Tag Archives: Constitution

Gimme Some Truth: John Lennon Tells It Like It Is, by John Whitehead

Some harsh truths about “our” government. From John Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“You gotta remember, establishment, it’s just a name for evil. The monster doesn’t care whether it kills all the students or whether there’s a revolution. It’s not thinking logically, it’s out of control.”—John Lennon (1969)

Long before Bette Midler was roundly condemned for tweeting “Women, are the n-word of the world,” John Lennon—never one to pull his punches—proclaimed in song “Woman Is the Nigger of the World.”

Unlike Midler and the rest of the politically correct world, which refuses to say, let alone print, the word “nigger” lest they be accused of racism, Lennon didn’t just use the “n” word—he wrote a whole song about it and included it on his 1972 album Some Time In New York City.

Titled “Woman Is the Nigger of the World,” the song—with lyrics inspired and co-written by Yoko Ono—has Lennon’s brand of truth-telling stamped all over it:

Woman is the nigger of the world
Yes she is, think about it
Woman is the nigger of the world
Think about it, do something about it

We make her paint her face and dance
If she won’t be a slave, we say that she don’t love us
If she’s real, we say she’s trying to be a man
While putting her down we pretend that she is above us
Woman is the nigger of the world, yes she is
If you don’t believe me take a look to the one you’re with
Woman is the slave to the slaves
Ah yeah, better scream about it.

Blackballed by most radio stations, the controversial song was widely condemned as racist and anti-woman.

The song was neither.

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A Silver Lining, by Robert Gore

A political victory only, not a stand on principle.

No lion, tiger, bear, or wolf would, if it could choose, give up its claws or fangs. No poisonous snake or spider would surrender its venom. Only humans voluntarily abandon their means of survival.

Reason is humans’ tool of survival and separates them from the other animals. The Oxford Dictionary defines reason as: “the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.” Ayn Rand had it right when she warned that reason was under sustained attack. It has only intensified since her death in 1982.

Anybody can accuse anybody of committing a crime. The longstanding legal presumption is that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Given a guilty judgment’s consequences, the burden necessarily falls on accusers to prove guilt. If it did not, mere accusation would be a verdict leading to punishment of the accused, or Salem Witch Trial justice.

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Is There Enough of America Left To Be Saved?, by Paul Craig Roberts

The individual rights the government protects has dwindled to the point that very few are left. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

As many readers of this website have noticed, the United States has lost its character and become a dysfunctional society. In place of a largely homogeneous population once united in veneration of the Constitution, there exists today massive diversity which Identity Politics has used to disunite the population into separate interest groups.

No clause or article of the Constitution, nor the Bill of Rights, is safe. The George W. Bush and Obama regimes destroyed two of the most important protections of civil liberty—habeas corpus and due process. Bush declared indefinite imprisonment on suspicion alone without evidence or trial. Obama declared execution of US citizens on accusation alone without due process. The Justice (sic) Department wrote legal memos justifying torture, thus destroying the constitutional protection against self-incrimination. One of the authors of the memos is now a professor of law at UC Berkeley. The other is now a federal judge, indications that respect for the Constitution and enforcement of US and international laws against torture is fading in law schools and the federal judiciary.

A third important protection of civil liberty—freedom of speech which is necessary for the discovery of truth and to serve justice—is being destroyed. Apple, Google/Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, university speech codes, legislation against protesting Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians, and the presstitute media that has been turned into a propaganda organ in behalf of vested interests are all actively involved in protecting lies against truth.

Glenn Greenwald reported that “the single greatest threat to free speech in the West — and in the U.S. — is the coordinated, growing campaign to outlaw and punish those who advocate for, or participate in, activism to end the Israeli occupation” of Palestine.https://theintercept.com/2016/02/16/greatest-threat-to-free-speech-in-the-west-criminalizing-activism-against-israeli-occupation/

To continue reading: Is There Enough of America Left To Be Saved?

Would the Founding Fathers Recognize Modern America? by Bill Bonner

Every year on Independence Day SLL tries to post at least one article pointing out that Americans are hardly independent, and the government we’ve got is light years from what the founders envisioned. This year Bill Bonner saves us the trouble of writing that article. From Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is one of the most remarkable things in nature. The animal apparently digests itself, using enzymes triggered by hormones. Then, from the pupa, a whole new animal develops – one with wings.

Time and growth produce changes in institutions, too. Sometimes, they merely get bigger and older. Sometimes, they go through a metamorphosis and change into something very different.

We recently moved back to France for the summer. We lived here for nearly 20 years… and still have a house in the country, to which we retire every summer.

Here, we find our old friends and acquaintances… our old clothes and shoes… our tools and workshop… our tractor… and our favorite office.

And what a pleasure… there, on the table next to the bed, was a copy of Michel De Jaeghere’s great book, Les Derniers Jours: La Fin de l’Empire Romain d’Occident (The Last Days: The End of the Roman Empire in the West).

We picked it up and found where we left off a year ago… page 321.

Roman Example

Many of the founders of the American Republic were readers and scholars. “I can’t live without books,” said Jefferson.

He, Monroe, Madison, Adams, and others were much more aware of Roman history than our leaders today. Most had studied Latin and/or Greek.

They had read Plutarch, Seneca, Sallust, Suetonius, and Cicero.

Much was known about the Roman era… and much was discussed. People believed they could learn from it and do better.

In the same year that the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his masterpiece, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

The Founding Fathers were well aware of the transition – natural, and perhaps inevitable – from republic to empire. They had studied it in the Roman example. They had seen how it drew power into a few hands… and corrupted them.

They tried to prevent it from happening in the New World, putting in place limits… circuit breakers… and checks and balances… to keep the government from becoming too big, too ambitious, or too powerful.

Even then, they were doubtful that it would stick. “We give you a republic…” Franklin wrote to posterity, “if you can keep it.”

America did keep it… for nearly 100 years. Maybe a few more. Then, the metamorphosis occurred. And, like Rome, it was not very pretty.

To continue reading: Would the Founding Fathers Recognize Modern America?

There Is No ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card for the President, by John W. Whitehead

What President Trump doesn’t know about the Constitution would fill a multi-volume set. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.“—Richard Nixon

Someone needs to alert Donald Trump: there is no “Get Out of Jail Free” card just for being president.

According to Trump’s Twitter feed, he believes that he has an absolute right to pardon himself of any crimes for which he might be charged while serving in office.

He’s not alone in this imperial belief.

Two of Trump’s lawyers have attempted to float the idea that “the president’s powers are so broad as to make it impossible for him to have obstructed justice.”

Rudy Giuliani, another of Trump’s enablers, insists that Trump could even get away with shooting the FBI director in the Oval Office and not be prosecuted for murder. “In no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted,” Giuliani argued, claiming a president’s constitutional powers are that broad.

It’s a losing argument.

Back in 1974, four days before Richard Nixon resigned, the Department of Justice concluded, “Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the president cannot pardon himself.”

To suggest otherwise, to empower the President to chart his own course and establish his own rules, not bound by the legislative or judicial branches of the government, is to effectively place him “above the law.”

In operating above the law, the president thus becomes a law unto himself—a dictator, an imperial overlord, a king.

Yet the United States government—a constitutional republic—is predicated on the notion that the law is supreme, and that no person, no matter how high-ranking, is able to flout it.

In other words, in America, the law is king.

That is the ideal that Thomas Paine put forth in his revolutionary treatise Common Sense. As Paine observed, “But where, say some, is the king of America? … The world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”

When we refer to the “rule of law,” that’s constitutional shorthand for the idea that everyone is treated the same under the law, everyone is held equally accountable to abiding by the law, and no one is given a free pass based on their politics, their connections, their wealth, their status or any other bright line test used to confer special treatment on the elite.

To continue reading: There Is No ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card for the President

Bill Bradley, Call Your Bookie, by Andrew P. Napolitano

Andrew P. Napolitano analyzes the constitutional law behind the Supreme Court’s recent decision on sports betting. From Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

In 1992, Congress passed a statute authored by then-Sen. Bill Bradley of New Jersey, who was a former Princeton University and New York Knicks basketball superstar, prohibiting the states from authorizing sports betting. At that time, gambling in Atlantic City was flourishing, and notwithstanding one of its own senators’ efforts to keep gambling away from competitive sports, the state of New Jersey wanted to duplicate Las Vegas’ success with sports betting.

When Bradley’s legislation grandfathered the state of Nevada, legislators in New Jersey came up with an idea to get around the federal legislation that would permit Atlantic City casinos to compete with those in Las Vegas by repealing all laws about sports betting, thereby escaping the federal prohibition on “authorizing” sports betting. It would be up to the casinos to set up their own betting parlors for college and professional sports, and in so doing, they could increase their own bottom lines and thus the state’s tax revenues.

When major professional sports leagues and the NCAA challenged this, a federal district court in Newark read the ‘thou shalt not authorize’ language to mean ‘thou shalt not permit under any circumstances.’ That ruling was upheld by a federal appeals court in Philadelphia, and New Jersey appealed its case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in its favor earlier this week.

Get ready to call your bookie.

The Supreme Court decision reinforces the anti-commandeering jurisprudence of the 10th Amendment, which was dormant from the New Deal era to the mid-1990s. Recall that the states formed the federal government, not the other way around. When they did so, they delegated certain areas of governmental authority to the feds, and as new states were added to the Union, they did the same.

The 10th Amendment is the constitutional recognition of the truism that the legislative powers that the states did not delegate to Congress they retained for themselves.

To continue reading: Bill Bradley, Call Your Bookie

WSJ: “Mueller’s Investigation Crosses the Legal Line”, by Steven Calabresi

Robert Mueller is exercising power far beyond his assigned remit, which is presumably the investigation of Russian collusion witht the Trump campaign. From Steven Calabresi at The Wall Street Journal via zerohedge.com:

The Wall Street Journal continues to counter the liberal mainstream media’s anti-Trump-ness with today’s op-ed from Steven Calabresi, who served as a special assistant to Attorney General Edwin Meese (1985-87) and a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia (1987-88). Calabresi proclaims that Mueller’s investigation has crossed the legal line, explaining that it’s unconstitutional under ‘Morrison vs Olson’ – the decision, not the dissent…

Via The Wall Street Journal,

Judge T.S. Ellis has expressed skepticism about the scope of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. “What we don’t want in this country is… anyone with unfettered power,” Judge Ellis, who is to preside over the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, told prosecutor Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben May 4. “So it’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me that the special prosecutor has unlimited powers.”

Judge Ellis is right to be skeptical. Mr. Mueller’s investigation has crossed a constitutional line, for reasons the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in the 1988 case Morrison v. Olson. That case is best known for Justice Antonin Scalia’s powerful lone dissent arguing that the post-Watergate independent counsel statute was unconstitutional. But Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s opinion for the court, while upholding the statute, set forth limits that the Mueller investigation has exceeded.

At issue is the Constitution’s Appointments Clause, which provides that “principal officers” must be appointed by the president with the Senate’s consent. Rehnquist wrote that independent counsel Alexia Morrison qualified as an “inferior officer,” not subject to the appointment process, because her office was “limited in jurisdiction” to “certain federal officials suspected of certain serious federal crimes.”

Mr. Mueller, in contrast, is investigating a large number of people and has already charged defendants with many different kinds of crimes, including – as in Mr. Manafort’s case – ones unrelated to any collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia. That’s too much power for an inferior officer to have. Only a principal officer, such as a U.S. attorney, can behave the way Mr. Mueller is behaving. Mr. Mueller is much more powerful today than any of the 96 U.S. attorneys. He is behaving like a principal officer.

To continue reading: WSJ: “Mueller’s Investigation Crosses the Legal Line”