By Harold Pease, Ph. D
Anyone the least bit familiar with the Constitution and its early history knows that, despite lip-service to it, neither political party follows it, nor do any of the three branches of government actually limit themselves to their specific articles in it. All three operate outside the carefully crafted cages to which they were assigned. So how do we get the federal government back to servant rather than master? Well-meaning conservatives are wrong in their push for a new constitutional convention for the following reasons.
To begin with, why argue to get what you already have? It is a far weaker argument because it implies uncertainty on your part that you already have it. The federal government is already limited by the existing Constitution: Congress to a precise list in Article I, Section 8. The President is limited to a list housed in Article II, Sections II and III. The Supreme Court is limited to eleven types of cases most with but appellate (limited by Congress) jurisdiction and only two totally free of the restrictions of Congress called original jurisdiction. All other power was reserved to the states as per Amendment 10 of the Bill of Rights. Again, to argue that we need additional amendments to get the federal government to abide by what was already understood as their limits of power is to argue to get what we already have.
An argument within the Constitution is much easier to make than asking that three fourths of the states accept something new and somewhat foreign to them. Three-fourths of the states is a big number and takes many years to acquire, and in a nation somewhat constitutionally illiterate is likely to fall short of the states needed. Meanwhile, the case for living within the Constitution can be made today because a majority of the people was taught some level of reverence for it. Showing them how the federal government has strayed from clearly cited restrictions in the document is a much easier case to make.
The argument that we have already unsuccessfully tried to keep the federal government within constitutional bounds is legitimate. But to suppose that a George W. Bush or a Barack Obama will stay within the bounds of new amendments when, with impunity, each has violated those amendments in existence is as naive as believing that more gun control laws will cause the criminals to turn in their guns.
A new Constitutional Convention potentially exposes everything that we already have placing everything at risk. Where is the basis for faith that the new “Founders” will not tamper with established basics? Three Twentieth Century amendments seriously damaged previously sacred foundation points of a republic: the 16th gave the federal government unlimited resources to spend in areas not listed as their function in Article I, Section 8 and the states lined up with alms bowls in hand for the grants. The 17th removed State influence and consent in lawmaking thus irreparably damaging the concept of federalism so critical to limiting the power of the federal government. The 18th outlawed the consumption of alcohol in the nation for ten years giving the government the right to tell its people what they can drink.
Some argue that we can limit the extent of change in a new convention. It is well to remember that the original delegates to the Constitutional Convention were not authorized to dump the Articles of Confederation, but did, exposing everything that then existed. Can proponents of a new convention guarantee that that could not happen again? No!
Why would we suppose that new founders would have an equal to, or superior, understanding of natural law upon which the Constitution was based? We assume that the states will be anxious to get their powers restored to them but where is the basis that they see such a need? Do not almost all elected federal government personnel first serve in state legislatures then abandon the state perspective when they reach Washington DC?
Finally, the enemies to limited federal government yearn for a constitutional convention as well. They want everything dictated from Washington DC—an all-powerful government. Such groups as Wolf-Pac, AFL-CIO, Code Pink, Progressive Democrats of America, and the forty-five political action organizations funded by George Soros (New American, April 7, 2014, p. 18) are just waiting for the opportunity to empower themselves and government more fully. Who can promise that they will sit idly by while we further limit their ability to manage us?
Holding to the Constitution with exactness is our only real secure way to take back our country. Our weapons are the limiting clauses of the Constitution and Amendment 10 of the Bill of Rights. Political parties have failed us. Encouraging our people to become Constitutionalists first is a better approach. As tyranny grows so will support for our cause. Conservatives and liberals please don’t risk losing everything by an ill-conceived constitutional convention. The answer is to make the government abide by what they have by oath promised and, when needed, carefully craft new amendments one at a time, as for example a balanced budget amendment.
By Harold Pease
A year ago the Boy Scouts of America elected Robert M. Gates, past CIA director and national defense secretary, as its national president. Perhaps there has never been a more high profile national president. His honors in the scouting program are just as impressive.
Unfortunately his message this month to the Scouts’ national annual meeting in Atlanta Georgia set the BSA on fire. The Associated Press reported, “that the organization’s longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults is no longer sustainable, and called for change in order to avert potentially destructive legal battles.” This position is not a surprise to those who know Gates. Just last year he said, that he “personally would have favored ending the ban on gay adults, but he opposed any further debate after the Scouts’ policy making body upheld the ban.” Gates, as former national defense secretary, was the father of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy allowing gays into the military services.
Many years ago I served as a lay minister and received an unusual patron for counseling, a new move-in to whom I was to have ecclesiastical jurisdiction for a time. He told me a horrifying story, the details of which I cannot repeat here, but which involved his activities as a scoutmaster to three little boys at different times and in different troops over a period of time. He told me of his sexual desire for little boys and begged me to help him avoid any service opportunity that placed him in close proximity with young men. I did as he requested. Contacting authorities confirmed what he shared, although at least twenty-five years earlier, revealing that two of the scouts, now adults, were now themselves gay and having to deal with the same lust for other little boys activated by the activities of their former scoutmaster.
He also spoke of a boy of like age in his neighborhood presently that wandered by occasionally. His eyes lit up, as you or I would salivate over the smells of a sirloin steak barbequed on the grill. He called him “fresh meat.” I warned him of the consequences of any action on his part and advised that he immediately separate himself from the boy and seek the company of another adult, preferably his wife (he was bi-sexual) or a family member. He was also advised to seek professional help for his craving appetite. He promised to follow that advice and as far as I know did, but I was stunned by the power of this appetite. Over time I counseled other gays, each having his own age preferences and not all focused on twelve and thirteen year old little boys.
President Gate’s “enlightened” suggestions met mostly with raving reviews by the establishment press with words such as equality, fairness, openness, inclusive, and progressive. I saw nothing pointing out the dangers of allowing seasoned adult male predators to prey on our vulnerable innocent little boys. Opening the Boy Scout Program, with its numerous close quarter campouts, would be heaven to scout leader predators (we used to call them perverts) such as I described above. If sodomy is against the law in every state in the union, even criminalized, why would we allow, encourage, and protect it in the Boy Scout program?
Advocates for allowing gay scout leaders into the BSA, say that this change is necessary to keep the program from going extinct. Since 70% of scout units are sponsored and funded by local churches the argument is bogus. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsors half of these and they are sure to pull out of the organization because of this change alone. Extinction is more likely to follow if this change happens. Christian parents will not knowingly send their young boys over night to known homosexuals. Contributions will dry up. There is no reason for Christians to be bullied into submission by gay activists.
Yet another problem, not addressed by Gates, is how do the Christian churches square the scout law, clean, and the scout oath requiring a scout to be morally straight, with their view that homosexuality is not being clean or morally straight? Most Christian churches teach the Biblical position on homosexuality, which is the opposite of being morally straight, and also is heavily condemned by God.
Opponents of what has been written in this column are certain to rebut, “But not all gays are pedophiles.” That may be so, but too many of them are and even one who targets little boys is one too many.
Finally, the gay movement has not shown itself to be open to compromise. To conciliate them two years ago the BSA changed its policy to allow boys who thought themselves gay to have membership. But this was not enough. Seemingly, the gay agenda seeks to destroy the organization instead. Why do they not instead create their own organization called “Gay Campers of America” and have any program they like and leave the BSA alone?
Gates statement upon becoming national president made a year ago was uplifting, “I believe every child deserves an opportunity to experience what Scouting offers.” I do not believe that this should include the danger of being sexually molested.
Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution.
By Harold Pease, Ph. D
With our national debt growing by $3 billion a day and Congress giving up offering any real solutions, we are a speeding train heading for a cliff. Most pretend the problem is not real or will just go away. Almost no one is ready for the hyperinflation and street crime that could follow if we do not act quickly and responsibly.
The Tea Party Debt Commission was formed some time ago to provide the federal government a solution. Its final report summarized the problem, “Our government is doing too many things it can’t do well, or shouldn’t do at all, with money it doesn’t have. We are borrowing 43 cents of every dollar we spend….” They note that the “Government Accountability Office counted no fewer than 47 job training programs, 56 financial literacy programs, 80 economic development programs, 18 food assistance programs, 20 programs for the homeless, 82 teacher-quality programs spread across 10 agencies, and more than 2,100 data centers. All told, we have nearly 2,200 federal programs.” Government is bloated, inefficient, and wasteful.
A federal diet is long overdue, but what should we keep? The Commission’s assessment criteria hinged on four basic values: fiscal common sense, Constitutional limits, economic freedom, and personal self-reliance. For a program to remain, they reasoned, it needed to pass two questions: is it constitutionally authorized, and is it best carried out by the federal government, as opposed to states or private entities? Much of what the federal government does, the Commission found, unfortunately, does neither.
Boldly they opened the unfunded liabilities door, the door neither party dares to open as potentially it could destroy career politicians and political parties. They concluded that they could make Social Security “sustainable and actually improve benefits by harnessing the power of compound interest.” They noted, “Three decades ago, Chile embarked on a bold transformation of its retirement security system. Today, that system [SMART Accounts] is the envy of the world, giving seniors far better benefits than the old, government-run system ever did.”
Shortly thereafter three counties in Texas adopted the SMART Accounts program in favor of personal accounts and thus those retiring today do so “with much more money and have significantly more generous death and disability supplemental benefits than do Social Security participants.” Moreover, they “face no long term unfunded pension liabilities.” The Commission recommends that, “all state and local governments should have the option of opting into the ‘Galveston model.’ ” Learn more about this aspect of the Tea Party Debt Commission’s recommendations by visiting FreedomWorks.org/the-tea-party-budget.
The Tea Party Debt Commission suggests that “new workers born after 1981… invest one-half of their payroll taxes (7.65%) in a SMART Account, which they can use to fund their retirement and health care costs in retirement. If they prefer, they can give up their account and opt back into traditional Social Security at retirement.” The result of this modern approach to funding retirement embraced by the Commission, is that, among other things, it: “improves benefits, doesn’t increase the retirement age, doesn’t cut benefits for people in or nearing retirement, and doesn’t touch the existing Social Security Disability insurance program.” It also “reduces federal payroll tax receipts by about $500 billion over the ten-year period.”
The Commission also opened Medicare, the second major Pandora’s box of unfunded liabilities, but Tea Party recommendations giving Medicare seniors the right to opt into the privileged Congressional health care plan will require space not permitted here.
So far, neither party has offered other ideas and the Tea Party solution has been virtually ignored. The speeding train does not have to go over the cliff. There are great thinkers and solutions that can save us because they are not forced to do so within the parameters of self-interest and political parties. Fortunately the Tea Party works successfully outside these restrictions. Please tell your Congressman to seriously explore these recommendations especially in light of the fact that their plans have not worked. This train must get off the track that it is now on while there is yet time.
Harold Pease, Ph. D
Let me be one of the first to put it in print. The nation’s biggest threat is not Al Qaida! It is not Edward Snowden or NSA spying on every citizen in the nation! It is not the IRS targeting of Tea Party and religion groups for extra scrutiny, or even a president replacing Congress as the leading lawmaking branch of government. It is the impending financial collapse if we do not curb our addiction to debt and do it quickly. It grows by an estimated $3 billion a day and is now $17,355,598,800 trillion as I write this column. By the time many of you read it, one week from today, it will have increased by $21 billion.
Two laws passed this year have made this observation more blatantly obvious. The Republican Party’s total collapse on the debt ceiling increase and the recently passed $1 trillion dollar Farm Bill financing corporate and class welfare.
First the debt ceiling surrender wherein the Republican Party leadership, in opposition to there own party, totally capitulated without asking any concessions from the White House and Democrats in return for the borrowing authority. Please note that a debt ceiling raise eventually means higher taxes or debt. Twenty-eight Republicans joined the Democratic Party majority for a yes vote thus passing the raise in the House of Representatives 221-201. Conservatives and constitutionalists felt betrayed. House Speaker John Boehner in his “Boehner Rule,” had promised that increase in the debt ceiling must reflect spending cuts also.
Amazingly the top three Republican Party leaders: Boehner (Speaker), Eric Canter (Majority Leader), and Kevin McCarthy (Majority Whip) voted to raise the debt ceiling to March 15, 2015, as did all but two Democrats, virtually abandoning their 206 remaining Republican colleagues voting no to the debt raise. So much for fiscal restraint and holding to often repeated principles. These three voted against their own party. To his credit Paul D. Ryan, former Vice Presidential candidate, voted against. The Democratically controlled Senate easily passed the debt raise legislation along party lines 55-43.
Why is this a sign of an impending fiscal collapse? The debt ceiling has been raised 76 times since March 1962, including 18 times under Ronald Reagan, eight times under Bill Clinton, seven times under George W Bush, and seven times under Barack Obama. This is our 14th debt raise in 13 years. We raise it every year to accommodate our need for a “fix.” My point! Congress sadly never says no! Does anyone really believe that our debt-addicted government will ever stop the addiction on its own?
Second, the recently passed five-year Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, popularly called the Farm Bill, costing nearly one trillion dollars, over ten years—a 50% increase over the last one—certainly leaves no room for faith that they will curb their appetite for debt. The 959-page document included the following items considered pork by critics: “$2 million for sheep production and marketing, $10 million for Christmas tree promotion, $170 million for catfish oversight, $119 million for peanut crop insurance, $100 million for organic food research, $150 million to promote farmers markets, $3.3 billion for a cotton income protection plan, $12 million for a “wool research and promotion” program, and $100 million to promote the maple syrup industry. Ironically the 949-page bill spends about $1 billion dollars per page ($956 Billion Farm Bill Loaded with Pork, Your World Cavuto). The Department of Agriculture will also be establishing new federal standards for “the identity of honey.”
The final vote in the Senate was 68-32, with 44 Democrats, 22 Republicans and both independents supporting the measure. The Farm Bill passed in the House of Representatives 234 to 195. Voting yes were 24 Democrats and 171 Republicans. Again, House of Representative leaders Boehner (Speaker), Eric Canter (Majority Leader), and Kevin McCarthy (Majority Whip) voted for the pork filled bill and the 50% increase over the last Farm Bill.
So my friends, how does this pork bestowal to a favored few stop the three billion dollar a day bleed to the national debt, now exceeding $17 trillion? It doesn’t even pretend to try and that is my point, nor does raising the debt ceiling without accompanying cuts. When the bleeding was resisted by at least one political party there was hope. We absolutely must replace our existing House and Senate with those fiscally responsible or there will be a financial collapse. If you are not personally involved in doing so you must begin now. The Tea Party is the only party that gives more than lip service to fiscal responsibility. You may wish be become a part of it.
By Harold Pease PH. D
The year has shown monumental efforts by some to get back to the Constitution. An ever-growing portion of the largely distracted public is finally awakening to the fact that they are losing freedom and that both parties are responsible. Let us review those monumental moments of 2013 each of which have been covered extensively by us in previous columns.
We began the year with what was called “successionitis”—a desire of some of the people to leave the Union—not seen in the United States since the Civil War. Fifteen states posted over 25,000 signatures with Texas posting 116,000 by itself. The President closed down his site to further counting. With his refusal to allow further counting and the establishment media’s refusal to continue coverage, the issue was squelched. Discontent with the federal government not following the Constitution and the resultant loss of freedom (especially cited were NDAA and TSA) were said to be the reasons for the backlash by those participating.
This was followed by the 2013 Sheriffs’ Rebellion wherein by mid-February, 336 elected county sheriffs had signed pledges that they will not enforce any unconstitutional gun control laws or executive orders—seventeen of them in California. Nine states refused to comply. The Utah Sheriff’s Association made the strongest statement aimed directly at the President. “We, like you, swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.” Wyoming’s new “Firearm Protection Act,” threatened federal officials with up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines if convicted of attempting to enforce unconstitutional statutes or decrees infringing on the gun rights of Wyoming citizens. Kentucky has enacted something similar and reportedly, Missouri and Texas have similar legislation pending.
Also in February thousands gathered from California to New York and from Florida to Alaska, on February 23, to remind the federal government that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” They were saying, in effect, “Back off Mr. President with your executive orders and Congress with your proposed new laws, you are on sacred Constitutional soil.” The establishment press was weak, almost non-existent, in its coverage. The 124 cities participating largely had to enter their own pictures of their event on the Internet to get coverage—so weak was press response. Seventeen such rallies were held in California alone, a state already sensitive to the loss of gun right freedoms and threatened with more of the same by a largely hostile democratically controlled State Legislature.
On March 6, 2013, one man stood on the Senate floor arguing for 13 hours, even against his own party, to prevent the President’s use of drone strikes to kill Americans on U.S. soil. Without Tea Party support Rand Paul would have been alone. The phrase, Stand With Rand” became popular overnight. Senator Paul wanted assurance from the President that he would never do this to us as he had Americans in other lands. The assurance finally came the next day from Eric Holder but it was far from convincing.
Summer brought the “Gang of Eight” and immigration reform that had every appearance of just another amnesty. S. 744 did nothing to improve border security or immigration enforcement and the House, resisting the pressure to be railroaded, has chosen not to act upon the Senate’s favorable vote until 2014. The Tea Party Patriot movement played an important role in revealing it’s numerous defects.
The year brought an outbreak of media coverage of the National Security Administration’s, NSA, spying on over 100 million Americans, recording their telephone conversations, emails, and other electronic messages for the last seven years. Attention turned to, “Whatever happened to congressional or judicial oversight?” Included in the revelations was the 35 years of FISA court’s special surveillance requests on 34,000 citizens, with virtually no denials. This has caused many to look to the Constitution for protection from their own government. They asked, “Is government spying on its own citizens constitutional?” Edward Snowden said no and intentionally shared with the world that which our government was doing to us and everybody else. He helped give us focus on our government’s serious violations of Amendments I, IV, V and even VI. To millions he was a hero.
In the Fall of the year, Barack Obama, by himself, in total defiance of the Constitution Art. I, Sec. 8, Clause 11, almost took us into war by his intention to, send a “missile across the bow of a Syrian ship.” He was supported in his doing so by Secretary of State, John Kerry and Republican power Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. At least 60% of Americans did not support another no-win war and the President backed down.
In November Senator Ted Cruz stood for 21 hours and 19 minutes, once again mostly by himself with but Tea Party support. Our national debt at 17 trillion dollars, the highest in our history, with Obama responsible for seven trillion of that number in the last five years, was central to his stand. The Republicans had not shut down the government as the media said. Instead they fully funded the government with the exception of Obamacare. More and more people are realizing that the U.S. is going to experience a fiscal collapse unless we return to fiscal responsibility—a core principle of the Tea Party movement. Senator Cruz opposed the debt-ceiling rise as another always follows.
More than half of the states showed their resistance to Obamacare by opting out of exchanges. Resistance to it mounted exponentially when the government website did not work as promised and when the people realized that the President knowingly sold his forced care plan under the false premise that they could keep their doctor and their existing healthcare plan. Most Americans now oppose it.
Seemingly those who damage the Constitution always win. But this year, 2013, had many victories. Let us remember with gratitude those who did stand for freedom and remove from power those who did not. Happy New Year my liberty loving friends!!
By Harold Pease, PH D.
Congress just passed the gigantic $625 billion dollar sweeping National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 with a vote in the House 350 to 69 and in the Senate 84 to 15. Establishment media coverage seemed to center on what did not make it into the act such as, a crackdown on sexual assault in the military and provisions making it easier to close Guantanamo, rather than upon what did. Most maintained the image that the annual act merely funded the military for another year, as has been the case formerly. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Left in place was the extremely controversial 2012 provision authorizing the military, under presidential authority, to arrest, kidnap, and detain without trial, and held indefinitely, American citizens thought to “represent an enduring security threat to the United States.” Simply stated it defied Habeas Corpus (your constitutional right not to disappear at the hand of government), the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (preventing the military from having a law enforcement function in the United States), and essentially gutted large portions of the Bill of Rights especially amendments 4, 5, and 6 with secondary damage to 1, 2 and possibly 8. It is the single most dangerous law passed by Congress in U.S. History.
Only socialists and Tea Party advocates seemed to understand that a non-specific definition of terrorism, such as that noted above, can easily be turned into a revolving definition of terrorism and used to wipe out either an opposing party or philosophy. Imagine being arrested, kidnapped, and secretly shipped to Guantanamo Bay for defending the Constitution. Such is possible under the 2012 version left unchanged. Republican President Richard Nixon used the IRS to persecute his political enemies in the 1970’s, as has Democratic President Barack Obama in the last five years. Neither political party is exempt from fault on this version. Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain pushed it through the Senate and Democrat President Barack Obama, promised to veto it, then signed it. Sadly only 2012 presidential candidates Ron Paul and Rick Santorum opposed it.
Unfortunately the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 is still unconstitutional, still unacceptable, and even more dangerous than its predecessor. Newly added is Section 1071(a) which authorizes the Secretary of Defense to “establish a center to be known as the ‘Conflict Records Research Center’” authorized to compile a “digital research database including translations and to facilitate research and analysis of records captured from countries, organizations, and individuals, now or once hostile to the United States.” Section 1071 (g) is more explicit defining a captured record as “a document, audio file, video file, or other material.” This effectively expands the surveillance of the Bush 43 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) defining, as never ending, the War on Terrorism and his resultant Patriot Act, requiring citizens to report certain activities of other citizens. Factor in the government’s several expensive NSA facilities especially those of Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Bluffdale, Utah, the latter of which is designed to accommodate a yottabyte of information. Factor in also the known collection by NSA of every email, telephone conversation, social media post, and text, of every U.S. citizen for the last eight years and it is easy to see why the federal government now wants a Conflict Records Research Center.
Only the following U.S. Senators understood the danger to the Constitution and freedom by voting against: Barrasso (WY), Coburn (OK), Corker (TN), Crapo (ID), Cruz (TX), Enzi (WY), Flake (AZ), Lee (UT), Merkley (OR), Paul (KY), Risch (ID), Sanders (VT), Sessions (AL), Shelby (AL), Wyden (OR). Senators not listed do not understand the Constitution and its checks and balances enough to merit your vote regardless of which political party they represent.
Perhaps Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz said it best when he told his constituents: “Today I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act. I am deeply concerned that Congress still has not prohibited President Obama’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens arrested on American soil without trial or due process. The Constitution does not allow President Obama, or any President, to apprehend an American citizen, arrested on U.S. soil, and detain these citizens indefinitely without a trial.” We agree and that is why the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 is still dangerous, still unconstitutional and still unacceptable in a free country!!