What can I say?

After several days, President Obama finally gave in to pressure from the American people and ordered the flag to be flown at half staff in order to honor the four (now five) American servicemen gunned down last week in Tennessee by a suicidal man with the name Mohammed. Wow ! What took you so long Mr. President? As people were puzzling over the President’s flag inaction, it was announced that Cuba’s flag of communism and repression would be raised at the State Department to recognize the re-opening Cuban embassy in Washington. President Obama announced in December 2014 that he is setting a “new course” with Cuba. President Obama’s priorities have many of us scratching our heads, which we are told, indicates our racism.

As the President and his team publicly spin the supposed benefits of their nuclear weapons deal with Iran (a deal that will increase that terrorist state’s position as a regional and world power), the state run media in Iran airs videos with messages stating “We Will Trample Upon America” and “We Defeat the United States.” President Obama, displaying confidence in his negotiations with our enemy has warned Congress not to mess with the deal even though the U.S. Constitution states the President can only conclude treaties with foreign nations with the approval of two thirds of the members of the Senate. The arrogance and foolishness of this man is very unsettling. The ignorance of the American people regarding their own Constitution and the moral weakness shown by members of Congress is even worse.


Hundreds of thousands of Iranians marched in 2013 in Tehran and other cities chanting “Death to America” as Iran marked the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. (AFP)

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians marched in 2013 in Tehran and other cities chanting “Death to America” as Iran marked the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. (AFP)

Random Thoughts

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,  a paid servant of the people.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, a paid servant of the people.

Letting Convicted Criminals Vote

Do you value your right to vote? Should anyone be allowed to vote? President Obama’s right hand man, Attorney General Eric Holder, is working quickly and furiously to allow convicted felons, some who commit the most violent crimes against their fellow men, the right to vote. Is there anyone who can argue with a straight face that giving people convicted of armed robbery, murder, car-jacking or rape the right to vote will be a good thing for this country? Wow! Look at Eric Holder. Look at how low our country has sunk.

Putin vs. Obama

It is very dangerous when a when a weak leader like President Obama, in way over his head, is challenged with a foreign crisis like Crimea. His desire to suddenly appear strong and silence his critics, but without the heart or stomach to follow a coherent strategy through to the end is a very dangerous urge that could set the stage for future unthinkable disasters. For one thing, the Republicans should stop publicly daring Obama to “do something” about Crimea. Don’t egg a weakling on to fight a bully – he might get creamed.

At this point, there is little in the short-term President Obama can do. I am not saying President Obama should do nothing about Russia’s invasion of Crimea, but whatever he does it should not be done rashly, it must be part of a viable long term strategy and it must be done for the right reasons. Playing politics with foreign policy is very dangerous. That goes for Republicans too.

When the administration of Neville Chamberlain encouraged Hitler through its weakness and naïveté to invade his neighbors, at least in Great Britain it was possible to call for a new administration who could get serious about stopping the tyrant’s designs, and it was done – Churchill was appointed Prime Minister. In the U.S. we are stuck with Obama for almost three more years and so the world watches and nervously waits. Who is nervous? Japan, Western Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Israel. Who is not so nervous? China, Vladimir Putin, Iran’s Mullahs, Kim Jong-un.

Some say it is ridiculous to compare Putin to Hitler, Obama to Chamberlain, etc. But some general parallels do apply that are instructive. Mark Twain once said that although history does not repeat itself, it often rhymes. Weakness encourages aggression. It’s true in the schoolyard. It’s true on the world stage. It was true in the 1930’s and it is just as true now. Unfortunately, many modern-day liberal progressives do not study history and thus do not have any compass to guide them. Theoretical ideas and political correctness are no substitute for historical knowledge.

Conservatives vs. Liberals: A View of Big Government and a Challenge

When conservatives complain that the IRS has used its coercive power to abuse them and stifle their political speech, liberals shrug it off – no problem they say, conservatives should stop whining. But when liberal leaders in Congress like Diane Feinstein think the Federal government is abusing them (spying drones) they cry foul and demand action.

I know it is difficult for liberals to admit that the federal government has gotten too large, too powerful, too coercive, too invasive – they don’t want to sound like their Tea Party opponents. But the time has come for all sides to agree that we need to reign in the beast we have created. The Obama administration will not offer any assistance in this area. It likes the power it has and will try to expand it. What liberals do not seem to understand is that someday they may be the target of a wrathful, powerful administration (a few who don’t toe the line are already).

It’s not a liberal vs. conservative argument as the media often portrays it. Those who marginalize the issue do not understand the dangerous political atmosphere it creates. The United States Constitution set up a limited form of government. And under it Congress and the Executive have enumerated, specific powers. Either you believe in the Constitution or you don’t. Don’t cherry pick the parts you like and ignore the parts you don’t. If you don’t believe in the Constitution, stop pretending that you do.

If you believe in the rule of law and not the rule of whim, then defend all parts of the Constitution, not just the parts that support you fleeting causes. The alternative will lead to anarchy and misery. It’s time for liberals and conservatives to put the future of our country above personal concerns and party politics. We must join hands to reign in Congress and the federal bureaucracy that routinely exceeds its statutory powers. If We the People do not demand a return to Constitutional principles and the Rule of Law then we are all at risk of being personally abused and even ruined by our own federal government.


“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make good use of it! If you do not, I shall repent it in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it!”
John Adams, April 26, 1777

Subverting the Constitution

Should the U.S. Constitution be considered a “living, breathing” document?

There is a group called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA. You may have heard of them. Last year PETA filed a lawsuit that, if successful, would have given new powers to the 13th Amendment that were never intended by its authors. They argued that the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished the enslavement of human beings in the U.S., applies to animals as well. PETA’s argument was a gross misrepresentation of an important law. Their specific claim was that SeaWorld was in violation of the 13th Amendment because it was holding wild orca whales in captivity. PETA wanted to use the 13th Amendment to force SeaWorld to return the orcas back to their natural habitat.

Section one of the 13th Amendment reads: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

What perceived flaw in the wording of the 13th Amendment encouraged PETA to file this lawsuit? Jeffrey Kerr, PETA’s lawyer, argued that the text of the 13th Amendment does not specify who or what is a slave. Although he is right about that, it is disingenuous for Kerr to deny that the authors and original supporters of the 13th Amendment understood it to apply to anything other than human beings.

When commenting about PETA’s lawsuit on TV Kerr argued that there are two equally valid ways to interpret the Constitution. The first way to interpret it is to assign to it the meaning its authors assigned to it. The second way to interpret the meaning of the Constitution, Kerr argued, is to give it the meaning that he desires to give to it. He is dead wrong on this second count. The consequence of viewing the law this way is that laws can be twisted to mean anything and thus will come to mean nothing.

Those like Kerr, who act on the claim that the Constitution is a “living” or “breathing” document are trying to undermine the rule of law. For them, the rule of law is flexible, it exists only so that it can be molded and shaped to fit their purposes. If those who share Kerr’s views, and they are numerous, are successful, it will eventually lead to chaos and anarchy in our society. So while PETA’s argument may seem silly and frivolous to us, the general idea behind it is dangerous. If we cherish the relative peace and prosperity we enjoy in this country, then we have our laws and our Constitution to thank. But when we allow those laws to be twisted to mean things they do not, we will begin to see the ruin of our nation.

Thankfully, this time, PETA’s lawsuit was thrown out of court. But this fight between those who believe that our laws and Constitution should be ignored or twisted to fit their agendas and those who do not will continue for a long time. For those of us who wish to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” we had better start teaching our children again about the meaning and importance of our founding documents and the ideas that made the founding of this great nation possible.

Frotho Canutus

“To avoid therefore the evils of inconstancy and versatility, ten thousand times worse than those of obstinacy and the blindest prejudice, we have consecrated the state, that no man should approach to look into its defects or corruptions but with due caution; that he should never dream of beginning its reformation by its subversion.”Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790.

Thoughts on Freedom

Bill of RightsMany Americans seem much confused about the intent and meaning of our founding documents. For example the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that “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.” This expression of our right clearly states that the people, not a militia have the right to bear arms. It is because the people are guaranteed the right to defend themselves with arms that made militias possible. The militia was the people! Until the Second Amendment to the Constitution is amended or abolished by three-quarters of our 50 states, we the people will continue to have a constitutional right to bear arms. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

Another thing the current generation seems confused about is the so-called “separation of church and state.” Some may be surprised to learn that his phrase does not appear in any of the founding documents or any law. The first amendment to the Constitution, however does address very clearly the issue of religion in relation to the federal government, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Therefore, if people in a community want to erect a Christmas crèche in their local town square, our Constitution does not prevent them from doing so. Erecting a Christmas tree or a menorah or any other religious symbol on public property is not Congressional establishment of religion. This notion that public displays of religion are unconstitutional is only believed by those who are misinformed about our laws or pushed by those attempting to either suppress or destroy the sacred beliefs held by others with whom they disagree. The good people of all faiths in this country need to understand that our constitutional right to “the free exercise” of religion is under attack. We need to stand up to this vocal minority of bossy troublemakers who show so much disdain for Constitutional law and who heap scorn upon our cherished traditions. If we don’t organize and stand up to them now the day will surely come when all sublime and beautiful religious traditions as well as some secular ones are forced into hiding. If we let that happen we will all be poorer for it. If you think me too focused on holiday traditions look at this issue from a broader perspective. This war on religion and tradition in our country is just one example of how our rights are being slowly chipped away. If we cherish our freedom, we must defend it wherever it is under attack.

I will leave you with an unrelated, random thought:

Why is it that President Bush was unfairly blamed by the media for the poor federal response to Hurricane Katrina, while President Obama gets a pass on Hurricane Sandy? Surely the people of New York and New Jersey have endured the same sufferings as the people of Louisiana.

Do the people in media, the great majority of whom are liberal, manipulate the thoughts and feelings of the people for their own political agenda?

Frotho Canutus


While I am not advocating SECESSION as a way to deal with the current fiscal crisis, I would not rule it out as an option if the federal government continues its slide towards insolvency. Another reason to consider secession would be if the governments of fiscally irresponsible states like California and Illinois ask the federal government to coerce fiscally responsible states like Kansas and Oklahoma to bail them out. This scenario is more than just a remote possibility. I won’t attempt to list all the possible justifications for secession. My point is that there are good and valid reasons for considering secession.

An example of one group of Americans bailing out another group occurred when the housing bubble burst in 2007-8. As the housing market collapsed, responsible homeowners began supporting with their taxes the bailout of a system shattered by the irresponsible actions of others. How long will the good citizens of our country support a system that continually abuses them?

Much of the criticism of this most recent Secessionist wave is coming from people who seem to be very loosely educated in American history. While I don’t always agree with Ron Paul, I have to admit that he was right when he made the point that the United States was created by a secessionist movement. It’s an historical fact that can’t be argued with. In 1776, 13 English colonies declared that they were “Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.” The leaders of the colonies thought the British policies so oppressive that it warranted secession. Americans still celebrate this Declaration of Independence (or what might also be properly called a Declaration of Secession) every 4th of July.

The accusation that people discussing secession are kooks or even worse, traitors begs the question: Why are so many Americans ignorant of their own history?

When the Virginia delegates gathered in Richmond in June of 1788 to consider ratification of the Constitution they wrote: “The powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the People of the United States, may be resumed by them, whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.” By this declaration, the Virginia delegates were making it very clear that the governing powers conferred by them to the federal authority might be withdrawn if the federal authority began abusing those powers. In other words, the same Virginians who gave their consent to the Constitution were simultaneously asserting their right to secede from the Union just as the 13 colonies had dissolved their union with Great Britain 12 years prior.

The men of the Virginia Ratifying Convention did not believe that the Constitution was a perfect legal framework for federal governing and so they proposed several amendments to it. One began thus: That Government ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the People; and that the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind. It seems obvious to me that many of the founding fathers from Virginia viewed complacency towards an abusive federal government as unpatriotic.

Was Virginia’s ratification declaration just the ranting of a landed, slave-owning gentry who wanted to leave the door open for secession to protect the institution of slavery? I don’t think so. No serious Constitutional historian that I know of has attributed a strong pro-slavery interest to the representatives at New York’s ratifying convention, and yet they expressed sentiments similar to Virginia’s in their own declaration: “That all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, and that government is instituted by them for their common interest, protection, and security.” “That the powers of government may be reassumed by the people whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness.” I really don’t think Virginia and New York had anything specific in mind when they made these declarations. If one studies the things that motivated the founding fathers, one of the common themes revealed is a general mistrust of central authority.

This little peek into our constitutional beginnings demonstrates that Ron Paul was absolutely right when he said “We came together voluntarily – a free society means you can dissolve it voluntarily.” Liberty does not exist when people lose the power to enforce their right to replace the government that oppresses them.

N. B. The source of the declarations quoted above is the work popularly know as Elliot’s Debates on the Federal Constitution. It’s unfortunate that very few Americans seem to understand the principles behind the origin of our Constitutional Republic. What’s worse is that they may not even care. Because they do not know what the Constitution was intended to be, they do not recognize how far we have strayed from its original purpose and the danger that this implies. This holiday season, with the young ones in mind; consider the gift of early American history. I will try to find some good American history books to recommend for the kids. Please check back later.