Posts

a-visitor-from-the-past

A VISITOR FROM THE PAST

A VISITOR FROM THE PAST is a poem by Thelen Paulk

I had a dream the other night, I didn’t understand.
A figure walking through the mist, with flintlock in his hand.
His clothes were torn and dirty, as he stood there by my bed.
He took off his three-cornered hat, and speaking low, he said:

“We fought a revolution, to secure our liberty.
We wrote the Constitution, as a shield from tyranny.
For future generations, this legacy we gave.
In this, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

“The freedom we secured for you, we hoped you’d always keep.
But tyrants labored endlessly while your parents were asleep.
Your freedom gone, your courage lost, you’re no more than a slave.
In this, the land of the free and home of the brave.

“You buy permits to travel, and permits to own a gun,
Permits to start a business, or to build a place for one.
On land that you believe you own, you pay a yearly rent.
Although you have no voice in choosing, how the money’s spent.

“Your children must attend a school that doesn’t educate.
Your Christian values can’t be taught, according to the state.
You read about the current news, in a regulated press.
You pay a tax you do not owe, to please the I.R.S.

“Your money is no longer made of Silver or of Gold.
You trade your wealth for paper, so your life can be controlled.
You pay for crimes that make our Nation, turn from God in shame.
You’ve taken Satan’s number, as you’ve traded in your name.

“You’ve given government control, to those who do you harm,
So they can padlock churches, and steal the family farm,
And keep our country deep in debt, put men of God in jail,
Harass your fellow countrymen, while corrupted courts prevail.

“Your public servants don’t uphold the solemn oath they’ve sworn.
Your daughters visit doctors, so their children won’t be born.
Your leaders ship artillery, and guns to foreign shores,
And send your sons to slaughter, fighting other people’s wars.

“Can you regain the freedom for which we fought and died?
Or don’t you have the courage, or the faith to stand with pride?
Are there no more values for which you’ll fight to save?
Or do you wish your children, to live in fear and be a slave?

“People of the Republic, arise and take a stand!
Defend the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land!
Preserve our Great Republic, and GOD-Given Right!
And pray to GOD, to keep the torch of Freedom burning bright!”

As I awoke he vanished, in the mist from whence he came.
His words were true, we are not Free, we have ourselves to blame.
For even now as tyrants, trample each GOD-Given Right,
We only watch and tremble, too afraid to stand and fight.

If he stood by your bedside, in a dream, while you’re asleep,
And wonders what remains of our Rights he fought to keep,
What would be your answer, if he called out from the grave:
“IS THIS STILL THE LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME OF THE BRAVE???”

3 Percenter

Why the 3%er Movement is Relevant

The term 3%’ers (III%’ers or 3 Percenters) refers to the claimed 3% of colonists who fought in the American Revolutionary War against the British to achieve American independence. Today, another group has taken the statistic as a title with what they see as the same mission. Resisting authoritarianism, tyranny, and upholding the constitution. To the radical liberal plague enveloping the college scene of America, some of the 3% might appear as a bunch of redneck vigilantes fringing on the grounds of racism. Presumptuous feelings aside, to understand the movement you must review ancient history; the 90’s.

3_Percenters_flag The birth of the 3%’er movement was not an anomaly. In the wake of the Columbine shootings, people were gravitating heavily towards the idea of gun control. Every person had their opinion on the issue, and some were even in favor of the U.S implementing the same policies, ironically, as Britain. To one who follows the constitution strictly, this is was a nightmare, especially after 1994 which introduced the Federal Assault Weapon Ban which, whether you like the amendment or not, infringed on the right to bear arms. The main focus being that weapons with such stomping power should not be of easy access to those with the intent to cause harm to innocent people. However, the 3%ers and many other Americans, as well as many outside of the U.S, recognize this is not a weapons issue but a people issue.

The Obama administration, mostly Obama himself, consistently persuades(with major success)the public that he’s not trying to deny citizens their right to bear arms, but trying to stop criminals from attaining high power or even military grade firearms. This is bullshit. Obama has openly declared assault weapons being available to the public is immoral, and has attempted many times to eliminate guns held by legal carriers off the streets despite the new ‘Wild Wild West’ created by him in Chicago. Basically, Obama, and the rest of the left are saying “You can have guns, just none that can really do anything”, and that’s how the 3%ers perceive this. If the government ever began to enforce laws the citizens disapproved of, we would not be able to defend ourselves due to the fact our equipment could not combat the military’s in a fight to protect our freedom, which denies the purpose of the second amendment that’s already being infringed on, and the idea that a democratic country could turn on it’s own people isn’t abstract to the history books.

Last year in Colorado as many know, Freedom of religion was denied to a Christian bakery for stating it was against their religion to provide cake for a gay couple’s wedding. Now if it was me in that situation, I would say “fuck you” and leave because there’s other bakeries and I wouldn’t want to fund a place of such discrimination. The couple took another approach and brought it to court, and won denying a religious belief that is fundamental in every major monotheistic religion in the world(against homosexuality), and while I have nothing but support for the LBGTQ community, it seems that religious freedom is very dim flame in the Left’s agenda. Across America, cases like this are increasingly common, where religion is open to persecution(unless it’s Islam) and never defended(unless it’s Islam).

Islam, as some are aware, and many unwilling to accept, commits more theological based crime than any other religion worldwide, due to it’s inherently aggressive nature found within the Quran and the dedication of its many followers. This is made especially apparent by the rapid increase of crime in Europe due to the E.U allowing both innocent and dangerous people to flood in from predominantly Muslim countries with absolutely no information as to who any of these people were. The statistics are shocking, as within less than a year of the refugee invasion, the Dailymail reported migrant crime went up 79%. The statistics in Sweden make it clear that since the migration, the rate of rapes has increased. The 3%ers recognize that Islam is a massive potential threat to Western civilization that is both proven and somewhat hidden. The 3%ers have been seen protesting outside of Mosques in the U.S with guns, discouraging Muslims from coming to America and in general being here. And while I don’t support these actions, there is clear evidence to support the notion that the values of Americans, both conservative and especially liberal, heavily conflict with those of the Middle Eastern Islamic community, seeing as how we don’t make it a habit to throw gay people off of buildings or decapitate those with different beliefs. Actions like those mentioned are the inherit threat of allowing undocumented refugees into the U.S, which is why the 3%ers are so concerned with Islam in general.

Refugee-crime

The rise of 3%ers should not be a shock to anyone as some of us have allowed the government to convince us that we can’t responsibly carry weapons, but should trust said weapons in the hands of those who serve under our government who deny the enemy at home and abroad. Denying legal gun owners the right to military grade weapons makes it easy for tyrannical power to come, take control via military force, and push citizens around in the same way the British did to the early colonists(which is why the 2nd Amendment exists), and in the same way Hitler did to the Jewish. It’s also rather terrifying to see our president consistently deny the inherit threat of Islam on American soil and equally as terrifying when a presidential candidate can openly break the law that others have been punished for and be charged with nothing. While I don’t think the U.S army is about to march down the street to impose the will of Obama Christ, are we the people truly to be disarmed of our ability to combat possible government tyranny by a president with the potential to be succeeded by a woman who, despite clear evidence of guilt, walked away from a crime that could put you or I behind bars?

 

Author Rob Ash @RobAsh97

Editor Tom Marshall

From: http://robash97.blogspot.com/2016/07/why-3er-movement-is-relevant.html

Pro Gun Rally

Thousands Expected To Demonstrate Against Gun Control

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 1, 2016 The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

Thousands of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners will converge on the state capitol on Wednesday, April 6th to remind the General Assembly that concern for gun rights remains high across the state.

Wednesday’s event, widely known as the Illinois Gun Owners’ Lobby Day (iGOLD), will kick off with a rally at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center at 10:30 followed by a march to the Lincoln Steps where the group will be addressed by legislative leaders.  From there, gun owners will enter the Capitol building to meet with their respective State Senators and State Representatives.  The topic of the discussion will be, of course, gun rights.

“These are interesting times for the United States, and Illinois,” commented ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson.  “Nationwide, interest in firearms is skyrocketing – primarily out of the public’s fear about crime and terrorism.  Here in Illinois, first time FOID card applications are being filed at a record pace and the monthly tallies of firearm purchase background checks are setting records of their own.”

“Firearm instructors are swamped with requests for training.  Shooting ranges are packed not only on weekends, but during lunch hour and after work as well,” continued Pearson. “We’ve had a number of new shooting ranges open up in the Chicago area yet the lines of people waiting to shoot continue to grow.  Let’s face it – firearms and the shooting sports become more and more popular as the months go by.  Nevertheless, extremists in the General Assembly continue to call for unacceptable gun control measures designed to hobble the free exercise of our Second Amendment rights.”

“Since 1990, law-abiding gun owners have come to Springfield each spring to advise their Senators and Representatives to stay true to the Constitution and to turn back pointless efforts at gun control, continued Pearson.  “That is why gun owners are coming to Springfield on April 6th and that’s why they’ll be back next spring and many springs after that.  The General Assembly needs to come to grips with the fact that gun ownership is here to stay and that we’re here to protect that right no matter how long it takes.”

The ISRA is the state’s leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership.  For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding firearm owners.

WEB SITE:  http://www.isra.org

SOURCE Illinois State Rifle Association

liberator

Federal Judge Denies Injunction against State Department in 3D Printed Gun Suit

A federal judge denied 3D printed gun inventor Cody Wilson’s request for a preliminary injunction against the State Department after the agency forced him to remove gun designs from his company’s website.

Wilson’s lawsuit came after the State Department claimed the posting of designs for his 3D printed gun on his company’s website violated the Arms Export Control Act because they could be accessed outside of the United States. Wilson was joined in the suit by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and together they argued the State Department was violating Wilson’s First, Second, and Fifth Amendment rights.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman disagreed in a ruling earlier this month. In the ruling, first reported by Reason‘s Brian Doherty, Judge Pitman said the plaintiffs did not meet the requirements necessary to secure a preliminary injunction against the State Department and were unlikely to succeed on the merits of the case.

Wilson took issue with the reasoning Judge Pitman used in his ruling. “I think the gun owning public would be incensed to learn the judge’s reasoning. He doubts there’s a right to own a firearm protected by the Constitution,” he said. “He considers it trivial to censor the speech online because we could use the mail or people could come in person to get the files from us. He thinks gun software development isn’t handicapped by being banned from the Internet because there’s still other means of communication.”

SAF’s founder said he didn’t like the ruling but was happy the case would now move through the court system faster. “It would have been better to win the preliminary injunction but this case now will move faster and we believe we will win it at the appeals court,” SAF founder Alan Gottlieb said. “The government would have liked to tie us up in the lower court for years.”

A State Department official said the case was about protecting Americans.

“The United States is cognizant of the potentially adverse consequences of indiscriminate arms transfers and, therefore strictly regulates exports of defense items and technologies to protect its national interests and the peace and security of the broader international community,” said the official. “At the end of the day, it’s about protecting U.S. national security by regulating foreign access to exports of U.S. defense articles and potentially sensitive defense manufacturing technologies that could be used by terrorists or other bad actors to harm Americans, including our troops serving overseas; as well as citizens from U.S. allies and partners around the world.”

Wilson said the case showed that the fight over the Second Amendment is still raging. “We’re like seven years after the Heller decision here and we’re still in the courts fighting over whether you have the right to buy a gun, like in Mance v. Holder case, or the right to even make one or talk about making one, in my case,” Wilson said. “I mean, this is crazy, man.”

girl and gun

PEW: Majority of Americans Say Gun Ownership Protects Them from Crime

A majority of Americans say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than for the government to limit access to firearms, a Pew Research Center survey conducted this month found.

The nationwide survey was conducted Dec. 3 to 7 with 1,507 adults using landlines and cellphones and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for all respondents. For African-Americans, the error margin is plus or minus 10 points.

The center said that it was the first time in two decades of its surveys on attitudes about firearms that a majority of Americans had expressed more support for gun ownership rights than for gun control.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said it was more important to protect gun ownership rights, and 46 percent said the priority should be controlled access to firearms.

In a 2000 Pew survey, 29 percent chose gun rights over gun control, and in a 2013 survey conducted a month after the Newtown shooting, 45 percent favored gun rights.

The Pew poll on firearms, conducted in early December, also found that African-Americans have become increasingly likely to believe that firearm ownership does more to protect people than it does to threaten an individual’s safety, even as they continue to support gun control measures.

When asked in 2012, 29 percent of African-Americans said guns offered people protection rather than exposed them to greater danger, but in this year’s survey, the number of African-Americans who viewed firearms as offering more personal safety nearly doubled to 54 percent.

By contrast, the views of whites who believe guns are more likely to provide personal protection have changed more modestly rising to 62 percent this year from 54 percent in 2012, the poll found.

Overall, 57 percent of Americans said gun ownership was more helpful in protecting people from becoming victims of crime, and 38 percent said it did more to endanger one’s safety.

1-Dees-Obama

Unconstitutional Senate Intelligence Authorization Act

August 11, 2015 by Stephen Lendman

Freedom in America is being systematically destroyed one police state law at a time – with most people ignorant and/or indifferent about what happening.

Washington’s criminal class is bipartisan – in lockstep against government representing everyone equitably and fairly, serving privileged interests only.

  1. Res. 1705: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 compromises free expression and privacy rights already gravely eroded.

If enacted, Section 603 will require online companies to inform Washington of any “actual knowledge” of “facts and circumstances” related to undefined “terrorist activity” – meaning warrantless searches and seizures of personal electronic content will be authorized, potentially subjecting countless numbers of innocent people to unjustifiable scrutiny.

Vague language makes independent journalists, political, anti-war, and social justice activists, academics and students doing legitimate research, as well as others vulnerable to being called suspected terrorists.

The possibility could encourage self-censorship. Service providers may over-report to show compliance with the law. Online users could be flagged for using suspect words or phrases.

One definition of terrorist activity can be another’s way of describing freedom fighting. Legitimate government criticism could be misinterpreted and misused.

Anyone ideologically opposed to US policies could become vulnerable to arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment for expressing their views online. Police states operate this way.

Provisions like Section 603 violate fundamental constitutional and international law guaranteed rights. At stake is further erosion of First and Fourth Amendment freedoms.

Senate members overwhelmingly support S. 1705. Before recessing until September, they were set to pass it by voice vote until Senator Ron Wyden objected.

He wants normal debate procedure followed. He noted valid concerns raised by Internet companies about Section 603.

The Internet Association representing dozens of technology companies said vague language about what constitutes terrorism creates “an impossible compliance problem.”

It’ll result in “massive reporting of items that are not likely to be of material concern to public safety.” Wyden said “Internet companies should not be subject to broad requirements to police the speech of their users.”

He knows of no law enforcement or intelligence agencies suggesting Section 603 will help identify terrorists. He urges revision or elimination of this section altogether.

Thirty-one civil liberties organizations and trade associations expressed opposition to Section 603 in a letter sent Senate leaders.

They include Project Censored, the Media Freedom Foundation, the ACLU, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumer Federation of America, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and American Library Association among others.

They warned of concerns raised above. Innocent people committing no crimes would be at risk. “Complying with Section 603 would create a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech and would impermissibly burden individuals’ First and Fourth Amendment rights,” they said.

“Whether a given comment is a true threat of violence, an expression of a sincerely held religious belief, or a simple joke among friends is a determination that providers are ill-suited to make, particularly when the consequence is reporting a person to the government under the suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities.”

Section 603 is unconstitutional. It way oversteps. Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Internet companies may report any content they believe relates to criminality.

“Section 603’s reporting requirement threatens individuals’ constitutional rights to privacy and freedom of expression and would burden US-based providers without providing a clear benefit to law enforcement. For these reasons, we urge you to reject this flawed provision and to remove it from the Intelligence Authorization Act,” the signatories said.

AS

The heart of Justice Scalia’s originalism

By John S. Baker – -April 14, 2015 (Washington Times)

John Strand’s fascinating play, the Originalist, manages to humanize Justice Scalia for those who view him, in the play’s words, as a heartless monster. Beneath the Justice’s combative brilliance, the play shows him to be quite compassionate towards his far-left, lesbian law clerk. But the playwright fails to find the heart of Originalism.

The lead actor, Edward Gero, nails the Justice’s walk, words, and mannerisms. Missing, however, is the Justice’s hearty laughter. But an actor can’t give us what’s not in the script. Actors in a play are textualists— interpreting, yes; but still sticking to the writer’s words. A play is not the place for Improv.

Originalists are textualists who interpret the words actually written in the Constitution – the script. They don’t do Improv.

The play puzzles over the question: how could someone so brilliant be so obtuse as not to realize that the Constitution must be updated to meet modern needs?

The answer provided by the play and some commentators: the Justice’s strict adherence to the words of the Constitution can only be explained in terms of his traditional (read “rigid”) Roman Catholicism.

Religious faith may explain the Justice’s genuine compassion, but certainly not his Originalism.

Originalism venerates neither the Bible nor Church teaching, but words written by Protestants and Deists. The Constitution has long been the scripture for our civic religion. On this point, it is instructive that in the 1830s Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (a Unitarian) and others borrowed the question-and-answer format of the Catholic catechism and created “Constitutional catechisms.”

America’s civic religion has been eroding for over 100 years under the intellectual influence of Progressivism, as articulated by Woodrow Wilson. Rejecting what he claimed was the Newtonian world view of the Founders and substituting social Darwinism, Wilson provided the political-philosophical basis for the “living” or “evolving” Constitution:

Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop. All the progressives ask or desire is permission – in an era when ‘development,’ ‘evolution,’ is the scientific word – to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle.”

Critics of Originalism may sound persuasive by observing that laws become outdated over time. Statutes certainly can become outdated. Matters likely to become outdated, however, do not belong in a constitution and were not included in our Constitution. Instead, the Constitution provides for changes through the system of Separation of Powers, with Congress making changes in law, as long as the President is willing to accept the changes, and the Supreme Court finds no violation of the Constitution.

Wilson rejected Separation of Powers because it slows down democracy. Indeed, the Framers wanted to make it difficult to pass federal laws. The Separation-of-Powers system necessitates law-making by consensus rather than simple majorities.

Contra Wilson, Justice Scalia both rejects “the living Constitution” and argues for restoring (and annually teaches a course on) the original, rigorous understanding of Separation of Powers.

For Progressives, Justice Scalia’s Constitution represents a throwback in terms of Darwinian progress. What matters for them is the expansion of rights, not the structure of the Constitution

Americans may be conflicted. They generally want the Court to follow the words of the Constitution, but they tend to equate the Constitution with the Bill of Rights. As Justice Scalia often says, however, the Bill of Rights is only “the icing on the cake.” Without Separation of Powers, including an independent judiciary, the Bill of Rights would mean nothing more than words on paper. The former Soviet Union and other despotic regimes have had wonderfully written, but meaningless, bills of rights.

Americans would do well to recall that the heart of the Constitution is its structure of Separation of Powers and Federalism. The structure and the powers it grants, limits, and divides among the branches of the federal government never become outdated. The powers to tax, to borrow money, to regulate commerce among the states, to raise and support armies, etc., will be essential as long as the country exists.
Originalism venerates neither the Bible nor Church teaching, but words written by Protestants and Deists. The Constitution has long been the scripture for our civic religion. On this point, it is instructive that in the 1830s Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (a Unitarian) and others borrowed the question-and-answer format of the Catholic catechism and created “Constitutional catechisms.”

America’s civic religion has been eroding for over 100 years under the intellectual influence of Progressivism, as articulated by Woodrow Wilson. Rejecting what he claimed was the Newtonian world view of the Founders and substituting social Darwinism, Wilson provided the political-philosophical basis for the “living” or “evolving” Constitution:

Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop. All the progressives ask or desire is permission – in an era when ‘development,’ ‘evolution,’ is the scientific word – to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle.”

Critics of Originalism may sound persuasive by observing that laws become outdated over time. Statutes certainly can become outdated. Matters likely to become outdated, however, do not belong in a constitution and were not included in our Constitution. Instead, the Constitution provides for changes through the system of Separation of Powers, with Congress making changes in law, as long as the President is willing to accept the changes, and the Supreme Court finds no violation of the Constitution.

Wilson rejected Separation of Powers because it slows down democracy. Indeed, the Framers wanted to make it difficult to pass federal laws. The Separation-of-Powers system necessitates law-making by consensus rather than simple majorities.

Contra Wilson, Justice Scalia both rejects “the living Constitution” and argues for restoring (and annually teaches a course on) the original, rigorous understanding of Separation of Powers.

For Progressives, Justice Scalia’s Constitution represents a throwback in terms of Darwinian progress. What matters for them is the expansion of rights, not the structure of the Constitution

Americans may be conflicted. They generally want the Court to follow the words of the Constitution, but they tend to equate the Constitution with the Bill of Rights. As Justice Scalia often says, however, the Bill of Rights is only “the icing on the cake.” Without Separation of Powers, including an independent judiciary, the Bill of Rights would mean nothing more than words on paper. The former Soviet Union and other despotic regimes have had wonderfully written, but meaningless, bills of rights.

Americans would do well to recall that the heart of the Constitution is its structure of Separation of Powers and Federalism. The structure and the powers it grants, limits, and divides among the branches of the federal government never become outdated. The powers to tax, to borrow money, to regulate commerce among the states, to raise and support armies, etc., will be essential as long as the country exists.

Like Justice Scalia, the framers focused on structure. They invented the novel doctrine of a federal judiciary having a power to declare laws unconstitutional. They did so to preserve the Constitution as written against the power-grabbing tendencies of the political branches in the federal and state governments.

At its heart, Originalism is grounded in the Framers’ understanding of human nature and power. It rejects the Progressive belief that human beings have so progressed that the Constitution’s structural restraints are no longer necessary to curb the self-interested behavior of those holding – and seeking more—power. As one observer once said, “Scalia does not have a sanguine view of human nature or much confidence in social progress.”  Nor did the Framers.

John S. Baker, Jr., Ph.D. is Visiting Professor, Georgetown University Law Center and Professor Emeritus, Louisiana State University Law Center.

War 1812

The War of 1812 Dramatically Changed American People and Government

“Forget self and think of America,” wartime pundits urged.

Part one: “How the War of 1812 Eroded U.S. Liberalism”

As the War of 1812 with Great Britain approached during the Republican administration of James Madison, the War Hawks saw silver linings everywhere. “Republicans even came to see the war as a necessary regenerative act—as a means of purging Americans of their pecuniary greed and their seemingly insatiable love of commerce and money-making,” historian Gordon S. Wood writes in Empire of Liberty. “They hoped that war with England might refresh the national character, lessen the overweening selfishness of people, and revitalize republicanism.” The money cost of war was dismissed as insignificant compared to national honor and sovereignty. Indeed, the war was called the “Second War of Independence.” Wood quotes the newspaper editors of the Richmond Enquirer: “Forget self and think of America.”

Republicans, of course, had previously warned of the dangers of war, including high taxes, debt, corruption, a big military, and centralized power. Madison himself famously said that war contained the “germ” of “all the enemies to public liberty.” So now the party set out to prosecute a war while avoiding the evils they held were intrinsic to it. Republicans in Congress talked about cutting military spending even as war loomed. But it didn’t quite work out that way. In early 1812 Congress built up the army, though it—initially—decided a navy was not needed against the greatest naval power on earth. (The strengthened U.S. navy later did very well against Britain.)

The Republican Congress also raised taxes, including dreaded internal taxes, conditioned on war actually breaking out. Madison, Wood writes, “was relieved that at last the Republicans in Congress had ‘got down the dose of taxes.'” Still, the government would have to borrow money to finance the war. The proliferation of government securities and new note-issuing banks followed, of course. On the connections among the war, public debt, Madison’s Second Bank of the United States, inflation, government-sanctioned suspension of specie payments, government bankruptcy, and subsequent economic turmoil, see Murray Rothbard’s A History of Money and Banking in the United States and his earlier The Panic of 1819.

Wood notes that Americans hoped the war would deal a blow to the Indians in the Northwest, who had the support of Britain and whose land was much coveted. Indian removal (extermination) was a popular government program. Moreover, “with the development of Canada freeing the British Empire from its vulnerability to American economic restrictions, President Madison was bound to be concerned about Canada.”

Although Madison’s government always denied that it intended to annex Canada, it had no doubt, as Secretary of State [James] Monroe told the British government in June 1812, that once the United States forces occupied the British provinces, it would be “difficult to relinquish territory which had been conquered.”

Interest in Canada was not just material. A belief in “Manifest Destiny,” though the term wouldn’t be coined until 1845, was a driving force. (Acquisition of Spain’s Floridas was also on the agenda.) America was the rising “Empire of Liberty,” fated by providence to rule North America (at least) and displace the worn-out empires of the Old World.

Even though the war had no formal victor and produced no boundary adjustments (U.S. forces were repulsed in Canada after burning its capital, for which Britain retaliated by burning Washington, D.C.), Americans were generally delighted with the outcome, mistakenly thinking that Madison had dictated terms at Ghent. (Wood notes that a record 57 towns and counties bear Madison’s name.) Wood writes that a group calling itself the “republican citizens of Baltimore” expressed “a common refrain throughout much of the country” in April 1815 when it declared that the war

has revived, with added luster the renown which brightened the morning of our independence: it has called forth and organized the dormant resources of the empire: it has tried and vindicated our republican institutions: it has given us that moral strength, which consists in the well earned respect of the world, and in a just respect for ourselves. It has raised up and consolidated a national character, dear to the hearts of the people, as an object of honest pride and a pledge of future union, tranquility, and greatness.

The anti-Hamiltonian Albert Gallatin, secretary of the Treasury from 1801 to 1814, said that because of the war, the people “are more American; they feel and act more as a nation.” Arthur A. Ekirch Jr. reports in The Decline of American Liberalism that Gallatin admitted that (Gallatin’s words) “the war has laid the foundation of permanent taxes and military establishments, which the Republicans had deemed unfavorable to the happiness and free institutions of the country.”

Madison’s restraint, however it is to be explained, ought to be acknowledged. He was an advocate of centralized government and implied powers, yet “he knew that a republican leader should not become a Napoleon or even a Hamilton,” the sympathetic Woods writes. He quotes an earlier admirer of Madison as saying, the president conducted the war “without one trial for treason, or even one prosecution for libel.” (Some Republicans viewed Federalists who were openly sympathetic to the British as traitors.) A more ambitious politician might have not have kept the “sword of war” “within its proper restraints.” However, imperial chickens eventually come home to roost, and Madison indisputably reinforced the imperial course of his predecessors. (See my “The Boomerang Effect: How Foreign Policy Changes Domestic Policy.”) Moreover, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel writes, Madison proposed conscription—only the war’s end prevented this from happening—and later a peacetime standing army to the Congress.

How the war dramatically changed America, the people, and the government is discussed at length in Dangerous Nation by Robert Kagan—the historian and prominent neoconservative thinker who advises President Barack Obama on foreign policy—and John Quincy Adams and American Global Empire by William Earl Weeks. (Unlike Weeks, Kagan approves of the war’s effects and the American empire in general; his book is marred by his wish to justify current American intervention in Europe and beyond.)

Kagan notes that the war boosted efforts to expand America westward. “Indian tribes north of the Ohio River, deprived of British support, gave up vast stretches of land in the years immediately following the war,” Kagan writes, “permitting a huge westward migration of the American population.… Trying to contain American continental aspirations after the war with Great Britain, John Quincy Adams observed, would be like ‘opposing a feather to a torrent.'”

Kagan notes that:

The requirements of fighting the war expanded the role of the federal government and exposed deficiencies in the operation of federal power under the old Jeffersonian Republican scheme—much as the Revolutionary War had pointed up the deficiencies of the Articles of Confederation. The end of the war in 1815 brought calls for augmented national powers even from Republicans.…

Madison, Jefferson’s staunch colleague in the struggle against Hamiltonian policies in the 1790s, now all but embraced the Hamiltonian system.

Attitudes toward the military also changed for reasons of national and economic security. When Monroe succeeded Madison as president, Weeks writes, a

guiding principle … in [his] effort to expand American foreign trade concerned the construction and maintenance of a formidable military force. Republicans traditionally had mistrusted large military establishments as subversive of republican institutions. Yet once again, the War of 1812 led to a reevaluation of a basic tenet of the Republican faith.

Indeed, future President John Quincy Adams, Monroe’s secretary of state and a champion of Clay’s American System, said, “The most painful, perhaps the most profitable, lesson of the war was the primary duty of the nation to place itself in a state of permanent preparation for self-defense” (emphasis added).

“Along with support for a national bank,” Weeks adds, the Republicans’ new imperial principles “stood as a dramatic break with the traditional philosophy of the Republican party. The vision of a decentralized inward looking agrarian republic had been replaced by an imperial vision which reflected many of the basic tenets of the disgraced Federalist party.”

It’s important to realize, Weeks writes, that “after the Treaty of Ghent the search for new markets became the explicit aim of American foreign policy.”

Kagan agrees: “the War of 1812 spurred the federal government to redouble efforts to open access to foreign markets.” Previously, agrarian Republicans like Jefferson hoped that commerce would not dominate America or its politics since that preoccupation would inevitably draw the country into perpetual international turmoil. But with the war, many now saw things differently. “Active promotion of commerce required further expansion of American military strength, especially the navy,” Kagan writes.

In other words, America would not promote free trade by unilaterally setting a good example, as libertarians call for today. Instead, the government would aggressively open foreign markets, particularly the colonial possessions of the European powers, threatening retaliation in the case of uncooperative regimes and displaying the military card rather prominently. But “free trade” soon gave way to mercantilism, that is, special-interest economic protectionism. Weeks writes that

changing economic conditions had inspired a new vision of American empire based not on free trade but on protection of certain sectors of the economy. The shortages caused by embargo and war had led to the growth of an extensive manufacturing sector in the United States and a sizable constituency that wanted it protected from foreign competition, once peace was restored.

Revealingly, Weeks writes, the postwar American Society of the Encouragement of American Manufacturers, a pro-tariff group, boasted as members Thomas Jefferson and James Madison along with the old Federalist John Adams.

A remnant of small-government, decentralist, free-trading “Old Republicans” objected to this embrace of centralized power, mercantilism, and militarism, but their voices were fading. Against them, the rising generation of politicians saw the need for new principles. The Old Republicans’ narrow interpretation of the Constitution, the new Republicans said, should not be treated as engraved in stone. “A new world has come into being since the Constitution was adopted,” said Henry Clay, chief promoter of the American System. “Are the narrow, limited necessities of the old thirteen states … as they existed at the formation of the present Constitution, forever to remain a rule of its interpretation? Are we to forget the wants of our country?… I trust not, sir. I hope for better and nobler things.”

Apparently the idea of a living constitution was born much earlier than the 1950s or 1930s.

The new vision pervaded Monroe’s administration, which the continental expansionist and militarist John Quincy Adams dominated as secretary of state, and then Adams’s own term as president. (Opposition to the spread of slavery would check, temporarily, the drive for southwestern expansion, an ironic turn on Madison’s principle that “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.“) As for domestic policy, in 1825, Adams’s first year in power, he called for “a national university, government-sponsored scientific explorations, the creation of new government departments, the fostering of internal improvements, and even the building of a national astronomical observatory,” Kagan reports.

The “great object of the institution of government is the improvement of the condition of those who are parties to the social compact,” Adams said. The government should not only provide internal improvement, such as canals and roads, but should also see to the people’s “moral, political, intellectual improvement.”

Adams’s program, however, proved too much too fast for Americans. So he, like his father, was a one-term president. But eventually the American System, often propelled by foreign policy and war, would return—for good.

The lesson here is that even an apparently justifiable war can be counted on to produce illiberal consequences and precedents. The Republicans could not fight a war unaccompanied by what the Gallatin called “the evils inseparable from it[:] debt, perpetual taxation, military establishments, and other corrupting or anti-republican habits or institutions.” They would sooner have squared the circle.

Moreover, the War of 1812 reinforced the executive branch’s de facto monopoly over foreign policy. Within a few years the Monroe administration—and no one more staunchly than John Quincy Adams—would defend Gen. Andrew Jackson’s invasion of Spanish Florida and undeclared war on the Seminoles, after which dissenting members of Congress could do nothing but gripe.

Randolph Bourne was right: war is indeed the health of the state.

by Sheldon Richman|Mar. 8, 2015

This article originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation. 

AmericanFreedom

What if the Government Fears Freedom?

What if Bush and Obama have been wrong about the priority of their constitutional duties as president?

What if the current massive spying on Americans began with an innocent secret executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986? What if Reagan contemplated that he was only authorizing American spies to spy on foreign spies unlawfully present in the U.S.?

What if Reagan knew and respected the history of the Fourth Amendment? What if the essence of that history is the colonial revulsion at the British use of general warrants? What if general warrants were issued by a secret court in London and authorized British agents in America to search wherever they wished and to seize whatever they found? What if the revulsion at this British government practice was so overwhelming that it led to the Revolutionary War against the king?

What if the whole purpose of the Fourth Amendment was to outlaw general warrants? What if the Fourth Amendment specifically guarantees the right to privacy to all in America in their persons, houses, papers, and effects?

What if, in order to emphasize its condemnation of general warrants, the Fourth Amendment requires the government to obtain a warrant from a judge before invading the persons, houses, papers, or effects of anyone and lays down the preconditions for the issuance of such warrants? What if those preconditions are individualized suspicion and articulated evidence of crime—called probable cause— about the specific person whose privacy the government seeks to invade?

What if these principles of constitutional fidelity, privacy, and probable cause and the unlawfulness of general warrants have been regarded universally and publicly as quintessentially American values, values that set this nation apart from all others?

What if the administration of President George W. Bush was so embarrassed that 9/11 happened on its watch that it fought a useless public war in Iraq—which had nothing to do with 9/11—and a pernicious private war against American values by unleashing American spies on innocent Americans as to whom there was no individualized probable cause so that it could create the impression it was doing something to keep America safe from another 9/11-like attack?

What if the Bush folks took Reagan’s idea of spying on foreign spies and twisted it so that they could spy on not just foreign spies, but also on foreign persons? What if they took that and leapt to spying on Americans who communicated with foreign persons?

What if they then concluded that it was easier to spy on all Americans rather than just those who communicated with foreign persons? What if they claimed in secret that all this was authorized by Reagan’s executive order and two federal statutes, their unique interpretations of which they refused to discuss in public? What if the Reagan order and the statutes authorized no such thing?

What if The New York Times caught the Bush administration in its massive violation of the Fourth Amendment, whereby it was spying on all Americans all the time without any warrants? What if the Times sat on that knowledge during, throughout, and beyond the presidential election campaign of 2004? What if, when the Times revealed all this, the Bush administration agreed to stop spying? What if it didn’t stop?

What if President Obama came up with a scheme to make the spying appear legal? What if that scheme involved using secret judges in secret courts to issue general warrants? What if the Obama administration swore those judges to secrecy? What if it swore to secrecy all in the government who are involved in undermining basic American values? What if it forgot that everyone in government also swears an oath to uphold the Constitution? What if Edward Snowden violated his oath to secrecy in order to uphold his oath to the Constitution, which includes the Fourth Amendment, and spilled the beans on the government?

What if all this spying by the feds has spawned spying by the locals? What if more than 50 local police departments now have received false cell towers from the FBI, but have sworn not to tell anyone about them? What if these towers trick cellphone signals into exposing the content of cellphone conversations to the police? What if the police have done this without the knowledge of the elected representatives who are their bosses? What if they do this without any warrants? What if the Supreme Court last year outlawed police invading cellphones without warrants?

What if both Bush and Obama have argued that their first job is to keep America safe, and they will twist, torture the plain meaning of and even break laws in order to accomplish that job? What if the presidential oath is to enforce all laws faithfully, including ones the president may hate?

What if Bush and Obama have been wrong about the priority of their constitutional duties as president? What if the president’s first job is to preserve the Constitution? What if that includes the Fourth Amendment? What if the president keeps us safe but unfree?

What if invading our freedoms keeps us less safe? What if the president has failed to keep our freedoms safe? What if the government doesn’t like freedoms? What if the government is afraid we will exercise them?

By Andrew Napolitano | February 26, 2015 in Reason.com

GAA

Guns Across America Austin Rally: Gun Rights are not About Guns, They are About Liberty

by Bob Price 21 Feb 2015 Austin, TX

“About two hundred gun rights activists gathered on the south steps of the Texas Capitol to show support for expanding gun rights in Texas on Saturday. While much of the talk was about gun rights, many of the speakers used the word that Governor Greg Abbott used in his State of the State address this week when he said, “Let me briefly follow up on a word I mentioned a moment ago – liberty. In a single word, it encapsulates what this country stands for, what Texas symbolizes. I will expand liberty in Texas by signing a law that makes Texas the 45th state to allow open carry.”

Pastor Terry Holcomb, Sr., president and founder of Texas Carry, echoed the Governor’s remarks when he said, “Gun rights are about more than guns – It is about liberty. Texas needs to lead on liberty.”
Pastor Terry Holcomb, Sr. Texas Carry Founder

Holcomb said that Texas ranks right up there with California, Illinois, and New York, when it comes to the right of citizens to openly carry a firearm for self-defense. He promised that some form of open carry will pass the legislature this session. He then challenged the crowd, “But, if we are going to have liberty, we have to elect liberty minded candidates.” He encouraged people to run for office and challenge incumbent elected officials who do not protect liberty.

Waylon Montague, executive vice-president of Gun Rights Across America told Breitbart Texas, “We are here today to promote teamwork among liberty minded people.” He said there are many separate organizations fighting for a variety of pro-gun bills. “Each organization has passion for their cause.”

“Some of these groups have an ‘all or nothing’ mentality about their issues,” he explained. “All or nothing often gets you nothing.” He made the analogy of a “hail Mary” pass in football. “How many times does that play not work? You must have a solid game plan.”

Breitbart Texas asked him about the controversial Open Carry Tarrant County group that many believe nearly killed the possibility of passing open carry in this session. “To each their own,” Montague said. “I don’t agree with some of their tactics. There are more appropriate methods to achieve the desired results.”

While he said he would not be satisfied with the passage of open carry for licensed holders, he acknowledged that it would be “a step in the right direction.”

Open Carry Texas founder C.J. Grisham is a Fort Hood Master Sergeant who became famous after he was arrested by police when he was walking down a country road with his son while legally carrying a rifle across his chest. After a series of alterations of his charges and two trials, Grisham was eventually found guilty of “interfering with police duties.”
C.J. Grisham, Open Carry Texas Founder

Two months ago, Grisham was named as a “Texan of the Year Finalist” by the Dallas Morning News Editorial Staff.

Grisham told the crowd, “We have a lot of patriots and Facebook rangers. But how many people are willing to put some skin in the game.” He said Open Carry Texas has conducted more than 3,000 walks across Texas while openly carrying guns. “Not one person was injured, killed, raped, assaulted or robbed while we were carrying these guns,” he stated. “And we were carrying the scary looking guns.”

He thanked the attendees for their support. “Without you, I am just a crazy guy walking with his son while carrying a gun,” Grisham explained. “Our guns are meant to protect us against tyranny.” He said the open carry groups across Texas are now 60,000 members strong.

Pat Cook told the crowd he has a unique perspective on not being allowed to carry a gun for protection. The U.S. Army soldier who has served in combat in Iraq had the unfortunate experience of being on Fort Hood last year when Army Specialist Ivan Lopez went on a shooting rampage that left four people dead and sixteen people injured.
Patrick Cook, founder of Come and Take It Texas, being interviewed by local news media.

“I am someone who knows what it means to be stripped of their dignity,” Cook said in a highly emotional speech. “I was laying on my belly reaching for a gun I knew wasn’t there.”

Fortunately, Cook was not one of those who was injured physically by the attack, but the incident left him with clear emotional scars. “It is exhausting to have to watch everyone every single day,” he explained. “It’s like being on a deployment that never ends.”

In discussing rights versus privileges, Cook said a privilege is a “lien placed on a liberty.”

In sharp contrast to the 2013 rally, Texas State Representative Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) was the only elected official to speak. The 2013 rally had a long list of elected officials standing with the groups to speak. It is possible that this is a reflection of the negative press created by the Open Carry Tarrant County group’s actions.

Stickland is a strong supporter of what is known as “Constitutional Carry” (open carry without a license). While his bill is said by many to have little chance of passage, Stickland pledged, “I will offer a Constitutional Carry amendment to any gun bill that comes to the floor of the House for a vote.”

“We will have a record vote on Constitutional Carry,” he declared. He said activists must push hard for what they want and not compromise on liberty because the “legislature will give you only what you are willing to take.”

Read more…