop paraphrased from the words of our Savior. There is without question a deep-dyed wickedness in the populace that is corroding the nation’s soul. Finding a virtuous and godly person that will fill the position of a “natural aristocracy,” as Jefferson worded it, and willing to put themselves into the grinding mill of the political arena, is nearly an impossible task.

Third, with the above in mind, many Christians primarily have relied upon the simple principle of how best to secure our God-given liberties? Since the entire history of civilization is nothing but the story of suffering peoples at the hands of their own governments, which candidate will support the kinds of Constitutional principles that more positively reflect that? Or, more pointedly, do Donald Trump’s policies lessen the vice-grip of government, or do the Democratic policies? To ask the question is to answer it.

One must recognize that political power always, without fail, gravitates toward centralization and that this movement always erodes and destroys the liberty of people by removing the decision-making processes and transferring them to that central government. Christians therefore, have wisely resisted the growth of government. And it is only Donald J. Trump, even with his brass-knuckle less-than-genteel approach, who can drain the swamp that threatens to drown us all.

An Illustration

The Jews in the time of Christ did not enjoy even a modicum of the liberty that we now have as Christians in America. As a matter of fact, Israel’s sovereignty had been removed from the period of the Assyrian Empire in the Old Testament (8th century B.C.) and was never regained. The mighty Roman empire controlled Palestine during the birth of our Lord, and the Jewish people suffered beneath the local rule of one wicked Procurator after another.

So, when a Quirinius, the Legate of Syria (Luke 2:1-3), would order a census in Palestine with a view to taxation, the Jews submitted even though despising it. So also other governors of Syria such as Coponius, Marcus Ambivius, and Valerius Gratus, who followed Quirinius. Other various fiscal oppressions of a grievous sort were practiced by Romans against the Jewish people. All of these the Jews loathed, but tolerated.

This was because these governors generally respected the religious feelings of the Jews and gave wide latitude to Jewish practices and scruples. We know, for example, that they removed the image of the Emperor from the standards of Roman soldiers before marching them into Jerusalem, so as to avoid the appearance of a cultus of the Caesars (Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, vol. I, p. 242).

But all of that was far different from a Pontius Pilate who forced the hated emblem on the Jews and defied all of their most sacred feelings.

Today

This is not unlike the political scene today. A secular society continues to dominate our culture, which Christians decry. Christians tolerate, probably too much, the unconstitutional and ungodly measures in our country. But this is completely different from a Democratic leader such as Barack Obama who publicly mocks the Bible, engineers the redefinition of marriage, rubs Christian noses in the murder of the unborn, and parades to the world that we are not a Christian nation.

Added to that is the fact that in the end, not only has President Trump boldly stood for a more biblical stance in public policy, but has sought to massively de-regulate the unconstitutional super-state in which we live. A report by the Council of Economic Advisors in June, 2019 estimates that after 5-10 years of the new de-regulatory approach of the Federal Government household incomes will have been raised by $3,100 per household per year.

Casey Mulligan, the chief economist for the CEA, explained that “The deregulatory efforts of the Trump Administration have … removed mandates from employers, especially smaller businesses, and have removed burdens that would have eliminated many small bank lenders from the marketplace. These deregulatory actions are raising real incomes by increasing competition, productivity, and wages.”

In the end, however, it is not merely economic prosperity that many Christians desire. It is to secure our God-given liberties by rolling back the unconstitutional government in which we live. Donald J. Trump seems to be the only person with enough back-bone to attempt this daunting task. I suspect that the radical left realizes this fact which explains their mindless hatred and opposition.

Bill Lockwood: The Evil of Socialism 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

Socialism in its original form was defined as “government ownership of the means of production.” This is why the Soviet Union confiscated all business, factories, and farms while murdering millions of dissenters and resistors in the process.  However, aside from that classical definition, socialism has always referred to the redistribution of income and properties in the pursuit of equality—whether through the progressive income tax or various institutions of the welfare state.

Our Founding Fathers were well aware of socialistic redistribution and the collectivist drift toward the left by growing government. They all warned against it as an evil that burdens society. Samuel Adams, for example, pointed out that the founders had done everything in their power to make socialism unconstitutional.

The Utopian schemes of leveling [re-distribution of wealth] and a community of goods [central ownership of the means of production and distribution], are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional.

Thomas Jefferson warned against our modern welfare state. “If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.” Jefferson rightly pointed out the immorality of it simply in the fact that it is unjust for one generation to pass on the results of its extravagance in the form of debt to the next generation. Our current debt of about $20 trillion is almost entirely owing to our socialistic quagmire of government taking care of people.

Jefferson added, “…we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life [expectancy] of the majority.” Plainly, to pass on debt to the next generation, which is part and parcel of socialism, is itself immoral.

In Jefferson’s second inaugural address in 1805, he observed that the redistribution of wealth was a violation of the basic and fundamental right of mankind. “Our wish … is that the public efforts may be directed honestly to the public good,…equality of rights maintained, and that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry or that of his fathers.”

In other words, there never will be financial equality among members of a society because wealth and the accumulation of goods is the direct result of one’s own industry—or that of his fathers, as Jefferson put it.

He went on to point out that:

to take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to everyone of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.

Such things as the income tax and the infamous “death tax” come to mind as examples of violations which the sage of Monticello had in mind.

Benjamin Franklin wrote on this topic at length. He told one of his friends in England why America would not adopt a welfare state. “I have long been of your opinion, that your legal provision for the poor is a very great evil, operating as it does to the encouragement of idleness. We have followed your example, and begin now to see our error, and I hope, shall reform it.”

A summary of Franklin’s views on welfare is as follows: (1) Compassion which gives a drunk the means to increase his drunkenness is counterproductive. (2) Compassion which breeds debilitating dependency and weakness is counterproductive. (3) Compassion which blunts the desire or necessity to work for a living is counterproductive. (4) Compassion which smothers the instinct to strive and excel is counterproductive.

Providing the means to increase immoral actions; breeding debilitating dependency; blunting the desire or necessity to work; smothering the instinct to excel—sadly, this is an apt description of America today. Such is the destructive nature of socialism. Franklin added:

To relieve the misfortunes of our fellow creatures is concurring with the Deity; it is godlike; but, if we provide encouragement for laziness, and supports for folly, may we not be found fighting against the order of God and Nature, which perhaps has appointed want and misery as the proper punishments for, and cautions against, as well as necessary consequences of, idleness and extravagance? Whenever we attempt to amend the scheme of Providence, and to interfere with the government of the world, we had need be very circumspect, lest we do more harm than good.

Would that America had paid closer attention, not only to the advice from our founders, but to the structure and prohibitions of the law of the land—the Constitution—which made wealth redistribution illegal. But who studies the Constitution today? Certainly very little in public schools, if at all. And who reads the founders any more?


2 W. Cleon Skousen’s summary in The Making of America, p. 219.

Birthright Citizenship, the Fourteenth Amendment and The Immigration Invasion 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

Some estimate the number of Central American citizens marching northward through Mexico to the United States to be upward of 14,000. Eighty percent of these immigrants are men younger than 35 years old. President Trump has issued a state of emergency and U.S. troops are being deployed to the Mexican border.

In the wake of this looming invasion of the sovereignty of the United States, several issues are being pushed to the forefront of national attention. The most notable is the meaning of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and its so-called Citizenship Clause. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Many cultural leaders and Constitutional commentators insist that these clauses mean that the children born of parents temporarily in the country as students, or children born of illegal aliens who are unlawfully residing within our geographical boundaries automatically become U.S. citizens. This is known as “Birthright citizenship.”

This, however, is not what the text of the Constitution says or means, in spite of the fact that many people think that it does. For example, a recent article in the Chicago Tribune argues for birthright citizenship.

Chicago Tribune

“Trump eyes order to end birthright citizenship. Legal experts say that would violate Constitution,” blares the  headline.

President Donald Trump is vowing to sign an executive order that would seek to end the right to U.S. citizenship for children born in the United States to non-citizens, a move most legal experts say runs afoul of the Constitution and that was dismissed Tuesday by the top House Republican.”

John Wagner, a writer for The Washington Post and author of the above lines, adds that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) dismissed the idea in a recent radio interview, explaining that Trump’s proposal is not consistent with the Constitution. Ryan explained that not only can Trump not end “birthright citizenship” with an executive order, but that Republicans did not like it when Barack Obama changed immigration policy by executive action.

At the risk of taking on the Establishment legal experts but having confidence in the fact that the Constitution was written for all to understand, these “legal experts”, including Paul Ryan, are flat wrong. As a matter of fact, one of the “choke points” designed to minimize the likelihood “that an arguably unconstitutional federal law would pass and take effect” is the plain supposition that the Constitution speaks “not merely to federal judges, but rather to all branches and ultimately to the people themselves” (Akhil Reed Amar, America’s Constitution: A Biography, p. 62-63).

The Civil War Amendments

The Fourteenth Amendment was the second of three amendments to the Constitution that was adopted in post-Civil War America. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment defined citizenship and guaranteed the rights of former slaves; and the Fifteenth Amendment granted the vote to African-American men.

The point of today’s conflict resides in the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment, which actually reads: “all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” are citizens of the United States. Those who advocate birthright citizenship ignore the qualifying phrase.

What is the Meaning of the 14th Amendment?

First, consider Original Intent of the Constitution.  Thomas Jefferson pointed out the obvious, that “original intent” is the only legitimate interpretation.

On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

This canon of interpretation is obvious, but Jefferson knew there were and would be forces which twist the meaning of written laws to make the Constitution conform to their desires.

James Madison agreed.

I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution … What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense.

James Wilson wrote that “The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.” And modern-day Justice Clarence Thomas underscored the point. If we are not interested in the “original intent” the Constitution has no more value than the latest football scores.

All such interpretive methodologies that speak of “various contexts” of the clauses of the Constitution, or that the text actually morphs over time and clime partake is nothing less than existential nonsense designed to free persons from the constraints of law.

Second, consider the original meaning of the 14th Amendment, specifically the qualifying phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

The 13th Amendment which abolished slavery within all the territories of the United States. It was adopted in December, 1865, only months after the conclusion of the Civil War. However, the 13th Amendment was found not to be enough.

Former slaves were forbidden to appear in “the towns in any other character than menial servants” and were required to reside upon and cultivate the land “without the right to purchase or own it.” They were excluded from many occupations of gain and were “not permitted to give testimony in the courts where a white man was a party” (Thomas Norton, The Constitution of the United States: Its Sources and Its Application).

These and other similar circumstances brought about the 14th Amendment, which was adopted in July, 1868. The chief architect of the Amendment was Ohio politician John Bingham. However, it was Senator Jacob Howard who was the author of the Citizenship Clause in question.

During debate over the clause he assured his colleagues in the Senate that the language “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was not intended to make Indians citizens of the United States because, although born in the geographical boundaries of our nation, were not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Instead, they owed allegiance to their tribes.

One of Howard’s colleagues, Senator Lyman Trumball, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, argued in exactly the same manner. He explained to the Senate that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” meant “not owing allegiance to anybody else and being subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States.”

“Not owing allegiance to anybody else.” That is as plain as it can be. Who can misread this? Illegal border crossers are not included in subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

It is for this reason the children of foreign diplomats do not automatically become citizens of the United States, although perhaps born on U.S. soil. There is no birthright citizenship.

Modern Constitutional writer Hons von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese Center, explains further:

The fact that a tourist or illegal alien is subject to our laws and our courts if they violate our laws does not place them within the political “jurisdiction” of the United States as that phrase was defined by the framers of the 14th Amendment.

Liberals prefer to believe that anyone present in the United States is “subject to the jurisdiction” of America. That is false, as a plain reading of the 14th Amendment shows, as well as the intention of its framers. Foreigners who jump our borders owe allegiance to other nations and are not only not citizens, neither are their children, though they may be born on this soil.

The above being the case, how did Americans, even lawmakers, come to adopt the position that “birthright citizenship” is the law of the land? Only by bureaucratic overstepping the boundaries of the Constitution. This is a perfect illustration of how governing authorities stretch the meaning of the Constitution to unlawful lengths, then assert their unauthorized position so frequently that the idea becomes settled as if it really is the law of the land.

Americans should be thankful for a president like Donald Trump who is bold enough to take on the establishment and its pretended authority to tell us what the Constitution means. The current crisis in immigration is caused solely by Big Government bureaucrats who have twisted the Constitution into their own mold and a complaisant citizenry which allows them to do so.

Tom DeWeese: Will Brett Kavanaugh Stand for Property Rights? 0 (0)

Will Brett Kavanaugh Stand for Property Rights?-“The homeowner came under greater pressure to sell.”

by Tom DeWeese

There’s lots of talk about where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stands on the Roe v Wade abortion decision and if he would vote to rescind it. There is another very controversial Supreme Court decision made just few years ago, supported by the Anthony Kennedy, the justice he seeks to replace. That is the Kelo decision that basically obliterated private property rights in America. So, where does Brett Kananaugh stand on protection of private property rights? With Kennedy or the Constitution?

In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down an opinion that shocked the nation. It was the case of Susette Kelo, et al. v City of New London, Connecticut, et al. The issue: “Does the government taking of property from one private owner to give to another private entity for economic development constitutes a permissible ‘public use’ under the Fifth Amendment?”

In 2000, the city of New London saw a chance to rake in big bucks through tax revenues for a new downtown development project that was to be anchored by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The company announced a plan to build a $270 million dollar global research facility in the city. The local government jumped at the chance to transform 90 acres of an area right next to the proposed research facility. Their plans called for the creation of the Fort Trumbull development project which would provide hotels, housing and shopping areas for the expected influx of Pfizer employees. There were going to be jobs and revenues A-Go-Go in New London. Just one obstacle stood in the way of these grand plans. There were private homes in that space.

No muss – no fuss. The city fathers had a valuable tool in their favor. They would just issue an edict that they were taking the land by eminent domain. The city created a private development corporation to lead the project. First priority for the new corporation was to obtain the needed property.

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In July, 1997, Susette Kelo bought a nice little pink house in a quiet fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London. Little did she imagine that warm, comfy place would soon become the center of a firestorm.

She had no intention of selling. She’d spent a considerable amount of money and time fixing up her little pink house, a home with a beautiful view of the waterfront that she could afford. She planted flowers in the yard, braided her own rugs for the floors, filled the rooms with antiques and created the home she wanted.

Less than a year later, the trouble started. A real estate broker suddenly showed up at her door representing an unknown client. Susette said she wasn’t interested in selling. The realtor’s demeanor then changed, warning that the property was going to be condemned by the city. One year later, on the day before Thanksgiving, the sheriff taped a letter to Kelo’s door, stating that her home had been condemned by the City of New London.

Then the pressure began. A notice came in the mail telling her that the city intended to take her land. An offer of compensation was made, but it was below the market price. The explanation given was that, since the government was going to take the land, it was no longer worth the old market price, therefore the lower price was “just compensation,” as called for in the Fifth Amendment. It was a “fair price,” Kelo and the homeowners were told over and over.

Some neighbors quickly gave up, took the money and moved away. With the loss of each one, the pressure mounted. Visits from government agents became routine. They knocked on the door at all hours, demanding she sell. Newspaper articles depicted her as unreasonably holding up community progress. They called her greedy. Finally, the bulldozers moved in on the properties already sold. As they crushed down the houses, the neighborhood became unlivable. It looked like a war zone.

In Susette Kelo’s neighborhood, the imposing bulldozer was sadistically parked in front of a house, waiting. The homeowner came under greater pressure to sell. More phone calls, threatening letters, visits by city officials at all hours demanding they sign the contract to sell. It just didn’t stop. Finally the intimidation began to break down the most dedicated homeowners’ resolve. In tears, they gave in and sold. Amazingly, once they sold, the homeowners were then classified as “willing sellers!”

Immediately, as each house was bulldozed, the monster machine was moved to the next house, sitting there like a huffing, puffing dragon, ready to strike.

Finally Susette’s little pink house stood nearly alone in the middle of a destruction site. Over 80 homes were gone: seven remained. As if under attack by a conquering army, she was finally surrounded, with no place to run but to the courts. Under any circumstances the actions of the New London government and its sham development corporation should have been considered criminal behavior. It used to be. If city officials were caught padding their own pockets, or those of their friends, it was considered graft. That’s why RICO laws were created.

The United States was built on the very premise of the protection of private property rights. How could a government possibly be allowed to take anyone’s home for private gain? Surely justice would finally prevail.

The city was backed in its appeal by the National League of Cities, one of the largest proponents of eminent domain use, saying the policy was critical to spurring urban renewal with development projects. However, the Supreme Court had always stood with the founders of the nation on the vital importance of private property. There was precedent after precedent to back up the optimism that they would do so again.

Finally, her case was heard by the highest court in the land. It was such an obvious case of government overreach against private property owners that no one considered there was a chance of New London winning. That’s why it was a shock to nearly everyone involved that private property rights sustained a near-death blow that day.

This time, five black robes named Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Breyer shocked the nation by ruling that officials who had behaved like Tony Soprano were in the right and Susette Kelo had no ground to stand on, literally or figuratively.

These four men and one woman ruled that the United States Constitution is meaningless as a tool to protect individuals against the wants and desires of government. Their ruling in the Kelo case declared that Americans own nothing. After deciding that any property is subject to the whim of a government official, it was just a short trip to declaring that government could now confiscate anything we own, anything we create, anything we’ve worked for – in the name of an undefined common good.

Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, who opposed the Court’s decision, vigorously rebutted the Majority’s argument, as she wrote in dissent of the majority opinion, “The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing a Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.”

Justice Clarence Thomas issued his own rebuttal to the decision, specifically attacking the argument that this was a case about “public use.” He accused the Majority of replacing the Fifth Amendment’s “Public Use” clause with a very different “Public Purpose” test. Said Justice Thomas “This deferential shift in phraseology enables the Court to hold against all common sense, that a costly urban-renewal project whose stated purpose is a vague promise of new jobs and increased tax revenue, but which is also suspiciously agreeable to the Pfizer Corporation, is for a public use.

Astonishingly the members of the Supreme Court have no other job but to protect the Constitution and defend it from bad legislation. They sit in their lofty ivory tower, with their lifetime appointments, never actually having to worry about job security or the need to answer to political pressure. Yet, these five black robes obviously missed finding a single copy of the Federalist Papers, which were written by many of the Founders to explain to the American people how they envisioned the new government was to work. In addition, they apparently missed the collected writings of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and George Washington, just to mention a very few. It’s obvious because otherwise, there is simply no way they could have reached this decision.

So, in a five to four vote, the Supreme Court said that it was okay for a community to use eminent domain to take land, shut down a business, or destroy and reorganize an entire neighborhood, if it benefited the community in a positive way. Specifically, “positive” meant unquestioned government control and more tax dollars.

The Institute for Justice, the group that defended Susette Kelo before the Supreme Court, reported that it found 10,000 cases in which condemnation was used or threatened for the benefit of private developers. These cases were all within a five-year period after the Kelo decision. Today, that figure is dwarfed as there is seemingly no limit on government takings of private property.

The Kelo decision changed the rules. The precedent was set. Land can now be taken anytime at the whim of a power elite. So again, the question must be asked: if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, will he stand to protect private property rights against massive overreach by local, state, and federal governments? Will he support an effort to overturn the Kelo Decision?

APC: https://americanpolicy.org/2018/07/17/will-brett-kavanaugh-stand-for-property-rights/

Read Tom Deweese’s Biography

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