Wednesday, February 13, 2013 3:59:09 AM
OK, so here is my takeaway from the President's speech tonight. "We need to socialize everything we can, ensure that only the government is armed 'for your own good,' end the war in Afghanistan sometime (but only when Israel and AIPAC are ready for us to go to war somewhere else), improve the economy by spending more of your hard-earned money, and continue the policy of nation building and sending our money overseas."
That is it in a nutshell. The exact same policies that the Republicans are promoting, just wrapped in a different nutshell. When are we going to wake up and realize that whether it is a peanut or a macadamia, once we crack them open, they are still nuts.
How do we change it? Bring the troops home tomorrow and let the Department of Defense concentrate on defense. Pass a balanced budget in 2013 and demand a balanced budget every year from now on, just like you have to do at home. Get the government out of healthcare, out of the way of our teachers, out of our wallets. Stop the printing presses at the federal reserve and make them live on a budget. Live on the hard work and sweat and blood this country was founded on.
Most importantly, as my friend, Andy Horning always says, "If you keep voting for what you have always voted for, you will keep getting what you always got." It is time for a change from the two party system. Check out your local or state Libertarian Party. We are the real voice for change and we will stand for what's right for the American people every day.
Thursday, January 24, 2013 4:10:01 AM
“Just say No.” Such a simple concept that we were told was the answer to drugs. You can just say no. Well, we learned that lesson well. Perhaps some of us learned it too well for the powers that be. You see, we have learned that we can Just say No to them as well. It is called nullification and it is a wonderful tool for honest citizens who love their country as laid out in the Constitution to use.
I was first introduced to the idea in the form of jury nullification. It is a very simple concept. If you are selected for a jury for a trial with a defendant accused of violating an unjust, victimless, and/or unconstitutional law, you refuse to vote to convict. Either the defendant is acquitted or it results in a hung jury. Either way, you have stopped the jury in which you are participating from enforcing a bad law.
Now the states are catching on to the idea. It is a little more challenging to implement at that level, but not a whole lot. You simply pass a law stating that any federal official who enforces an unconstitutional federal law within the borders of your state are guilty of a crime within that state and subject to arrest and trial.
The concept of the states doing this is found in the Tenth Amendment, duly ratified on December 15th, 1791, which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” This means that if the federal government passes a law that is beyond its scope of power as laid out in the Constitution, then state law takes precedence and the federal law is null and void.
Let me restate that more clearly, the federal government has absolutely no authority to enforce an unconstitutional law within the borders of your state. None. And any agent of the government who attempts to do so and is found in violation of state law is subject to arrest, trial, and incarceration. It is a concept unique to most people, rarely put to the test, but it has been the law of the land for 221 years now. And states are starting to understand the power it gives them as well as the duty it places on them to protect the citizens of their state.
In Indiana, two such bills have already been drafted. SB230 would nullify Obamacare and stop the federal government from forcing our state to set up healthcare exchanges and/or expand our Medicaid program. SB0127 would nullify NDAA, arguably the most unconstitutional law that has ever been passed. NDAA allows the federal government to invade your privacy through wiretaps, intrusion into your home, and even indefinite detainment of US citizens all without due process simply by making the statement that they suspect you of terrorist activity. No need to show just cause to a judge and get a warrant, they can simply do whatever they want in the name of the “war on terror.” Personally, I am more afraid of our government wielding that kind of power than I ever was of Osama bin Laden.
There are similar bills in states throughout the country. I urge you to find out what nullification bills have been drafted within your state then call your state senators and representatives. Insist that these bills get a fair hearing on the floor of the state house and let them know that “We the People” expect our government to operate within the confines of the US Constitution.
It is time we all once again learn to “Just say NO!”
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 3:33:35 AM
In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there has been a lot of clamoring for new gun control laws. Even those who have traditionally stood up against such laws are beginning to change their minds. There are, however, 2 major issues that they seem to be overlooking.
First, there is no way in which Congress can legitimately do so. The second amendment states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Therefore, any law written which infringes on the rights of the people to keep and bear arms is illegitimate and unenforceable under the Constitution. The only law that could possibly stand up against the Second Amendment would be an additional Constitutional Amendment that either repeals or significantly modifies the Second Amendment.
Additionally, the Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller that although the amendment mentions a militia it does not limit one’s right to keep and bear arms solely to that purpose:
“The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.
The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.”
The second problem with restricting or banning guns is that it doesn’t work. Prohibition did not stop the alcohol trade, it simply made rich men out of those enterprising and daring enough to get the people what they wanted. Making drugs illegal has not stopped the influx of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana into our streets. Those who want a thing badly enough will always find a way to obtain it. Criminals don’t abide by laws, and those who do abide the law are no threat to anyone except those who would harm them or their families.
Nor does one need a gun to kill a lot of people. Timothy McVeigh didn’t use a gun. Neither did the 9-11 hijackers. If a person really desires to kill, there are myriad ways of doing so without ever touching a gun. And those innocent children were not killed by the guns. They were killed by a sick man with evil intent who used the guns as a means to his end.
Instead of talking about taking away American citizens' constitutional rights, why don’t we look at the real cause of tragedies like the one this nation experienced last week? Let’s focus on how we identify and treat mental illness and reducing the stigma that society attaches to mental illness to make it more acceptable to seek treatment before it gets to the point where a person feels the only option left is to kill himself or herself and take other innocent lives in the process?
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 3:46:47 AM
This last week in Washington has been a sad week for me. Not so much because of the AHCA or the individual mandate, although I certainly oppose the latter and have some serious issues with the way the former has been instituted. What has been most sad for me is seeing what has become of the Supreme Court and, by extension, the Constitution.
The Supreme Court was supposed to stand as the last bastion of justice. When all else fails, it should be the last place a person can go and expect to have their Constitutional rights defended. As the court stands now, it is the last place any sane person would go and expect justice or any real concern for the Constitution. Apparently the oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America” means to support and defend the Constitution as I would have it be, not as it is written.
Let’s think through the decision last week and consider its other potential applications:
1. Overweight people are costing us too much money and making healthcare premiums unaffordable for some Americans, so everyone must buy a gym membership or be subject to a fat tax.
2. Global warming is a threat to us all, so every American must immediately trade in their fossil fuel driven car and buy total electric vehicles or be subject to a pollution tax.
3. And the generation of all that electricity is another contributor to global warming so all homeowners are now required to purchase and install solar panels (maybe the government should have kept Solyndra afloat longer) or be subject to a negative average kilowatt energy drain tax (we’ll call it a NAKED tax for short).
Sound extreme? According to the precedent set this week, the government would be perfectly within their rights to implement any of these, and many more I haven’t even considered. Of course, to get them passed, they would have to say that it is not a tax, it is only a tax when necessity makes it so in order to uphold it in court.
Back to my original topic, the Supreme Court showed through this and other recent decisions that they are not so much interested in ensuring that laws are aligned with the Constitution, as they are in molding the Constitution to fit the laws they want to support. I wonder how many of the founding fathers would even recognize the document they so laboriously composed in light of the way it is interpreted today?
My final thought, for now, is this: Any time you hear “government” and “mandate” used in the same sentence, be very leery of the consequences. Ninety nine times out of 100, your liberties are being eroded. I just wonder when the public as a whole will stand up and say, “Enough. I have given up more than I ought and that freedom (whatever it might be) I am not willing to part with.” Or maybe we could all just go up to Boston, have tea with the British, and call it a night. I, for one, am not in favor of giving up my liberties. And to those in Washington who insist on doing so, I am going to do my best to see you fired in November and I am bringing along a lot of friends.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 4:53:16 AM
Many of our problems are created by ourselves based on divisions due to ideology, religion, race, resources, economic status or other factors. The time has come to think on a deeper, more human level and appreciate and respect our sameness as human beings. – His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Monday, June 4, 2012 1:32:23 AM
This being Indy Pride Week, I would be remiss if I don’t address the issue of gay rights. Do I support gay rights? Absolutely. To me it is not so much a question of what rights do gays deserve, as it is what rights human beings deserve. You see, to me the question of gay rights is less about gay vs. heterosexual than it is about seeing a group of people singled out and refused the basic rights that all people should enjoy.
This country was originally founded on a document called the “Declaration of Independence.” I hope that most of my readers are at least somewhat familiar with that document. The Declaration includes the phrase, “that all men are created equal.” It doesn’t say all white men. It doesn’t say all heterosexual men. It says “all men.” Lest I should be accused of being sexist here, I should point out that this phrasing was designed according to the grammatical standards of the day and should never be interpreted to exclude women or relegate them to a secondary role.
The big topic currently in the news on this subject is gay marriage. I unequivocally support the right of my gay friends to marry. I reject the notion that any state has the right to outlaw gay marriage nor do I believe that it is necessary for the government to explicitly allow it. This right is already supported by the constitution. Article XIV, Section 1 states, “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” How any state can outlaw same sex unions and still claim that they are not depriving gays of their liberty or, more to the point, that they somehow still have boggles my mind.
We cannot enact laws that single out a group of people and tell them that they don’t have the right to form a family of their choosing, that their partners (often of a decade or more) are not entitled to the same rights to benefits as heterosexual couples, and then still claim that they have equal protection under the law. It just isn’t so.
There are those who claim that gay marriage will devalue marriage as a whole. Really? So if my gay friends are allowed to marry, my marriage to my wife is devalued? How? The value of my marriage is based solely upon the value that my wife and I put on the marriage, what we put into it, and how we live up to the vows we took on our wedding day. Gays being allowed to marry has nothing to do with the value I place on my union with my wife.
If the problem is with the word “marriage” then don’t call it that. Call it “domestic partnerships” or “civil unions.” If your religious organization has a problem with it, then don’t let them get married there. That is your choice as an organization. But to say that someone else is violating your moral code is absolutely asinine. It is like saying that I violated your diet by eating ice cream tonight. Morals are a very personal thing and no person or group can be held to another’s moral code.
The bottom line is this: We need to ensure that all people are afforded their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble as they choose, to life, liberty, and property, and to equal protection under the law. Unless we take a stand and insist upon constitutional rights, the US Constitution becomes just a set of ideals for which we strive as a country, not the incontrovertible law of the land it was written to be.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 3:06:49 AM
Because this is my inaugural blog post, I decided to use it to introduce myself. This will let you know who I am, what I am about, and what you can expect from this blog. I don’t expect anyone to agree with me all the time. I do hope to spur some intelligent discussions and even debates from time to time. Although being controversial is not my goal, it will happen occasionally because I have some rather passionate opinions about some controversial topics.
About me: I am a father, husband, socially liberal and fiscally conservative libertarian. I believe in human rights and dignity (all humans, not just those who are like me or agree with me), animal rights, and the protection of the environment. I take the US constitution literally, because I believe that if our founding fathers had wanted it interpreted it differently, they would have written it differently. I also believe that the role of the government is to protect the fundamental rights of all people and any government that exceeds that mandate is off course.
I am not perfect and not one to tell anyone how they should live their lives. I am a recovering alcoholic, I have done time, and I have screwed up my share of relationships. This is not an advice column. It is about life as I have experienced it, and a venue for me to talk with others, those who agree and disagree with me alike, about those things which matter to me. I am not a reporter and make no effort to be “fair and balanced.” In all areas where I state something as fact, I will make every effort to ensure that I am factually accurate. It will be interspersed with my opinions, feelings, and beliefs. I hope many will enjoy this discourse and that some may stop to think as a result of what they read here.