Saturday, May 10, 2014

Domestic terrorists?

Regarding last month's armed confrontation in Nevada's desert, I read this commentary on a forum this evening:
These criminals and potential domestic terrorists need to be treated as the hooligans that they are. A bloodbath needs to be avoided as this is their sick wet fantasy but everything must be done to enforce the law and put these criminals behind bars. We live in a nation of laws and in the 21st century. We have a Federal Government who has ultimate authority over state laws. This is established fact as determined by repeated U.S. Supreme Court rulings. We don't live in the wild, wild west. The domestic terrorists who pointed weapons at federal authorities in Bundy's dump need to be arrested if they show up at this criminal enterprise in Utah. We cannot allow hooligans to think that they can break the law and that their actions don't have consequences. This is Native American land for goodness sake. I think that is self evident. Any person who denies the authority of the federal government over the state is delusional and naturally a loon. But this describes libertarians in general as being a bunch of out of touch extremists not in line with the realities of the world. I still like you as a person and a friend but denying the way that the U.S. government and our laws operate is inherently being a loon. For goodness sake, you are defending radical militias who are committed to bringing civil war towards the goal of bringing America "back" to some utopian fantasy. You are defending people who have respect for Timothy McVeigh. [emphasis mine]
Clearly, some people are governed by emotion and ignorance -- not reason, fact, and history. And they just love to throw the term "domestic terrorist" and at anyone who respects the US Constitution and the liberties it protects (if followed).

The states are not mere functionaries of the central government (as the ignorant, and the power-mongers who thrive on the ignorance of the masses, in this nation seem to believe). The states were and are sovereign (possessing supreme or ultimate power) states before the central government was even a dream. King George III acknowledged that fact in the treaty that ended our war for independence.

Through the US Constitution (I suggest all study it), those sovereign states created the central government -- not to have "ultimate authority" over them, but to simply perform clearly defined and limited roles better done collectively than as individual states such as national defense. Those roles are listed in Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution. The 10th Amendment clearly tells the central government that it has no powers other than those listed in the US Constitution.

The writer mention "repeated US Supreme Court rulings" that say other wise. First off, kings rule (we supposedly have none of those). Supreme Court justices do not rule -- they issue opinions -- opinions which are rarely unanimous but usually conflicted and contradictory, and often even outright wrong. A major reason this nation's government is out of control is because politicians and bureaucrats obey dangerously flawed Supreme Court opinions rather than the plain wording and intent of the very US Constitution they swear to follow.

Article I of the US Constitution severely limits the amount and purposes of lands the central government is permitted to control: "places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings." There is no constitutional provision for the central government to hold land via out-of-control agencies such as the Bureau of Land management (BLM), National Park Service, National Forest Service, and the seemingly endless alphabet soup of other federal agencies. This is the core of the long public-land-access battle between the BLM and Cliven Bundy and hundreds of other ranchers; tourists, campers, hikers, and sportsmen; and the western states.

There certainly is no constitutional authority for any of the above-listed agencies to have sworn law enforcement officers -- with SWAT teams! (There are now over 70 federal law enforcement agencies -- how many do you think is enough and how much power do you think they should have?)

As for the "domestic terrorists" the writer condemns, they are nothing more than Americans who are fed up with a central government which refuses to obey the "supreme law of the land" which is the US Constitution -- not the central government or the Supreme Court. We need more people like those "domestic terrorists". Because of the insolent intransigence of the central government, they are coming.

BTW, there is no evidence that most of the "militia" in the final showdown between Bundy supporters and armed BLM agents were armed.

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