Monday, July 31, 2006

The "Responsibility" to vote

One thing really bugs me, as long as we are on the subject of Constitutionalism (which I would assume we will stay on a lot of the time). People repeatedly tell us how it is the citizen's responsibility to vote. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say this, nor should it. It is exactly this sort of attitude that keeps incumbents in office whether they make poor decisions, waste taxpayer money, kill someone, or even die. Whose name do you know? The guy in office, usually.
People should not vote unless they've educated themselves. It is a person's right to vote and a voter's responsibility to know about what they're voting on. In the last Presidential election, young voters were encouraged to vote...strongly encouraged, actually. These same young voters were also constantly barraged with anti-Bush messages in the media and in their music. They were not encouraged to learn about the issues, just told that they were needed to promote a change. It was implied, of course, that to cause that change, they'd have to throw out Bush.
On college campuses and other youth hot-spots, you would hear a lot about getting rid of Bush, but never why we should get rid of him, and certainly nothing about why Kerry was better (unless, of course, you count "he's not Bush" as a legitimate plus side).
By the same token, others vote for the incumbent, since he must've done alright so far, the one that looks the friendliest, or the one from their party of choice. Do these people truly educate themselves? Does their vote promote positive citizenship? No on both counts. Their vote is a compelled vote, made because they are supposed to vote. If people paid attention, maybe a third-party candidate would even be viable.
By all means, exercise your right to vote...but also exercise your right to educate yourself on the issues. If you can't do both, you shouldn't do either--we do not have mandatory voting in this country.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Attacks on the 2nd Amendment

Today we daily hear about attacks on our freedoms. The First Amendment is being taken away. The Fourth Amendment is a thing of the past. I must question, what ever happened to the Second Amendment?

"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."

It seems pretty simple to me. I see two parts: 1) States can have militia, and 2) The People can have arms. While few people object to the first part, the second part is one of today's hot topics. The ACLU, with many other liberal groups, doesn't believe that there is an individual right to own firearms. They claim that that the Second Amendment only gives the state the power to create a militia; it does not give any rights to the citizens.

I view this interpretation of the Second Amendment quiet frightening. What the loco left has done is define "the People" as the State. Isn't this inconsistent with the rest of the Constitutional Amendments? Does the Fourth Amendment give freedom from unwarranted searches and seizers only to the State? The Tenth Amendment separates the State from the People; is it being redundant? I would cringe to think that the First Amendment only allows the State to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

In today's America our freedoms are under attack. We must remember that both the Democrats and Republicans are doing it. Each party has decided on what parts of the Constitution they agree with and what parts they want to limit. When has more freedom been a bad thing? We must not forget that we are a free society where we trust people to make their own decisions. By deciding to change the definition of "the People" for political reasons, the left has declared war on our most basic rights. I try to remember the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson, "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

And finally, to those who cry out against firearms because they are dangerous, I will remind them of Benjamin Franklin. "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

God Bless.

Give War a Chance

The other day I saw a bumper sticker which made me stop and think. It simply said, "Give War A Chance." Why not? Peace hasn't worked very well. The peace movement is a fairly recent development. While its starting date is not relevant, some claim it started after WWII, but I would contend that it started as a reaction to WWI, what does matter is its highly idealized world view.

The Pacifism Movement has called for an end of war through the use of diplomacy, which is a great idea. Would it not be wonderful if the world could solve its issues through discussion rather than physical coercion? There is only one problem... It doesn't work.

The League of Nations was a classic example of the failure of international diplomacy. After the creation of the League in Paris Peace Conference of 1919, it started trying to police the world using non-militaristic means. In short, it failed to an extreme extent. Its failure can be directly associated to its failure to use military force. By refusing to intervene militarily it doomed the world to another world war which could have been prevented by limited pre-emptive aggression.

Today the United Nations has taken the role of peace maker, and like the League of Nations, has failed. While it has brought peace to certain places, it has done so through "peacekeeping missions." In other words, the international group meant to solve the world’s problems and conflicts has found that the only way to achieve its goals is to use military force.

Military force is only thing many people in the world understand. In a world where Islamic fascism flourishes diplomacy is doomed to fail. Appeasement has never worked, and never will work. All it does is give the aggressor time to gain more strength. Force must be met with force. in other words, lets give war a chance. It may be our last, best hope.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Amendment XV

Lately, the Voting Rights Act has gotten a lot of attention. Some seem to think that when (if) it expires, we'll suddenly be flung back to the days when blacks couldn't vote. People forget that it is merely an enforcement act to supplement the 15th Amendment. "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." The only reason the Act was introduced was to enforce the 15th Amendment (as allowed by section 2 of the amendment), and I would hope that we have passed the days in which such enforcement was necessary. No one questions a person's right to vote based on race, Act or no Act.
If you disagree with me, the act may still be necessary...though I would guess that there's not a state in the Union that would dare infringe someone's right to vote based on race.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Amendment #1

When looking at the First Amendment we see 5 parts: establishment of religion, free speech, free press, right to assemble, and right to petition for a redress of grievances. If you are unfamiliar with the First Amendment you van view it here.

Everyday we hear the left talking about the right to free speech, free press, to assemble, to petition, and the separation of Church and State. I understand four out of the five. In the First Amendment we see that the Church is to be protected from interference from the state, not the other way around. The First Amendment states that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The government can't make any laws stating that, for example, the US is a Catholic country, or create a Church of America. Also, the government can't make any laws which keep people from praticing their religion, like when the English banned the parties of the Catholic faith.

So where does this separation of Church and State come from? The phrase was introduced to the American political landscape by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists. Jefferson writes, "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

Jefferson reassured them that they could be free to parties their religion without governmental interference. Today the secular forces in America are using this idea of separation to achieve goals which are the exact opposite of what the term meant in 1802.

The secularists push to have religious symbols removed from public lands, and ban prayer in schools. The cases Engel v. Vital in 1962 and Abington Township v. Schempp in 1963 effectively banned prayer in schools, and are now being used to remove crosses from public lands (lets ignore the fact that they have no problem with symbols from other religions on public land). They claim that the Establishment Clause forbids making an official church and therefore bans schools from doing a prayer from any religion. What they ignore is the Free exercise Clause. If a group of people wish to pratice their religion don't they have a right to do so? Doesn't banning religion from public places violate Free exercise, Free Speech, and Right to assemble?

What the secularists are doing is trying to minimalist the importance of religion in private and public life. Through boycotts and lawsuits from groups like the ACLU, they have bullied their secular belief onto everyday Americans. They claim that they are protecting the rights of different religious, but they do it by ignoring the rights of Christian Americans.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

If they were all the 2nd...

Imagine the Bill of Rights (BoR, later in this post) interpreted like the 2nd Amendment. Some groups like to interpret "the people" as the collective, not individuals. In other words, the right to bear arms is a right of the states.
Let's see how the rest of the BoR would look when interpreted this way:
I. Congress can't establish a state religion, but each state can. They can also prevent the free exercise of religion, should they so choose. Each state shall be free to set up a press, and shall be able to speak for the collective state. States may hold peacable assemblies. States may petition the federal government for redress of grievances.
IV. The states have the right to be free of warrantless federal searches.
V. The only change would be that the states can take land without just compensation, though the feds can't. The states would take it and sell to the feds, though.
VI. Wait, this one said state when they obviously meant the people. It was supposed to read "an impartial jury of the people and district," not the State. It means the same thing, though.
IX. The rights that the Constitution spells out do not necessarily mean that the states don't have other rights.
X. The rights not given to the feds are for the States. Yeah, they say "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," but we all know that "the people" was just reiterating the emphasis on the states.
Of course, since the anti-gun people also like to talk about technology changes, the freedom of the press is only for the printing presses they had then, not the higher-tech ones now, and definitely not blogs or other electronic sources. The freedom of religion does not apply to Scientology or Mormonism. The right to assemble cannot include facilities with air conditioning, cannot use automobiles to get there, can't film the assembly, and can't use or distribute any printed materials (unless they are made with an old-style printing press). When you petition for redress of grivance, it should be handwritten and hand-delivered.
And that's just the 1st Amendment.
Finally, there's the argument as to which guns we should be able to have. Many anti-gunners claim to be okay with hunting. They would like us to have bolt-action rifles and might even allow a pump-action shotgun. Handguns, semi-autos, full-autos, and calibers not generally used in hunting are dangerous, they say. I'm sorry, but there's no right to hunt in the Constitution, just the right to keep and bear arms. If you really want to link the militia to it, as they generally do, we should have MORE access, since the militia is expected to own and be able to use weapons with a military purpose. As for those who say I'm not a part of the militia, allow me to cite US Code Title 10, Subtitle A, Part I, Chapter 13, Section 311: "The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard."
Males are part of the militia from age 17-45, and females who are in the National Guard are part of it (never mind the obvious discrepancy between the state-run militia and the National Guard).
It's just too bad some of the people (which, in this case, refers to individuals, not the states) who defend the 1st Amendment with great vigor don't recognize the 2nd's importance.

A Month with Illegals

UPDATE: Frank (the Minuteman) has responded to the show here. In case you weren't already sure that editing had adjusted his perceived views, he makes it clear.
I couldn't help myself...I had to watch the Morgan Spurlock show about a Minuteman spending 30 days living with illegals. Yeah, it was a crock. We see repeated examples of how life is hard for them, and that makes it okay for them to be here. A girl has studied hard and wants to go to Princeton. With a 3.8 GPA, she doesn't get in, though she will get to go to college (probably on our dime). The family lives in a tiny apartment, despite there being 7 of them. Life in Mexico was even worse. They do hard work that Americans can't do, since Americans have trouble getting an employer to pay less than minimum wage.
Some of the things you may have missed in looking at this illegal family: there were several TVs in the apartment, and probably cable...I don't have cable, and I have one TV (I watched the show at a friend's apartment); they had a Playstation 2, which isn't free (and I'm guessing they had a lot of good games, too); they had a computer, internet, and a printer (this might be useful, but don't complain to me that you are crammed into a tiny apartment when it has all the amenities); the only one speaking English fairly consistently was the girl trying to be as American as she could be (though arguing that she and her family should be here illegally); the Minuteman's flight from Cuba was just as traumatic as any experience they had, but his family still did it legally; INS probably won't be tracking that family down, despite their repeated admissions of being here illegally on national TV.
Yeah, they had a hard life in Mexico. So do a lot of other Mexicans, but some of them try to get here legally. It's not fair to them to have people sneaking over, essentially not waiting their turn. We need to build the wall, streamline the legal immigration process, and crack down on illegals. I would hope that the Minuteman that was on the show hasn't lost sight of reality now.