Obama And Mount McKinley: A Liberty Test

So Obama renamed Mount McKinley, and I suppose we are supposed to be outraged about that. There are a few problems with that outlook, however. How we respond to the renaming of Mt. McKinley will be a great test of just how Liberty-minded we really are.

As the story is told, Mt. McKinley was named by a prospector in 1896 after then-presidential candidate William McKinley. McKinley never visited the mountain named after him or spent any time in Alaska at all. The Native Alaskans named the mountain Denali long before the prospector came along, and Alaska had been “petitioning” the federal government to change the name back to Denali since 1975. The Interior Department claims the US Board on Geographic Names had been deferring to Congress this whole time regarding the name change. According to an Associated Press article, a “bipartisan effort by Ohio’s congressional delegation has blocked the effort by introducing bills requiring it to be named after McKinley, who was born in Niles, Ohio and buried in Canton.”

Let’s start unraveling all the problems with this story.  

  1. The Sovereign State of Alaska had been “petitioning” the federal government since 1975 for permission to change the name of a mountain that lies within their State.
  2. The Department of Interior feels it has the authority to grant or deny permission to Sovereign States on what they name and how they maintain their land. (Note, there is no Constitutional authority for the Department of Interior to begin with, much less to dictate policy to the Sovereign States.)
  3. Congress has been BLOCKING the Sovereign State of Alaska from naming their mountain how they choose.
  4. A band of delegates from Ohio have prevented the State of Alaska from changing the name of their own mountain since 1975.

Are we beginning to see the big picture? I do not propose that Obama can constitutionally, by executive order, change the name of any part of any State. However, can we see how unconstitutional this entire scenario really is?  

Why in the world should any Sovereign State have to beg the federal government for permission to do anything with their own property? That is absurd. But even more ridiculous than that is the fact that politicians in Ohio have been dictating policy to the people of Alaska regarding their own property. Really? I am 100% certain that if James Madison were alive today, he would be completely amazed at the stupidity of this situation.

Enter in the Republican political establishment that seems to be completely ignorant of their own party platform of small government and more power to the people.  Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, says: “This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action.” Insulting to Ohioans? Really? It is the Alaskans who should be insulted by Gibbs’ egotistical claim that Ohioans should have any feelings whatsoever regarding the land that belongs to Alaskans! Gibbs’ description of Obama’s renaming of Mt. McKinley as a political stunt is truly rich, considering that the original naming of Mt. McKinley was apparently a political stunt to get McKinley elected president.  

The Associated Press says that: “Ohio politicians reacted angrily, although it wasn’t immediately clear if or how they could stop it. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said McKinley deserved to be honored, and invited his colleagues to join him to try to block what he called Obama’s ‘constitutional overreach.’” Rep. Gibbs, if Mr. McKinley “deserves to be honored,” why don’t you do that in YOUR OWN State instead of making a State with NO connection to the man whatsoever do your irrational bidding? Obama certainly doesn’t have the authority to rename it, but Gibbs classifying Obama’s actions as “constitutional overreach” is the veritable pot calling the kettle black. One State dictating to another State is just as overreaching as the actions of presidential executive orders.

So here is the question. How many will jump on the bandwagon against the renaming of this Alaskan mountain, according to the will of the Alaskans, just because it has been turned into a Republican vs. Democrat battle?  Who will see the real troubling issues in this quintessential constitutional learning moment?  

  1. States are Sovereign and have the authority to name and maintain their own land. Period.
  2. Executive Orders have no authority upon Sovereign States to dictate how they name and maintain their own land.
  3. If Alaskans want to change the name of the mountain, they should change the name of the mountain and tell the rest of the States and the federal government to take a flying leap if they don’t like it.
  4. Ohio politician should shut up about Alaska’s business.

It is not a Republican vs. Democrat thing. It is a Liberty and Sovereignty vs Big Government thing. And if we can’t see that, we have bigger problems that we could ever imagine–and no election is going to fix that kind of ignorance. We should be patently offended by the entire scenario. We should be holding all constitutionally ignorant politicians accountable, regardless of political party. Liberty over Security. Principle over Party. Truth over Personality. Liberty First!

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

Citizenship: It Is A Parent Thing, Not A Child Thing

Our Founders established the criteria of Natural Born Citizen upon our President for a very important reason. Natural Born Citizen meant, to our framers, a child born of two parents who were citizens of the United States at the time of the birth of the child. If you are not sure of this, or perhaps disagree, please read this article based upon fact & history before you go on: https://goo.gl/sFkKUm  

A person who is born of just one parent who is a citizen of the United States is a citizen by birth, but not Natural Born Citizen. Someone cannot hold or have held dual citizenship with a foreign country and be a Natural Born Citizen. The fact that we are confused by this qualification, or perhaps even wish to alter this qualification, must be because we do not understand WHY this qualification was established in the first place. So, before we take a stand either way, we must consider the reasons why this qualification was established by the framers of the American Constitution.

The whole reason the president must be a Natural Born Citizen is because our framers had a history full of foreign kings imposing foreign law and foreign favor upon the people, and they knew how dangerous foreign influence was to Liberty. George Washington spent a great bit of effort trying to drive this understanding home in his Farewell Address of 1796:

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”

Washington knew from his history the real dangers of foreign influence. Part of Washington’s British Constitution was a document called the Grand Remonstrance of 1641, in which the people of Great Britain listed many grievances against their King, Charles I. They indicated that these grievances were indicative of a larger design to overturn and undermine Liberty of the people and the Law of the Land. One of the grievances illustrates how foreign influence and foreign law have contributed to that destruction of Liberty:

“Such Councillors and Courtiers as for private ends have engaged themselves to further the interests of some foreign princes or states to the prejudice of His Majesty and the State at home.”

In another part of the British Constitution, this time the English Bill of Rights of 1689, the people of Great Britain actually require an oath of their King and his council to shun all foreign influence:

“And I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. So help me God.”

Protecting the United States from foreign influence was very prominent in the minds of our framers, especially in the office of president. At the time of the creation of the Constitution by the States, there were no Natural Born Citizens; so an exception was made until that qualification could be met. Article 2, section 1, clause 5 reads:

“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

The exception to the Natural Born Citizen requirement was that the President must be a “Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution.” Joseph Story, in his “Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833,” explains that this was to ensure that people who were “Patriots of the Revolution” could be considered for this office.

“This permission of a naturalized citizen to become president is an exception from the great fundamental policy of all governments, to exclude foreign influence from their executive councils and duties. It was doubtless introduced (for it has now become by lapse of time merely nominal, and will soon become wholly extinct) out of respect to those distinguished revolutionary patriots, who were born in a foreign land, and yet had entitled themselves to high honours in their adopted country.”

This is an important distinction that helps us understand WHY the Natural Born Citizen requirement is a must. The President is the commander in chief of the military. Our framers knew from their history that it would be extremely dangerous to allow someone of foreign influence to exercise power over our military. Founder John Jay wrote a letter to George Washington on July 25, 1787, expressing this very point:

“Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government, and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolved on, any but a natural born Citizen.”

The commander in chief could have no fractionalized loyalty. The commander in chief must be loyal to the United States, first and only. Prior to being a Natural Born Citizen, a candidate for president would have proven that loyalty by having been a “distinguished revolutionary patriot.” Once time established the availability of Natural Born Citizen candidates, that unbroken loyalty would be proven in party by the fact that both parents were citizens of the United States, establishing that the candidate would have been raised in a home with loyalty only to the United States.

When a child is raised in a home where one or both parents are citizens of a foreign country, then that child will naturally be raised with an attachment to that foreign country out of love for that parent. Our framers knew that in time of military crisis, our commander in chief must be free from all attachments and bias with a foreign country; it mattered not if that bias was for or against the foreign country. The president must not hesitate or haste in matters of war. He must only act upon the best interest of the United States, free from internal conflict. George Washington explains this fact in his Farewell Address:

“Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other.”

Alexander Hamilton gives another perspective of the Natural Born Citizen requirement. He postulates why a foreign country might actually want to raise up someone to become president of the United States, and the inherent danger in that possibility:

“Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?”

Just as the birth of a child on US soil does not create citizenship in the parent, the birthplace of the child does not establish the status of Natural Born Citizen. Throughout history, citizenship has been based upon the criteria of the parents. It has not been linked to the child. This criteria of Natural Born Citizen does not deviate from that norm.  

In summary, the entire reason for establishing the criteria for a president to be a Natural Born Citizen was to help to eliminate any possibility that the commander in chief of the military would be influenced by love or hate of a foreign nation. Because of this well established and historically justified reason, we should think very long and hard before we consider altering or diluting this established requirement through modern interpretation or modern court opinions. Our framers did what they did on purpose and with a purpose. We only endanger our Liberty when we assume they didn’t know what they were doing, and our advanced intellect means we can disregard their reasons for our own personal preferences. We would do well to learn from this history, instead of dooming ourselves to repeat history’s mistakes.

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

Here’s A Standardized Test And Debate Guide For The 2016 Presidential Debates

In Federalist Paper #69, Alexander Hamilton laid out the difference between a President and a King. At the time of the creation and ratification of the Constitution, many were concerned that the office of president, being held by one person, would become nothing more than a kingship in disguise. Hamilton takes the time to point out the extremely limited nature of the President to rest any alarm that the president would function as a King.

What if we created a standardized test to evaluate our presidents using the standards by which the office was created? Would our presidents pass or fail? 

The President or King Standardized Test as authored by Alexander Hamilton:

1 pt.   _____   A President of the United States would be an officer elected by the people for four years;

2 pts. _____   A King is a perpetual and hereditary prince;

1 pt.   _____    A President, as commander-in-chief,  would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy;

2 pts. _____   A King’s power extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies;

1 pt.   _____    A President would be amenable to personal punishment and disgrace;

2 pts. _____   A King is sacred and inviolable;

1 pt.   _____    A President would have a limited power upon the acts of the legislative body;

2 pts. _____   A King has an absolute power;

1 pt.   _____    A President would have a concurrent power with a branch of the legislature in the formation of treaties;

2 pts. _____   A King has the sole possessor of the power of making treaties;

1 pt.   _____    A President would have a concurrent authority with a branch of the legislature in appointing to offices;

2 pts. _____   A King is the sole author of all appointments;

1 pt.   _____    A President can confer no privileges whatever;

2 pts. _____   A King can make denizens of aliens, noblemen of commoners, and can erect corporations with all the rights incident to corporate bodies;

1 pt.   _____    A President can prescribe no rules concerning the commerce or currency of the nation;

2 pts. _____   A King is in several respects the arbiter of commerce, and in this capacity can establish markets and fairs, can regulate weights and measures, and can lay embargoes for a limited time;

1 pt.   _____    A President has no particle of spiritual jurisdiction;

2 pts. _____   A King is the supreme head and governor of the national church and can dictate what is lawful and unlawful for the subjects to believe or not believe;

1 pt.   _____    A President’s power is in the hands of the People;

2 pts. _____   A King’s power is limited only by his own will, the power of his throne, and is despotism.

 

Now score your occupant of the White House: President or King?  _______________

10 pts: Your applicant is a President who understands the proper role of the President and the Constitutional limitations that constrain this office.

11 – 15 pts: Your applicant believes the President to be a King of a LIMITED Monarchy where the office of the President is partially restrained by a Congress, by law, or by custom.

15-18 pts: Your applicant believes the President to be a Dictator who is a ruler with total power over the States and can possibly maintain that power by force.

19-20 pts: Your applicant believes the President to be a King who is an unlimited ruler over the People and the States, with total and unlimited power, and believes this position is inherited by divine right or right of entitlement.

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

Supreme Court Is NOT The Ultimate Arbiter Of The Constitution

SCOTUS is NOT the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution; the STATES hold that power. How does it make any sense that one part of the federal government holds the authority to determine the power of the whole?

It makes no sense; and as a matter of fact, James Madison told us that in no uncertain terms:

“…that the ultimate right of the States, to judge whether the compact has been dangerously violated, must extend to violations by one delegated authority as well as by another–by the judiciary as well as by the executive, or the legislature.” Virginia Assembly Report 1800

However, that is exactly what has happened with Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion in King v. Burwell. It seems that the Supreme Court has forgotten that we are a Constitutional Republic–and that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, not Congress. Interestingly, all you need to know about the King v. Burwell decision is contained in the second-to-last paragraph of the majority opinion. Consider these words:

In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. Our role is more confined—“to say what the law is.” Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177 (1803). That is easier in some cases than in others. But in every case we must respect the role of the Legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done. A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan.”  (emphasis mine)

IF we were a democracy, as Roberts is asserting, this opinion would be absolutely correct–Obamacare would result from an absolutely lawful use of federal power, and we would have no real argument to make. However, we are NOT a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic. In a Constitutional Republic, the Legislature is NOT unlimited in its power and authority. Article 6, clause 2, The Supremacy Clause, makes it perfectly clear that there is a hierarchy to the federal system and that the Legislature is NOT on top; the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land.

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof;…shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”

When Roberts says, “But in every case we must respect the role of the Legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done,” he is asserting that whenever the Legislature makes a law, we are bound by it without question. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the Supremacy Clause, we have an obligation to undo what Congress has done if what they are doing is not “made in pursuance” to the Constitution.

Additionally, if the “Laws of the United States” are not made in pursuance to the Constitution, then they cannot legally exist. To allow Legislative Acts contrary to the Constitution to remain law would elevate the Congress ABOVE the Constitution, destroying the Constitution itself and transmuting the nature of our Republic into an Oligarchy.

There is no specific enumeration in the Constitution for the federal government to provide healthcare to the States or the people. There is only errant interpretation of clauses to justify such an exercise of power.

Because there is no specific enumeration for healthcare, the Tenth Amendment makes it very clear that healthcare is not a power to be exercised by the federal government.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” (emphasis mine)

But what does Roberts use to justify this federal encroachment? Not a clause from the Constitution, but an opinion by the Supreme Court, Marbury v. Madison. How convenient that the Supreme Court can write opinions that declare themselves the ultimate rulers of the universe and then be allowed to credibly use those opinions to justify their emperor-like behavior! Ironically, the most important role of the Supreme Court is to make sure that the Congress acts within its Constitutional limitations. But since it is ridiculous to believe that any entity of power would act on its own to limit itself, our framers didn’t trust these federal employees with that task. They trusted the States.

Madison declares in 1789 that the STATES are to be the ultimate control against the expansion of federal power, the greatest opponents to the federal government necessary to preserve the Liberty of the people:

“The State legislatures will…be able to resist with more effect every assumption of power than any other power on earth can do; and the greatest opponents to a federal government admit the state legislatures to be sure guardians of the people’s liberty.” House of Representatives 1789 (emphasis mine)

But, when the States REFUSE to live up to their obligations and allow any branch of the federal government to expand power and limit the people and the States, they are simply declaring that they believe we are not a Constitutional Republic, but instead a Federal Kingdom built of 50 colonies subject to the whim of the feds.

Justice Roberts told the States in the original PPAC opinion:

“We look to the States to defend the their prerogatives by adopting the simple expedient of not yielding to federal blandishments when they do not want to embrace federal policies as their own. The States are SEPARATE AND INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGNS. Sometimes they have to act like it.” (emphasis mine)

We are not a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic, where the federal government is limited by specifically enumerated powers. It is time for the States to ACT like States, instead of cowering like colonies. It is time for the States to fulfill their obligation to be the SURE GUARDIANS OF THE PEOPLES’ LIBERTIES.

It is time to dethrone the Supreme Court. It is time to STAND for the Constitutional Republic and defy this theft of State Power and destruction of the Constitution.

Healthcare is NOT a specifically enumerated power delegated to the federal government. The exercise of that power is therefore contrary to the Constitution. According to the Supremacy Clause, any law by Congress that is not made in pursuance to the Constitution is NOT the law of the land. That makes the law null-and-void of any force. Since the Affordable Care Act is NO LAW AT ALL, when we REFUSE TO COMPLY we are not breaking the law…we are enforcing the Supreme Law of the Land, defending our Republic, and guarding our Liberty!

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

Will Banning The Confederate Flag Really Do Anyone Any Good?

Does destroying every symbol that offends remove the hate in men’s hearts? Of course not. But there is a danger greater than flying a Confederate flag. Hate does not exist in objects. Guns don’t kill people, and flags don’t hate.

But a government can disarm the people, and the government can condemn symbols–and both are a mechanism toward enslaving the people. A government that can make people take down a flag is the same government that can make the people say: “Hail Caesar!” Soon, that government will determine what is good, bad, acceptable, and permissible. Once we get there, free thought is then dead. Wisdom is dead. Finally, Liberty is dead in society.

“Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech; which is the Right of every Man, as far as by it he does not hurt or countroul the Right of another: And this is the only Check it ought to suffer, and the only Bounds it ought to know.  This sacred Privilege is so essential to free Governments, that the Security of Property, and the Freedom of Speech always go together; and in those wretched Countries where a Man cannot call his Tongue his own, he can scarce call any Thing else his own.”–Silence Dogood, 1722

What we are doing is making our Rights the enemy. That is exactly what those in power want. The less Liberty we have, the more power government holds. Our Rights are not the enemy; immorality and disregard for life are the real problems. Why can’t we have the proper perspective?

Samuel Adams so prophetically warned: “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.”

America is in a very precarious place. We have too many people who have lost the ability to think critically and are ruled by emotion, hysteria, and crises. It is going to destroy us. Consider the following assertions:

Media/Politicians: We must get rid of the Confederate Flag.
Critical Thinking Translation: A flag makes people kill people.

Media/Politicians: South Carolina must be made to remove a flag.
Critical Thinking Translation: An entire State is racist because of a flag.

Media/Politicians: Because we didn’t pass more gun laws, people died.
Critical Thinking Translation: Protecting our Right to defend ourselves is actually killing people.

When we review the statements by media and politicians with real critical thinking. this is what is really being said.

Do we actually believe these ridiculous assertions? Why can’t we look at these situations with reason and logic?

Reality: One sick man who has no regard for the value of life killed people.
Reality: Free expression of ideas and history are not the enemy.
Reality: The Right to keep and bear arms protects Life and Liberty.

The only hope that remains is knowing government didn’t give us Liberty, so they can’t take it away. It will forever endure in our hearts, though it may lie dormant for a season.

We should mourn this tragedy. However, our Rights are not the enemy. Immorality and disregard for Life is the enemy. Why aren’t the media and the politicians making this the narrative?

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