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State Legislators Are Working To Reign in the Empire | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on April 7, 2021

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/state-legislators-are-working-to-reign-in-the-empire/

by Brian P McGlinchey

Fed up after years of relentless National Guard deployments in undeclared wars, state lawmakers across the country are pushing legislation that would prohibit the use of Guard units in combat zones without a formal declaration of war by Congress.

The bills are being promoted by BringOurTroopsHome.US, a self-described organization of “right-of-center” veterans working to end American involvement in “endless wars” and restore congressional authority over war-making. The libertarian 10th Amendment Center is also backing the cause.

The proposed laws would require governors to determine the constitutionality of orders that place Guard units on federal active duty; where they’re deemed unconstitutional, the governor is required to take action to prevent the unit from being surrendered to federal control and sent into harm’s way.

The first “Defend the Guard” bill was conceived and introduced by Air Force veteran and West Virginia state legislator Pat McGeehan. While no state has enacted the law yet, interest is spreading widely, with legislators now pushing the measure in 31 states.

Conservative Veterans Taking Point

BringOurTroopsHome.US is led by Dan McKnight, a 13-year veteran of the Marine Corps Reserve, active duty Army and Idaho Army National Guard whose military service ended after he was injured in Afghanistan.

McKnight and many other veterans leading the drive against the War on Terror are from the right side of the political spectrum. That’s a sharp contrast to the typical antiwar veteran of the Vietnam era, but McKnight says vets from both wars share a common experience.

Today’s veterans “are coming home and saying the same thing (Vietnam vets did): ‘What was the point of that? What was our mission? We have no mission, we have no definition of success, we have no clear path to victory, we have no idea what victory means and we’re there without a constitutional authority to send us there’,” he says.

“Every one of us raised our hands and swore an oath to the Constitution…and when it says Congress shall be the only body to declare war, we take that to heart. And when Congress doesn’t do it, we understand bad things can happen: long, endless foreign misadventures,” says McKnight.

In a 2019 Pew Research poll, 64% of veterans said the war in Iraq wasn’t worth fighting; 58% said the same of Afghanistan. A January Concerned Veterans for America/YouGov poll found two-thirds or more of veterans support full withdrawals from both countries.

“The right-of-center veterans are now echoing the message of left-of-center veterans, and it’s hard to ignore when veterans from the entire political spectrum are saying the same thing: Enough already—if you want us to go and bleed and die and spend our lives and your treasure in a foreign land, then Congress should put their name on the line before we put our boots on the ground,” McKnight says.

That’s what the Constitution demands. In an impassioned speech at the West Virginia legislature last month, McGeehan quoted James Madison: “The Constitution supposes what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war and most prone to it. It has accordingly, with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature.”

Deployments’ Steep Toll

The National Guard has played a major role in America’s post-9/11 militarism: As recently as December, more than 57,000 Guard members were deployed around the world.

The federal government’s reliance on the National Guard makes state legislatures an intriguing second front in the drive to curtail the War on Terror. “Defend the Guard” laws also give state lawmakers a rare chance to influence foreign policy—and to impose consequences for the executive branch’s usurpation of war powers.

The heavy reliance on the Guard takes a toll on soldiers, families, neighborhoods and states. The intense pace of National Guard deployments was underscored at a recent Defend the Guard hearing in South Dakota: While opposing “Defend the Guard,” the state adjutant general acknowledged that, during the entire Global War on Terrorism to date, the state has had all its troops home for just 42 days.

McKnight has friends who’ve done a staggering 12 or 13 overseas National Guard deployments. Beyond the risk to life and limb, and the hardships imposed on individuals, families and marriages, he says communities also pay a price.

Guard members “are police officers, tradesmen, mechanics, schoolteachers, attorneys. (When) they have to leave that job behind, it puts a burden on the community,” says McKnight. Upon their return, Guard members are generally guaranteed the option to reclaim their jobs—but that sometimes means displacing those who filled their positions while they were away, compounding the disruptive effect.

Deployments also prevent National Guard units from responding to crises at home—their primary reason for existing. For example:

  • When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005, thousands of the states’ National Guard soldiers were deployed to Iraq. Mississippi’s 223rd Engineer Battalion returned to repair hurricane damage—but was ordered to leave its equipment in Iraq for use by other units.
  • In 2020, as Oregon endured some of its worst wildfires ever, half the state’s National Guard helicopters were in Afghanistan, including all its CH-47 Chinooks—dual-rotor choppers capable of carrying 26,000-pound payloads and ideal for use in firefighting. The Oregon Guard did what it could with Blackhawk helicopters that have one tenth the lifting power.

The Empire Strikes Back

When Defend the Guard measures are introduced in state legislatures, the national security establishment and its allies emerge to defend the status quo—by hook or by crook.

In South Dakota, McKnight says, “the military-industrial complex…sent a two-star general to testify…and made all kinds of threats, and insinuated the state would lose their National Guard if they passed this bill, which is simply not true.”

Weeks ago, Republican Idaho Representative Joe Palmer, who chairs the state’s Transportation & Defense Committee, seemed to resort to underhanded tactics to kill a Defend the Guard bill.

He put the measure to an initial procedural vote in the committee, and declared it to have failed by voice vote. Video of the proceedings, however, shows the result of the voice vote to be unclear at best, and McKnight says his group’s post-vote polling of members suggests the measure would have advanced had Palmer taken a recorded vote.

If Palmer didn’t already know he should play fair with veterans who are trying to prevent fellow citizen-soldiers from dying in unconstitutional wars, he may be learning that lesson now: McKnight says his group facilitated an emergency meeting of the GOP committee in Palmer’s home town, which is now considering a resolution censuring Palmer for his conduct.

“If you want to play parliamentary tricks and the price of your tricks is the blood of my brothers and sisters who (deploy) over and over again, then we’re going to take some blood of our own, and we’re going to do that the way politicians understand, and that’s with voters in the primary and the general election,” says McKnight.

Sometimes, the establishment’s machinations are done away from cameras. In a 2015 interview, West Virginia’s McGeehan said he was summoned to a meeting in the Speaker’s office with the commander of the state National Guard. The general said he’d received a call from the Pentagon, threatening that, if Defend the Guard became law, West Virginia bases would find their way onto the list of installations targeted for closure.

Liz Cheney Intervenes to Thwart Wyoming Bill

McKnight says “the most offensive opposition that we’ve faced” came from U.S. Congresswoman Liz Cheney, daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney.

“When we pushed the Defend the Guard bill in Wyoming last year, she or her staff contacted members of the Wyoming legislature and said, ‘If this passes in Wyoming, I will personally see to it that two C-130 aircraft are stripped from Wyoming and sent to Texas’,” says McKnight, who was in Cheyenne to support the bill, along with U.S. Senator Rand Paul.

Bethany Baldes, Wyoming state director of BringOurTroopsHome.US, was also on hand. She too says lawmakers told her they received calls from Cheney’s office that included threats to send new C-130 cargo planes to Texas. (Cheney’s communications director has not replied to an invitation to comment on this story.)

The measure failed, 35-22. A statement signed by a group of Wyoming senators opposing the measure seemed to turn logic on its head by claiming the bill “calls into question Wyoming’s support for our soldiers and airmen in the National Guard.”

That episode was McKnight’s second jarring encounter with Cheney, whom he describes as a “warmonger heiress of a military-industrial fortune.” Months before, he and other veterans met with Cheney in Washington to urge her to support the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

“We went into Liz Cheney’s office and we asked her, ‘What conditions must be met on the ground for you to support ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing our troops home?’ And she said, ‘I don’t think I could ever support that position’.”

Pressing the issue, the veterans asked Cheney how long troops should remain. “She looked us stone-faced in the eye and said, ‘Forever. American troops will be in Afghanistan forever’,” says McKnight. “That’s when we decided it was time to step away from the swamp and work in the states, and force the states to force Congress’s hand.”

This article was originally featured at Stark Realities

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Who Owns Your Face? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 25, 2021

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/02/andrew-p-napolitano/who-owns-your-face/

By Andrew P. Napolitano

After listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci suggest last weekend that we should expect to be wearing two masks on our faces everywhere we go until the end of 2022, I began thinking again about first principles.

Fauci is entitled to express his opinions. Yet, because he is the president’s chief adviser on COVID-related medical matters, I cringed when I heard what he said. Was this a trial balloon or did he mean it literally? Are these suggestions or will they become commands with the purported force of law?

Because the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, it governs the government wherever it goes and whatever it does. The original purpose of the Constitution was twofold: to establish the federal government and to limit its regulatory and taxing powers to the 17 discrete powers articulated in Article I.

The former took place in 1789 when the Constitution was ratified. The latter has been a dismal failure.

The federal government recognizes next to no limits to its powers, no matter which political party controls Congress and the White House. The feds believe that they can right any wrong, tax any event and regulate any behavior — subject only to the express prohibitions in the Constitution. Even when there is a prohibition, such as, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech,” Congress has found ways around it. To the federal government, “no law” does not mean “no law.” Just ask the folks who have been prosecuted for their speech.

This is known as the Wilsonian model, named after President Woodrow Wilson, who advanced it shamelessly. All of his presidential successors have done the same.

Before Wilson, for the most part, and except for the Civil War years, the federal government recognized the limitations imposed upon it by the Constitution and, for the most part, stayed within their confines. This is known as the Madisonian model, named after President James Madison who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The first eight amendments in the Bill of Rights articulate negative rights. That is, the amendments don’t grant rights; they restrain the government from interfering with rights that already existed when the amendments were ratified. The Fifth and the 14th Amendments expressly require that the government prove fault and harm at a jury trial before it can interfere with property rights.

See the rest here

Andrew P. Napolitano [send him mail], a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written nine books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat to American Liberty. To find out more about Judge Napolitano and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit creators.com.

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A Note on the Second Amendment – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 17, 2021

And neither does the federal government have any authority whatsoever under the Constitution to establish or mandate gun-free zones, background checks, psychological evaluations, training courses, waiting periods, trigger locks, gun purchase limits and age restrictions, gun-barrel lengths, concealed weapons laws, licensing of gun dealers, gun-owner databases, gun licensing, gun registration, or gun insurance.

Too bad that Republicans in Congress support most of these things, otherwise most federal gun laws would have been repealed when Republicans had absolute control of the government for over four years under George W. Bush and for two years under Donald Trump.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/02/laurence-m-vance/a-note-on-the-second-amendment/

By Laurence M. Vance

On January 4, 2020, on just the second day of the 117th Congress, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), introduced the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act (H.R.127) “to provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession and the registration of firearms, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition.” The bill is named after a Pakistani Muslim exchange student who was shot to death in a Santa Fe, Texas, high school in 2018, although seven other students and two teachers were murdered as well.

So far the bill has no cosponsors. That’s a good thing because this is one of the most evil bills ever introduced in Congress (and members of Congress have introduced some utterly evil bills over the years).

Under this bill, “the Attorney General, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, shall establish a system for licensing the possession of firearms or ammunition in the United States, and for the registration with the Bureau of each firearm present in the United States.”

Here is the registration provision:

Under the firearm registration system, the owner of a firearm shall transmit to the Bureau—(A) the make, model, and serial number of the firearm, the identity of the owner of the firearm, the date the firearm was acquired by the owner, and where the firearm is or will be stored; and (B) a notice specifying the identity of any person to whom, and any period of time during which, the firearm will be loaned to the person.

The Attorney General shall establish and maintain a database of all firearms registered pursuant to this subsection. The Attorney General shall make the contents of the database accessible to all members of the public, all Federal, State, and local law enforcement authorities, all branches of the United States Armed Forces, and all State and local governments, as defined by the Bureau.

Here is the licensing provision:

Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Attorney General shall issue to an individual a license to possess a firearm and ammunition if the individual—(i) has attained 21 years of age; (ii) after applying for the license—

(I) undergoes a criminal background check conducted by the national instant criminal background check system established under section 103 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and the check does not indicate that possession of a firearm by the individual would violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 or State law;

(II) undergoes a psychological evaluation conducted in accordance with paragraph (2), and the evaluation does not indicate that the individual is psychologically unsuited to possess a firearm; and

(III) successfully completes a training course, certified by the Attorney General, in the use, safety, and storage of firearms, that includes at least 24 hours of training; and

(iii) demonstrates that, on issuance of the license, the individual will have in effect an insurance policy issued under subsection (d).

The insurance policy is issued by the Attorney General and costs $800.

It is surprising that Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) didn’t mention this bill during his appearance on the Laura Ingraham show late last month. According to his congressional website:

A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Congressman Scalise has sponsored and cosponsored legislation protecting citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. The ability of law abiding citizens to bear arms and the right to self-defense is a fundamental constitutional right of every law-abiding American. Congressman Scalise supports law-abiding citizens’ ability to purchase firearms and national reciprocity for concealed carry permit holders. Congressman Scalise’s pro-gun stance has earned him an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. A member of the Congressional Second Amendment Task Force, Congressman Scalise will continue fighting to protect every citizen’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Likewise, there is no mention of this bill Scalise’s website, not under press releases, and not even under the Second Amendment section.

In his appearance on Ingraham’s show just hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference where she engaged in “deliberately scaring people to distract from Biden’s leftist, job-killing agenda—and to set the stage for a Democrat gun grab,” Scalise said:

Look, in the last eight days, president Biden’s probably killed over a million American jobs with these executive orders he did on everything from banning leases—we see that in South Louisiana, the damage it will do to hardworking jobs, to Keystone, to the Paris accord that’s going to kill manufacturing in America.

That’s what they’ve done in the policy, and so look, if there was a real, credible threat that she knew of, no matter who it is, a member of Congress or somebody else, go to the authorities with that. And she didn’t do that. She goes to the press, which tells you what she is really trying to do is scare people, create distractions.

Another thing they’re trying to do, Laura, is take away our Second Amendment rights. Make no doubt—they’re going to be coming sometime this year with a bill to take away our second amendment rights. So they’re building this predicate that, “Oh, my God, everybody better be afraid of somebody with a gun,” and that’s going to be their attempt to then go take away the guns.

As pointed out above, that bill has already been introduced.

I note also that Scalise twice used the expression “Second Amendment rights.” Scalise, like the vast majority of Democrats, Republicans, liberals, and conservatives in Congress, the media, and the general public, misconstrue the nature of the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment was added to the Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution), which the requisite number of states approved on December 15, 1791. The twenty-seven words of the Second Amendment read: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” It does not read: “The people shall have the right to keep and bear arms.”

The Second Amendment confers no positive right. It recognizes a pre-existing right. It is an additional limitation on federal power to infringe upon the right of the people to bear arms aside from the fact that no authority is granted to the federal government in its limited, enumerated powers to infringe upon this right in the first place.

Even if the Second Amendment only applied to the states’ ability to maintain militias—as many liberals and progressives say—or as subject to some other interpretation that limits its language to militias, that would still not affect Americans’ natural right to keep and bear arms. And even if the Second Amendment didn’t exist, Americans would still have the natural right to keep and bear arms.

This is because there is no authority granted to the federal government by the Constitution to ban, regulate, or otherwise infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Therefore, the federal government has no authority whatsoever under the Constitution to ban or regulate any type of handgun, shotgun, or rifle; large-capacity magazine; bump stock; ammunition; assault weapon; automatic weapon; machine gun, grenade, or bazooka.

And neither does the federal government have any authority whatsoever under the Constitution to establish or mandate gun-free zones, background checks, psychological evaluations, training courses, waiting periods, trigger locks, gun purchase limits and age restrictions, gun-barrel lengths, concealed weapons laws, licensing of gun dealers, gun-owner databases, gun licensing, gun registration, or gun insurance.

Too bad that Republicans in Congress support most of these things, otherwise most federal gun laws would have been repealed when Republicans had absolute control of the government for over four years under George W. Bush and for two years under Donald Trump.

The Best of Laurence M. Vance Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom; War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism; War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy; King James, His Bible, and Its Translators, and many other books. His newest books are Free Trade or Protectionism? and The Free Society.

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Pennsylvanians May Amend Constitution to Stop Endless Lockdowns | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 16, 2021

While covid has allowed the executive branch to run wild, PA is actually structured in a way that makes the decentralization of power easier. PA has the second-largest state legislature, surpassed only by New Hampshire. Critics who have been trying to reduce the size of the legislature state openly that with a smaller legislature those in power would be able to more quickly and easily enact their will with less resistance. PA also has the third-highest number of local governments in the country, which, as I pointed out in 2020, facilitates the stymieing of the state government’s efforts to exert centralized control. Removing the governor’s ability to unilaterally declare perpetual emergencies will help continue this tradition of decentralizing power and authority in the commonwealth.

https://mises.org/wire/pennsylvanians-may-amend-constitution-stop-endless-lockdowns

Zachary Yost

On Friday, February 6, the Pennsylvania (PA) state legislature gave the final approval to put three state constitutional amendments on the ballot for a popular referendum scheduled for May 18. Two of these amendments address the power of the state governor to declare and renew emergency declarations and are both a direct result of conflict between the Republican-controlled legislature and the Democrat governor, Tom Wolf.

The first amendment, titled the Pennsylvania Emergency Declaration Amendment (2021), would add a section to the state constitution that would limit any disaster emergency declaration to a maximum of twenty-one days unless the state legislature voted to extend the order. Additionally, the legislature would be required to pass laws related to each class of emergency enumerated in the amendment and the governor would be forbidden from declaring another emergency based on “the same or substantially similar facts” without a resolution from the state legislature granting that power.

The second amendment, titled the Pennsylvania Legislative Resolution to Extend or Terminate Emergency Declaration Amendment (2021), would grant the state legislature the authority to extend or terminate an emergency declaration by a simple majority vote that is not subject to veto by the governor. This amendment is the direct result of a confusing conflict that took place in June 2020 after the state assembly passed a concurrent resolution to end the coronavirus disaster declaration. Supporters of the resolution argued that it was not necessary for the governor to sign it, while the governor obviously vehemently disagreed. The case went to the Democrat-controlled state supreme court (state supreme court justices are elected in PA) where it was ruled that the governor did have the authority to veto the resolution and prevent it from going into effect. This amendment would explicitly change that and allow the disaster emergency declaration to be ended unilaterally by the legislature.

Only time will tell if these amendments will be enacted into law, but it is worth noting that all ten of the constitutional amendments that have made it to the referendum stage since 1995 have been approved by voters. In fact, a constitutional amendment hasn’t been rejected since 1981. It is yet to be seen whether or not that track record will hold.

Whether they are enacted or not, some way to curtail the governor’s emergency power is urgently needed in the face of the egregious and seemingly unending violations of the traditional rights and liberties of Pennsylvanians in the face of the government’s coronavirus response. In September 2020, a federal judge, William Strickland, ruled that PA’s coronavirus restrictions were unconstitutional and egregious in numerous ways. Strickland noted that the rule-making procedure for the emergency was essentially compiled by an opaque committee with no public accountability, stating that “the manner in which Defendants, through their policy team, designed, implemented, and administered the business closures is shockingly arbitrary.”

Furthermore, the emergency rules were written in such a way that there is no way to end them. Even when the state authorities loosened lockdown restrictions, it was not a “return to normal” but a suspension of the lockdowns, as if those restrictions were the default state of legal existence in the commonwealth for the indefinite future. Strickland stated that in times of emergency some legal deference is due to authorities but “that deference cannot go on forever” and that “the record makes clear that Defendants have no anticipated end-date to their emergency interventions.”

As Ryan McMaken noted at the time, “So, what we have in Pennsylvania is basically a small secret ruling committee which fancies itself the new permanent ruling authority of Pennsylvania indefinitely. There is no end date, no public rule-making process, and no transparency at all.” 

Unfortunately, the appeals court granted the state’s request for a stay of Stickman’s ruling while the government appeals the ruling, and the state’s authority has remained unchanged.

What is even more unfortunate, the Wolf administration has argued for months that its powers to put the millions of inhabitants of PA under veritable house arrest and to close businesses at its capricious whim do not even stem from the emergency declaration but from the Disease Prevention and Control Act. So even if both amendments are added to the Pennsylvania Constitution, the reality is that the governor’s restrictions will likely once again end up in front of the state supreme court that has continually deferred to Wolf’s ukases since the pandemic began.

Even though these amendments may not be silver bullets, they will help to reduce the use of emergency declarations. PA has actually been in a constant “state of emergency” since January 10, 2018, when Wolf declared a state of emergency due to the abuse of opioid medications. The state of emergency has been extended twelve times since then. While it is obvious that opioid abuse is a major problem here in PA, it is grossly inappropriate to have a perpetual state of emergency over the issue. If it truly were an “emergency,” then three years would have been more than enough time to enact legislation to make the necessary changes that are currently in effect only as a result of the governor’s unilateral action.

Not only will these amendments reduce the abuse of emergency declarations, but they will also help to decentralize power within PA. While covid has allowed the executive branch to run wild, PA is actually structured in a way that makes the decentralization of power easier. PA has the second-largest state legislature, surpassed only by New Hampshire. Critics who have been trying to reduce the size of the legislature state openly that with a smaller legislature those in power would be able to more quickly and easily enact their will with less resistance. PA also has the third-highest number of local governments in the country, which, as I pointed out in 2020, facilitates the stymieing of the state government’s efforts to exert centralized control. Removing the governor’s ability to unilaterally declare perpetual emergencies will help continue this tradition of decentralizing power and authority in the commonwealth. Author:

Zachary Yost

Zachary Yost is a freelance writer and Mises U alum. You can subscribe to his newsletter here.

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In Mail-In Impeachment Vote, Senate Convicts Trump 8275 To 3

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2021

https://babylonbee.com/news/cnn-praises-mail-in-ballots-for-impeachment-4642-out-of-200-senators-vote-to-convict-trump

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a historic move, the U.S. Senate decided to switch to voting by mail for Trump’s second impeachment trial. After all the votes were counted by an intern in a back room with no cameras, the Senate ruled to convict President Trump of incitement to violence by a vote of 8275 to 3.

“Our holy democracy has spoken,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “Do not ask any questions or you are a blasphemer against the sacred sacredness of our vote. Everyone can go home now!”

A couple of troublemaking Senators attempted to overthrow the Constitution by bringing up the point that there are only 100 Senators, making it impossible to arrive at a tally of 8275 to 3, but they were quickly removed from the Senate Chambers and condemned for “attempting to suppress the votes of people of color.”

The Senate then moved on to other business, passing universal healthcare by a margin of 320,000 to 4. 

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Joe Biden: Federalist – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 27, 2021

I suppose, therefore, that he is not going to enforce the following federal laws and leave these things up to the states:…

I also presume that he will be calling on Congress to eliminate the following federal programs and leave these things up to the states:…

What do you mean that Biden is not going to leave these things up to the states? I thought he was a federalist? Evidently I thought wrong.

Joe Biden may be a poor excuse for a federalist, but he is a great example of a hypocrite.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/01/laurence-m-vance/joe-biden-federalist/

By Laurence M. Vance

Not only is he a constitutionalist, Joe Biden is also a federalist.

When the Constitution was adopted in 1789, a federal system of government was established. Federalism is the division of power between the national and state governments. Articles I through III of the Constitution delegate certain powers to the three branches of the national government. The Tenth Amendment reserves to the states those powers that are not delegated to the national 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.”

As James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

Back in October, when Biden was just a candidate for president, he said about a federal nationwide mask mandate:

First, I’ll go to every governor and urge them to mandate mask-wearing in their states. And if they refuse, I’ll go to the mayors and county executives and get local masking requirements in place nationwide.

As president, I’ll mandate mask wearing in all federal buildings and all interstate transportation because masks save lives. Period.

A month before this, Biden acknowledged that he did not have the authority to institute a nationwide mask mandate because “you can’t do things the Constitution does not allow you the power to do.”

The federal government does have the power to regulate actions in federal facilities and on federal property so the president could require that masks be worn therein and thereon.

According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) “grants the Secretary of Health and Human Services—delegated in part to the CDC—the authority to make and enforce regulations necessary ‘to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States or possessions, or from one State or possession into any other State or possession.’” However, the CRS also acknowledges that that provision has been characterized as “broad [and] flexible, that “the CDC’s exercise of this authority would nevertheless be restricted by the Constitution and other generally applicable statutory requirements,” and that “the structure and language of section 361 may subject it to a narrower construction.”

On his first day as president, Biden issued an executive order requiring mask wearing in federal buildings. Section 1 reads:

Policy. It is the policy of my Administration to halt the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures.  Such measures include wearing masks when around others, physical distancing, and other related precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Put simply, masks and other public health measures reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when communities make widespread use of such measures, and thus save lives.

Accordingly, to protect the Federal workforce and individuals interacting with the Federal workforce, and to ensure the continuity of Government services and activities, on-duty or on-site Federal employees, on-site Federal contractors, and other individuals in Federal buildings and on Federal lands should all wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines.

But since he has no authority to issue a federal nationwide mask mandate, the executive order says in section 3:

Encouraging Masking Across America. (a) The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), including through the Director of CDC, shall engage, as appropriate, with State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials, as well as business, union, academic, and other community leaders, regarding mask-wearing and other public health measures, with the goal of maximizing public compliance with, and addressing any obstacles to, mask-wearing and other public health best practices identified by CDC.

“Wearing masks isn’t a partisan issue — it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives,” tweeted Biden the first evening of his presidency. “That’s why I signed an executive order today issuing a mask mandate on federal property. It’s time to mask up, America.”

So, apparently, Joe Biden is a federalist. He recognizes that federal power and control have limits. I guess you could say that he believes in States’ Rights in those areas over which the federal government has no constitutional authority.

I suppose, therefore, that he is not going to enforce the following federal laws and leave these things up to the states:

  • Anti-discrimination laws
  • Gun-control laws
  • Drug laws
  • Gambling laws
  • Wage and hour laws
  • Price gouging laws

I also presume that he will be calling on Congress to eliminate the following federal programs and leave these things up to the states:

  • Farm subsidies
  • Art and culture subsidies
  • Scientific and medical research
  • Education funding
  • Job training
  • Flood insurance

What do you mean that Biden is not going to leave these things up to the states? I thought he was a federalist? Evidently I thought wrong.

Joe Biden may be a poor excuse for a federalist, but he is a great example of a hypocrite.

The very night he issued his executive order requiring mask wearing in federal buildings and on federal property, Biden delivered remarks at the Lincoln Memorial, which, of course, is federal property. He was captured on video violating the very mask mandate that he said could “save countless lives.” His grandchildren were also seen not wearing masks at the event. The Left, of course, is silent, even though President Trump and his family were widely criticized by the left-wing media for not always wearing masks.

Biden’s mask mandate is just political theatre. Although I try to stay out of federal buildings as much as possible, I suspect that most federal workers and federal contractors are already being required to wear face masks. The federal employees at every national park and monument that I have gone to since the beginning of the coronavirus “pandemic,” as well as every federal employee at the various Post Offices I have entered were all wearing masks.

Unmask tyranny—begin by taking off your mask.

The Best of Laurence M. Vance Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom; War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism; War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy; King James, His Bible, and Its Translators, and many other books. His newest books are Free Trade or Protectionism? and The Free Society.

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The Freedom To Pursue Happiness – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on December 31, 2020

SHEEPLE ALERT! Read at own risk.

It is hard to believe that any judge in America would permit a criminal trial of any person for violating a standard of behavior that has not been enacted into law by a legislature. We know this because under our system of representative government, separated powers and guaranteed liberties, only the legislative branch can craft laws and assign punishments for noncompliance. This is Constitutional Law 101.

But under the Constitution, these social-distancing, wear-your-mask, shut-your-business, stay-at-home edicts constitute mere recommendations that should induce rational voluntary compliance, because the government in America is without lawful power to compel compliance.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/12/andrew-p-napolitano/the-freedom-to-pursue-happiness-3/

By Andrew P. Napolitano

The governors of all 50 states, and the mayors of many large cities, have assumed unto themselves the powers to restrict private personal choices and lawful public behavior in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

They have done so not by enforcing previously existing legislation but by crafting their own executive orders, styling those orders as if they were laws, using state and local police to enforce those so-called laws and — presumably when life returns to normal and the courts reopen — prosecuting the alleged offenders in court.

It is hard to believe that any judge in America would permit a criminal trial of any person for violating a standard of behavior that has not been enacted into law by a legislature. We know this because under our system of representative government, separated powers and guaranteed liberties, only the legislative branch can craft laws and assign punishments for noncompliance. This is Constitutional Law 101. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has written that the executive branch cannot enforce a law that it has written. If it does, we will have approached tyranny.

Have we approached tyranny already?

During the past eight weeks, governors and mayors have closed most businesses, public venues and houses of worship, prohibited public assembly and restricted travel — all of which they have unilaterally decreed to be nonessential.

In his terrifying novel “1984” — which posits a future of total control of all persons by the government and total control of the government by one political party — George Orwell argued that he who controls the meaning of words controls the laws as well.

That Orwellian truism has been manifested like never before here in America, where executive branch officeholders have used state and local police to restrain people from engaging in private and public behavior which they concede was lawful two months ago because today it is not deemed “essential.”

Frankly, I am surprised at the ferocity of police enforcement and the lameness of police compliance. The police have taken the same oaths to uphold the same Bill of Rights — it’s not the Bill of Safety; it’s the Bill of Rights — as have all other officeholders. The police also know that it is unlawful for them to obey an unlawful order, particularly when they use force.

The lockdown orders are all unlawful because none of them — none — has been enacted by a legislature, and all of them — all — interfere with fundamental liberties, each of which is guaranteed — guaranteed — by the Constitution.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I recognize the scientific value of personal efforts to control contagion. But under the Constitution, these social-distancing, wear-your-mask, shut-your-business, stay-at-home edicts constitute mere recommendations that should induce rational voluntary compliance, because the government in America is without lawful power to compel compliance.

The governors complain about resistance. They need to know that Americans will resist efforts to interfere in behavior that remains as moral, natural, lawful and constitutional as it was 60 days ago.

Last week, President Donald Trump, sounding fed up with gubernatorial lockdown orders, declared that religious worship is essential — meaning, in his opinion, all houses of worship should be opened — and he offered that he was prepared to “override” any governors who disagreed with him.

When he realized that he lacked any authority to override even unlawful gubernatorial decrees, he dispatched the Department of Justice to begin filing challenges to governors in federal courts and to argue that constitutional freedoms are being impaired by the states.

I applaud this, but it is too little, too late. Where was the DOJ when Catholic priests were threatened with arrest for saying Mass or distributing palms and when Jewish rabbis were put in COVID-19-infested jails for holding funerals? At all these religious events, folks freely chose to exercise their freedom to worship; and to take their chances.

These DOJ interventions provoked the question: Who should decide what goods, services or venues are essential — the states or the federal government? The question is Orwellian, as the answer is: neither of them. The government in America — state or federal — has no power and no right to determine what goods, services and venues are essential.

Those determinations have been for individuals to make since 1776, and those individual choices have been constitutionally protected from the feds since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791 and from the states since the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868.

What is essential to the laborer or student or housewife may not be essential to the former Goldman Sachs partner who was elected governor of New Jersey, and who decreed last week, “It shall be the duty of every person or entity in this State… to cooperate fully” with his orders, or essential to the ideologue who is mayor of the Big Apple and who, for all his professed liberality, threatened to close permanently — permanently — businesses and houses of worship that flaunt his guidelines.

A duty is undertaken voluntarily or by nature, not by executive command, Governor Murphy. And the government cannot take property away from its owners except for a legitimate public use and only for just compensation, Mayor de Blasio.

Governors and mayors can make all the dictatorial pronouncements and threats that they wish. But they cannot use public assets to enforce them. And when they seek to use force, those from whom they seek it should decline the offer.

In America, we decide for ourselves what produces happiness. We have never delegated to the government — ever — the power to make personal choices for us.

And some of us are willing to take chances and even do “nonessential” things. The essence of the freedoms for which we have fought since 1776 is the liberty to be ourselves.

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The Catholic Case for Secession? – Crisis Magazine

Posted by M. C. on December 24, 2020

However, the frank reality is that pro-lifers have been working to restrict abortion at the federal level for almost fifty years with no success. What’s more, the successes pro-lifers do eke out at the state level are often nullified at the federal level. The biggest enemy of the unborn in this country is the federal machinery that keeps abortion legal in all fifty states. However, if a state like Texas (for instance) were an independent nation, there would be nothing stopping it from outlawing abortion.

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2020/the-catholic-case-for-secession

Eric Sammons

Ever since “red states” and “blue states” entered our popular lexicon in the weeks following the 2000 election, Americans have understood that our country’s citizens have taken two divergent paths at the fork in the road. Twenty years later, the possibility that those paths will converge one day seems more and more remote. That is why a word that has long been forbidden in American discourse has gained traction in recent years: secession.

In most Americans’ minds, “secession” conjures up images of the Civil War, slavery, and racism. It represents the darkest and bloodiest hour of our nation’s history, when families were divided and brother fought against brother. Because the term is linked in our minds to a long and nearly crippling war, we naturally recoil at the idea of secession. Additionally, the mythology subconsciously espoused by many Americans that our country is divinely ordained to extend freedom throughout the world makes the suggestion that America could decrease in size unfathomable to most of us.

Yet, people are now talking seriously about the possibility of secession. The proximate cause is the shenanigans associated with the most recent presidential election. A large number of Americans believe that the candidate likely to be sworn in on January 20, 2021 was the beneficiary of fraud on a large scale. If this is the case, then the political system is fundamentally broken; an increasing number of Americans are questioning the efficacy of continuing the charade of a united country.

So, can a Catholic support the idea of secession?

Let’s take a step back first. Is secession legal? One of the greatest American Catholic legal minds, Antonin Scalia, argued that it is not. “If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War,” he wrote, “it is that there is no right to secede.” With all due respect to the late Justice Scalia, and with a little trepidation about contradicting him, this makes no sense. When one political body secedes from another, the seceding body is rejecting the authority of the first. In other words, all laws in effect in the original nation are no longer applicable to the seceding nation, since it is no longer part of that original nation. Asking if secession is legal, then, is actually nonsensical, for the people seceding do not recognize the laws of the original country.

But even if it’s “legal,” is it moral? Because Americans equate secession with a bloody civil war, many argue that if you support secession, you support needless bloodshed. But bloodshed is not a foregone conclusion. In the early 1990s, fifteen Soviet republics seceded from the Soviet Union without a civil war. In 1965, Singapore separated from Malaysia without sparking a violent conflict. Other examples are littered throughout history, particularly recent history. Secession can be peaceful, and it is peaceful secession that I am considering here.

From a Catholic point of view, the benefits of secession include new opportunities for legal protection of the unborn, reduced cultural and political conflict, and more robust subsidiarity.

Secession would provide better prospects for legal protection of the unborn. Some Catholics argue that abandoning the union would be abandoning the unborn in the new leftist/socialist nation-states that would be formed. If California, for example, were to leave the union, it’s unlikely it would ever restrict abortion in any way.

However, the frank reality is that pro-lifers have been working to restrict abortion at the federal level for almost fifty years with no success. What’s more, the successes pro-lifers do eke out at the state level are often nullified at the federal level. The biggest enemy of the unborn in this country is the federal machinery that keeps abortion legal in all fifty states. However, if a state like Texas (for instance) were an independent nation, there would be nothing stopping it from outlawing abortion.

Yes, abortion would still be legal in California, just as it is in our current fifty-state union. But at least some babies would be protected instead of none.

Secession could also lead to less overall cultural and political conflict. Religious freedom has been disappearing over the years, but a new nation-state could restore that freedom without fear that the justices in D.C. would override it. Gay “marriage” could be outlawed without significant controversy in many new, independent nation-states. Most of our public discourse today consists of one side trying to force its views on the other when two views are irreconcilable. The worldview of a Coastal elite is simply incompatible with the worldview of a Midwestern religious believer. A peaceful separation would allow individual groups to live and govern as they believe is best, instead of what we are experiencing now, which is essentially an oligarchy enforcing its ideology on us all.

Finally, the past century has seen a dramatic rise in the power of the federal government over the lives of ordinary citizens. Everyone, from the farmer in Iowa to the actor in Hollywood, must conform to what the elites and their bureaucratic armies in Washington tell them to do. That makes for an inherently unjust system, and one that is contrary to the Catholic principle of subsidiarity. Catholic political thought recognizes that those closer to a situation are often better equipped to handle it. The rise of various nation-states out of the massive United States would result in a significant boost to subsidiarity, increasing the likelihood of more just laws in many of those new nation-states.

Of course, secession would also raise a whole host of challenges. Many of the new nation-states might quickly become far more anti-Catholic than the United States currently is. It’s easy to imagine an independent New York trampling over the rights of Catholics if there is no pesky Constitution to worry about.

Yet if we’ve learned anything over the past 50 years, it is that the Constitution is merely a speed bump, not a roadblock, to the progressive agenda.

There is also the practical challenge of how exactly to divide the nation. Although we like to talk about red states and blue states, the reality is that America is mostly divided in a rural/urban split, with the suburbs going either way depending on their history. How would the land be physically divided in such a scenario?

Most likely, any division would involve some people moving to other areas in order to be in a new country that best represents their views. Undoubtedly, though, the divisions would not neatly follow current state lines. For example, it’s unlikely that eastern Washington or eastern Oregon would want to remain aligned with the coastal regions of their respective states.

Foreign policy presents another challenge for an American secession movement. Secession opponents fear weakening American hegemony across the world. Would a divided America result in greater global influence for China or Russia? Would it lead to a possible invasion by those countries?

It’s impossible to say for sure, but there is no reason that a divided America could not remain a confederation of allies when it comes to military defense. An attack on any one new American nation-state could be considered an attack on all nation-states.

Further, decades of being the world’s policeman has led to an array of needless foreign excursions and conflicts. A divided America would be less likely to be involved in an unending, mission-less conflict in Afghanistan, for example. It’s clear that most of these conflicts in recent years have been contrary to the Catholic “just war” theory—not to mention unconstitutional. The “American values” we export through our military might and cultural influence are increasingly antithetical to Catholic morality.

Is American secession realistic? Or is it just the wishful thinking of a few deluded individuals? There’s no question a secession movement would face many difficult obstacles. However, as our country drives itself further and further away from its historic Judeo-Christian values, Catholics should be seriously thinking about how to peacefully overcome those obstacles if we want to preserve religious freedom and justice at least in some places on this continent.

If secession is inevitable, then the longer it is put off, the more likely it becomes that violent conflict will be the only remaining option. Secession might well be the most peaceful means to move forward, when the alternative is using the force of the state to keep people together who want to go their separate ways.

[Ryan M. Kelly/AFP via Getty Images]Eric Sammons

By Eric Sammons

Eric Sammons is a freelance writer and editor. He is the author of several books, including The Old Evangelization: How to Spread the Faith Like Jesus Did (Catholic Answers, 2017).

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As the Republic Dies the Next Generation Must Rise

Posted by M. C. on December 24, 2020

Trump, however, doesn’t represent the future of America. He’s weighed down with the mythology of an America that never really existed.

That mythology, however, is something worth building on not allowing Obama and The Vandals to tear down. I believe Gabbard understands this.

I also believe at least 75 million Americans understand this.

For the American people to not be frog-marched into the dystopian nightmare of Klaus Schwab’s dreams it will be the revealed character of the Gabbards, Massies and Pauls to lead once the violence reaches a crescendo.

https://tomluongo.me/2020/12/16/republic-dies-next-generation-must-rise-gabbard-paul/

Author: Tom Luongo

The first rule of screenwriting, or in fact any fiction writing, is, “Conflict doesn’t create character, it reveals it.” People are who they are and we only find out what they are made of when tested to their limit.

This is the essence of all good storytelling — create characters who rise to be role models for us as we navigate our way through a Universe hostile to our very existence.

While I hesitate to ascribe such noble ideas as ‘character’ to any politician there are a few out there who have shown great potential. I’ve written about all of them at various times in the past few years.

Matteo Salvini in Italy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Russian President Vladmir Putin, Nigel Farage in the UK and even a flawed figure like Donald Trump are all examples of men who history will remember as having stood up when needed.

At times each of them tried to move heaven and earth to stop the degradation of society, culture and the human condition in the face of an implacable enemy – communist ideologues bent on forcing humanity into submission to their will.

But with the Supreme Court abdicating its primary responsibility under the Constitution last week citing itself in an unconstitutional ruling from 1925 (H/T Martin Armstrong for this) means it is over for Trump and the U.S. to stop the final transformation of the U.S. into an oligarchy in reality if not in spirit.

There is no mechanism for states to redress grievances of any import now. What was left of the compact between equal sovereign states died with a whimper in the halls of the SCOTUS and to thunderous applause by the BlueCheckMarked Sneetches on Twitter.

This means that a stolen election will in all probability stand up come Inauguration Day. The entrenched oligarchy has won this round.

Fine. But it doesn’t mean the efforts of the men I just listed will have been in vain. In fact, quite the opposite.

Because what it has done is revealed the character of everyone involved. What they do next now that they have the power they’ve always craved to transform America will determine what people who have principles other than raw power will do.

We’re beginning to see that response form up. This election isn’t over but the positioning for the future a post-republic America has already begun.

🌺

Since election day Tulsi Gabbard, a tweener between Gen-X and a Millennial, has been a non-stop source of, admittedly, Quixotic bills to put paid her insurgent campaign in the Democratic primaries as someone interested in fixing real foundational problems with the country and the bipartisan corruption in Washington.

She continues to reach across party lines introducing legislation which form the basis for a populist election strategy targeting the 2022 and 2024 elections.

From whistleblower protection to repealing Section 230 of the CDA to the bill in the tweet above co-sponsored with libertarian Thomas Massie, Gabbard is an example of what the future holds for the political future once this meta-stable, oligarchic rule-by-men period of America is over.

It’s clear that Gabbard wants no part of being a part of the Democratic Party that’s in power now. That’s why she didn’t run for re-election and I suspect these moves are all laying the groundwork for a return to politics in 2024 as an independent or Sanders-like outsider.

I’ve been writing for years now that our problems stem from an unwillingness of the older generations of politicians to give up power. If anything, they persist because they are owned by the forces that put them there in the first place to pull off this betrayal of the people that has been in the works for decades.

And they will stay in place until they are no longer needed. Just ask Diane Feinstein who is now being sacrificed to make way for the transition team to finish the job she started.

I always saw Trump as Gen-X’s moment to pull a Ronald Reagan and say, “Mr. Trump, tear down this Swamp!” but the real story is that Gen-X is allowing Obama to do that tearing down and hand what’s left back to the old monied elites.

The fight now is between the cross-currents within Gen-X. Equal parts commie and libertarian the one uniting principle is a desire to reform the old order.

It is my read that people like Gabbard, Massie, Sen. Rand Paul and a few others see the problem. Gabbard’s a leftist, but she’s no doctrinaire commie. That makes her and interesting pivot figure around which a coalition to retake control or build back better the U.S. can be formed. This will be necessary once Obama’s incoming crew of vandals overreaches and are thrown out on their asses.

Regardless of the outcome in the coming months and years the changing of the guard is close at hand. Post-Trump America will look very different than pre-Trump. Trump was the apotheosis of the Boomers.

His legacy will be forcing the Deep State into the open, bringing the fight against them out of the shadows.

Trump, however, doesn’t represent the future of America. He’s weighed down with the mythology of an America that never really existed.

That mythology, however, is something worth building on not allowing Obama and The Vandals to tear down. I believe Gabbard understands this.

I also believe at least 75 million Americans understand this.

For the American people to not be frog-marched into the dystopian nightmare of Klaus Schwab’s dreams it will be the revealed character of the Gabbards, Massies and Pauls to lead once the violence reaches a crescendo.

Make no mistake, there will be violence. It is inevitable because the people who voted for Trump will not be placated with UBI or settle down as their voices are silenced.

The fraudsters will forever be looking over their shoulders, lashing out at minor opposition as traitors who need to be put down.

Here we are presented with a staged picture with three white privilege guys straight out of central casting for the latest Obama-produced ‘documentary’ on equality coming to Netflix in the spring.

This is your “Unity” agenda from the most statist of state house organs, NPR, the echo chamber of choice for the low-information ‘informed’ shitlib. This is the face of the Biden/Harris administration.

This is just the beginning of what we can look forward to when the GOP loses both seats in the Georgia run-off and the Democrats, despite historically-low support and engagement with actual voters, run the table.

Once ensconced they will persecute their political enemies in ways only Alex Jones has contemplated to this point. And it will be this escalation that will reveal the quality of the character of these next-generation politicians.

They will have the choice, leader of men or cowards. The republic we’ve known is dead. Maybe that’s a good thing. But what comes after won’t be up to the people who just destroyed it. That job is the next generation’s job. Their moment is coming in the next couple of years. They will have to be ready.

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The reimagined police as servants of the left – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on December 23, 2020

Antifa and BLM were allowed to destroy huge swaths of many cities across America, rioting with impunity using firearms, bats, bricks, fireworks, Molotov cocktails, fists, and just about anything you can use to destroy property and physically harm people.

On the other hand, a group of Oregonians were barred from entering a public place to protest lockdowns that are destroying people’s lives.

To Serve and Protect is now To Arrest and Enforce…unless they don’t want to do that either.

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/12/the_reimagined_police_as_servants_of_the_left.html

By Carol Brown

We back the blue, but will they back us?

Like most conservatives, I support the police and the vital role they serve in a civilized society.

But like many conservatives, watching them stand down on orders from blue-state mayors during months of riots was jarring.  (They even stood down during a Back the Blue rally in Denver when speakers were attacked.)

Many of us asked how the police could obey such orders and allow criminals to have free rein in our streets — criminals whose victims, I might add, included over 2,000 police officers.

Don’t police officers swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution?  Well, yes, they do.  In fact, that is their paramount responsibility.

Perhaps this year, it seems we witnessed the rule and not the exception — the rule being that most people, including the police, will be cowards in the face of tyrants.

I have to assume that many police officers struggled with the position they were in this year, as noted in a piece written by David Hudson at Law Enforcement Today:

There comes a time, and maybe more specifically, there will come a time, in which a law enforcement officer must remember what he or she swore to when taking this oath.  Remember that order is everything, and by that, I mean the U.S. Constitution comes first, then State Constitution. Everything else is subordinate.

A law enforcement officer’s oath of office dilemma is this: “Do I enforce a law that is in opposition to the United States Constitution?”  In the current climate we see that law enforcement officers may have to face this dilemma.  I urge you to read about the Constitution, the powers delegated to Congress by the Constitution, the applicable laws passed by Congress and Supreme Court case law. I ask you to be introspective on how you will deal with this dilemma, all while taking into account what you swore before God and Country.

But struggle as some may have, the end result was that they obeyed, and in so doing abdicated their primary oath.

It’s scary stuff that does not bode well for the future.

And yesterday, perhaps a bit of that future arrived when anti-lockdown protesters tried to gain entry to the Oregon State Capitol building, where the Legislature was holding a special session.  Breitbart reports:

While legislative sessions are normally open to the public, today’s was closed to anyone other than lawmakers, police, some staff, and reporters, the Oregon Statesman-Journal reported. Legislators met to attempt to pass pandemic-relief measures including landlord and tenant assistance.

It appears that some of the protesters showed up armed (some with firearms and at least one with a pitchfork).  Although Oregon is an open carry state, several cities have open carry bans in public places.  And as is the case in many open carry states, no firearms are allowed inside public buildings anywhere in the state.

So there’s that.

It also appears that some of the protesters were aggressive against the police (who were armed and in full riot gear), spraying them with tear gas and bear spray.


YouTube screen grab.

For their part, the police appeared to get aggressive, pushing, using pepper spray, and shooting people at close range with rubber bullets.  Four people were arrested.

This event was complicated.  Among other things, it highlighted how differently the police may respond to one group and not another.

Antifa and BLM were allowed to destroy huge swaths of many cities across America, rioting with impunity using firearms, bats, bricks, fireworks, Molotov cocktails, fists, and just about anything you can use to destroy property and physically harm people.

On the other hand, a group of Oregonians were barred from entering a public place to protest lockdowns that are destroying people’s lives.

One would have hoped the police could have found a way to funnel people through a door and check for weapons, weeding out those who had them.  But maybe not.  I’m not a police officer, but I understand enough to realize that heated situations are complex and dangerous.  But aren’t they trained to handle such situations?

It was maddening to see the disparity between how rioters were given free rein all year while folks in Oregon were met with the full force of the law.

And this is a huge concern, because I fear that the police may be slowly morphing into an arm of the Democrat party to be used against citizens in ways that target conservatives and allow Marxists to roam free, destroying everything in their path.  This is one way I fear the left plans to “reimagine” the police.  Law enforcement can become a tool at the disposal of tyrants to inflict grave harm and further corral the citizenry into submission.  (See here for an AT blog post from 2013 that addresses this very thing.)

Yesterday’s event in Oregon also highlights how it feels like a powder keg is about to blow across this country.  Citizens are enraged and feel powerless.  It feels as though the stolen election was the final straw.  If the ballot box is rigged, then what’s left?  When you lose your voice in a civilized society, what remains?  Violence, I’m afraid.

This situation also highlights a phenomenon that probably has a name, but far be it from me to know it.  It goes like this: the left creates an environment that locks us out of power and silences our voice.  All the while, they accuse us of being “extremists” and “terrorists” even though we’re peaceful, law-abiding citizens.

But then they push us up against the wall such that we feel out of options.  It is at this point that otherwise law-abiding and peaceful citizens may express their rage in violent ways for lack of any other choice.  And in so doing, they become the thing they were falsely accused of being all along.  Their now violent actions confirm in the minds of the mindless that, you see, they are extremists and terrorists!

It’s a trap, part of the tangled, dark, evil sickness that is enveloping us from which we must break free.

To read more about what happened in Oregon yesterday, see here and here.  Normally, I would summarize more, but these days, it’s hard to know what to believe that’s in print, another sad sign of the times.

Please God give us strength and show us a path through.

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