Friday, January 23, 2004
POOR SEN. EDWARDS
Poor John Edwards. Those darn WND reporters just won't let that Confederate flag issue go. He got off lucky, cause I would have pressed him further.
It seems one of our Presidential candidates wants to ban the Confederate flag on public property. His reason? "My answer is that the Confederate flag, which is a symbol of oppression to a lot of Americans, is a divisive symbol and should not be flown in a place like it's being flown in South Carolina, in front of the state capitol. It shouldn't be flown on public grounds like that. That's my position and I stand by it."
Well, I wonder, did the East Germans and the Lithuanians who flew the Confederate flag furing the independence protests of the late 80s (that's 1980s, not 1880s) consider the flag a symbol of oppression? That's ironic considering the oppression they were living under. Of course, some people may find the United States flag oppressive also. After all, it was under the United States flag that people were detained illegaly for their opposition to a war. I thought that only happens in thrid world, and Communist countries, but no, happened here, in "the land of the free and the home of the brave." Laws were officially ignored, constitutions violated, rights repressed...all for President Lincoln.
Pathetic; simply parthetic. We only believe we're free because, well, we've been told that we are.
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
ONE NATION UNDER...ANYBODY BUT THE TRIUNE GOD
This country is getting weirder and weirder by the minute. One wonders how much longer God will put up with the people who live here when absurdities such as this continue.
I dunno what to say; this country is so scared of God that it will suspend someone for simply saying "God bless" on a public school broadcast. Of all the problems the public schools have, saying "God bless" on a broadcast has to be at the very bottom of the list, wouldn't you think? I dunno, kids bringing guns to school...drugs...gangs...seems to be a little screwed up.
Of course, the cry will be "seperation of church and state" but again, the First Amendment says nothing about this alleged wall of seperation of church and state. It does say that Congress canot pass a law respecting an extablishment of religion. hen again, this public school is not Congress, so you have to wonder why this is a 1st Amendment violation.
On the other hand, to be fair, the student's 1st Amendment rights were also not violated. Again, the 1st Amendment only prohibits Congress from passing laws that prohibit the freedom of speech; it says nothing of the States, like Illinois. So if the State wanted to eliminate speech, then guess what?
Now, before some of you start to worry, freedom of speech is perfectly safe in Illinois. This is Article 1, Section 4 of the Illinois Constitution: "SECTION 4. FREEDOM OF SPEECH All persons may speak, write and publish freely, being
responsible for the abuse of that liberty. In trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, when published
with good motives and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense." What is particularly interesting, though, and not that I'm an expert in Illinois Law, the school's action (being an agent of the State) does seem to violate Article 1, Section 3, which states: "The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be guaranteed, and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his religious opinions."
I know this might be a new concept to some, but the U.S Constitution created the federal government; it did not create the States. They were already in existence as sovereign, independent bodies. The Constitution laid down the limits of power of the new federal government, of things it could and could not do; and in doing so, it also laid out a few prohibitions for the States. FOr instance, under the US Constitution, States cannot coin money. Now, suppose the Constitution were formally dissolved (we all know informally it has been for the last 139 years). Can the States now coin money? What's the prohbition if it can't?
Now of course, I need to preface my "perfectly safe" remark, too. It's safe so long as people decide to be ruled by their constitution, and the only this can truly be done within a Christian context since, on Christian presuppositions, the State is a minister of God, and to go against the State in areas that God allowed it to go is to go against God. This is something that Paul states in Romans 13; but when the State begins to fo beyond what it is entitled, it becomes a beast, as in Revelation 13. When faith in God has gone, then so will any notions that we should be faithful to our laws. Withn the United States, this happened with the Bible first with the influx of the Enlightement in the 19th century. Then, since God's word can be interpreted to mean the strangest things, then what is to keep that from happening to a human document like that U.S. Constitution. Suddenly, "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution" suddenly mean, "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, unless a majority of people think so..." A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court suddenly stated that "Congress shall make no law..." means "Congress shall make no law, except when there seems to be the threat of corruption..." when it said, and with a straight face, that the McCain Fiengold campaign finance law was constitutional. And, as we've seen, the Supreme Court of nevada blatantl disregarded its own constitutional and forced a tax increase when the Constitution said that they needed supermajorities to pass.
Words used to mean things. Now, they're not worth the paper they're written on
Saturday, January 17, 2004
ON THE ROAD TO...
Some good advice by Puritan, who sometimes goes by the nick Basil ("You're looking very happy Basil." "Happy? Ah yes, I remember that." If you want the reference, it's from the funniest tv show ever.)
Sunday, January 11, 2004
"The government of the United States is one of delegated and limited powers. It derives its existence and authority altogether from the Constitution, and neither of its branches, Executive, Legislative, or Judicial, can exrcise any of the powers of Government beyond those specified and granted. For the 10th article of the Amendments to the Constitution in express terms provides that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
--Ex parte John Merryman, April Term of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1861.
This decision, by the way, has never been reversed by subsequent decisions, so it's still binding case history for the federal courts; however, as the county will eventually learn over the next 143 years, those things which are inconvenient or against the cause are then ignored.
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
THE PRISONER OF THE STATE
I just got a boatload of books in the mail, so along with the philosophy booke I'll be reading for class this quarter, I hope to be doing a lot of reading.
The first book I'm going to start reading is Prisoner of the State by Dennis A. Mahoney. Mahoney was one of the many, many, many, MANY people who were opposed to the War of 1861 and had the audacity to question President Lincoln's motives as being anathema to the Constitution. Well, for his troubles, he got thrown into a military jail after Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus. The problem is, constitutionally, only Congress can repeal that writ, and this was affirmed by the Supreme Court in a unanimous opinion by Chief Justice Marshall. (I don't have the reference available. This I knew about long before I began reading this book). For those who don't know, the writ is what keeps you from being held arbitrarily and indefinitely in prison.
I just started the introduction, and I'll admit, there are some strong arguments here. One instantly refutes the notion that the Republicans floated (and proably what some Democrats and Republicans say today) when they said that the Constitution was silent on the issue of war:
"The assumption is an absurdity, that the law in time of war is silent. It is then, more than in time of peace, that the authority and power of the law should be manifested and exercised, because it is only in times of trouble that personal rights are likely to be subjected to those arbitrary restraints provided against by the Constitution of the United States, and by the Constitution of every State of the Union.
"...Was it for times of peace alone that this inhibition [by the first Amendment] was placed upon Congress by a special amendment to the Constitution...
"...The fifth Amendment to the Constitution declares that "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." The provision makes no exception of persons. It is unqualified in its negation of power to any branch of the Government to deprive not only a citizen of his life, liberty, ad property, but to deprive any person of these rights. Is it only for times of peace that this amendment to the Constitution was made by our fathers? 'But,' as some of the followers of Lincoln, the 'Lincoln-poops,' as they are properly called, have been heard to say, "if this provision is meant to apply in times of war, how cold the Government preserve its existence from the assaults of its enemies? If no person can be deprived of life without due process of law, is it not unconstitutional to kill the enemies of the Government arrayed in arms against it?' It is both unconstitutional and murderous to kill even the enemies of the Government except by authority of law, and in the manner which the law proscribes...Hence to kill even an enemy legitimately, it must be done by authority of law; and hence too the making of war in this country by mere Executive edict, instead of by the authority of Congress, is one of the most flagitious acts of usurpation of power, and in its exercise, one of the greatest crimes against the Nation and mankind, which was even commited by mortal man."
Ouch, but so true. What good is the constitution if it does not even restrain the government in wartime? If Congress had called up the militia, then it would at the very least have had some semblence of a constitutional act. If the Southern States were a seperate country, then war needed to be declared by Congress. But no, that didn't happen. Lincoln took power that was given to COngress alone, such as calling up the militia. Even if Lincoln could make an attempt to defend himself with the limited power COngress did legally cede to him, he never called Congress to affirm his decision. If he had, the border states may never have seceded. He certainly had the power. The Constitution does give the President the authority to call Congress into session. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but isn't that what President Rosevelt did after the bombing at Pearl Harbor?
See any similarities to today? No, the Consittution is a war document also. It can't be ignored, but sadly, most of the people who are screaming the loudest about eroding civil liberties are probably the same people who would side with Lincoln and agree with his acts all in the name of (allegedly) eliminating slavery. Yeah, it's a little anachronistic, but who cares? Freedoms and liberties have been eroding since the 19th century. THat was what the War of 1861 was about. Appomattox Courthouse simply sealed the path that the country has chosen to take.
Thursday, January 01, 2004
Congrats to the University of Spoiled Children for winning the mythical national title in college football. I know Dr. Bahnsen, were he still with us, would be overly pleased tonight. :)