Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

Restore The Constitution We Have By Learning What It Means!

By Publius Huldah

Our Constitution really was a 5000 Year Miracle.

The attached pdf chart illustrates the Miracle.  You can download it and print it out.

Rights come from God, and the purpose of civil governments is to secure the rights God gave us.

Accordingly, WE THE PEOPLE ordained and established the Constitution for the United States of America wherein we created the federal government. 

A “federal government” is an alliance of Sovereign States associated together in a “federation” with a national government to which is delegated supremacy over the States in specifically defined areas only.

These specifically defined areas are the “enumerated powers” WE delegated to the three branches of the national (“federal”) government.

The States and The People retained all other powers.

The pdf chart depicts the elegant simplicity of our Constitution; lists the few and defined powers WE delegated to the national government for the Country at Large; shows how the powers WE delegated to the national government secure specific God given rights; and shows the retention of all other powers by the States and The People.

Our Constitution isn’t broken!  Our Constitution isn’t outdated. The problem is that WE – who are “the natural guardians” of the Constitution – didn’t bother to learn it.  Since we didn’t bother to learn it, we elected representatives who also hadn’t bothered to learn it.  And so everyone ignores it.

And we abandoned the religious and moral foundation of our Constitution.

It is our own ignorance of our existing Constitution, and the collapse of religion and morality which have brought us to the brink of destruction.

Our Constitution doesn’t need “fixing”!  The only Amendments we need are to repeal some of the previous Amendments we got deceived into approving.

WE THE PEOPLE need “fixing”.  Restoration of our religious and moral foundation and our Constitution is the Answer to the Healing of our Land.

Let the Restoration begin with you.  Share this Article.  Print out the chart.  Study it.  Flesh it out with your own personal readings of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bible.  Have study groups in your home.  You can become a “guardian” of the Constitution. PH

September 1, 2013

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September 1, 2013 Posted by | 10th Amendment, Enumerated Powers of Congress, Federalism, Guardians of the Constitution, Rights, States Retained Powers | , , , , , | 18 Comments

God-given Rights, Man-made Anti-rights, and why “Safety Nets” are Immoral

By Publius Huldah.

It is the dogma of our time that proponents of government safety net programs hold the moral high ground. Accordingly, Democrats preen over their own “compassion”; and Republicans chime in that they too “believe in safety net programs”.

But safety net programs are unconstitutional and immoral.  They are unconstitutional because “charity” is not one of the enumerated powers of the federal government.1

They are immoral because they are based on a fabricated system of man-made anti-rights which negate the Rights God gave us.

I

The Origin of Rights and the Purpose of Civil Government

The Declaration of Independence sets forth the Principles which were fleshed out – more or less perfectly – in Our Constitution.

The key is the 2nd paragraph, which begins:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…” [emphasis added]

The Bible shows that God gave us a great many rights such as to earn, keep, and inherit private property; to defend ourselves; to worship God; and to live our lives free from meddling and interference as long as  we observe the God-given Rights of others.

But men are not angels.  Evil men seek to take God given Rights away from others.  Evil men seek to exercise power over others.

That is why we need civil government – to restrain the wicked.  Without civil government, we would be in anarchy, always defending ourselves from those who seek to do whatever they want with our lives, liberties, persons, and property.2

So!  Rights come from God, and the purpose of civil government is to secure the rights God gave us.

II

Political Power is from The People!

Our Constitution was based on the radical Principle that The People are the original source of political power.

Throughout history, political power has been seen to originate with the King.  This is powerfully illustrated by King John I in the movie “Robin Hood” with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchet. King John saw his Will as “law”, and the People as “subjects” to his Will.

But in this Country, WE THE PEOPLE ordained and established the Constitution and created a federal government.  And the federal government We created was subject to us.

The Preamble to our Constitution, “WE THE PEOPLE of the United States”, is our assertion that We are the source of political power, and We are the creators of the federal government. 3

III

Federalism & Enumerated Powers

We created a “federal” government.  A “federal” government is an alliance of Sovereign and Independent States associated together in a federation with a general or national government to which is delegated supremacy over the States in specifically defined areas only.

In Federalist Paper No. 45 (9th para), James Madison, Father of our Constitution, explains the separate spheres of operation of the federal and State governments. Only a few enumerated powers are delegated to the federal government – all other powers are reserved by the States:

“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 … the powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order …and prosperity of the State.”

So! What are these specifically defined areas where We delegated to our “creature” – the federal government – authority over the States?

We listed in the Constitution every power We delegated to each branch of the federal government. These are the “enumerated” powers.4  It is ONLY with respect to these enumerated powers – those listed in the Constitution – that the federal government has lawful authority over the Country at large! 5

  • Does the federal government have authority to issue patents & copyrights? Yes! How do we know?  Because Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 8 delegates this power to Congress.
  • Does the federal government have authority to institute social security, food stamps, Medicare, aid to families with dependent children, and obamacare?  No!  How do we know?  Because these are not listed among the enumerated powers delegated to Congress.

Internationally, Congress and the President have authority to conduct war & national defense (Art I, Sec. 8, cl. 11-16 & Art II, Sec. 2, cl 1); and the President and the Senate have authority to make treaties respecting trade, commerce, and diplomatic relations (Art II, Sec. 2, cl 2).  The lawful objects of treaties are restricted to the enumerated powers.  Accordingly, the President and the Senate may not lawfully enter into the UN Arms Trade Treaty because the Constitution does not permit the federal government to restrict firearms; and further, the 2nd Amendment prohibits the federal government from infringing our pre-existing Right to bear arms. 6

Domestically:

Congress has authority to make laws respecting a uniform commercial system: Specifically, uniform weights & measures, a money system based on gold & silver where CONGRESS (not private bankers such as the fed) regulates the value of money, issue patents & copyrights, make bankruptcy laws, establish post offices and build some roads (Art I, Sec. 8, cl. 4-8).  The President’s duty is to implement the foregoing (Art. II, Sec. 3).

Congress may make, and the President is to enforce, laws respecting who may become a naturalized citizen and the procedures for naturalization (Art I, Sec 8, cl. 4).

The Constitution authorizes Congress to make criminal laws respecting counterfeiting, treason, accepting bribes, and piracy & other felonies committed on the high seas. Congress may make those few criminal laws which are “necessary & proper” to carry out enumerated powers, such as making it a crime to file false claims in federal bankruptcy courts, and to lie under oath in federal court.7

Congress has authority to levy taxes and borrow money and appropriate funds (Art I, Sec. 8, cls 1,2 & Sec 9, cl 7), but ONLY for purposes authorized by the Constitution. So!  Congress may levy taxes to fund the military, to pay the salaries of the people in the patent & copyright office and other constitutionally authorized offices, and to carry out other delegated powers.

With the 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments, the defect in our Constitution permitting slavery was corrected, and Congress was delegated authority to make laws enforcing the Amendments.9

We created federal courts and strictly limited their jurisdiction. The kinds of cases We permit federal courts to hear are itemized at Art. III, Sec. 2, cl. 1. 10

So!  This is basically all We gave the federal government authority to do for the Country at large.

In all other matters, the States – the Members of the Federation – are sovereign and independent.

So “federalism” refers to the form of the government We created in our Constitution – a “federation” of Member States united for limited and enumerated purposes only; with all other powers being retained by the States and The People.

IV

How the federal & State Governments are to go about Securing our God-given Rights

It is not the federal government’s job to secure all our God given Rights, just those appropriate for a “federal” government.  Other rights are secured by the States.

How the God-given Right to Life is Secured:

The federal government is to secure our right to life by military defense (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 11-16); by protecting us from invasion (Art IV, Sec. 4); by prosecuting traitors (Art III, Sec. 3); and by laws against piracy and other felonies committed on the high seas (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 10).

The States reserved the powers to secure our right to life by prosecuting murderers, outlawing abortion, euthanasia, drunk driving, the selling of harmful substances to minors, and imposing quarantines for dangerous contagious diseases. States may have pure food and drug laws. States or local governments may outlaw conditions such as old tires lying around which breed mosquitos, which cause disease.

States also once secured our right to life by means of “support laws” which required family members to care for their own!  Fathers were to provide for their minor children! Adult children for their elderly parents. The Bible requires family members to care for their own – and State laws used to implement this Godly Principle.

  • But in our brave new world, people are no longer obligated to support dependent family members – everyone just goes on a government program. That is what Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, obamacare, are about – relieving people of their Responsibilities imposed by God to themselves and to their own families.
  • Such programs also increase the size and power of the federal government. That’s how we got the Frankensteinian monster it is today.

Securing the God-given Right to Property:

The federal government is to secure our property rights by requiring an honest money system based on gold & silver, and by establishing uniform and honest weights & measures (Art I, Sec. 8, cl 5).  Inflation by means of paper currency and fractional reserve lending is theft; so honest money must be based on precious metals. Honest money and honest weights & measures are called for in the Bible.

The federal government is to secure our property rights by punishing counterfeiters (Art I, Sec. 8, cl 6).

The federal government is to secure our property rights by providing for bankruptcy courts. This permits the orderly dissolution of debtors’ estates with fair treatment of creditors; or the reorganization of financially troubled businesses for the benefit of all (Art I, Sec 8, cl 4).

And the federal government is to secure our property rights by issuing patents & copyrights to inventors and writers to recognize their ownership of their intellectual labors (Art I, Sec 8, cl 8).

The States are to secure our property rights by prosecuting robbers, penalizing negligence, fraud, breach of contract and slander.  States and local governments may impose burning bans when dry weather makes outdoor burning dangerous.  Local governments may make ordinances requiring people to maintain their properties so as not to deflate housing values.

Securing the God-given Right to Liberty:

The federal government secures our right to liberty by laws against slavery (13th Amendment).

But the federal government secures our God-given right to liberty primarily by obeying the Constitution!  The reason our Constitution so strictly limits and enumerates the powers of the federal government is to secure our basic right to be left alone to live our own lives free from meddlesome and interfering do-gooders, tyrants, and bullies.

The States secure our right to liberty by laws against kidnapping, false imprisonment; and by prosecuting rapists, molesters, and muggers.

Securing the God-given Right to Pursue our Own Happiness:

The federal, State, and local governments secure this right by not meddling in our lives!  We have the right to live our own lives free from interference as long as we do not deprive other people of their God-given rights.

Securing the God-given right to a Fair Trial:

The Bible requires civil governments to give fair trials – to citizens and aliens alike.  See, e.g., Dt. 1:16-17, Dt. 19:15-20 & Mt. 18:16; Ex 18:13-26; don’t bear false witness.

Outlawing the Hereditary Class System:

And Remember!  We are all equal before the Law – we all stand on equal footing before God and are supposed to stand on equal footing in human courts.  So our Framers outlawed hereditary aristocracy with its class system: Art I, Sec 9, last clause & Art I, Sec. 10, cl 1 prohibit the federal government and the States from granting Titles of Nobility.

So!  Do you see?  The only proper function of civil governments is to secure the Rights God gave us – and this is how it was to be done.

And note something else about God given rights:  They don’t put us in conflict with each other.  When all civil governments do is secure our God given rights – protect us from foreign invaders and domestic criminals and tortfeasers – the People can live together in peace.

So THIS is the gift our Framers gave us in 1787 when they drafted our Constitution.  But for the last 100 years, we have been letting this gift slip thru our fingers.

V

What Happened?

Why is our Country coming apart?  Why is everybody at everybody else’s throat? Why is our financial system collapsing?  Why has our Country turned into a moral cesspool?

Because we forgot the Principle set forth in our Declaration that the purpose of civil government is to secure our God-given rights – by protecting us from those who seek to take these rights away from us.

And we were seduced into believing that civil government should

  • Provide for our needs; and
  • Protect us from the risks and uncertainties of Life.

But these beliefs are Evil and Destructive. They destroy Countries and individual Human Souls.

VI

A Government which Provides to Some, must Take from Others

HOW do governments provide for our needs?  How do they PAY for the safety net programs progressive Democrats and Republicans love so much?

They take money from some people by force and give it to other people! 

At the beginning, the money was taken from those who paid taxes.  When that pot of money wasn’t sufficient, the governments borrowed money to fund the welfare programs. Now, they can’t borrow enough, so the federal government devised new methods of creating massive debt to be shoved on the backs of our grandchildren and great grandchildren.

This is stealing. The federal government takes money which doesn’t belong to them – they create massive debt to be paid back by future generations – and they give it to people who have their hands out – in exchange for their political support.

All these “safety net” programs: social security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, free day care, head start, forcing hospital ERs to provide free medical care, unemployment compensation, and the like, are all based on taking money from some people (born and unborn) by force and giving it to others.

On the State level, we are told that a free public school education K – 12 is a fundamental “right”. So property owners are taxed heavily to pay for the public schools which have churned out generations of Americans who know nothing and can’t think but have been indoctrinated into a secular statist worldview.

Meanwhile, teachers’ unions and purple-shirted SEIU thugs are screaming for more benefits to be paid into their bloated pockets by taxpayers who make less money than the union thugs!

The welfare state isn’t based on “compassion”.  The welfare state is based on Envy, Coercion & Theft.

THIS is what has set us at each other’s throats: The misuse of governments to rob some of the People for the benefit of favored groupsthe public and private sector unions, businesses owned by Obama fundraisers, and welfare parasites.

Senior citizens were once a favored group, but Seniors will be phased out via Obama’s death panels.

The welfare state with its “safety nets” negates God’s Gift of Liberty, and it violates God’s Laws protecting private property, prohibiting theft, and condemning envy. And when a culture is based on Envy, Coercion and Theft, as ours now is, it is impossible for The People to live in peace with one another.

VII

Living in a Cocoon?  Or as Free and Independent Manly Men and Womanly Women?

We were also seduced into believing that the federal government should protect us from the risks and uncertainties of Life.

And so the federal government regulates and controls all human activity. Under obamacare, bureaucrats in the federal Department of Health & Human Services will control access to medical care!  Education is regulated.  OSHA regulates work conditions. EPA regulates the air and the water and “emissions”. The federal government oversees the wages we pay and get – all arrangements between employers and employees; all human activity is regulated and controlled and taxed.

Obama’s model is the Life of Julia: a single mother dependent on the federal government throughout her life who lives in a cocoon woven around her by the federal government and paid for – by others.

The price of the cocoon is personal liberty and dignity. We exchanged our glorious heritage for a bowl of porridge.

The test for us is this:  Have we become so dependent on handouts, and are we so indifferent to the fate of our grandchildren, that we refuse to stand up to the federal government and tell them all to go to hell?

VIII

The Progressives and the Regulatory Federal Government

This Country was made great by our Forefathers who valued freedom so much that they left their homeland on a dangerous voyage to come here where there was no job, no home, no “safety net”, no nothing but God, wilderness, Liberty, and Opportunity. Our Forefathers came to this Country without health insurance!  Without disability benefits!  Without retirement pensions!

What happened to bring us where we are today – on the brink of social, moral, and financial collapse?

During the late 1880s, Progressivism with its meddlesome and unconstitutional policies arose. The Progressives were going to “fix” everything and “fix” everybody by “regulating” everything and everybody. They would get “experts” to run everything and manage everybody and tell them what to do.

The Progressives did many bad things – I’ll just mention a few:  The federal government started regulating railroads. Congress passed anti-trust legislation and created the federal Food and Drug Administration.

In 1913, the 16th & 17th Amendments were ratified.

The Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913.

Prohibition – the 18th Amendment – was ratified in 1919.  God says we may drink alcohol; but Progressives didn’t agree with that and so banned it.

Federal funding for maternity and child care started.

We moved to the present unconstitutional system of Presidential primaries, and abandoned the procedures for electing Presidents set forth in the 12th Amendment (ratified 1804).

So it was the Progressives – and Teddy Roosevelt was the first Progressive President – who initiated our abandonment of God’s Model for Civil Government, our abandonment of our Constitution, and our descent into the cesspool of Envy, Coercion, Theft, and Dependency.

The Social Security Act was passed in the mid-1930’s, and Medicare in the mid-1960s.

IX

Man-made “Anti-rights”

So today, we are laboring under the ridiculous notion that we have a whole host of “rights” to stuff which is paid for by other people: the “right” to a free public school education; the “right” to a fair wage, paid vacations, maternity leave, and equal pay for equal work; the “right” to an income for when you are old, unemployed, sick, disabled, or whatever; a “right” to a “decent” standard of living including “adequate” food, clothing, housing, medical care, and other social services.

And let us not forget the “right” to free cell phones, the “right” to free birth control, and the “right” to free abortions and abortifacts!

What’s wrong with all these “rights”?

What they all have in common is a claimed “right” to live at other peoples’ expense. They elevate parasitism into a “right”.

All these handouts must all be paid for by someone. And unless other people pay for these freebies voluntarily, the money must be taken from them BY FORCE.  So it turns some of us and our grandchildren and great grandchildren into plucked geese.

That is why the welfare State is evil, immoral, and rotten to the core.  And it is operated by politicians who seek only more and more power for themselves.

THIS is why we are all at each other’s throats.  The people who are getting the handouts want more!  The people who have been paying are sick of paying for the welfare parasites who sit at home watching their big screen TVs eating junk food – all of which is paid for by those who work, along with those who haven’t even been born.

God NEVER gave us the “right” to demand that other people be forced to pay our living expenses and give us free stuff – cell phones and abortion pills!

God NEVER gave us the “right” to force others to subsidize our own failures, vices, weaknesses, or irresponsibility.

Two of the 10 Commandments deal with the sanctity of other peoples’ property.  Not only are we forbidden to steal other peoples’ stuff, we are forbidden to covet it.  Throughout the Bible, God’s Laws uphold the sanctity of private property.

So!  All these man-made Anti-rights negate the God-given Rights because they steal our Property and our Liberty.

The welfare State – socialism – communism – fascism –obama’s blather about “redistribution” and “fairness” are evil and immoral because they are based on a violation of God’s Laws granting us Liberty, upholding the sanctity of private property, and condemning envy and theft.

X

What Should We Do?

We must repent.  We must return to God, our Founding Principles, our Constitution.

We must acknowledge that the present system cannot continue; and that everyone’s favorite “safety net” programs – Social security and Medicare – have done much to destroy The Family and the concept of Personal Responsibility.

The Bible, which we have spurned for a very long time, tells us that families are the primary “welfare” institution. For a very long time, families actually did take care of one another!  Elderly parents died at home with their children.

But today, people see it as the responsibility of the “government” to care for elderly people – to provide them an income and pay their medical expenses.

And when they can no longer take of themselves, they are put in nursing homes where they die … alone.

Social security and Medicare are evil – they corrupted us and destroyed our families. They are bankrupt and filled with fraud. Politicians use them as a tool to manipulate the gullible.

Still, many of our Senior citizens have become dependent on these programs.

So we must phase out these unGodly and unconstitutional programs in an orderly manner.

All taxes need to be reduced dramatically so that people have more money to set aside for themselves and their own families.

The Estate Tax should be eliminated.  In the Bible, the eldest son got the double share of the inheritance because it was his prime responsibility to care for his aged parents.

We must pull together with our families. We must rediscover Personal Responsibility! Until we were corrupted by the Progressives and their evil programs, we were a remarkable People characterized by “goodness”. PH

Endnotes:

1Read the Constitution! “Charity” is not an enumerated power! James Madison said, in opposition to a proposal to give aid to French emigrants, that he could not undertake to lay his finger on that article in the Federal Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 3rd Congress, 1st Session, Jan. 10, 1794, p. 170-171.

2 People in the federal government now do whatever they want with our lives, liberties, property and persons [TSA agents feel us up, the Executive Branch will control our access to medical care, etc.].  The federal government has become destructive of the purposes for which it was created; and since it is violating our Constitution, is ruling without our Consent. Hence, it is illegitimate.

3 Alexander Hamilton referred to the federal government as our “creature” in Federalist No. 33 (5th para); and Thomas Jefferson called it our “creature” in The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 (8th  Resolution).

4 For a discussion of Congress’ Enumerated Powers, go here.  For the enumerated powers of the President, go here.  For the enumerated powers of the federal Courts, go here.

5 Get a pocket copy of our Declaration of Independence and federal Constitution. Using different colors, highlight all references to God, the enumerated powers delegated to Congress, the enumerated powers delegated to the President, and the enumerated powers delegated to the federal courts. You will be amazed.  Then prepare another highlighted copy and send it to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

6 God gave us the Right to hunt for food and to use arms to defend ourselves. Jesus commanded his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy a sword.

7 Most of the criminal laws Congress makes for the Country at large – all drug laws, all laws which pretend to restrict gun ownership, whether sports figures take steroids, etc., etc., etc., are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated to Congress in the Constitution.

8 What is so appalling about John Roberts’ opinion in the obamacare case is that Roberts in effect says that Congress may tax for any purpose whatsoever.

9 The purpose of the 14th Amendment was to protect freed slaves from Southern Black Codes which denied them basic God-given Rights. But the 14th Amendment has been perverted by judges on the supreme Court to create a “right” to kill unborn babies, a “right” to engage in homosexual sodomy, and probably, a soon to be created “right” to homosexual marriage. Do you see?  Human judges claim the power to create “rights”. And note how these judicially fabricated “rights” are contrary to God’s Laws.

10 Many of the cases federal courts decide are outside their constitutional authority to hear: They have no authority to review STATE Laws and STATE Constitutional provisions respecting prayer in schools, posting of the Ten Commandments in public places, abortion, homosexual acts, and homosexual marriage. The supreme Court has long been seizing powers which Art. III, Sec. 2, cl. 1, doesn’t delegate to them. Those judges should be impeached, tried, convicted, kicked off the bench, and prohibited from ever again holding federal office (Art I, Sec. 3, last clause, & Federalist No. 81, 8th para). PH.

August 29, 2012

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August 29, 2012 Posted by | Anti-Rights, Declaration of Independence, Federalism, God-given Rights, man made anti-rights, Medicare, Personal Responsibility, Rights, safety nets for the poor, social safety nets, social security | , , , , , , , , , , | 84 Comments

Refuting The Bad “Health Insurance – Auto Insurance” Analogy: A Lesson In Federalism.

Defending Our Constitution From Its Domestic Enemies.

By Publius Huldah

It has been said, even by some law professors, that Congress can force Americans to buy health insurance because …well, everybody knows that the “government” can force us to buy auto insurance.

Read on, and I will show you how such statements constitute a serious assault on “federalism” and our constitutional Republic. But first, let us hear from some of these professors.

Michael Seidman, professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University Law Center,  appeared on November 14, 2009 on Fox and Friends Saturday. He said, in support of his affirmative answer to the question, “Can Congress force Americans to buy health insurance?”,

…the government, ah you know, the government requires us to buy car insurance, it requires us to to engage in to buy the social security to buy uh social security insurance essentially… [transcribed to the best of my ability]

Nan Hunter, law professor at Georgetown’s O’Neill Institute for Global and National Health Law, gave the Introduction at a debate on October 26, 2009 between Professor Seidman and constitutional attorney David Rivkin.  The topic was “Are health care purchase mandates constitutional?”.  After describing Seidman as “one of the ah leading constitutional law scholars in the nation”, Hunter said,

…it is clear that government can mandate the purchase of private insurance before one engages in certain activities, for example, driving.  It can mandate the purchase of automobile insurance as a quid pro quo for ah legally being able to drive.  However, individuals can elect not to drive and therefore obviously not have to purchase auto insurance…

Timothy Stoltzfuz Jost, law professor at Washington and Lee University, participated in Politico’s September 18, 2009 forum on “Healthcare: Is ‘mandatory insurance’ unconstitutional?”.  Jost wrote that while the “claim” that “health reform” is unconstitutional is a “talking point” “pushed” by “Republicans”, “former Bush officials” such as David Rivkin, Fox News Commentator Andrew Napolitano, town hall attendees, and tea party demonstrators, “[i]t is not…an argument taken seriously by constitutional scholars.”  Jost went on to say,

The only plausible question is whether Congress has the authority under the Interstate Commerce Clause to require individuals to purchase health insurance. The primary difficulty here is that it is hard to think of a precedent where Congress (or for that matter the states, other than Massachusetts with its recent health care reforms) have required residents to purchase a particular product or service. Auto liability insurance mandates come to mind, but these are only imposed on persons who use the public roads.

Thomas J. Whalen, social science professor at Boston University, wrote on the Politico forum:

…the commerce clause seems sufficiently expansive enough [sic] to include mandatory health insurance for all Americans. After all, for some time now we’ve all been required to have auto insurance to operate our motor vehicles. And last time I checked, the Republic is still standing.

Apparently, Whalen is not a lawyer, though his biography informs us that he is an “expert”.   And Jost said i t was “…correct to invite…political experts to respond, because this is not a serious legal issue..”.

So!  While social science professors who agree with Jost are qualified to opine on this constitutional issue; “Republicans”, “former Bush officials” such as constitutional attorney David Rivkin, Judge Andrew Napolitano, town hall attendees and tea party demonstrators are most emphatically not. Their position, you see, is not “serious”.

By their invocation of the auto insurance analogy, such “expert” and “scholarly” professors as Seidman, Hunter, Jost and Whalen show that they have no understanding of “federalism”; or they think you don’t, and they are trying to take advantage of your supposed ignorance. So, is their metaphorical place under the dunce’s cap, or is it Antenora in the Ninth Circle?

What is “federalism”?  “Federal” refers to the form of our government:  An alliance of Sovereign States associated together in a “federation” with a national government to which is delegated supremacy over the States in specifically defined areas.

James Madison, Father of the U.S. Constitution, illustrated “federalism” in Federalist No. 45 (9th para):

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to thefederal 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….[italics added]

Madison explained “federalism” again in Federalist No.39 (3rd para from end):

…the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignity over all other objects…[italics added]

And in Federalist No. 14 (8th para), Madison said:

… the general [federal] government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects...[italics added]

This, Folks, is “federalism”:  The delegation by The People and their States of a few enumerated powers to the “federal” government; and THE RETENTION OF THE GENERAL POWERS – those which “concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people” – BY THE SOVEREIGN PEOPLE AND THEIR STATES.

Article I, Sec. 8, U.S. Constitution, shows that the enumerated powers delegated to the “federal” government are confined to war, a few aspects of commerce (strictly defined), immigration, delivery of our mail, and the establishment of a uniform commercial system (bankruptcy, a monetary system, punishment of counterfeiting, a standard of weights and measures, and issuance of patents and copyrights). That’s basically it!

As Madison said, it is the States which retain an “inviolable sovereignity” over “the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people”.  It is THE STATES which have required drivers to purchase auto insurance! The federal government has no authority under The Constitution to require us to buy any kind of insurance.

By saying that Congress can force you to buy health insurance because “the government” can require you to buy auto insurance, these “scholarly” and “expert” professors are  obliterating “federalism”.  Do they not understand what they are doing?  Or, are they trying to deceive you?

The concept of “federalism” is so easy to grasp that surely these professors can understand it.  After all, some non-lawyers among this writer’s contacts  – even those who attend tea parties and town hall meetings – seem to understand it quite well. PH

December 10, 2009


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December 10, 2009 Posted by | Federalism, Health Care, Health Insurance - Auto Insurance analogy, Michael Seidman, obamacare | | 22 Comments

Where do “Rights” come from? What is “federalism”? Does our Constitution “evolve”? What’s a “Republic”? What is the function of a constitution?

BASIC CONCEPTS OF “GOVERNMENT”

By Publius Huldah

Think NOT that you must have a law degree to understand the Constitution of the United States; or that the lawyers, law professors and black robed judges are the ones who understand it best.  They are the ones who perverted it.  To restore constitutional government, We the People must learn the basic concepts of  “government”; and we must learn the Constitution, elect representatives who will honor their oaths to support it (Art VI, clause 3), and remove from office those who don’t.

The Constitution is a short document which anyone – who makes a reasonable effort – can understand quite well.  You need only  (1) The Declaration of Independence, (2) The Constitution, and (3) The Federalist Papers.   The latter is a collection of 85 essays written for the public by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, and published  during 1787 and 1788, in order to explain the proposed Constitution to the People and to induce them to ratify it. [1] Also, since word meanings can change drastically throughout time [2], if we are to understand the objective meaning of the Constitution – the original intent – we must understand the words the same way the founders understood them.  An American Dictionary of The English Language, Noah Webster (1828), published in facsimile edition, is readily available.

1.  The function of a Constitution is to restrict the power of civil government:

…In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution. (Webster’s 1828)

2.  “Federal” refers to the form of our government:  An alliance of States with close cultural and economic ties associated together in a “federation” with a national government to which is delegated supremacy over the States in specifically defined areas. [3]

3.  A “republic” is “a state in which the exercise of the sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people…” (Webster’s 1828).   A “constitutional republic” is a state in which the representatives (and other officials) are limited and restricted by a constitution.  This country was established as a constitutional republic.

4.  A “democracy” is two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

5.  Decentralization:  In a free country, government is decentralized: there exist various kinds of government, each with their own sphere of operation.   Webster’s (1828) lists three: “self-government” – man’s control and restraint over his own temper, passions, and social actions; “family government” – parents’ authority over their children and other family matters; and civil government – the form of, and the rules and principles by which a nation or state is governed.

There is also government in religious associations (e.g., Mat 18:15-17); charities; professional, trade, and sports associations (in earlier times, these set the standards and handled the discipline for their members); and other voluntary organizations with their own rules and requirements.

But in a totalitarian country, the civil government eliminates the other forms of government so that its power is unchallenged in all spheres of life:

a) Our national government is eliminating self-government by taking away the responsibility of individuals to act morally and responsibly in the conduct of their own affairs.  Not only does it force individuals to participate in government retirement and medical programs – matters which in the past were considered to be individual and family responsibilities; it now, with respect to daily  expenses,  “bails out” the least responsible at the expense of the more responsible!  We are no longer required to govern ourselves: We may sit around, indulging in blame shifting, excuse-making and nursing grievances, and the government pays our living expenses!  As individuals, we have abandoned self-discipline altogether – we abuse our own health with our excesses and bad habits!

b) It is eliminating family government by dictating as to the discipline and education of children, and insisting that minor children may obtain abortions without their parents’ knowledge or consent!   Matters that were, in the past, treated as family responsibilities  (financial and other assistance to family members; education of children, care of aging parents, etc.)  have been taken over by civil government.   We no longer look to our families for assistance – we look to the civil government!  Is it any wonder we now consider the president as “the one” to “save” us?

c) Previously, churches were the moral authorities in our country.  But the national government has eliminated that moral authority!  Even though the modern “welfare” state is based on Coercion & Looting & Distribution of Plunder to favored groups – the legalization of Envy & Theft [4] – the Pastors dare not speak out against it – they have been silenced by the 501 c (3) tax exemption.   So we have been deprived of the benefit of their moral guidance on issues affecting our country – that’s what the national government demands!   So the churches are restricted to speaking on saving souls,  “escape” or “rescue” from this Earth, what happens when we’re dead, and other such matters that don’t challenge Caesar’s sovereignty on Earth.  For Caesar claims that the Earth and everything on it belongs to him!

d) Charity is properly the work of individuals, churches, and private associations.   Some, such as The Salvation Army, provide Christian instruction along with assistance.  But a totalitarian government will not tolerate this challenge to its total power; so it now speaks of reducing the tax deduction for charitable giving.   As economic conditions worsen, charitable giving will decline; private charities will diminish, but the national government seeks always to expand.

e) The state governments have taken over the licensing and disciplining of the trades and professions; and Congress conducts hearings on whether sports figures take steroids!

6.  Decentralization & Local Governments:  In a free country, civil government itself is decentralized – we have city governments, county governments, and state governments, as well as the federal government.  Each local government has its own constitution that defines its powers & duties.

When speaking of the national government, do not confuse its few powers – those enumerated in the U.S. Constitution – with the more extensive powers that may be granted to State and local governments in their constitutions.   James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers, No. 45 (9th paragraph):

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those that 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….

So, do you see?  The federal government isn’t supposed to have anything to do with our lives, liberties and properties except as follows:  Other than those in military service, it has no lawful criminal jurisdiction over us unless we are counterfeiters, pirates or traitors; it has no civil jurisdiction over us unless we file for bankruptcy; if we are inventors or writers, it secures for us the rights to patents & copyrights; it makes rules for naturalizing new citizens, and it delivers our mail!  (Art I, Sec 8 & Art III, Sec 3, U.S. Constitution)  That’s basically it, Folks!

So mortgage bailouts, medical care, pensions, family matters, education, housing, food stamps, tattoo removal, Nancy Pelosi’s mice, “community redevelopment”, light bulbs, and the like, are NONE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS!   The local governments, if the People have authorized such in the local constitution, may address such matters.  But the only areas in which the federal government may lawfully act are those enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

7.  In a free country, civil government is restrained – it is limited by the constitution in what it is allowed to do. But in a tyranny, those who hold power do whatever they want – they know no law but their own ideas, whims, self-interest, self-glorification, and lust for power.  Webster (1828) defined “govern”:

To direct and control…either by established laws or by arbitrary will…Thus in free states, men are governed by the constitution and laws; in despotic states, men are governed by the edicts or commands of [a tyrant]…. [5]

WE the People created the national government when We, as  States, ratified the Constitution.  WE determined its powers and duties and enumerated those powers and duties in the written Constitution.   None of the three branches of the national government:  neither the Legislative, nor the Executive, nor the Judiciary, may do ANYTHING unless WE first gave it permission in the Constitution.   WE are the Creators; those in the national government, be they Senators, Representatives, federal judges, or the President, are mere creatures.  Alexander Hamilton said in The Federalist Papers, No. 33, (6th paragraph):

If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed [the Constitution], and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify. [emphasis added]

Our Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land (Art VI, cl.2); and anything contrary to our Constitution is lawlessness – no matter who in office or on the bench does it.

8.  How should we understand the Constitution?  Should we understand it the same way our founders did (“original intent”)?  Or, does its meaning “evolve” throughout time, so that it “means” whatever the gang in power (at any point in time) says it means?

a) One side – the “strict constructionists” or “originalists” – say the Constitution has a fixed meaning, and we must look at the original intent of the Constitution.   We easily learn this original intent by understanding the words the same way our founders understood them [e.g., Webster’s 1828 Dictionary] & by referring to The Federalist Papers. [6]

b) The other side (composed primarily of activist judges, totalitarian leftists and people who don’t think) say the Constitution has no fixed meaning.  They say it is an “evolving”, “living, breathing” thing that means whatever the judges, from time to time, say it means [7] or, like Congress and many of our presidents, ignore it altogether.

And just how do we learn what the judges say the Constitution means?  Well, you really have to go to law school and learn how to do legal research; how to read judicial writing (which is often intended to conceal the judges’ complete lack of intellectual honesty); and how to construe conflicting court decisions.  Then, you usually end up going with the court’s latest pronouncement (once you have located it) – knowing full well that it may change when a new gang gets on the bench. [8]

Obviously, under the second view – we don’t have constitutional government.  Instead, the judiciary, the Congress, and the Executive Branch impose their unfettered wills on us; and THIS is how we have been transformed from a “free state” where we were governed by the constitution and laws; into a despotic state, where we are governed by the edicts or commands of judges, congressmen & senators, presidents, and meddlesome federal agencies.

9. What are “Rights” and where do they come from?  Are rights unalienable gifts from God?  Are rights inherent to our nature as humans?   Is the Bill of Rights (the first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution) the source of our rights?  Are “rights” entitlements to stuff paid for by other people?

a) Our Declaration of Independence says our Rights are unalienable and come from God:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness… [9]

b) The Philosopher Ayn Rand correctly saw rights as inherent to the nature of man; although she thought God had nothing to with it.   In John Galt’s speech (Atlas Shrugged), he said:

The source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A—and Man is Man. Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival.  If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work.  If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational.  Any group, any gang, any nation that attempts to negate man’s rights, is wrong, which means: is evil, which means: is anti-life.

c) Others say that our rights come from the Bill of Rights.  But this is a pernicious error.  To say that the Bill of Rights “confers” our rights; or to discuss “the full scope” of any of the First Ten Amendments, constitutes a restriction on, and reduction of, the rights given by God.  To say that the Bill of Rights is the source of our rights, diminishes them from their proper status as unalienable gifts from God, and transforms them into privileges which we hold, or not, according to whether they are recognized in a document written by men; and according to the interpretations of judges!

d) The statist view is that rights come from “the government”.   The statists are not concerned with Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness! [10] To them, a “right” is a claim for stuff paid for by somebody else:  The “right” to a public school education; the “right” to medical care; the “right” to housing; etc.  But it is a contradiction in terms  – it is a perversion – to speak of  “rights” to stuff that is produced by, or paid for, by others!  To hold that people who produce exist to be plundered by civil government for the ostensible benefit of others is nothing less than slavery.  Just as no one has the right to own another human being; so no one has the right to own the fruits of another man’s labors.

10. The U.S. Constitution is the document that created the national government. [11] When the People through their States ratified the Constitution, the People and the States did not lose their status as independent sovereigns who would be capable of corrective action if the national government were to exceed the powers granted to it.

Except for those few powers (primarily relating to national defense & other external objects) that the People and the States specifically delegated to the national government, the People and the States remain independent and sovereign.

Furthermore, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor Prohibited by it to the States, [12] are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

So when the “creature” usurps powers not granted in the Constitution, the “Creators” are not bound by the usurpations.  Those usurpations are, by definition, lawless.   When this happens, the States have the Right and the Duty to rein in their creation – for the creature has become Frankenstein.

Tenth Amendment Resolutions, nullification by States, Jury nullification, etc.  are lawful, consistent with our Constitution, and if properly implemented, can restore our Constitutional Republic with its federal form of government!  That, instead of a totalitarian dictatorship with a populace forever crushed with debt, is the Blessing we want to leave our Posterity.

PUBLIUS/HULDAH (revised June 20,  2009)


[1] The authors’ 18th century style of writing might seem difficult at first; but if you stick with it, you will get used to it, and may come to find it delightful.

[2] E.g., “mean” used to mean “poor”; “nice” used to mean “precise, exact”; “gay” used to mean “jovial, merry”, etc.

“Welfare” as used in the Preamble & in Art I, Sec 8, cl 1, U.S. Constitution, meant “Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government” (Webster’s 1828).   But  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969), adds a new meaning:  “Public relief” – on welfare. Dependent on public relief”.  Do you see how our Constitution is perverted when 20th century meanings are substituted for the original meanings?

[3] As the national government usurps more & more of the powers retained by the States or the People, the form of our government becomes less & less “federal”, and more & more “national”.

[4] See Frederic Bastiat’s short & easily understood work, The Law (1848), which is without a doubt, the best thing to ever come out of France.  A magnificent refutation of socialism.   On-line English ed. at bastiat.org

[5] In the classic work on political philosophy,  Lex, Rex, or The Law And The Prince, Samuel Rutherford (1644), Rev. Rutherford sets forth the biblical model wherein the king is subject to the Law to the same extent as the citizens: e.g., Deut 17:18-20; 2 Kings 22:8-13; 23:1-3.   THIS is what “The Rule of Law” means – when the “king” is under the Law.   When the “king” claims that he is above the law, then we have “the Rule of Men” – i.e., tyranny.

Contrast Rutherford’s model, which the drafters of our Constitution followed, with that of the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), who glorified the state and saw it as superior to the people.  THAT is the political philosophy that gave rise to German statism, the Third Reich, and Hitler worship.

[6] It’s fast & easy:  With an annotated copy of the Constitution, you look up the Federalist Paper cited, skim through it until you get to the relevant passage, and in a few minutes, you usually can know the original intent.  You then know more than our judges know!  Congratulations!  [But sometimes we also have to refer to other contemporaneous works.]

[7] Thus, instead of the judges being subject to the Constitution; the Constitution is subject to the will of the judges.

[8] Franz Kafka’s novel, The Trial (1937), describes an arbitrary and incomprehensible legal system where the peoples’ access to The Law is cut off.   “Before the Law, stands a door keeper… “.  The hero of Kafka’s novel couldn’t get past the doorkeeper and so was denied access to The Law.   Folks, that’s what our courts – the doorkeepers – are doing to us.  The U.S. Constitution is the supreme Law of the Land (Art VI, cl. 2); but the Courts have taken it away from us and won’t give it back! The Trial is on-line in English translations from the German.

[9] The Bible reveals additional rights bestowed on us by God, such as the right to inherit, earn, & keep property; the right of self-defense; the right & duty to demand that the “king” adhere to the Covenant of civil government; etc.  The distinguishing characteristics of all these God-given rights are (1) they are necessary for man to exist as man and (2) they may be held and enjoyed at NO expense or loss to any other man. (Ayn Rand was 100% right on these points.)

[10] They love death: abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.  They hate private property.  They hate Liberty.  Productive men exist, not to pursue their own Happiness or to serve God; but to be plundered by civil government.  Folks, we need to face Reality and acknowledge that these are not people whose “intentions” are “good”.

[11] It is important that you always keep at the front of your mind:  The national government is a creation of the People & their States.  The People & their States are the Creators – the national government is merely the creature.

[12] Art I, Sec 10 prohibits the States from exercising powers specifically delegated to the national government, and from passing those obnoxious laws which are inimical to a free country such as Bills of Attainder, ex post facto Laws, laws  impairing the Obligation of contracts, or granting Titles of Nobility.

June 20, 2009

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June 20, 2009 Posted by | Definitions and Basic Concepts, Federalism, Original Intent or Evolving Constitution?, Rights, Self Government | 11 Comments

   

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