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New video series on the Constitution soon to be posted on blog

You received two articles last week so as to have the one on the Declaration of Independence in a timely manner. There is no new article for today.

Today’s posting is to alert you to the soon to be video series on the Constitution free on LibertyUnderFire.org. We believe it to be the easiest and fastest way to get up to speed on the U.S. Constitution that presently is under the greatest attack in its history. It is the only way back to universal prosperity and liberty. Readers know that we have lost so much the last two decades. It is imperative that all who love liberty become devout constitutionalists first before loyalty to any party. It is that serious. In fact, readers know that I do not use the words conservative or liberal as they are so divisive. Why create your own opposition. Everyone should be a constitutionalist. Those opposed to the Constitution are thus forced to be seen for what they are and opposition to the Constitution is not an equal alternative view. They thus are force to defend themselves not against you but against the one document that everyone serving in any position of leadership is required by oath to pledge loyalty to. You will be notified when they are posted. Dr. Harold Pease

For most of our history no one paid income tax. Why now?

Dr. Harold Pease

As a nation under the U.S. Constitution we are 224 years old. It may surprise readers to learn that for most of these years, 124 to be exact, we had no established federal income tax and handled our national debt quite well. Today most pay at least a fourth of their income to the federal government. Prior to 1913 you kept for yourself what is now taken from you. And what would you now spend it on were it not taken? Not on the basics such as food, housing, and utilities for they are covered in what you are allowed to take home. You would spend the extra fourth of your salary on thousands of items that are made by others as well as services you might like. This not only would enrich your life but it would provide millions of jobs for others making those items or providing those services as well. Many middle class folks could purchase a new car every year with what they are forced to give to the federal government.

Would you spend it more wisely than the federal government? Certainly! Most of the money taken from you by the federal government is spent on perpetual war, foreign aid, grants to privileged portions of our society, and endless unconstitutional subsidized programs; the last two of which basically take the money of those who produce and redistributing it to those who do not. Even some non-tax payers get income tax refunds—so corrupt is the system. Of course, those receiving and benefiting from these areas will defend them. But the fact remains that tax monies provide largely government jobs, which are almost entirely consumption jobs (jobs that consume the production of society but produce nothing consumable). Such jobs cannot produce for public consumption a potato, a carton of milk, or even a can of hair spray. They bring another guy to the table to eat, but not another to produce something to eat.

What largely brought about the give-away programs of the Twentieth Century was the now 100-year-old 16th Amendment—the federal income tax. All three 1912 presidential candidates Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson, and their respective parties, wanted this financial water faucet that they could turn on at will. They could purchase anything—even people. Prior to 1913 the federal government remained mostly faithful to her grants of power in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which left them with only four powers: to tax, pay the debts, provide for the general welfare and provide for the common defense. Because the federal government has the inclination to maximize their authority the last two power grants, general welfare and common defense, each had eight qualifiers to harness them more fully. Out side these four powers the federal government had no power to tax or spend.

General welfare then meant everyone equally and at the same time as opposed to “specific welfare” or “privileged welfare” as it is today, targeting those to forfeit and those to receive monies. The Constitution did not deny states, counties, or cities from having such programs, only the federal government. But politicians soon learned that the more they promised to the people, from the money of others, the easier it was to get elected and stay elected.

The problem with the federal government going off the list and funding things clearly not on it was that each time they did so the stronger the inclination to do so again. One minor departure begets another until one notices that what the federal government does has little or no relationship to the list. I ask my students what would happen if they took one lolly-pop to kindergarten and gave it to one child? What would the others say? Where is mine? Or, I give one student the answers to the next exam and the others find out. What would they say? Try taking away long provided benefits from a privileged group, as for example food stamps, and see how popular you are with that voting group in the next election.

So why does the government now need a fourth of everything you make and it is still not enough? Because we went off the listed powers of the Constitution and every departure required more taxpayer funding, that is why. The answer to less tax is less government. A side benefit is more freedom. The productive classes would not be hurt as might be supposed. Seldom do they qualify for the federally subsidized programs anyway. The fourth taken from the productive classes would be spent by them thus creating a haven of jobs of which those who wished to work could and would have no excuse not to. The cycle of dependency would be drastically reduced. The federal government would no longer be an enabler to those not working. States would decide for themselves what assistance programs they could afford with some states offering more and others less as the Tenth Amendment mandates.

So, how did we cover the expenses of the federal government—even wars—our first 124 years? Products coming into the country were assessed a fee to market in the U.S. called a tariff. Ironically we got product producers in other countries to cover our national expenses and thus we were able to spend, on ourselves, every cent of what the federal government now takes, which inadvertently stimulated the economy. I am certain that there is someone out there that could find a supposition in the above to fault, but no one should be able to argue that our approaching $16.7 trillion national debt is fair, has really worked for any of us, and is a better plan. I personally like the idea of being able to purchase a new car every year.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

America’s Clandestine War in Africa

By Dr. Harold Pease

A year ago last October, I wrote of President Barack Obama’s clandestine operation in central Africa called Operation Lightning Thunder, involving 100 U.S. military “advisers,” sent by the President to help capture the allusive child abuser Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army. Congress was informed of the engagement by letter October 14, 2011, but reportedly troops were already on site two days before, so the letter was decidedly not asking for permission to use armed forces in a foreign country as is required by the Constitution. I wrote then that our involvement would escalate but I had no idea that it was to include all 54 African nations.

Of course, nothing more was said of Kony who was never found, making it now appear that he was but an excuse for our penetration of the continent with forces from Afghanistan as we wind down our involvement there. An expanded military presence in Africa must have started with George W. Bush, his last two years in office, as “about a dozen air bases have been established in Africa since 2007” (“US expands secret intelligence operations is Africa” Washington Post, June 13, 2007).

The Washington Post reported last June, “The U.S. military is expanding its secret intelligence operations across Africa, establishing a network of small air bases to spy on terrorists hideouts from the fringes of the Sahara to jungle terrain along the equator, according to documents and people involved in the project.” Presently they use small private planes equipped “with hidden sensors that can record full motion video, track infrared heat patterns, and vacuum up radio and cellphone signals, the planes refuel on isolated airstrips … extending their effective flight range by thousands of miles.” The operations have intensified in recent months under Obama, the Post revealed, and include commando units who “train foreign security forces and perform aid missions, but they also include teams dedicated to tracking and killing suspected terrorists.”

In a recent article, “White House widening covert war in North Africa,” AP reported that an expanded U. S. role is anticipated and that Delta Force units eventually “will form the backbone of a military task force responsible for combating al-Qaida and other terrorist groups across the region with an arsenal that includes drones.” Col. Tim Nye, Special Operations Command spokesman “would not discuss the missions and or locations of its counter-terrorist forces’ except to say that special operations troops are in 75 countries daily conducting missions” (October 2, 2012, by Kimberly Dozier). Conducting daily missions in 75 countries!!! That was what was reported. Where is Congress?

Some of us remember when the Soviets invited Cuban mercenaries to “Sovietize” the African continent in the mid 1970’s to help offset Cuban debt to the USSR. More than 25,000 Cuban troops were in Angola in 1975 and “advisors” were in neighboring countries as well. The world was not favorably impressed with this blatant communist overreach of military power. Nor is it today as we seek to enlarge our colonial control over Africa on the pretense that we are only defending America.

Global Research was even more explicit. In an article “America’s Shadow Wars in Africa” it went into greater detail (Nick Turse, July 13, 2012). Although Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, with “more than 2,000 U.S. personnel stationed there” is the “Pentagon’s showpiece African base,” there are many “nodes” of U.S. military presence elsewhere: three in Kenya, two in Uganda, two in Central African Republic, one in South Sudan, and one in Ethiopia. They specifically named the places. “Outposts of all sorts are sprouting continent-wide, connected by a sprawling shadow logistics network. Most American bases in Africa are still small and austere, but growing ever larger and more permanent in appearance,” they wrote. Add to this the extensive counter-terrorism training provided by the United States in Algeria, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Lesotho, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia. With respect to the size of U.S. forces on the continent at any one given time, they added, “On an average basis, there are approximately 5,000 U.S. Military and DoD [Department of Defense] personnel working across the continent.”

With respect to just why we need a military presence in every country in Africa, AFRICOM Commander General Carter Ham said, “The absolute imperative for the United States military [is] to protect America, Americans, and American interests … [to] protect us from threats that may emerge from the African continent.” No thought is given to protecting them from us. If this is our mindset why not conquer all continents? Perhaps it is. Perhaps this is the New World Order that is referenced by so many. We certainly appear to be the world’s policeman. Unfortunately our presence creates perpetual enemies, which creates perpetual war. Someone benefits from this “colonial styled occupation” but it is neither you nor I.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

If Something is Wrong with a Law the Supreme Court will Stop it. Wrong!!

By Dr. Harold Pease

How many times have I heard that if something is wrong with a law of Congress the Supreme Court will stop it and that the Court is totally independent of Congress? Both views are decidedly incorrect. Supreme Court members may, in fact, agree that something is unconstitutional but they, by themselves, or as a body, are helpless in blocking it unless it is first challenged by someone else.

The Supreme Court may not interfere with any law unless someone is hurt or damaged by it and is able and willing to challenge the law, over a long period of time, with the likelihood of a costly but doubtful conclusion. In other words, much that is unconstitutional goes unchallenged by the Court and, if not challenged, becomes past practice and later is often used to support new alterations to the Constitution. The Court is only a partial check on constitutional law. Congress, the body charged with making all law, as per Article I, Section I, is to responsibly check itself with the Constitution. Members of Congress take an oath to do so. The voter does not take an oath but is expected to have greater loyalty to the Constitution then to political party, to be familiar enough with the Constitution to spot indiscretions, and to remove those who would defile it through ignorance or intent.

Like the legislative and executive branches, the Supreme Court too has a list of power. We count eleven. The Constitutions reads, “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;–to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;–to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;–to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;–to Controversies between two or more States; –between a State and Citizens of another State,– between Citizens of different States,–between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects” (See Article III, Section II.

Again, the judicial branch too is limited by a list, and case types not listed are not federal jurisdiction. If a list did not exist the Supreme Court could adjudicate wherever it wished which clearly was not the intent of the Founders. Although not constitutionally required, it is a good idea for the Court to identify one of the eleven powers that gives it jurisdiction before it takes on a case and again when a decision is rendered. Such would remind it, and sometimes us, of its limited role.

In fact, unbeknownst to most, The Supreme Court may not be permitted to render judgment in a case if Congress puts them on notice not to. Congress was given much say with respect to the cases the Court could adjudicate. In only two of the case types noted on the list—public servants and those when a state is involved—does the Court have sole, or uncontested power. In all others Congress retains oversight, which means that they can deny the Court from adjudicating altogether and/or influence the Court’s decision. Again the Constitution reads, “In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” Notice the difference between original and appellate jurisdiction. Also notice the wording, “under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” Unfortunately, Congress has never used this power to “rein in” an unruly Court but it remains constitutional should they choose to do so.

Bottom line, the Supreme Court was never given the authority to exam all laws of Congress weeding out those that were “wrong” (constitutionally questionable), nor was it ever created to be entirely independent from Congress. Yes, it is a separate branch of government but Congress was left a definite supervisory roll over it. Do your members of Congress know this?

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

Should we be frightened with what the government has done the last six months?

By Dr. Harold Pease

What follows are six major changes to traditional constitutional procedure that have happened the past six months, none of which through the change process required in Article V of the Constitution, but each will adversely affect the distribution of power in this country and how we define liberty in the future. This time period could very well be the most radical six-month period of constitutional change in U.S. history. Should we be concerned with, or worse, frightened by, our own government?

We begin on New Years Eve with the President signing into law the 600-plus pages National Defense Authorization Act which, among other things, authorizes the military to seize and transport U.S. citizens from U.S. soil to Guantanamo Bay on the presumption that they are terrorists. The threat of potential indefinite incarceration without recourse to lawyer, judge and trial is unconscionable in a free society. The new law ends the writ of habeas corpus found in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution and Posse Comitatus protection (protection from ones own armed forces). It also lays waste to much of the Bill of Rights, notably Amendments 4, 5, 6, and 8. Its intimidation potential will impact free speech, press, and assembly as well. Local law enforcement is essentially bi-passed.

Then in February, The National Operations Center (NOC), a part of The Department of Homeland Security, released its “Media Monitoring Initiative” giving itself permission to “gather, store, analyze, and disseminate” data on millions of users of social media, primarily Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. So far they appear less concerned with the information on the average Joe or Jane, although all is kept just in case, as they deal with unmanaged journalists and bloggers. These are defined as those who use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed,” such as myself. Targeted are those who post articles, comments, or other information to popular web outlets. It is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

In March we saw and heard Joint Chief of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, each, in testimony given to the Senate Armed Services Committee, inferred that the authority that they depended upon for military purposes came not from Congress, as required in the U. S. Constitution, but from unelected UN or NATO authorities. Disbelieving what he heard, Senator Jeff Sessions repeatedly inquired in different ways only to be given the same answer.

Also, on March 16, President Barack Obama issued his National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order authorizing the Executive department to take-over, in case of a national emergency, all civil transportation, including the “movement of persons and property by all modes of transportation … within the United States.” Other things specifically listed to be under his sole control were: all forms of energy, all farm equipment, all food resources, all food resources facilities, all health resources, and all water resources (Section VIII). “National emergency” was never adequately defined. Nor was it explained why the president needed near dictatorial power in a national emergency and had not in crisis heretofore or when this dictatorial power would end. The Order makes The National Security Council and Homeland Security Council the policy-making forum—not Congress.

In June, frustrated by his inability to get through Congress a law on immigration he favored, and tired of making law the constitutional way, President Barack Obama, openly defied Congress and the Constitution on June 16, 2012, by ordering a like measure to that previously defeated, implemented anyway. In a news conference he outlined the general parameters of his “Dream Act” but specifics came from a six-page Memorandum from John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (See FEA Number 306-112-0026), to enforcement personnel, which essentially advised ignoring existing immigration law. Although our empathy goes out to the children of illegals raised in the United States, is it now permissible for future presidents to make law and defy the authority of Congress?

Finally, despite the clear wordage of the Constitution that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives,” the Supreme Court essentially wrote new law by its ruling, in June, on National Health Care. Even Justice Anthony M. Kennedy referred to it as “vast Judicial overreaching” or “Judicial legislation.” So is it now okay if the Court attempts “to force on the nation a new act?”

So, with respect to these six major changes in traditional constitutional procedure occurring the last six months, should we be concerned with, or frightened of, our own government? How can we not be? Think of all the power taken by, or hand delivered to, the office of President. What event awaits us when such will be used? Unless Congress is willing to reverse the above six items, it may very well be making itself, and the Constitution, irrelevant. You can help by refusing to support any candidate who is not aware of, and is actively against, any of the six constitutional procedure changes noted above.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.