Tag Archive: constitution


I have a friend, Chad Kent, who goes around the country giving talks on the Constitution. He makes it relevant, accessible, and helps anyone and everyone understand it. If you read my blog, you know how much I love the Constitution (and The Declaration…buy my book here), and so does Chad. Read on!

At a time when so many people don’t care too much about current events, it can be hard to explain why the heck our Constitution matters.  Well the Constitution Revolution segment from last week’s Chris Salcedo Show will help you out with that:

Click Here for the Constitution Revolution Segment.

Here is the John Trenchard quote I mentioned in the clip:

“The Experience of every Age convinces us, that we must not judge of Men by what they ought to do, but by what they will do; and all of History affords us but few instances of Men trusted with great Power without abusing it, when with Security they could. […]  For these Reasons, and convinced by the woful and eternal Experience, Societies found it necessary to lay Restraints upon their magistrates or publick servants, and to put Checks upon those who would otherwise put Chains upon them.”

Just like we lock our doors at night to protect ourselves from other people, we need to take steps to protect ourselves from the people in our government.  That’s the idea behind our Constitution – we restrict the power of government because history shows us that if we don’t that power will be used against us.

It’s very simple: we should do our best to protect the Constitution because the Constitution protects us.  Without it, we are at the mercy of the people who run our government.

Don’t forget to listen to the Constitution Revolution LIVE every Saturday on The Blaze Radio!

If a principle is sound, and it does not matter if “things have changed.” Lying under oath is still bad, no matter if the lying happens in an email or directly to the jury. The technology involved matters not one whit. The same principles apply in our Constitution. It lays out the principles that are to protect the average person from the government.

For example, the government may not spy on us, or root through our stuff, without probable cause AND a warrant. But, they seem to have missed that part of the Constitution. Listen to The Constitution Revolution with Chad Kent, from March 29, 2014 as heard on The Blaze Radio to see what our government is up to. It’s one minute of clarity. Be sure to listen HERE!

 

 

 

Okay, people, this is a fantastic way to take bites of the Constitution without getting overwhelmed. Chad Kent is brilliant about the Constitution. We need everyone in America to be this educated…and it takes time. Thankfully, he helps you get your feet wet before jumping right in.

Have you been wondering if the President can legislate? Can he do whatever he wants with the laws Congress passes? Well, no…not really. I”ll dig deeper into this next week, but for a nutshell…literally in a one minute segment…click HERE and listen to his Constitution Minute.

Chad Kent

The wonderful Declaration of Independence is still in effect today. It has not passed away, no matter that it is over two centuries old. The fundamentals are still strong and solid, even though they are ignored on a regular basis by our leaders. But, that’s another post altogether.

The Declaration of Independence (DoI) is the “why” of America. It defines us, as a nation. Nothing that comes after can contradict it. If the country were a corporation, this would be the mission statement. The Constitution is the “how.” For a corporation, that would be the by-laws. As with a corporation, the by-laws cannot contradict the mission statement. Thus, the Constitution could not contradict the Declaration…and neither may any lower laws.

Has this always been followed to a “T”? Nope. But, it has been followed much more closely than it is today. In fact, starting with Woodrow Wilson (can’t STAND that guy!!), the elites and leaders of the country encouraged people to not even read the entire first part of the DoI, you know, the part that defines where rights come from? Yeah, that part.

Anyway, in the DoI asserts that “all men are created equal…”

So, what did the author and signers of this document mean by “equal”? Did they mean everyone should have the same amount of stuff? Did they mean that everyone has the same attributes, must be seen as equally talented or beautiful, or that they should all have the same likes or dislikes? Let’s read just a bit more.

“…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” AHA! A clue! These are rights they are talking about, not stuff. Well, what kind of rights do they discuss? Oh, the suspense!!

“that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Egad, they don’t even mention jobs and houses, do they? Huh. Well, how can everyone be EQUAL if they don’t have the same things, look the same, believe all the same things, live the same way, etc.?

They are equal in the application of laws and freedom to exercise rights. No matter if you are famous, poor, rich, a politician, a lawyer…anyone and everyone…has the right to live. Unless a person has committed a crime, and been found guilty through due process in a court of justice, and that is bad enough to warrant the death penalty, no one can legally kill you. Period. THAT is equality.

No matter how in debt you are, how poor you are, or who rich you are; no matter the color of your skin; and no matter what your religion is, no one can keep you captive, unless you have committed a crime worthy of imprisonment, and only then can it be done by the governing body, never an individual. THAT is equality.

If you have enough money to buy a thing, that is your thing. You have the right to own it, and no one can take it from you, legally. Used to be that the lowest classes had no right to private property ownership. In this country, they made sure to lay into the very foundations of the nation the natural rights that we have been given by our Creator, and in this way, safeguard them from other humans thinking they can just take what is yours.

If you are born poor in this country, and you work hard (and work smart), you can become as rich and influential as you please. Before this country was founded, only those born to money had any hope of ever having a life of leisure. Only those born into certain families had a chance of being able to study what they pleased, unless they had the outstanding fortune of being taken in by a noblewoman who wished to help a poor soul. If every noblewoman did this, that would have been admirable, but there were so many more of the “common folk” that there was no hope for just about everyone else.

THIS is what our DoI is making clear: we are all equal in our Creator’s sight, we have all been given equal rights. There is no hyphen. The Creator did not give women’s rights, minority rights, or any other broken label. He gave EQUAL rights, and the color of your skin, your gender, your bank account balance, and your ethnicity is of no consequences. That’s why the statue of Justice is blindfolded: justice is to be blind, and therefore applied equally.

To do otherwise is to reject the concept of equal rights, and instead institute preferred or lesser classes in a country that was created to do away with classes altogether.

Know where you stand.

And, buy a copy of my book (link to the right, top of the page) and understand the entire DoI…with cartoons…how cool is that?

I have met some social liberals who were not statists. They called themselves Libertarians and/or peaceful anarchists. I will address these two groups in another post. I also know some social liberals who call themselves fiscal conservatives, but they are kidding themselves. When push came to shove, their statism showed right through. But, what IS a statist?

A statist is a proponent/advocate of statism which is defined as: a concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry. Basically, anyone who advocates that the government “do something,” is a statist. Anyone who looks to government to solve problems is a statist. Policies of statists create “big government.”

Sadly, many statists don’t even know they are statists. They’ll say things like, “Well, I don’t believe we need more government interference, but they need to make sure businesses can’t refuse service to anyone.” Yep. That’s a quote from a thread on my Facebook page. This person self-identified as a Christian conservative who was for small government. This type of disconnection from reality is NOT uncommon…look at John McCain. Need I say more?

But, here’s where it gets really tricky. I have seen many an argument about “Republican” and “Democrats,” when really the discussion should have been about statists in both parties. One party wanted one kind of big government and the other party a different kind of big government. In the end, there is no difference when dealing with statists. Some want total government quickly and some are content to get there more slowly. The goal is the same.

It’s not the direct fault of most people that they have no clue where the Constitution lies on the continuum and what it means to be a statist.

Most of us were told, in school, that Communism and Socialism are on the “left” and Fascism is on the “right.” We all believed this, right? I mean, sure, that makes sense…until you ask where the Constitution and anarchists fit in this supposed spectrum. What we have is a bunch of names for different types of total government. So, where do the Constitution, Libertarianism, and Anarchy fit?

The graph that accurately shows the spectrum looks like this (from The 5,000 Year Leap):

FounderPoliticalSpectrum3_Opaque

Truly, government equals coercion. You don’t pay taxes because you want to. You pay them because, if you don’t, they’ll fine you, or eventually throw you in jail. You don’t get a driver’s license because it’s a wise thing to do. You get it because driving without one will be made unpleasant by the state government, if you get caught. Coercion. Sometimes it’s necessary to have coercion (laws against murder, etc.), but we have to know that it is, always, coercion.

So, we see that the argument we have about “right” and “left” in this country – mostly by elected officials (think Lindsey Graham and Nancy Pelosi) – is really about how much total government we want. Pelosi wants massive government, and Graham wants slightly less massive government. The REAL place we were meant to be was even further into the space of where a republic lives…where the rule of law is paramount.

The Rule of Law is where all laws apply equally to every single person in this nation, where everyone gets equal protection under the law, where every single individual has rights that are given to us by our “Creator.” I’m not making this up, either! This is the basis for our entire country. These rights cannot legally be infringed upon by anyone. They are not given by men, because, if so, they could be legally taken away by men. Our founders and framers set up a republic for us.

First, right now, click on the link at the right and buy my book. It’s a book that’s great for kids and adults alike. It’s funny history with cartoons…what’s not to like?

Then, watch this video. This video (worth EVERY SECOND it takes to watch) will explain why we are a republic, and what the consequences of being anything else are:

Now, after watching this, and reading this post, you’ll know what I mean when I reference “statists.” Liberals, Progressives, Socialists, Communists, and Fascists ALL fall under the title of statist.

Make sure you know where you stand.

If I, not being of Chinese ancestry, decided that I wanted to be Chinese, would I be able to arrive in their country, learn their ways, their language, their culture…and BE Chinese?

If I, not being French by blood, emigrated to France, learned French, learned French ways and culture…would I BE French?

If I moved to Egypt, adopted their major religion, learned their language, and lived there for 30 years…would I BE Egyptian?

No.

But, if I moved to America, learned English, followed the naturalization laws, and did American things like celebrate Independence Day…would I BE American?

Yes!

American-Patriot

This is because, unlike most other countries, we are a country of ideas and principles. It’s about following the rule of law, equality for each individual, and inalienable rights (at least it used to be…but you get the idea).

It’s not how we look, what accent we have, or even if we were born here. Anyone who becomes an American IS an American through and through. It’s like in Texas where people say, “I’m a Texan. I wasn’t born here, but I got here as fast as I could!” and they are, indeed, Texans, when they exhibit the ideals of Texans.

If that’s not the greatest thing ever to be encountered on this earth, I don’t know what is.

USA Map

The 10th Amendment seems to be a point of contention. Many of our statist friends say that this amendment give the federal government free rein to do whatever it wants, citing the part “not prohibited to it” to mean that it is referring to the Federal Government. But, take a moment to apply basic English rules to it, and you’ll see this is in error.

Here is the text, in whole:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

So, we see that we can take out the part offset by commas as it would read: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Easy Peasy! If the powers are not delegated to the US, they are to remain with the states or people. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

This is where it gets dicey. Statists want the offset portion to be highlighted!! “See?” they say, “If they are not outlined OR if they are not denied specifically to the feds, they can do it!!”

Keep your pantyhose on! Let’s delve into that.

Here is the offset part: “nor prohibited by it to the States”. Oh, whoops. Looks like our statist friends didn’t take enough English classes to understand complex sentence structures.

This reads: “nor prohibited by it [“it” means the US Constitution] TO THE STATES. As Scooby-Doo says, “Ruh-roh!”

The following four statements identify that which is for the feds to do, and that which is for the states:

If a thing is not delegated to the United States Congress, it goes to the states and people. (These are few and defined, and found in Article I for a full list of items they are in charge of handling.)

Regarding the states, if it’s not denied to the states, it belongs with the states and people. (This list is almost endless, save the few things denied to them in Article I – such as making treaties with foreign countries.)

The only thing left for the feds to do is that which is specifically delegated to them by the Constitution, and nothing more.

Thus, the next time a statist says to you, “I don’t see the word healthcare in the Constitution!” You can say, “Exactly!” Maybe you will have time for a quick English lesson or two for them.

Any questions?

John Adams

“I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Painting and Poetry Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.”

~ John Adams in a Letter to Abigail Adams, post 12 May 1780
A dear friend recently told me that she sees me as being all about God, family, and country. I replied in the affirmative. What I didn’t get a chance to tell her is that, while I very much enjoy spending hours each day studying history and economics, I do this because I feel the need to make the case for liberty in this country as so many have never even given it a second thought. I never used to, but now I KNOW what’s going on and it’s crappy.
I would love to read more fiction and literature, spend more time playing, or cleaning my house (okay, that one’s a lie…), but I feel that, being one who sees what our country is headed for, I have the duty to share the knowledge I’ve gained.
It’s not a pretty picture, either. Try that one on for size. I have no message of “Don’t worry!! If we can just beat those [fill in political party here]’s in the next election, everything will be FINE!!” Nope.  My message is, “If we don’t change our mores and see how we are flushing our remaining liberties down the toilet, as a country, we’re toast as a civilization.”
Yeah, I’m a hoot at dinner parties…
But, I do it so that people will again have conversations in this country that start out with, “Gee whiz, about that new legislation they are looking to pass, I wonder what the real ramifications will be?” instead of, “How could anyone want GUNS in the hands of CRIMINALS??” as if that’s what anyone wants.
I do it so that my kids will be able to live in a land whose laws are not based on envy of what others have. I do it so that we can have a discussion based on facts, not feelings. I do it so we can restore the Declaration of Independence (totally buy my book for more on that – just click on the link to the right!!) and the US Constitution. I do it so people will take the time to truly understand what those documents mean and why abolitionists back in the day, like Republican Frederick Douglass in June of 1863, said things like this:Frederick Douglass
“Let me tell you something. Do you know that you have been deceived and cheated? You have been told that this government was intended from the beginning for white men, and for white men exclusively; that the men who formed the Union and framed the Constitution designed the permanent exclusion of the colored people from the benefits of those institutions. Davis, Taney and Yancey, traitors at the south, have propagated this statement, while their copperhead echoes at the north have repeated the same. There never was a bolder or more wicked perversion of the truth of history. So far from this purpose was the mind and heart of your fathers, that they desired and expected the abolition of slavery. They framed the Constitution plainly with a view to the speedy downfall of slavery. They carefully excluded from the Constitution any and every word which could lead to the belief that they meant it for persons of only one complexion.The Constitution, in its language and in its spirit, welcomes the black man to all the rights which it was intended to guarantee to any class of the American people. Its preamble tells us for whom and for what it was made.”
If a runaway slave with no formal education can dissect and grasp the principles of the US Constitution, so can we, daggumit!
And, that’s why I write this blog. Please share it with everyone. Then, buy my book. We have a country to save!

There are all manner of stories about states seceding from the union, or at least wanting to do so. Texas is one of them, and the list of names on the Texan petition has exceeded 80,000 in number. That’s A LOT of upset people.

 

There aren’t any provisions in the Constitution to allow for secession, but there are not provisions for many of the rights that the people and states count as their own, that are not detailed in the Constitution. The link is to the 9th Amendment.

 

Some would say the Civil War decided this [I used to be one], but, in reality, it decided that states cannot be allowed to rebel because the federal government is protecting the life and liberty of its citizens from the state.  If you want specifics on what was decided by this war from a brilliant mind, learn at the knee of Mises. I also just read that Justice Scalia said, “No way!,” but he also said the right to bear arms can be limited, so do with that info what you will.

 

Also, Texas is a bit different because we were a republic, a separate country, when we joined the union. Some dispute that we joined voluntarily, but I’ll leave that for another post.

 

For now, let’s take this looking at this as if each state COULD declare that they wished to secede and then do so.  The real question then is: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT?

 

As I saw it, several things could happen, and my original view was that nothing good would follow, simply by looking at military logistics.

IF the secession were successful, we would either 1. Be left to the Mexican warlords in full force, or, option 2, we would get retaken by the US govt and made into federal land and stripped of our Texas rights. For option 1, we would stand a chance, especially if all military members were called back to the country (again) of Texas. LOTS of military are from Texas and would have to be released from the US Military.

While pondering this, my brother, Mike Hernandez, who suggested this topic as a post, and I had a chat about it. Here are some of his points in response to my worries.

“I think we would be just fine. We have the ports, industry, oil, natural gas, transportation,uranium, tourists, computer industry, etc. The cartels I wouldn’t worry about them too much. I also think Texas would open the door for other states to follow our lead. I have heard noise about other states also wanting to secede. [Well, we have 27 working on it, so he’s right on this so far!] Do you really think Obama would want the world media to show Americans shooting Americans in open warfare? The U.S. has supported lots of other republics in seceding worldwide ( Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, the Russia republics come to mind). How could they deny Texas? It also kinda scares me. Kinda like suddenly becoming an orphan. Lol.”

About the media, I replied, “Our media would not report a thing. Just like now when everything is “just fine” along the border.” And, I stand by that statement.

 

I also would not put it past the US to reclaim us with force, nor the military members (enough of them) who don’t understand they don’t have to follow unlawful orders to just do whatever they are told to do, believing it absolves them of guilt. This is human nature.

 

Also, remember that just about every “democracy” we have helped to establish we have left to be taken over by tyrants in short order. And it’s different to egg on another country to rebel. At home? Different feelings.

 

To my ramblings, Mike thoughtfully responded.

Good points, I still think we would be okay as long as it was done slowly and with care so as not to come across as “rebels” going up against the U.S. O[bama] and most of the US don’t like Texas anyway. Hell they might help us pack.

While I believe that many in this beloved country of mine would love to help us pack up and ship out, so to speak, I believe that Obama (shoot, almost all politicians) would not let our resources go away that easily. We pay taxes like mad because so many people are flooding here year after year. And, taxes? Now, taxes from Texas ALL politicians like.

 

As to the question of whether or not we SHOULD secede…I’m not as inclined to brush off the idea so quickly anymore, but I’m also not ready to take up arms. I guess I find it interesting that so many are testing the waters with petitions and paperwork. Getting a feel for how it would go. I’ll not dismiss the idea outright, but I’d rather not have to think about it seriously. [Side note: I am not in the mood for a visit from the IRS right now, so putting my name on a public petition would not be on my “to do” list, at this point.]

 

Maybe if everyone gets more people to read my blog, and buy my book, people will understand the true nature of liberty – from a book with adorable illustration and straightforward explanations of history, and a blog with simple truths that seem to have been lost. If there were liberty, the union would be just a lovely place to live.

**UPDATED FOR CLARITY REGARDING THE 10TH AMENDMENT**

Are you ready for the nitty-gritty? Yeah, me, either, let’s do this the easy way. Click on the embedded links if you want specifics (like EVERY step in the process outlined in detail). Then, read on for the general outline and you won’t have the desire to stab yourself in the eye with hot pokers. OKAY!

Someone has to write the bill, and then it gets sent to a committee. It’s a smaller number of people than the entire House/Senate. These people discuss whether or not this bill is even worth being brought to the floor. One of these days, I’ll do a post discussing committees, their worth or lack thereof, why they were a good idea in the first place or not, etc. For now, just know they are there, and this is what they do.

Once a bill is brought to the floor for a vote (and about 15 procedural steps later…only slight exaggeration), the chamber in which it was started votes on it.

Then, if it passes by a simple majority, it trucks over to the other chamber to be voted on there. Here’s where it gets sticky. If the Senate starts it, and passes it, the House can change it, pass THAT VERSION and then send it BACK for another vote from the Senate. It’s like ping-pong, only WAY more boring to watch. Generally, this is when congresspeople who want the bill signed (or don’t) start accusing the “other guys” of holding little children and grandparents hostage, and the like.

When I was a kid, my mom and dad would read “Stop That Ball” by Mike Mcclintock. This boy’s ball gets whacked out of his yard and they run all over town trying to capture the ball, as it keeps getting kicked, thrown, or blasted out of his reach. At one point, the boys says, “Could this go on all day and night? It could you know, and it just might!” That’s how bills go, too.

So, once it’s been nailed down by both chambers, and they both pass it, it goes to the president. If he feels it’s all good to go (or at least politically expedient to sign it…don’t get me started on that…), he signs and VOILA!, a law is born. Like human birth, it’s almost never pretty – miraculous, but not pretty. Some laws being born are uglier than others.

However, if the POTUS says, “Nope,” the process goes BACK to the congress and they have to get two-thirds of both houses to vote for it to override the veto.  Usually, the POTUS writes why he nixed it, and the politicians go out and grandstand about how bad the POTUS is without even reading his response, typically. That’s how they roll. And, we keep electing them. Yikes.

Anyway, while this process seems quite straight forward, you still get horrid politicians who want to go around the rules. (Who says character matters??) For example, the Obamacare law. Well, that has a couple of snags.

First, the Constitution does not allow for the federal government to get involved in anything that is not delegated to it (see my post on the 10th Amendment for clarification, as well as Article 1, Sections 8, 9, & 10 of the Constitution), and this healthcare bill is most assuredly NOT in the “to do” list for the feds.

The other problem is that it started in the Senate. Normally, no biggie. And, it was stated emphatically by those promoting the bill to have not been a tax. “NOT A TAX!!” they proclaimed. Then, the SCOTUS opined that it was constitutional because it was…wait for it…a TAX. Hmmm…

Since ALL spending and tax bills have to originate in the House, where does that put us? In Illegallawville, that’s where!

Oy.

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