Sunday, January 10, 2010

Amendments By The Numbers (pt. 3)

"No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

This is a very simple Amendment, yet I think someday it will be seriously challenged by our government. Not necessarily as a directive of some sort but perhaps by an ignorant individual serving in the military quartering in someone's home against their will during a period of civil unrest.

Bottom line is, if they are armed and from the government, they're not sleeping here tonight. You wouldn't think this Amendment has ever been cited in court but it actually has been. There was a prison guard strike in New York in 1979. The National Guard was brought in to perform prison guard duty and the prison guards were evicted from facility housing and the guardsmen were stationed there instead. Since the Fourteenth Amendment binds state governments to follow the Constitution on a state government level, the guardsmen were considered soldiers in the suit to follow.

I do believe land is something that should be included in this Amendment. To that extent, it would be illegal for soldiers or police to set up camp on someone's land such as was done on the Branch Davidian compound and on Randy Weaver's land without that person's consent. While technically the Third Amendment wasn't violated in those cases, spiritually it was.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Amendments: By The Numbers (pt. 2)

As I begin to gather my thoughts for this post, I suddenly realize that I could probably be arrested by our own Gestapo for my opinions on the Second Amendment. Maybe they'll classify me as being dangerous.

Amendment The Second:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The first part of this statement is the reason for the right given in the second sentence. People should have access to arms for the purpose of keeping their state free. This is not to be construed with the intent to create a military. The provisions for raising and maintaining a national military was given to Congress in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.  The Second Amendment was the result of our fight as colonists against British rule. It is obvious that Britain had no intent to let us use the British military to fight for our freedom. We had to raise our own militia to fight for freedom. There was no central budget to do this, just freedom-loving people who had their own weapons. Our founding fathers realized that we would never have our freedom if not for ordinary citizens adequately armed to fight against tyrannical governments. So we should never misinterpret this Amendment to be a method of preserving any federal or state-run military. The capitalization of the word People is intentional here. Furthermore, since a national military is created in Article 1 for the purpose of repelling invasions AND suppressing insurrections, it is clear that our nation's military is also intended for fighting American citizens who decide to revolt. Yep, according to our Constitution, Congress can use our military against us so they won't likely take the citizens' side if we revolted against the US government. Think about that.

Now, this is where I get myself in a bit of hot water here. Since the purpose of this amendment is to be able to fight off oppressive government including ours, it stands to reason we should be as well armed if not better armed than our government. This Amendment was created to enable the people to fight back. So if we are to be equally armed, it takes a bit more than handguns and rifles. How are we to fight back against fighter jets, precision munitions, nuclear weapons, etc.? We need to have the same firepower. If the government has it, so should citizens. I don't think many people can resolve the thought of their neighbor having a missile or a privately-owned fighter jet. Equally armed is the spirit of this Amendment. It would be a seriously difficult fight for citizens if all we had were 9 round magazines against the full force of the US military. The few times our citizens have put the government on notice were often done with "illegal" arms. It is also those acts against the government that tends to get those weapons on the "banned" list. Banning such weapons is directly against the Second Amendment.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Amendments: By The Numbers

Seeing that so many people have either a very small understanding of the Amendments or the purpose behind each Amendment, I feel it is necessary to discuss each one in detail. There's a lot more to understanding the Amendments than to simply be able to recite them. A big part of understanding an Amendment is to understand the times they were written in as well as the feelings and intentions of the founding fathers that authored the Bill of Rights.

Amendment The First:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

There's a lot more than just freedom of speech here folks. The first thing it speaks of is the subject of religion. Keep in mind the original people to come here to the New World were people seeking freedom from religious persecution. The Old World was all White so segregation took a religious form. If you weren't of a particular religion, you were cast out or persecuted or worse. Needless to say, our founding fathers didn't want people to feel oppressed because of their religious views. The First Amendment doesn't allow Congress to prefer one religion over another. Now some take this to be a "Christians-first" type of law but really it's a ten foot pole rule. In other words, this Amendment basically says "Congress isn't to touch religious issues with a ten foot pole." So that means whatever cards are on the table are the cards that are there and Congress isn't supposed to alter that at all, neither in favor or against a particular religion.

Freedom of speech is the next big thing here. Not too many people disagree with that in general. However, many people seek to silence others simply because they don't agree with the speaker's opinion. Many people tend to amend freedom of speech in their minds to simply say "freedom of speech unless I don't agree with you". People seem most worried that someone who is speaking favorably of an unpopular view might actually get listeners and then what? Sorry, but all speech is free, even the most vile. People can make up their own mind about who to follow. Also, I want to point one great screw-up of the government when the US Supreme Court decided that public safety supersedes free speech. The upheld view was that someone couldn't falsely shout "fire" in a crowded theater because of the risk to public safety. I don't buy that logic. What's the worse that could happen, forty people get trampled to death? Not good enough. Any strike against free speech has the potential to kill the freedom of the entire nation. That's worth more than even a million lives. Public safety be damned!

Freedom of the press. For the most part, our press gets quite a bit of freedom and they have all the lawyers they'll ever need to keep it that way. The internet further ensures this, so long as our government keeps its damn hands off the internet. I've got a sounding board right here and that is a benefit of the First Amendment.

The right of the people to peaceably assemble. Ahhh, yes, the right to protest, rally, etc., so long as we do it nicely. Riots and such are not the ways to demonstrate and some people can't seem to get that through their heads. I love the "Tea Parties" we've been having this year. In many other nations, they'd be driving over us with tanks. If you don't agree with the people assembling, then by all means counter-protest, but don't get violent or try to attack, it only makes martyrs out of the people you seek to vilify. While the restriction is placed against the government in this case, the good patriotic citizen will realize that they too should abstain from breaking up other people's protests through oppressive means.

Petition the Government for a redress of grievances. This means that individuals should be able to access their representatives, and be able to have their say directly before the Government. So if I have a beef with the government I should always have the right to complain to the Government. More importantly, they should listen. That's the forgotten part. A government that listens. What a novel concept.

Be patriotic, folks. Live the words of the Constitution. It's not just about what's best for you, its about what's best for the nation. I've quite often felt that we would be better off if we did this or that or the other thing. However, in the end, I come back to my senses and think What Would Our Founding Fathers Do? We could have chosen a lot of ideals to incorporate into our nation but we didn't and for good reason. Our founding fathers didn't want socialism. They didn't want communism. Think about what you want for us as a nation and then think about whether that desire is in line with our founding fathers. If it isn't, then perhaps its time to humble oneself and realize the best thing for our nation was written on parchment hundreds of years ago.

Tune in next time for The Second Amendment. That will likely be my favorite and it just might shock you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Health Care Bill Set To Ruin Our Nation

There's some bad news out there right now. Seems the test vote to pass the health care bill has passed. Real vote is going to go through on Christmas Eve. I really don't trust the politicians when they meet at 1am in the morning or when they plan to vote on a bill on Christmas Eve. We've had nothing but bad legislation around the holidays. For example, the Federal Reserve Act was passed on 12/23/1913. Socialized medicine creates nothing but sick people. Most people just tough out their illnesses but now they'll be crowding the hospital every time they sneeze.

They are also talking about having fines for not getting medical insurance if you can afford it. They equate it to mandatory automobile insurance. Problem is, mandatory automobile insurance isn't all that mandatory. If I feel like not having auto insurance, I can simply choose not to own a car and not to drive. However, you don't have that luxury with your body. How do you choose not to have a body anymore? You could probably take a dirt nap. Its a tax on living. Exactly that. If you're alive, you are going to pay for health care, pay for fines, resign yourself to a life of poverty, or check out permanently. How is that a benefit? Laws that force people to reach into their pocket against their wills are bad laws, plain and simple.

We could never make an outright conversion to Communism in this country. However, if we keep legislating a money-grab into people's pockets a few dollars at a time and then redistributing through plans such as these, we'll have our welfare state soon enough.