Saturday, December 17, 2011

Is the Constitution in crisis?

The Constitution has been in crisis for well over 100 years -- under every President, Congress and Supreme Court. A few politicians and judges have had a hand in slowing the nullification of the Constitution; but nobody can stop it except informed and wise voters.

The founders wrote a Constitution that gives us an opportunity and the means for rebellion and change in government every two years. We call that opportunity an election. Every two years we can throw out the entire House of Representatives! But, we don't -- even though we all despise the work they're doing (or not doing). Every four years, we have the opportunity to change the President and his entire administration thereby profoundly changing the way bureaucrats treat our rights. But, we often don't -- even though we all despise the work they all are doing (or not doing). Every two to four years, each State has the opportunity to vote out a senator. In six years, we can purge the entire Senate! But, we don't -- even though we all despise the work they're doing (or not doing).

Our founders gave us the tools needed for a peaceful and orderly overthrow of a tyrannical government. Yet, the uninformed partners with the selfish among us to persistently elect and reelect the wrong people!

I shudder when I watch Jay Leno's "Jay-Walking" excursions wherein he explores how utterly ignorant many Americans are.

Congress has the lowest approval rating of any entity imaginable. Yet, we persistently reelect over 90% of the most corrupt, anti-Constitution, anti-liberty, big-government incumbents we all disapprove of! Many people call for term limits in an effort to get the government back under control. But, as another writer said, this is a cop-out. The fact that some politicians remain in office too long is no reason to also boot out the statesmen our nation needs. We voters have a profound moral obligation to elect and reelect only the best to public office. We are failing in that role.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Homosexual marriage, money, and morality

Williams Institute is a LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trasngender) organization established to advance sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship. It disseminates its stands to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public. Because it is an activist organization, it was never intend to be unbiased in its "research." As a national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute is largely funded by taxpayers.

It recently claimed that wedding arrangements and tourism by same-sex couples and their wedding guests added between $12 and $13 million to the Iowa economy over two years in 2009 and 2010. The study, released Wednesday, also reported that the increased spending on weddings likely added between $850,000 and $930,000 in tax revenue in that State during that two-year period. There reportedly were at least 2,099 same-sex weddings in the year following the decision to legalize marriage equality in April 2009. Of these couples, over half came from other states to wed in Iowa. The study estimates that out-of-state couples account for about $2.2 million of the spending.

The Institute's story did not disclose the methodology behind finding the numbers the reported.

Now, a little history:

Marriage is a formal relationship established by God -- not government. Religions and cultures of all kinds around the world have consistently established marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. In some cases, that religious bond has included multiple spouses of the opposite sex.

Relatively recently, the government got involved with marriage. This involvement has its roots in racism. Laws were passed requiring couples to obtain a marriage license prior to the marriage. The intent of these laws was to restrict intermarriage among races -- particularly Blacks with Whites. Marriage laws also establish age and other restrictions. By those racist laws government interjected itself into private family affairs to the point where it now tells parents how it can raise children and can confiscate children with no legal basis other than a rumor or lie.

Since it grabbed control of marriage away from churches and families, broken families have become the norm (beginning with California's introduction of no-fault divorce which makes it impossible for the spouse who wants to stay married to have a voice in whether the marriage is dissolved).

Then, along come activists for the homosexual agenda. Although homosexuals have always had the full right to marry a person of the opposite sex, they demanded a new right -- the right to marry a person of the same sex. Most States have laws against such relationships. In fact, some State constitutions clearly establish that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Many States refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in States with same-sex marriage.

Currently, a few States allow same-sex marriages: Massachusetts (thank you very much Mitt Romney), Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. Washington, DC also recognizes same-sex marriage. Generally, a majority of the People rejected the idea of same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage in each of those three States came about only by judicial ruling -- against the will of the People.

How's that for democracy?

After the judicial rulings in the above-listed States, only the legislatures of Connecticut and Massachusetts changed their laws to comply with the rulings imposed by a handful of lawyers in black dresses. The remaining jurisdictions (Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and the District of Washington) have same-sex marriage imposed by judicial ruling.

Now, Williams Institute claims Iowa benefits financially from same-sex marriages performed in that State, but which likely are not valid in the State in which the couples live. These marriages are also not valid for federal purposes.

A question I have on all this is: What value or price do judges in Iowa place on democracy? Apparently, democracy in Iowa is worth something less than $6.5 million per year.

The root of all this is morality and truth. There are two types of truth: absolute truth and relative truth.

Absolute truth comes from natural law and from God. When God (or nature) reveals a truth, it does not vary. That truth applies equally to all of creation.

Relative truth is whatever a person says it is. What is true for one person may not be true for another.

Because of the influence of the aggressive activism of a tiny minority of mankind, God's absolute truth of marriage as between opposite sexes has morphed into a relative truth of marriage is whatever anyone wants for whatever reason or for no reason whatsoever.

I say that those who are sexually attracted to persons of the same-sex deserve all the respect due to any other son or daughter of God. However I reject their behavior when it violates God's counsel and commandments -- just as I reject heterosexual behavior which violates God's teachings. Both have need of repentance.

Activists in and out of government are imposing this corruption of absolute truth upon society with the force of law. Government is forcing those who believe homosexual behavior is immoral to accept that immoral behavior as if it were moral and wholesome. And, government is giving that behavior its stamp of approval at taxpayer expense. Government has no right or authority to redefine morality.

As mentioned above, marriage has been a family and/or religious rite for most of human history. Only relatively recently has one needed government permission to marry. It has done so for two primary reasons: social engineering (something politicians and bureaucrats love to do, but do horribly) and revenue.

I believe that marriage is one of many issues where government does not belong. Where government intrudes, it invariably makes things worse. Politicians and bureaucrats do a horrid job of defining morality.

Government must get out of the marriage business and restore it to families and religion where it historically worked just fine. As far as the government should be concerned, a marriage should be viewed as nothing more than a legally-binding private contract made between consenting adults -- not to regulate who people can marry. The only role government should have is to provide a mechanism whereby the marriage contract can be enforced and to protect the rights of the persons involved (ie property rights or to restrict marriage of children).

As long as government interjects itself into defining marriage, I defend the right of individuals and organizations such as churches (eg California's Prop 8) to voice their opinions on that definition. Ultimately, politicians and judges need to learn to respect the voice of the voters.

So, what's next for government-sanctioned marriage? How far will government go to redefine morality? Legalized polygyny? Legalized polyandry? Legalized marriage between children and adults? Legalized marriage between siblings? Legalized marriage between parents and their children? Legalized marriage between humans and animals? Legalized marriage between humans and trees or other inanimate objects? Preposterous, you say?

Just you wait and see. The horse is out of the barn. Without a moral and spiritual revival, it is too late to close the barn door on government-controlled marriage.

We need smarter and wiser voters.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Congress must approve bureaucratic regulations!

Federal regulation cost American businesses a shocking $1.75 trillion in 2008, more than individual and corporate income tax burdens combined. Those costs of doing business are passed on to consumers in higher prices for goods and services.

Clearly, something horribly amiss in the regulatory process.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on HR.10 / S.299, the REINS Act (Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act), which puts the brakes on costly federal regulation by directly holding our elected officials responsible for their actions.

The Constitution entrusts our elected representatives in Congress with legislative power, not unelected, unaccountable federal bureaucrats!

The REINS Act helps to correct this problem. Whenever an agency seeks to finalize a new "major" regulation (one with an economic impact of $100 million or more) Congress must first vote to approve it, and the President must sign it before it can take effect. While I believe all regulations must be specifically approved by elected representatives, HR.10 / S.299 is an important small step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, the REINS Act won’t be a silver bullet to stop every costly regulation, but it will ensure that when a major new regulation takes effect every citizen will know exactly who voted for it and will be able to hold them accountable.

If I were able to amend this legislation, lower the threshold from $100 million to $1 million. I would also include a requirement that all existing regulations with the same $100 million economic impact also go through the same congressional and executive scrutiny if not abolished within 180 days of enactment of HR.10 / S.299.

Congress must rein in excessive federal regulation beginning with the REINS Act. HR.10 / S.299 must become law immediately.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Caitlin Halligan may be unfit to be a judge

Caitlin Joan Halligan has been nominated by President Barack Obama to fill a federal judicial vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit - the second highest court in the US. This makes this nomination especially sensitive.

All reports that I’ve seen indicate that Halligan possesses all the skills and knowledge to qualify her as a judge. However professional competence is only part of a judge’s job. Fidelity to the judicial oath of office -- defense of the Constitution -- is a key to determining whether a candidate is fit to be a judge.

Regarding previous presidential nominees, I have pointed out that it is essential that all federal nominees be examined closely to determine their loyalty to the US Constitution. This is especially true for the Supreme Court and for the DC Circuit. A judgeship on the DC Circuit is often a stepping-stone for appointment to the US Supreme Court.

It is extremely unfortunate that, since the virtual political assassination of Judge Robert Bork in 1987, presidents have typically avoided nominating judicial candidates who have written or ruled on controversial issues or high-profile cases. In other words, nominees have not been tested. Halligan is one of those unknowns.

In my research, I found one issue that concerns me: While solicitor general for the state of New York, Halligan initiated a lawsuit to hold gun manufacturers liable for crimes committed using illegally obtained guns. Halligan's scheme to annihilate the firearms industry with senseless lawsuits clearly shows she is willing to put her liberal ideology above the law and justice. But most importantly, she put her liberal ideology above the Constitution.

No judge must allow ideology influence his/her judgment. Instead, every judge must use the Constitution to guide his/her decisions. Not flawed judicial precedents. Not foreign law. Not ideology. Not politics. Halligan must be examined to determine whether she is capable of putting her personal and political ideals aside -- and clearly willing to do so without hesitation. The court is no place for political agendas. Politics must be confined to the legislative branch and the administration.

The authors of the US Constitution wisely provided for Senate confirmation of all presidential nominees. The purpose of this process is to protect the US Constitution and the liberties it guarantees from an activist and power-hungry administration and from activist judges. Therefore, Senators must make all decisions regarding presidential appointees based not only on the nominee's professional qualifications but more importantly on his/her respect for the Constitution.

On taking office, every Senator takes the following oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
Senators do not take an oath to any political ideology, political party, party leader, king, or president. They take an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." In recent decades -- and especially during the current administration -- the Senate has done a horrible job in protecting the US Constitution because Senators make their decisions based on political ideology -- not the nominee's qualification and his/her potential effect on liberty.

Clearly, the Senate must expedite confirmation of presidential nominees who have a solid record of applying the original intent of the Constitution and halt consideration of all nominees from any administration who do not respect the rule of law or who are hostile to any individual liberty guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Compromise is giving in to the enemies of liberty. There must be no compromise!

Like all other federal nominations, I urge the Senate to reject the nomination of Caitlin Joan Halligan as US District Judge if there is any indication whatsoever that she will not be 100% true to the original intent of the US Constitution. If she cannot give a satisfactory explanation for her assault on gun manufacturers and how that could have affected affected my Second Amendment rights, I will consider a vote for her to be a vote against my gun rights.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Land of the freebies, home of the enslaved

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone." — Frederic Bastiat

"Would you be willing to give up your favorite federal program if it meant never having to pay the income tax again?" — Harry Browne

We need smarter voters.