Category Archives: World History

When We Look At Ted Cruz, We See the Alamo

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The Alamo Today

It was not until the last 24 hours, after 13 days of siege, that a real battle ensued. In the battle, the Alamo defenders fought valiantly and nearly all were killed including Jim Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davey Crockett.

The defense of the Alamo allowed General Sam Houston to build a large enough army to route Santa Anna and his men. “Remember The Alamo” was a constant battle cry at the Battle of San Jacinto, six weeks later. In the battle that lasted only 18 minutes, roughly 630 Mexican troops were killed and 730 captured while only 9 Texans died. Three weeks after being captured, Santa Anna signed a peace treaty, paving the way for the Republic of Texas.

The men who fought and died in Texas were ordinary people who took up arms to defend a great country. With the threat of death hovering above them for 13 days, they refused to leave their post (yes, a very tiny group did) and surrender. Even Davey Crockett, a man who already served as a United States Congressman, took up arms to defend Texas. Nearly all politicians today can learn a very big lesson from the men who lost their lives. There is a greater good besides your own self-interests. Politicians need to stop their petty differences and make the correct political sacrifices even if it costs them their career. They must be able to stand up to the political correctness without worry about what the consequences might be.

Ted Cruz is a Texan, and he acts like it. He is not afraid of demonizing his own party and possibly sacrificing his career in order to bring our country back to what the founding fathers fought for. The American people have had enough of the political correctness that has been drowning this country and holding us back from the being the great power we used to be. Washington should mark this day, March 6, as National “Remember the Alamo” day in honor of those who gave their lives and the selfless sacrifices they made.

Read it all.

Sitting At The Head Of The Class

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Teacher, Teacher, I need you...

Premise: Obama administration is a troop of gangsters, needs to be investigated to the hilt, and held accountable just like every other administration that has come before. The Obama administration is not entitled to its own dictatorship in the United States of America, no matter who he thinks he is.

Charmer #1: If you can't see that both sides of this political circus act are corrupt and no matter which side gets into the Oval Office at any given time we will get the same result because we allowed the elite bankers to hijack the country via the federal reserve bank of which they are major shareholders.

Charmer #2: I can see one side refused to participate in a program forcing everyone in the nation to eventually change insurance plans, enumerating everyone under the same system, thus ruining healthcare and one-sixth of the US economy; I can see that one side sent guns into Mexico illegally and 300 people were killed including an American border patrol agent; I can see that one side used the IRS illegally to stymie conservative political organizations; I can see that one side lied about a tape being the cause of the Benghazi tragedy, and has refused to allow survivors to testify before Congress; I can see that one side spent $800,000,000,000 that was earmarked for shovel ready projects (infrastructure) and is now calling for $400,000,000,000 for infrastructure because they used to the $800 billion to bankroll Obama-friendly green energy companies that failed rather than spend it on traditional infrastructure; and I can see one side gave organizations billions of that money to support Obamacare so it would pass the Congress with one side's votes. The more I look at both sides the more I see corruption in this administration that the other side had nothing to do with. Since you claim to be sitting at the head of the class, can you see a problem with the people in office now? If so let's deal with it first rather than give them a pass since they are the problem at the moment.

Teacher's question: Where is the snake?

Gaming The Government Shut Down

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President Hard At Work

We all enjoy a good story, although I prefer the charms of reality to fantasy (what the Left apotheosizes). As the debt continues to stack up the Left squawks with ass-cracking pitch in redirecting blame for the shutdown away from Harry Reid and the Obama administration's jump ball routine onto Ted Cruz, the Tea Party and the rest of the impotent backwater Republicans. Details being what they are, I suggest we prepare a brief timeline for our convenience, shall we...

Sept 20th: The GOP-led House votes to keep government funded through Dec 15th, but only if the president agrees to defund Obamacare.

Sept 24/25: Ted Cruz makes his 21 hour long filibuster, railing against ObamaCae and advocating a shutdown unless the Democrates make the outlined compromises on the health care law.

Sept 27th: The Democratic-led Senate rejects and removes the House-passed defunding of ObamaCare, sends bill back to the House.

Sept 29th: GOP-led House changes its demands from defunding ObamaCare to delaying the implementation of the law for one year and repealing its tax on medical devices.

Sept 30th: The Senate says NO to the reworked House proposal. Bill returned to the House, who once again rework their demands. This time, instead of the Sept 29th provision, the House GOP ask that the president delay for one year ObamaCares 'individual mandate' to buy insurance; and that the president require Congress and its staff to pay unsubsidized health insurance costs. The Senate rejects those provisions, and so…

Oct 1st: The partial shutdown begins and 800,000 government workers furloughed.

Oct 2-9th: The GOP-led House begins approving bills to restart popular government programs, including the national parks and museums, National Institute of Health medical research, FEMA, the FDA, and Head Start. The Democratic-led Senate ignores or reject these actions as 'piecemeal' governance and incentivizing the GOP to keep the shutdown going on longer.

Oct 10th: Boehner proposes a six-week debt limit extension with the compromise that Obama discuss spending cuts. The House leaders meet the president and no agreement.

Oct 11-14th: A bipartisan group of senators work on a bill to reopen government and avoid defat. Harry Reid and McConnell begin their talks to extend the debt limit and reopen the federal government.

Oct 15th: After much talk the House votes on a new bill to end the shutdown and extend the debt limit, that ultimately collapsed when Boehner asserted he did not have the votes. The deal required Congress to pay more for its own health insurance. Democrats said no, and the 'tea portion' of the GOP rejected the proposal because it didn't go far enough to fight ObamaCare.

Oct 16th: The Senate comes to a deal to temporarily halt the shutdown and extend the debt limit. It passes both the House and Senate shortly before midnight.

Oct 17th: The president signs the deal into law, shortly after midnight.

What was the ultimate result for the GOP? Seemingly nothing but further suspicion and distrust from the majority of citizens who don't follow every hiccup in the hoochie coochie sideshow that passes for political activity in this country these days. It is always good to remember that the House is charged with originating all spending bills. If you check the Congressional Record you will find that the GOP-controlled House voted all the money required to keep all government activities going—except for Obamacare. That is the salient point in finding fault for this terrible waste of time and taxpayer money.

—Adapted from online comment by Lynda Groom

Facts And Fiction: The JFK Assassination Redux

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John F. Kennedy

Among the neon spectres, sweaty palm swoons, cigarette smoke, and coffee stained reams of conspiracies theory that have bustled about the name of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, there is one which invariably sticks to the soles of any flat foot who nurses a need to boast of a secret that could have been but probably never was, and this blog entry is the detail-rich tale that JFK was killed as a result of the following presidential statement and subsequent issuing of Executive Order No. 11110. This transfiguring event was no mere dalliance with the shadowy powers that gently push this world along a path they with the pursestrings and information gathering powers prefer, but a seismic shift that would cost them dearly, and some say they could not let this happen...

Jack Kennedy, the second youngest ever to hold the office, served less than three years as the 35th President of the United States, but he was instrumental in bringing the nation into the contemporary age of television, media, and popular culture from which we have never recovered.

So let the conspiracy mill begin anew by reading the full speech that many say got JFK murdered:

President Anderson, members of the faculty, board of trustees, distinguished guests, my old colleague, Senator Bob Byrd, who has earned his degree through many years of attending night law school, while I am earning mine in the next 30 minutes, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is with great pride that I participate in this ceremony of the American University, sponsored by the Methodist Church, founded by Bishop John Fletcher Hurst, and first opened by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. This is a young and growing university, but it has already fulfilled Bishop Hurst's enlightened hope for the study of history and public affairs in a city devoted to the making of history and to the conduct of the public's business. By sponsoring this institution of higher learning for all who wish to learn, whatever their color or their creed, the Methodists of this area and the Nation deserve the Nation's thanks, and I commend all those who are today graduating.

Professor Woodrow Wilson once said that every man sent out from a university should be a man of his nation as well as a man of his time, and I am confident that the men and women who carry the honor of graduating from this institution will continue to give from their lives, from their talents, a high measure of public service and public support. "There are few earthly things more beautiful than a university," wrote John Masefield in his tribute to English universities—and his words are equally true today. He did not refer to towers or to campuses. He admired the splendid beauty of a university, because it was, he said, "a place where those who hate ignorance may strive to know, where those who perceive truth may strive to make others see."

I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived. And that is the most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children—not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.

I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age where great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age where a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.

And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors.

Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need them is essential to the keeping of peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles—which can only destroy and never create—is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace. I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary, rational end of rational men. I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war, and frequently the words of the pursuers fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.

Some say that it is useless to speak of peace or world law or world disarmament, and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them do it. But I also believe that we must reexamine our own attitudes, as individuals and as a Nation, for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward, by examining his own attitude towards the possibilities of peace, towards the Soviet Union, towards the course of the cold war and towards freedom and peace here at home.

First examine our attitude towards peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it is unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed, that we are gripped by forces we cannot control. We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade; therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable, and we believe they can do it again. I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of universal peace and good will of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and dreams but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only and immediate goal.

Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions – on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is no single, simple key to this peace; no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process—a way of solving problems.

"And, JFK's "United States notes" backed by silver, which were withdrawn the day he was shot, would have put the Federal Reserve out of business and returned to the Treasury Department the Constitutional power to create and issue a debt-free currency."

With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor, it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors. So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly towards it.

And second, let us reexamine our attitude towards the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write. It is discouraging to read a recent, authoritative Soviet text on military strategy and find, on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims, such as the allegation that American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of war, that there is a very real threat of a preventive war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union, and that the political aims – and I quote – "of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries and to achieve world domination by means of aggressive war."

Truly, as it was written long ago: "The wicked flee when no man pursueth."

Yet it is sad to read these Soviet statements, to realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning, a warning to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.

No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. As Americans, we find communism profoundly repugnant as a negation of personal freedom and dignity. But we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture, in acts of courage.

Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war. Almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other. And no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in the Second World War. At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and families were burned or sacked. A third of the nation's territory, including two thirds of its industrial base, was turned into a wasteland—a loss equivalent to the destruction of this country east of Chicago.

Today, should total war ever break out again—no matter how—our two countries will be the primary target. It is an ironic but accurate fact that the two strongest powers are the two in the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours. And even in the cold war, which brings burdens and dangers to so many countries, including this Nation's closest allies, our two countries bear the heaviest burdens. For we are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons that could be better devoted to combat ignorance, poverty, and disease. We are both caught up in a vicious and dangerous cycle, with suspicion on one side breeding suspicion on the other, and new weapons begetting counter-weapons. In short, both the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its allies, have a mutually deep interest in a just and genuine peace and in halting the arms race. Agreements to this end are in the interests of the Soviet Union as well as ours. And even the most hostile nations can be relied upon to accept and keep those treaty obligations, and only those treaty obligations, which are in their own interest.

So let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal.

Third, let us reexamine our attitude towards the cold war, remembering we're not engaged in a debate, seeking to pile up debating points. We are not here distributing blame or pointing the finger of judgment. We must deal with the world as it is, and not as it might have been had the history of the last 18 years been different. We must, therefore, persevere in the search for peace in the hope that constructive changes within the Communist bloc might bring within reach solutions which now seem beyond us. We must conduct our affairs in such a way that it becomes in the Communists' interest to agree on a genuine peace. And above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy – or of a collective death-wish for the world.

To secure these ends, America's weapons are nonprovocative, carefully controlled, designed to deter, and capable of selective use. Our military forces are committed to peace and disciplined in self-restraint. Our diplomats are instructed to avoid unnecessary irritants and purely rhetorical hostility. For we can seek a relaxation of tensions without relaxing our guard. And, for our part, we do not need to use threats to prove we are resolute. We do not need to jam foreign broadcasts out of fear our faith will be eroded. We are unwilling to impose our system on any unwilling people, but we are willing and able to engage in peaceful competition with any people on earth.

Meanwhile, we seek to strengthen the United Nations, to help solve its financial problems, to make it a more effective instrument for peace, to develop it into a genuine world security system – a system capable of resolving disputes on the basis of law, of insuring the security of the large and the small, and of creating conditions under which arms can finally be abolished. At the same time we seek to keep peace inside the non-Communist world, where many nations, all of them our friends, are divided over issues which weaken Western unity, which invite Communist intervention, or which threaten to erupt into war. Our efforts in West New Guinea, in the Congo, in the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent, have been persistent and patient despite criticism from both sides. We have also tried to set an example for others, by seeking to adjust small but significant differences with our own closest neighbors in Mexico and Canada.

Speaking of other nations, I wish to make one point clear. We are bound to many nations by alliances. Those alliances exist because our concern and theirs substantially overlap. Our commitment to defend Western Europe and West Berlin, for example, stands undiminished because of the identity of our vital interests. The United States will make no deal with the Soviet Union at the expense of other nations and other peoples, not merely because they are our partners, but also because their interests and ours converge. Our interests converge, however, not only in defending the frontiers of freedom, but in pursuing the paths of peace. It is our hope, and the purpose of allied policy, to convince the Soviet Union that she, too, should let each nation choose its own future, so long as that choice does not interfere with the choices of others. The Communist drive to impose their political and economic system on others is the primary cause of world tension today. For there can be no doubt that if all nations could refrain from interfering in the self-determination of others, the peace would be much more assured.

This will require a new effort to achieve world law, a new context for world discussions. It will require increased understanding between the Soviets and ourselves. And increased understanding will require increased contact and communication. One step in this direction is the proposed arrangement for a direct line between Moscow and Washington, to avoid on each side the dangerous delays, misunderstandings, and misreadings of others' actions which might occur at a time of crisis.

We have also been talking in Geneva about our first-step measures of arm[s] controls designed to limit the intensity of the arms race and reduce the risk of accidental war. Our primary long range interest in Geneva, however, is general and complete disarmament, designed to take place by stages, permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms. The pursuit of disarmament has been an effort of this Government since the 1920's. It has been urgently sought by the past three administrations. And however dim the prospects are today, we intend to continue this effort—to continue it in order that all countries, including our own, can better grasp what the problems and possibilities of disarmament are.

The only major area of these negotiations where the end is in sight, yet where a fresh start is badly needed, is in a treaty to outlaw nuclear tests. The conclusion of such a treaty, so near and yet so far, would check the spiraling arms race in one of its most dangerous areas. It would place the nuclear powers in a position to deal more effectively with one of the greatest hazards which man faces in 1963, the further spread of nuclear arms. It would increase our security; it would decrease the prospects of war. Surely this goal is sufficiently important to require our steady pursuit, yielding neither to the temptation to give up the whole effort nor the temptation to give up our insistence on vital and responsible safeguards.

I'm taking this opportunity, therefore, to announce two important decisions in this regard. First, Chairman Khrushchev, Prime Minister Macmillan, and I have agreed that high-level discussions will shortly begin in Moscow looking towards early agreement on a comprehensive test ban treaty. Our hope must be tempered – Our hopes must be tempered with the caution of history; but with our hopes go the hopes of all mankind. Second, to make clear our good faith and solemn convictions on this matter, I now declare that the United States does not propose to conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so. We will not—We will not be the first to resume. Such a declaration is no substitute for a formal binding treaty, but I hope it will help us achieve one. Nor would such a treaty be a substitute for disarmament, but I hope it will help us achieve it.

Finally, my fellow Americans, let us examine our attitude towards peace and freedom here at home. The quality and spirit of our own society must justify and support our efforts abroad. We must show it in the dedication of our own lives—as many of you who are graduating today will have an opportunity to do, by serving without pay in the Peace Corps abroad or in the proposed National Service Corps here at home. But wherever we are, we must all, in our daily lives, live up to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together. In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because freedom is incomplete. It is the responsibility of the executive branch at all levels of government—local, State, and National—to provide and protect that freedom for all of our citizens by all means within our authority. It is the responsibility of the legislative branch at all levels, wherever the authority is not now adequate, to make it adequate. And it is the responsibility of all citizens in all sections of this country to respect the rights of others and respect the law of the land.

All this—All this is not unrelated to world peace. "When a man's way[s] please the Lord," the Scriptures tell us, "He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights: the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation; the right to breathe air as nature provided it; the right of future generations to a healthy existence?

While we proceed to safeguard our national interests, let us also safeguard human interests. And the elimination of war and arms is clearly in the interest of both. No treaty, however much it may be to the advantage of all, however tightly it may be worded, can provide absolute security against the risks of deception and evasion. But it can, if it is sufficiently effective in its enforcement, and it is sufficiently in the interests of its signers, offer far more security and far fewer risks than an unabated, uncontrolled, unpredictable arms race.

The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough—more than enough—of war and hate and oppression.

We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we must labor on—not towards a strategy of annihilation but towards a strategy of peace.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy—35th President of the United States

Andrew Jackson Abolishes The Central Bank

One hundred and fourscore years ago this month, President Andrew Jackson gave the following speech stipulating why he was closing the United States Bank.

President Andrew Jackson
President Andrew Jackson
A BANK OF THE UNITED STATES is in many respects convenient for the Government and useful to the people. Entertaining this opinion, and deeply impressed with the belief that some of the powers and privileges possessed by the existing Bank are unauthorized by the Constitution, subversive of the rights of the States, and dangerous to the liberties of the people, I felt it my duty, at an early period of my administration, to call the attention of Congress to the practicability of organizing an institution combining all its advantages, and obviating these objections. I sincerely regret that, in the act before me, I can perceive none of those modifications of the Bank charter which are necessary, in my opinion, to make it compatible with justice, with sound policy, or with the Constitution of our country.

Every monopoly, and all exclusive privileges, are granted at the expense of the public, which ought to receive a fair equivalent. The many millions which this act proposes to bestow on the stockholders of the existing Bank must come directly or indirectly out of the earnings of the American people. It is due to them, therefore, if their Government sell monopolies and exclusive privileges, that they should at least exact for them as much as they are worth in open market. The value of the monopoly in this case may be correctly ascertained. The twenty-eight millions of stock would probably be at an advance of fifty per cent, and command in market at least forty-two millions of dollars, subject to the payment of the present bonus. The present value of the monopoly, therefore, is seventeen millions of dollars, and this the act proposes to sell for three millions, payable in fifteen annual installments of two hundred thousand dollars each.

It is not conceivable how the present stockholders can have any claim to the special favor of the Government. The present corporation has enjoyed its monopoly during the period stipulated in the original contract. If we must have such a corporation, why should not the Government sell out the whole stock, and thus secure to the people the full market value of the privileges granted? Why should not Congress create and sell twenty-eight millions of stock, incorporating the purchasers with all the powers and privileges secured in this act, and putting the premium upon the sales into the Treasury.

It has been urged as an argument in favor of rechartering the present Bank, that the calling in its loans will produce great embarrassment and distress. The time allowed to close its concerns is ample; and if it has been well managed, its pressure will be light, and heavy only in case its management has been bad. If, therefore, it shall produce distress, the fault will be its own: and it would furnish a reason against renewing a power which has been so obviously abused. But will there ever be a time when this reason will be less powerful? To acknowledge its force is to admit that the Bank ought to be perpetual; and, as a consequence, the present stockholders, and those inheriting their rights as successors, be established a privileged order, clothed both with great political power and enjoying immense pecuniary advantages from their connection with the Government. The modifications of the existing charter, proposed by this act, are not such, in my views, as make it consistent with the rights of the States or the liberties of the people.

Is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a Bank that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country. The president of the Bank has told us that most of the State banks exist by its forbearance. Should its influence become concentered, as it may under the operation of such an act as this, in the hands of a self-elected directory, whose interests are identified with those of the foreign stockholders, will there not be cause to tremble for the purity of our elections in peace, and for the independence of our country in war. Their power would be great whenever they might choose to exert it; but if this monopoly were regularly renewed every fifteen or twenty years, on terms proposed by themselves, they might seldom in peace put forth their strength to influence elections or control the affairs of the nation. But if any private citizen or public functionary should interpose to curtail its powers, or prevent a renewal of its privileges, it cannot be doubted that he would be made to feel its influence.

Should the stock of the Bank principally pass into the hands of the subjects of a foreign country, and we should unfortunately become involved in a war with that country, what would be our condition? Of the course which would be pursued by a bank almost wholly owned by the subjects of a foreign power, and managed by those whose interests, if not affections, would run in the same direction, there can be no doubt. All its operations within would be in aid of the hostile fleets and armies without. Controlling our currency, receiving our public moneys, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence, it would be more formidable and dangerous than the naval and military power of the enemy…

It is maintained by the advocates of the Bank, that its constitutionality, in all its features, ought to be considered as settled by precedent, and by the decision of the Supreme Court. To this conclusion I cannot assent. Mere precedent is a dangerous source of authority, and should not be regarded as deciding questions of constitutional power, except where the acquiescence of the people and the States can be considered as well settled. So far from this being the case on this subject, an argument against the Bank might be based on precedent. One Congress, in 1791, decided in favor of a bank; another, in 1811, decided against it. One Congress, in 1815, decided against a bank; another, in 1816, decided in its favor. Prior to the present Congress, therefore, the precedents drawn from that source were equal. If we resort to the States, the expressions of legislative, judicial, and executive opinions against the Bank have been probably to those in its favor as four to one. There is nothing in precedent, therefore, which, if its authority were admitted, ought to weigh in favor of the act before me.

If the opinion of the Supreme Court covered the whole ground of this act, it ought not to control the coordinate authorities of this Government. The Congress, the Executive, and the Court, must each for itself be guided by its own opinion of the Constitution. Each public officer, who takes an oath to support the Constitution, swears that he will support it as he understands it, and not as it is understood by others. It is as much the duty of the House of Representatives, of the Senate, and of the President to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution which may be presented to them for passage or approval as it is of the supreme judges when it may be brought before them for judicial decision…

It cannot be necessary to the character of the Bank as a fiscal agent of the Government that its private business should be exempted from that taxation to which all the State banks are liable; nor can I conceive it proper that the substantive and most essential powers reserved by the States shall be thus attacked and annihilated as a means of executing the powers delegated to the general government. It may be safely assumed that none of those sages who had an agency in forming or adopting our Constitution, ever imagined that any portion of the taxing power of the States, not prohibited to them nor delegated to Congress, was to be swept away and annihilated as a means of executing certain powers delegated to Congress…

Suspicions are entertained, and charges are made, of gross abuse and violation of its charter. An investigation unwillingly conceded, and so restricted in time as necessarily to make it incomplete and unsatisfactory, disclosed enough to excite suspicion and alarm. In the practices of the principal bank partially unveiled, in the absence of important witnesses, and in numerous charges confidently made, and as yet wholly uninvestigated, there was enough to induce a majority of the committee of investigation, a committee which was selected from the most able and honorable members of the House of Representatives, to recommend a suspension of further action upon the bill, and a prosecution of the inquiry. As the charter had yet four years to run, and as a renewal now was not necessary to the successful prosecution of its business, it was to have been expected that the Bank itself, conscious of its purity, and proud of its character, would have withdrawn its application for the present, and demanded the severest scrutiny into all its transactions. In their declining to do so, there seems to be an additional reason why the functionaries of the Government should proceed with less haste and more caution in the renewal of their monopoly…

I have now done my duty to my country. If sustained by my fellow citizens, I shall be grateful and happy; if not, I shall find in the motives which impel me ample grounds for contentment and peace. In the difficulties which surround us and the dangers which threaten our institutions there is cause for neither dismay nor alarm. For relief and deliverance let us firmly rely on that kind Providence which, I am sure, watches with peculiar care over the destinies of our republic, and on the intelligence and wisdom of our countrymen. Through His abundant goodness, and their patriotic devotion, our liberty and Union will be preserved.

President Andrew Jackson
Speech to Congress
July 10, 1832

Will The Real Second Amendment Please Cock And Load?

Firearms
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
–Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria in On Crimes and Punishment (1764).
Istumbled across this spot-on post by an insightful reader of The Federalist. Hat tip to Cylar.

It's sharply phrased and succinct, so I have chosen to republish it right here, a timely rehash of what we consider the one and only rather obvious interpretation of the personal protection against one's own rogue government as well as other proximity-tested threats to his person, family, property or state.

We suggest this moment in history is especially crucial, for even as we pen this silent outrage against us, the reckless, scheming United Nations and Madame Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, both entities now firmly entrenched in the long range Obama administration strategy of neutralizing America for Pan-Marxist Islamic purposes, continue their assault against our sovereign rights as free democratic republican Americans with their so-called Small Arms Treaty set for signing later this month which calls for the confiscation of all small arms in America (worse case). This is a treaty we the people cannot let stand.

It has always struck me as a bit funny that while nine of the ten amendments of the Bill of Rights are clearly intended to protect the rights of individuals against government overreach, we still have some (too many, actually) who insist that the 2nd Amendment was inserted so as to confer a right on government itself.

(Sarcasm on.) Because, you know, conferring a collective right on a “militia” (rather than individual citizens) is entirely consistent with the right of free speech (1st), the right against unreasonable search (4th), the right against self-incrimination (5th), and the stipulation that the federal government is prohibited from doing anything NOT expressly authorized by the Constitution (10th). I’m sure Madison and the others paused in the middle of scribbling down these individual rights, and said, “Hang on. We need to make sure everyone understands the police and the army have the right to carry weapons. Just to clear up any confusion.” (Sarcasm off.)

Also, I hate to break this to the gun-grabbers, but “the militia” isn’t a government organization like the National Guard. It’s the whole citizenry, specifically able-bodied males 17 and older. Secondly, “well regulated” means disciplined and trained. It doesn’t mean “covered with lots of laws.”

The 2nd Amendment was clear from the word go, and two SCOTUS rulings have made it even more clear that it applies to individual citizens. Why there is still controversy on this point is a mystery to me.

But try explaining this to some gun grabber, and he’ll produce a strawman like, “So, this means I have the right to mount artillery on my pickup, then?” instead of arguing the point maturely and rationally.

If the framers had meant to say the “states” or the “state militias” in order to convey a collective right then they most assuredly would have, for these men were not lazy thinkers and writers. As pointed out in many a discussion of the topic, the writers used the words “the people” when reconciling this right of the people, first and foremost, just as they did in the 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th and 10th amendments, which have consistently been understood to convey rights to individuals, not the people collectively. The concerns of Madison, Jefferson et al are easily reconciled since the militia clause is explanatory, not limiting. In fact, the majority of SCOTUS said the same thing when they struck down the Chicago gun ban two years ago.

The Supreme Court Speaks on Health Care Law

Obama's Ditch
Obama's Drive Into The Ditch
ALMOST FULLY GROUNDED AGAIN AFTER ALL the zetetic excitement yesterday, I say we take a more serious and sober look at what transpired yesterday, and then again, this morning as Chief Justice John Roberts read for the majority, and we boomeranged all around the Internet seeking solace in our hour of disenchantment. Of all that I have read and seen in video, TV, and slapshot Internet reporting, here is a most convincing snippet from commentator Jay Cost of The Weekly Standard. Cost seems to put the onus on the current administration to act quickly in this snatch and grab of power and policy if they want to salvage the so-called Affordable Health Care Act because a not so shabby portion of it is unconstitutional, and a greater part is vigorously disliked by the citizenry, despite its many wonderful features that heal the sick and raise the dead, or so you would be led to believe by its proponents:

[I]f you were more concerned about the qualitative expansion in the power of the government that the bill represented, it was definitely a win.

First, the Roberts Court put real limits on what the government can and cannot do. For starters, it restricted the limits of the Commerce Clause, which does not give the government the power to create activity for the purpose of regulating it. This is a huge victory for those of us who believe that the Constitution is a document which offers a limited grant of power.

Second, the Roberts Court also threw out a portion of the Medicaid expansion. States have the option of withdrawing from the program without risk of losing their funds. This is another major victory for conservatives who cherish our system of dual sovereignty. This was also a big policy win for conservatives; the Medicaid expansion was a major way the Democrats hid the true cost of the bill, by shifting costs to the states, but they no longer can do this.

Politically, Obama will probably get a short-term boost from this, as the media will not be able to read between the lines and will declare him the winner. But the victory will be short-lived. The Democrats were at pains not to call this a tax because it is inherently regressive: the wealthy overwhelmingly have health insurance so have no fear of the mandate. But now that it is legally a tax, Republicans can and will declare that Obama has slapped the single biggest tax on the middle class in history, after promising not to do that.

Conservatives have a shot at getting the best of both worlds: having the Supreme Court use Obamacare as a way to limit federal power while also using the democratic process to overturn the law. I didn't think we could have one without the other, but now maybe we can.
If Obama loses in November, that is...

We have gotten into a bit of editorial trouble on Facebook this morning by reposting what turned out to be one of those overwrought but probably closer to the mark than the original bill's hidden intent has tried to hide, so we will just have to watch for the fall out over the next several months, but chances are Obama and his buddies in Congress are too busy running for re-election to spend too much time on an old toxic bill like this one, but will quietly work behind the scenes implementing all the necessary changes to the health care industry it deems choice and tasty while leaving the iffy parts of the bill to gather dust and excuses. Fundraising and speechifying, yep, he'll be there. And let this health bill interfere with his golf outings? God forbid. We have an absentee president, although I am sure I'm not the first one to notice this.