Tag Archives: Constitution

How a Balanced Budget Amendment Gives the Feds Power Over Whatever They Want – Part 2

By Publius Huldah, guest columnist

LANGUAGE OF LIBERTY CREST
The Language of Liberty

All federal and State officials take an oath to support the federal Constitution (Art. VI, clause 3). When people in Congress appropriate funds for objects not listed in the Constitution [Art. I]; and when State officials accept federal funds for objects not listed, they violate their oath to support the Constitution. According to the PEW Report, federal funds provided an average of 30% of the States’ revenue for FY 2013. Look up your State HERE. Were those federal funds used to implement unconstitutional federal programs in your State?

Power over education, medical care, agriculture, state and local law enforcement, environment, etc., is not delegated to the federal government; those powers are reserved by the States or the People. Congress spends on objects for which it has no constitutional authority; and bribes States with federal funds to induce them to implement unconstitutional federal programs. It was the unconstitutional spending which gave us this crushing $19 Trillion debt.

How do we go about downsizing the federal government to its constitutional limits?

We stop the unconstitutional and frivolous spending one can read about all over the internet.

We begin the shutdown of unconstitutional federal departments and agencies by selecting for immediate closure those which serve no useful purpose or cause actual harm such as the Departments of Energy, Education, Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency. (1)

Other unconstitutional federal departments and agencies must be dismantled and their functions returned to the States or The People.

An orderly phase-out is required of those unconstitutional federal programs in which Citizens were forced to participate – such as social security and Medicare – so that the rug is not pulled out from American Citizens who became dependent. The phase-out could be funded by sales of unconstitutionally held federal lands.

According to Art. I, §8, cl. 11-16, the federal government is obligated to provide for service related injuries suffered by our Veterans.

The Constitution delegates to Congress the power to appropriate funds for “post Roads” (Art. I, §8, cl. 7). While there may be room for argument as to what is included within the term, “post Road”; clearly, some federal involvement in road building is authorized by our Constitution. State dependence on federal highway funds might be reduced by eliminating or reducing federal fuel taxes, and the substitution of fuel taxes collected by individual States. And there is nothing immoral about toll roads.

Since our Constitution was written to delegate to the federal government only the few and defined powers enumerated in the Constitution, we don’t have to change the Constitution to rein in federal spending. The Constitution isn’t the problem – ignoring it is the problem. Let us begin to enforce the Constitution we have.

Endnotes:

(1) George Washington’s Cabinet had four members: Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Secretary of Treasury, and Attorney General.

Publius Huldah is an author, speaker, lawyer and strict constructionist of The U.S. Constitution. Read more at publiushuldah.com

The “Language of Liberty®” series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, selected students, and guest columnists. They may be contacted at info@tncsg.org

Even in Their Errors, People Act As a Check to Government Abuse and Overreach

By Bill Norton and Mark Herr, guest writers

Often in political conversation, one hears chastisement of the so-called “uninformed voter,” or laments about the ignorance of the people. Some might even be so arrogant as to prefer the “uninformed” not involve themselves in government at all. Of course, the label “uniformed” often means anyone who disagrees with the person casting the label.

But do we really want to limit involvement of the people in public affairs? The Architects of our Republic made it clear that the people are the only keepers of our unalienable rights and the only true protectors of the Constitution. It is through the involvement of the people, whether right or wrong, that government will be kept in its right place; that it will continue to secure rather than violate our rights.

In a letter to Edward Carrington, Thomas Jefferson discusses living in a society in which “nobody but [yourself] is always in the right.” (Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention, 1787)

“The [involvement] of the people…on the side of government has had a great effect… I am persuaded myself that the good sense of the people will always be found to be the best army. They may be led astray for a    THOMAS JEFFERSONmoment, but will soon correct themselves. The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution.” (Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, Paris, January 16, 1787)

In the same letter, Jefferson explains the harm which can result from punishing errors.

“To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs…
The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right…”

It is more important to keep the right to express our opinions than it is to punish errors of opinion. In Jefferson’s first inaugural address he states:

“But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle…If there be    JEFFERSONany among us [with a different opinion] let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”

If we punish error too severely we can damage or even destroy the very “basis of our governments.”

He continues in the Carrington letter:

“Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention.
Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them.”

Thomas Jefferson always returns to the theme of education or enlightenment as the only true correctives of abuse of power by the government. “Enlighten the people and tyranny and oppression will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”

DECLARATION OF INDEP
The Unanimous Declaration

Jefferson reveals his profoundly genuine character as he concludes his observations to Carrington. Keep in mind, in 1787 Jefferson was the minister to France. He had served in the Virginia House of   Burgesses, as Governor of Virginia and had become the voice of independence as the author of the Declaration. He held the public trust in positions of government. Carrington was currently serving as a delegate to the Continental Congress.

Jefferson is among the greatest minds and most ardent defenders of liberty and the fundamental rights of man. Yet he recognized that he was not immune to the corrupting effects of power. In his conclusion to Carrington, Jefferson writes:

“If once they [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, judges and governors shall all become wolves.”

Remember, Jefferson is talking about the involvement of the  GOVERNMENT POWERpeople in their instituted government, “even in their errors.” Even in their errors they can keep Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, Reagan, George Bush and Barack Obama from becoming wolves if they are simply attentive to the public affairs.

The question is not whether we are right or wrong in our opinions, but whether we are acting as a check against government overreach and abuse of authority. Are we making certain that government adheres “to the true principles of [its] institution?” Namely, are we defending the Republic through our involvement? It is worth repeating:

“Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them.”

The authors, Bill Norton and Mark Herr, write for The “Language of Liberty®” series, a collaborative effort of the Center for Self    LANGUAGE OF LIBERTY CRESTGovernance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, and selected students. They may be contacted at info@tncsg.org

The Ultimate Power: The People Themselves

By Karen Lees, Bill Norton and Mark Herr

Of America’s founding architects, Thomas Jefferson is arguably one of the greatest minds and ardent defenders of liberty and the fundamental rights of man. Yet he was wise enough to recognize that he was not immune from the corrupting effects of governing power.   THOMAS JEFFERSON

Jefferson said, “If once they [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, judges and governors shall all become wolves … Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them.”

From textbooks to illegals and everything in between, the federal government’s willingness to embrace anti-American policies has  awakened a sleeping giant. As a result, communities across America have witnessed a more active participation in local government by the people.

While some rolled over and hit the snooze button, many have answered the call to civic responsibility by becoming involved. The inalienable First Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances has been dusted off and asserted. Citizens are beginning to hold their elected officials accountable. They are sincere, they are passionate, and they are engaged in the process.

Boston Tea Party Dec. 16th, 1773
Boston Tea Party
Dec. 16th, 1773

This would make Jefferson proud.

While the outcomes may not always be successful, the real achievement-which must not be overlooked-is the awakening itself. This rebirth is an indication that the people are in the process of rediscovering their individual liberty, personal responsibility and civic authority – attributes of freedom cherished by America’s original builders.

Jefferson continued, “The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution…The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right.”

The Republic is not won or lost on just one issue. But there is tremendous value in the experience, which will lead to more successful outcomes in future citizen efforts. Extraordinary understanding is gained in the process.

The ability to use the experience as training, along with proper instruction and focused energy, will be the key to success in continuing the experiment in self-governance the original designers began.   CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION 2

In order to keep the unique Republic we inherited, the proper balance of power between the people and the government at the federal, state, and local levels, must be restored as it was originally intended.

Whether our inheritance is claimed or not, We the People, brimming with power and energy, remain the stakeholders in a self-governing society. However, many citizens do not understand the governance process, have been alienated from it in the past, or have given up involvement altogether. To make matters worse, a few in governing positions make it clear they prefer it that way, contrary to America’s founding principles.

With daily reports of our basic freedoms being whittled away, many citizens feel more like a cowherd, begrudgingly manipulated by the issues, rather than the governed, from which all power is derived. This, combined with the politically correct speech used by some officials today, does more to divide than unite, contriving a nation of “We the Pieces” rather than “We the People”.   CONSTITUTION

Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

With citizen training in the architect’s self-governing philosophy, the original design of limited government can be restored. Proper instruction is the key to demolishing the mind-forged manacles developed over decades. When the shackles are removed, the language of captivity is replaced by the language of liberty.

Jefferson made it clear. The correction will not happen by accident. He stated, “The qualifications for self-government in society are not innate. They are the result of habit and long training.”

The Language of Liberty® Series

The Language of Liberty® series is a collaborative effort of the Center   LANGUAGE OF LIBERTY CREST for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, and selected students. They may be contacted at info@tncsg.org. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. To learn more, go to CenterForSelfGovernance.com.

We Need to Become America Again

By John Velisek USN (Ret), staff writer

The American people, the working people of this country, the 9-5ers with a wife and kid are scared. Business owners just scraping by are demonized by the administration for being too rich and not paying their employees enough. The economy has spent time in a ditch yet Barack keeps telling us everything is fine.

The Obama administration is unique, being the first in American history to at once dismiss our culture, the Christian religion and the moral principles upon which the nation was founded. The majority of Americans do not condone Barack Obama bowing and scraping before those whose mores are completely foreign to this country. Our institutions are scorned, our veterans treated like pond scum and the well-being of Americans endangered by a Regime which happily ignores the threat posed by Islamic terrorists.

Wealth is confiscated from those who earn it for the purpose of providing ever increasing handouts to the incompetent, the inferior and the non-producers. This country is not a socialist, European state and was never meant to be. The success of the U.S. is based upon working for what you get and keeping what you work for.

To make a habit of ignoring the expressed will of the American people is more than problematic, it is downright dangerous. Refusal by the Obama Administration to uphold the law has already proven detrimental to the country. Riots continue to take place as professional agitators move from city to city, causing a level of unrest not seen since the 60’s. The American people expect the law to be enforced yet watch helplessly as groups favored for political reasons wreak havoc without consequence across the nation. For years, both state and local law enforcement officials have had their hands tied by the federal government.

Obama recently declared that the country is better off than it was six years ago. Based on what? I walk down the streets in my hometown and see businesses boarded up and people out of work, many of them living with parents. Is Obama concerned? Of course not. Living a thoroughly insulated lifestyle, none of it affects him. After all, his moral authority is based upon shouting down, ignoring or intimidating those who disagree with him or make mention of his failed policies.

No one can believe that a government which kicks down doors and expects subjects to cower in its presence has our best interests at heart. And Republicans are complicit in each federal abuse of constitutional guarantees by helping make possible the ills which affect the nation.

By providing the Republican Party with landslide wins in 2014, the American people made it clear they expected Congress to take a strong stand against the agenda of the Obama Regime. And what happened? Portions of that agenda have been preserved or passed into law thanks to the fecklessness and cowardice of Republican politicians. The Party establishment has simply rolled over, allowing Obama to do as he wishes.

What can be done to combat corruption and abuse of power by the federal government? State legislatures need to nullify the effects of legislation passed down from Washington D.C. and take back the powers given states by the Constitution. If the federal government attempts to extort acceptable behavior by withholding funds owed the states, those states must respond by withholding tax dollars owed the federal government. I am firmly convinced that my local government knows better than the federal government how to spend that money. Federal elites have spent decades ruling from on high. It is past time the American people begin to push back. 

Nothing will change until the true owners of the nation say no; no to unconstitutional legislation, no to corruption from the Supreme Court and no to power hungry, agenda driven bureaucrats. Those in charge of the federal government understand nothing but force. If enough force is brought to bear by the states and the American people, the federal government will have no option but to fold.

Why Property Rights Matter

From the Language of Liberty Series

By Karen Lees and Sylvia ZikaLANGUAGE OF LIBERTY CREST

John Adams said, “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God … anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.”

I am not a politician or public figure. I am one of many Americans whose property is under assault by government. I am a student of self-governance living in New Jersey. My state and local governments make a habit of redistributing privately held property among the private parties it chooses. This is absolutely forbidden by the U.S. Constitution. If it can happen here in my state, it can happen anywhere in America.

Attorney Jennifer Kruckeberg writes: “Corporations . . . are proposing the following assignment: ‘Find me your most prominent location, get rid of what is on it, help me pay for it, and maybe you will be lucky enough to have me move to your city.’”

To clear out areas for big business, local governments force mom and pop businesses to leave. Multimillion-dollar companies establish close relationships with government officials in communities across the nation where they squeeze out, come hell or high water, any opposition.

Court rulings disregard constitutional protections of private property located in the “takings clause” and play a big part in the abuses of property rights. They also disregard the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits denying any person equal application of law.

Assume a big box store wants to build in your town. And they want your property upon which to do it. What chance do you have against a huge corporation?

None! For if the local government wants the corporation’s presence in their town badly enough, they will not follow the rule of law. Justice and the right to own property will be thrown out the window as local authorities obscure important facts.

Of course the property owner may seek protection of his rights from the court which will order the matter back to the same local government for a hearing.

But this is a process which can take years. And how can a rehearing give the property owner an opportunity to present objections after the big box store has been fully built and operational for over 10 years?

The property owner is the only one in this scenario who follows what they believe to be the proper course of action according to law. They realize too late that the entire project had been rigged in favor of the big box store from the beginning.

Is there anything positive that might come from such a process of defending private property rights? Yes!

A clearer understanding of the inner-workings of government was gleaned. Valuable information was gathered. A few elected officials clearly revealed themselves as opponents of liberty. Eventually, they must face the voters during the next election   CONSTITUTION MEMO cycle. The people will be made aware of the officials who violated the Constitution and their oath of office. Citizens will be rallied against those who failed to act as proper representatives of the people. This will be just as our founders intended.

Additionally, in the process of verbalizing this story, the ability to articulate a message to fellow citizens was sharpened. Writing articles such as this one has increased public awareness about property rights and why they are so important to our freedom. Perhaps other Americans will be inspired to take action when they see property rights threatened.

Our Founders understood that liberty means one must have the freedom to keep what has been earned through one’s own labor. American colonists believed it unjust to have the fruits of their work confiscated by a powerful, dictatorial British government. What was wrong for individuals to do to one another was wrong for government to do to the people. The Founders devised a government which would secure the people’s natural rights of property, not take them away.

As James Madison said, “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort …. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own.” 

“The Language of Liberty®” is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, and selected students. They may be contacted at info@tncsg.org. Please include the article’s title and date of publication. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. To learn more, go to CenterForSelfGovernance.com.