Can Hillary Still Be Impeached? The Answer May Surprise You…

Recently, I wrote an open letter to Trey Gowdy​ that invoked quite a bit of ire from loyal Gowdy supporters. If you haven’t read the letter, please do.

In this letter, I point out that Hillary Clinton MUST be held accountable and that Congress needs to stop making political excuses for her criminal behavior. I even offer up the suggestion that Mr. Gowdy and Congress should be looking to Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution for the solution to the Hillary problem. Many loyal Gowdy commentors didn’t understand this application of impeachment, and I fear that Mr. Gowdy doesn’t either–so let me explain…

Article 2, Section 4: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, is a civil officer; and because of the numerous documented instances of misconduct while in office, she MUST be impeached.

Some may try to argue that because Hillary resigned, she is no longer eligible for impeachment. That is simply not true, and precedent has been established to the contrary.

William Belknap served as Secretary of War under Ulysses S Grant from October 25, 1869 – March 2, 1876. While Secretary of War, Belknap’s extravagant lifestyle came into question. You see, Belknap only made $8k a year but was known for his extravagant lifestyle and expensive parties. Congress launched an investigation into his finances and found corruption that extended back to 1870.

According to Senate records, in 1870, “Belknap’s luxury-loving first wife assisted a wheeler-dealer named Caleb Marsh by getting her husband to select one of Marsh’s associates to operate the lucrative military trading post at Fort Sill in Indian territory. Marsh’s promise of generous kick-backs prompted Secretary Belknap to make the appointment.  Over the next five years, the associate funneled thousands of dollars to Marsh, who provided Belknap regular quarterly payments totaling over $20,000.”

Some of the accusations against Belknap included indirectly selling weapons to France and accepting illicit kickbacks in exchange for making political appointments. Gun-running, kickbacks, political deals for financial gain…isn’t that exactly what evidence strongly suggests Hillary Clinton is or was involved in?

According to Senate records, “On March 2, 1876, just minutes before the House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on articles of impeachment, Belknap raced to the White House, handed Grant his resignation, and burst into tears.”

Belknap’s resignation did not stop his impeachment. “Later that day, members voted unanimously to send the Senate five articles of impeachment.” What was Congress’ chief accusation against Belknap?  Answer: “criminally disregarding his duty as Secretary of War and basely prostituting his high office to his lust for private gain.” I have never heard a better description of the tenure of Hillary Clinton. Yet what does Congress do today? NOTHING, but make excuses. I missed the Constitutional Amendment that changed the Congressional power exercised in 1876 into the powerless and excuse-ridden Congress of today. By the way, impeaching Hillary would preclude her from holding any future public office, ever.

But Congressional responsibility doesn’t end with Hillary Clinton. According to James Madison, the father of the Constitution, their responsibility to impeach Hillary is not only established but also invokes an even bigger responsibility…to impeach the President, as well.

“It is very possible that an officer, who may not incur the displeasure of the President, may be guilty of actions that ought to forfeit his place.  The power of this may reach him by the means of impeachment, he may be removed even against the will of the President…[the president will be] in a peculiar manner, responsible for their conduct, and subject him to impeachment himself, if he suffers them to perpetrate with impunity high crimes or misdemeanors against the United States, or neglects to superintend their conduct, so as to check their excuses.” (The Writings of James Madison: 1787-1790, James Madison, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904)

Congressional hearings USED to actually have consequences. Congress USED to exercise real power. Congressmen USED to know their duty to the Constitution, their obligation to preserve Liberty, and their obligation to control the executive branch. Nothing about the Constitution or the power of Congress has changed since 1876, so what has changed? What has changed is the knowledge and courage of Congressmen!

If the President of the United States has direct power over his agents, is directly accountable for their actions, and can be impeached himself for failing to govern proper Constitutional control over his agents, shouldn’t Congress also be held accountable for their failure to govern proper Constitutional control over the executive branch? Isn’t it time We The People start requiring real Constitutional proficiency, instead of simply accepting the flowery speeches and rhetoric as chief political qualification?

 “No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”–Samuel Adams

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

An Open Letter To Marco Rubio: I Am Ashamed I Ever Worked On Your Behalf

Mr. Rubio,

I have read your opinion piece published on May 10, 2015. I understand that this is your opinion, but I am puzzled how you can hold these opinions and still claim to be conservative member of a party that claims to be supporting the Constitution.

Specifically, you claim that the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act are essential to the protection of our “national security” and that we must continue these clear violations of our 4th Amendment and our Right to Liberty to keep us “safe.” To the contrary, with these “permissible” intrusions, we have seen a massive increase in power of government in general and the power of the executive in particular, increased control over the people, and a decreased respect for the Rights of the people throughout America. Faisal Shahzad, the Boston Bombing, and the Garland Shooting are clear examples of when the government was continually monitoring these “terrorists” and still allowed the violence to occur; so tell me again how critical it is to do away with the 4th amendment?

You claim that “Bulk metadata includes phone numbers, the time and duration of calls — nothing else. No content of any phone calls is collected.”  You contradict your own claims in the very next sentence: “The government is not listening to your phone calls or recording them unless you are a terrorist or talking to a terrorist outside the United States.” (emphasis mine)  What you are truly telling America is that the government IS listening to our phone calls AND recording them–but “trust us, it’s only when we think you are a terrorist.”  I’m sorry, sir; I cannot garner that much trust for my government–and you should not suggest you expect it.  May I remind you that on two separate occasions, the DHS and DoD have declared the definition of “terrorist” to be so broad as to include many within the Republican party!

“Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are…rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”  This report also claims “return of military veterans…could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks. “ DHS Office of Intelligence & Analysis Assessment April 7, 2009

“Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publicly espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.” January 2013, DoD Training on Extremism

Knowing that these are the OFFICIAL definitions of a “terrorist,” how can you possibly expect Americans to trust this government with such a gross violation of our Liberties?

Your statement that “Despite recent court rulings, this program has not been found unconstitutional, and the courts have not ordered a halt to the program” is disingenuous at best and borders on complete propaganda.  Production of just one case contrary to your claims shows your dishonesty. I will give three:

On March 15, 2013, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston declared that the Patriot Act section 2709 “violates the First Amendment and the separation of powers principle…The government is therefore enjoined from issuing NSLs under 2709 or from enforcing the nondisclosure provision in this or any other case.”

On December 16, 2013, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon entered “an order that bars the Government from collecting, as a part of the NSA’s Bulk Telephony Metadata Program, any telephony metadata associated with their personal Verizon accounts and (2) requires the Government to destroy any such metadata in its possession that was collected through the bulk collection program.”

On May 7, 2015, a three judge panel consisting of Circuit Judges Sack and Lynch, along with District Judge Broderick, ruled that the National Security Agency program that is systematically collecting Americans’ phone records in bulk is illegal, stating that “the telephone metadata program exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized and therefore violates § 215.”

In these three court cases, we have seen that actions taken under the Patriot Act have been deemed unconstitutional and illegal, bulk metadata collection has been ordered to a halt, and the National Security Agency’s exercise of section 215 of the Patriot Act has been deemed illegal.

Mr. Rubio, you then try to justify these false claims by clarifying that “In fact, this program has been found legal and constitutional by at least 15 federal judges serving on the FISA Court on 35 occasions.” This is simply more propaganda intended to deceive the public. Who are the FISA Courts?

  1. They are federal courts appointed by the federal government whose only job is to review “applications submitted by the United States Government for approval of electronic surveillance, physical search, and other investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes.”
  2. “Most of the Court’s work is conducted ex parte as required by statute, and due to the need to protect classified national security information.”
  3. Consideration of the Constitution is secondary to national security needs. (See Rule 5(a))

So let’s get this straight, Mr. Rubio: you expect the American people to be comforted by the fact that 15 federal judges, appointed by the federal government, whose rules and procedures by definition place national security over the Rights of the people, and whose judgments are held in secret with no accountability, have determined the government’s actions to be legal?  Tell me again how you believe in the bedrock principles of America. One of your flowery speeches quoting the founders while you pander to real conservatives who haven’t figured out who you are should do nicely.

You claim that “There is not a single documented case of abuse of this program.”  Not a single “documented” case of abuse in a system shrouded in secrecy, hidden by “national security” claims, conducted ex parte, protected with gag orders? Wow! That indeed is impressive. I would find your argument more credible if you simply start yelling, “I AM OZ; pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, you young whippersnapper!”

Your Alinsky-like use of threats of future violence puts you in dubious company, to say the least. Don’t you guys get tired of trotting out some boogeyman to scare the people into trading Liberty for a false sense of security?  Every attack that gets through your vaunted dragnet is used by you as proof that we need to sacrifice more and more liberty. Somehow, we are supposed to believe that the reason some nutjob blows something up is that the people are too free!  Your opinion (demonstrated by your rhetoric) that the Constitution is outdated, that the founders were ignorant fools, is the very thing I labor to combat every day. I am ashamed of ever having worked on your behalf. You have been a sincere disappointment to say the least.

Here are some words that you, Mr. Rubio, should take to heart: “The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.”  John F. Kennedy

You, sir, are a cheerleader for the very thing JFK wisely warned Americans to guard against. I don’t care whether you call yourself Senator or President; your used car sales pitch for security is not worth my son’s Liberty. And you, sir, ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Sincerely,

KrisAnne Hall

www.KrisAnneHall.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Once Again, Americans Deserve An ‘F’ In Civics

A Pew Research Center and U.S. Department of Education study say too many Americans don’t know the basics about their government and their Rights. I’m shocked, shocked I say!

In an article written by Former Rep. George R. Nethercutt Jr. (R-Wash.) in The Hill, the author quotes JFK illustrating the depth of the problem:

“Democracy is never a final achievement. It is a call to an untiring effort.’ Only by emphasizing civics now will the constitutional understanding of American democracy and the good citizenship we expect be enjoyed by future generations.”

How can we even BEGIN to understand the government of these United States when we have people continually referring to our form of government as a Democracy?

Nethrcutt then suggests the solution to this widespread problem of ignorance: “A national effort to focus learning on citizenship and government should be undertaken with the same vigor with which America has undertaken an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). A goal of improving NAEP scores should be established nationally and embraced by 2016 candidates and school officials everywhere.”

That sounds wonderful until you realize something very important. It is no accident that too many Americans don’t know the basics about government and their Rights. We can push all day long for MORE civics training, and it won’t amount to a hill of beans unless we also demand BETTER civics training.

Our textbooks are replete with error in the proper role and application of government, errant historical revisionism, and teachings of a “government knows best” indoctrination. So we can require more of this teaching and actually get even more ignorant citizens. Proof of this lies within the former representative’s own claims…we are a democracy.

We must first realize that government will NEVER teach our students the proper role of government; especially when federal funding is involved. There is NO WAY government will ever fund an education that raises generations of people who know and believe that the federal government is limited and defined–and that the proper role of the State is not economic improvement, but to ensure the limits of federal power and preserve the Life, Liberty, and Property of the people. There is no chance that the government will teach generations of Americans that “government is instituted among men, deriving it’s just powers from the consent of the governed,” meaning that the PEOPLE are the masters over the government and that we have the POWER to control them.

Government will never teach its people the value of Liberty and the price to maintain it.

No, ignorance is no accident; it is by design. Suggesting that the solution to the ignorance problem is more of the same education is ludicrous. It is a QUALITY issue, not a QUANTITY issue.

Do you suppose Mr. Nethercutt and the powers that be would endorse THESE training courses? http://goo.gl/g8etCY

The solution to most of our problems lies within the understanding that the only way to get the government under control is to teach the PROPER things so that we have Americans who understand that we are a Constitutional Republic, and that there are limits to government and responsibilities among the People.

“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”–Samuel Adams

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Why Conservative States Should Not Regulate Uber Drivers

Government regulation of private business is never a good thing. Shocking statement, isn’t it? But it’s true, so let’s look at it.

1.  First, we must recognize that laws don’t stop crimes. Laws aren’t even designed to stop crimes. The criminal justice system is designed to define criminal activity and set up a mechanism to punish criminals. If laws stopped crimes, we would be a crime-free country because we have way too many laws.

2.  Next, we must recognize that every “legitimate” regulation (one that is clearly geared at wrong behavior and not purely a regulatory mechanism to raise revenue) is already covered by a criminal law already on the books–once again proving  point #1. If laws stopped crimes, there would be no need to “double up” on bad-behavior punishment with additional regulation.

3.  Since we know that laws don’t stop crimes, how can we possibly believe that adding additional regulations on top of laws will do any more?  Never mind the fact that the government is really good at selective enforcement of regulations depending on who you are.

4.  So if we know laws don’t stop crimes and the addition of regulations can’t either, what could possibly be the real purpose of regulations?

Answer: Reinforcing in the minds of the people that government knows best. Giving more power to the government over the people. And finally, the biggest reason for regulations, in my opinion, is making sure that people do not actually OWN their businesses–everything is owned by government.

When government regulates private industry, people do not and cannot own their businesses.  People merely possess their business as long as the government wants them too. All it takes is one regulation that you can’t or won’t comply with and–zap!–no business.

Some might claim that you can sue the regulatory agency if the regulation is really a bad one, but that is a false claim of reassurance. You have no business and no income because you can’t comply with the regulation; how are going to afford the lawsuit?  Meanwhile, the government will have deep pockets, filled by the regulatory fees you have paid and the taxes collected, to beat you into submission or bankruptcy; whichever comes first.

Let us not forget that you don’t get to sue the regulatory agency in a real court of law. You will first have to challenge them in an administrative law court where the judge is paid by the government to determine whether the government is following their rules. Constitution? Rights of the people? What are those in a court where the government owns and runs everything. Regulations create a monopoly of all industries because everything has a has a single owner: the government.

The problem is not lack of laws or absence of rules. The problem is selective enforcement of the laws we have and punishments that do not fit the crime.

I am for proper and equal enforcement of just laws within the required confines of due process. I am for complete deregulation of private industry and a return of businesses to their rightful owners, the people who built them. Why would I take such a “radical” position?  Because it is the only position that supports Liberty. And #LibertyMatters!

Now I want to ask a question. Why would this position be radical? Why may those who read this feel uncomfortable with this position? It is, after all, not my original thought. I got it from James Madison:

“That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where arbitrary restrictions, exemptions, and monopolies deny to part of its citizens that free use of their faculties, and free choice of their occupations, which not only constitute their property in the general sense of the word; but are the means of acquiring property strictly so called. What must be the spirit of legislation where a manufacturer of linen cloth is forbidden to bury his own child in a linen shroud, in order to favour his neighbour who manufactures woolen cloth; where the manufacturer and wearer of woolen cloth are again forbidden the oeconomical use of buttons of that material, in favor of the manufacturer of buttons of other materials!”  James Madison, Property, 1792

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Four Things Every American Should Keep In Mind In The Aftermath Of Garland, TX, Shooting

There is no “line” of free speech.  As a matter of fact, even the Supreme Court says that “hate speech” is free speech. See RAV v. St. Paul 505 US 377 (1992)

The media is now suggesting we should have a “serious” debate on whether a cartoon should be considered “responsible” speech.

First of all, the standard is not “responsible” speech. The standard is NOT right or wrong. The standard is not whether this speech makes you feel good. The standard is FREE speech, the Liberty to speak according to our own conscience irrelevant of what others may believe. The problem is that many Americans have been brainwashed into believing that speech should be limited based on political correctness.

Liberty and free speech should be non-partisan. Our friends in the liberal media world would be good to remember the words of one their heroes:

Noam Chompsky said: “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”

If we truly love Liberty, we will be rejoicing in the presence of all speech, no matter how much it offends us. The fact that we are being led into a debate over the “reasonableness” of speech is very telling of the nature of Liberty lost.

Many Americans have even been led to believe speech can be limited based upon safety. We are told that shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater is illegal. That is NOT true. You can shout “fire!” in a crowded theater all day long, and no one will rush in and arrest you for saying “forbidden” words.

Thomas Jefferson said: “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

Second, free speech is not GRANTED by the Constitution. The Right to speak freely and voice your conscience is an inherent right, not a gift from government. Government was never delegated the authority to regulate it.

Thomas Jefferson also said: “The error seems not sufficiently eradicated that the operations of the mind as well as the acts of the body are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God.”

Third, free speech is NOT protected by the Constitution. The Constitution has no power to protect speech on its own. Free speech cannot protect itself. Free speech is protected when we speak freely on a regular basis. Liberty is a ‘use-or-lose’ principle, and a voice not used will atrophy into complacency and compliance. There is no point of having a right to free speech if we do not regularly say unpopular and controversial things.

Benjamin Franklin said: “Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such thing as Wisdom; and no such thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.”

Finally, when we refuse to speak because it might offend someone, when we censor ourselves to be politically correct, and when we choose not to speak our conscience because we feel uncomfortable, we have voluntarily surrendered our Liberty. A Liberty once surrendered is not easily restored.

Now, not only do we face the danger of jihadists; we also face danger from certain Americans who will allow the government to justify censoring our speech–or even worse: Americans who will demand we censor ourselves in the name of safety. The danger is allowing the enemy to force us to attack our own liberties.

If we allow violence or threats to silence speech, we allow the destruction of the very liberties that make America an exceptional place–and the Constitution a unique document.

Without freedom of speech, there is no freedom of the press, no right to peaceably assemble, no way to petition the government for a redress of our grievances, and no freedom of religion. Each liberty in the First Amendment is dependent upon the other. When we give up speech we surrender all Liberty. Free speech is not radical; it is not extreme. We should not be uncomfortable speaking our conscience.

Exercising rights is only uncomfortable to two classes of people: tyrants and slaves. How do we classify ourselves?

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth