Drone Warfare and we Wonder Why they Hate us.

On October 6, an unmanned drone flew deep into Israeli territory before it was shot down. The drone, now thought to have been sent by Lebanon, who acquired it from Iran, raises awareness of the sanctity of a nation’s airspace. As the violation of airspace has traditionally been seen as an act of war, Israel sent warplanes over Lebanon the next day. This brings to light how calloused and disrespectful of the air space of other countries we have been where we indiscriminately kill our enemies on their soil.

Drones are now our favored weapon of choice and we unleash them on suspected “terrorists,” without the permission of sovereign countries, throughout the Middle East. Moreover, we assume unto ourselves the right of surveillance of all potential adversaries on their soil. We get away with this because we are the “town bully.” Such would be acts of war if done on stronger countries. According to the Washington Post we have “secret facilities, including two operational hubs on the East Coast, virtual Air Force cockpits in the Southwest and clandestine bases in at least six countries on two continents” (Under Obama, an Emerging Global Apparatus for drone killing, by Greg Miller, Dec. 27, 2011).

The paper reported, “Senior Democrats barely blink at the idea that a president from their party has assembled such a highly efficient machine for the targeted killing of suspected terrorists.” What is worse, “officially, they are not allowed to discuss” this most secretive activity although it is not denied.

President Barack Obama can argue that he did not invent this sophisticated “killing machine.” George W. Bush was the first to use it but he limited its use to Pakistan “where 44 strikes over five years had left about 400 people dead.” This is true, but Obama has amplified its use by at least four times the number of strikes and death and proliferated the death to several additional countries in northern Africa and the Middle East and the above numbers are conservative, the paper revealed.


The Treaty to Disarm all Americans Defeated. For Now

I used to believe that if you read and viewed news sources widely enough, which I do, you would have all the information to be properly informed. I depended upon this assumption. I defended and trusted this assumption. I teach Current Events every semester and find so much under-reported. Most of the “real news” is seemingly not headlined. One such is the attempt this summer by the United Nations to disarm all Americans.

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has been a dream of internationalist and globalists for several years. In their 2006 meeting some 153 countries favored the Treaty, 24, including the United States, did not. Traditionally, until now, the United States has been the leading “hold out” primarily because it would effectively nullify the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights—your right to defend yourself with a firearm.

Ironically, proponents knowingly and falsely use Article VI, Section 2 of the Constitution to destroy the part of the Constitution referenced above. If they could outlaw international firearms trade throughout the world it would have to be embraced in the United States as well. “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” By outlawing firearms by treaty the U.N Treaty provision would be the supreme law of the land they conspired.


Communists and Founding Fathers Opposite on Democracy

Given our constant drift from a Republic to a Democracy, it might be well to review what historical philosophies most favored the latter form of government. The Founding Fathers and the Communists were total opposites on the word Democracy, one distained; the other loved. Guess which one hated and which one loved?

First, those who favored Democracy: the most blunt was Karl Marx, the father of communism. He wrote, “Democracy is the road to socialism.” Vladimir Lenin, the one activating the communist philosophy into a government in Russia, agreed. In his 1905 work, Two Tactics of Social Democracy, he saw Democracy as a strategy leading to his desired socialist revolution. “Social-Democracy, however, wants, on the contrary, to develop the class struggle of the proletariat to the point where the latter will take the leading part in the popular Russian revolution, i.e., will lead this revolution to the democratic-dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry.”

In a letter to Inessa Armand in 1916, he added, “We Social-Democrats always stand for democracy, not ‘in the name of capitalism,’ but in the name of clearing the path for our movement, which clearing is impossible without the development of capitalism.” Class conflict and the philosophy “share the wealth” were, and remain, central to the empowerment of communism.

Next, those who abhorred Democracy: as far as we can tell the list included all the Founding Fathers. Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1759, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” Years later, when Franklin exited the Constitutional Convention, a woman inquired of him, “What form of government have you left us?” the brilliant Franklin answered, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” The phrase expressed some doubt as to whether man could understand the value of a Republic enough to protect it from a Democracy.


End Run Around the Constitution Will Change How We Elect our President

Opponents of the Electoral College seek to alter a process that has worked for well over two hundred years. Unable to get two-thirds of the states to consider altering this part of the Constitution as required, some seek an end run around it instead. They say that the Electoral College is not democratic enough. They call their plan the National Popular Vote Plan. In it participating states would allocate their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, rather than the winner of the popular vote in their state.

There exists no language in the Constitution authorizing a popular vote for the executive branch of government. Such came about in 1824 after the Electoral College denied the presidency to Andrew Jackson, the most popular man in America due to his success in the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. His supporters, believing the denial to be an injustice, created a straw vote so that the people could participate in the election although this vote had no power.

Over time the media empowered it by treating it as the “legitimate” vote for the president belittling the College process as unfair and undemocratic. Seldom do they remind us that it works because we are not a democracy, but a Republic, and that none of the branches of government are democratic; most especially the Senate and Supreme Court. Andrew Jackson had to wait until he could convince the seasoned citizen voters of the Electoral College that he was not too emotional for the office. He did so four years later in 1828. Moreover, today the media seldom cover the real election for the president in December such is their disdain for it.


Obama gives Himself Control of all Communication Systems in the U.S.

President Barack Obama will assume control of U.S. communications should he feel that national security and/or emergency preparedness issues are present as per his executive order of July 6, 2012. There was no consultation with Congress whose constitutional right is to make all law (Art. I, Sec. I). Although not defined, control of all communication presumably meant everything including the Internet as per Section 5 of the Order, although not specifically named. All such was placed under the authority of the White House. (See WhiteHouse.gov July 6, 2012).

Congress had wrestled with the “need” for Internet and cyberspace control for several years even attempting to control the Internet in 2009, but the bills they had originated met with such enormous opposition by the people that the subject was, moved to the back burner. The people clearly did not want government having, what they termed, a “kill switch” on the Internet even during time of national security. Enter the President and his executive order entitled, “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Telecommunications Functions.” The Order sounds innocent enough, everybody wants “national security” and “emergency preparedness” but neither phrase is defined. Left undefined it remains the discretion of the office of president alone, whether republican or democrat, to decide what it means. After all, what isn’t “national security?”

Taking law-making power from Congress to influence private communication industries is constitutionally questionable as is the Executive Order itself. It began with the usual statement of authority. “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America.” Presidential authority would be found in Article II, Sections 2 and 3, or in an amendment to the Constitution enacted thereafter. In this case there is none.


America is not a “Democracy.” Thoughts on the Electoral College

A recent ABC News-Washington Post poll disclosed that President Barack Obama leads challenger Mitt Romney by three percentage points in the race for president of the United States—well within the margin of error. If this race remains this close in November chances are the Electoral College, will once again, make the choice as it has in the past.

For those who do not know, the Founding Fathers opposed a democracy and hoped that descendants would never turn what they created into such. The word democracy is not in any of our original governing documents. Benjamin Franklin referred to democracy as two wolves and a lamb voting on what they would have for lunch; the well armed lamb contesting the vote. Realizing that the majority is not always right and, as such, could trample the rights of the minority becoming very tyrannical, they created a republic instead, thus we pledge allegiance to “the republic for which it stands.” A lynch mob is a democracy; everyone voting to hang the accused except the one proposed to be hung.

The vote system they created, referred to as the Electoral College, spread the vote geographically, and favored the informed over the less informed. Spreading the vote geographically was not easy, as everyone knew that the popular vote could be won by a few populated states, (today a few as ten, some say four), and that rural states or sections would never see the candidate nor would he make an appeal to their interests. To equalize the population advantage and encourage candidates to make a larger geographical appeal, the College gave population-deprived states disproportionately at least three votes. Although candidates could probably still ignore the rural states, the College made it decidedly less tempting to do so.


How do you Know Something is True? Use Constants.

While on vacation in a neighboring state helping my son-in-law build a second bathroom for his soon to be family of six, I noticed more fully what I have always known; if your base is wrong so is everything else. Nothing was square, plumb or level. Things fit, and almost fall into place as if by design, when the base is right. When the foundation is level and when studs are vertically placed 16 inches on center 4 by 8 sheets of sheetrock fit perfectly, as does every thing else. If, as in my case, there are no true reference points, or constants, nothing is right, nothing fits. I had to begin anew with a rectangle room without a single wall from which to get a true bearing. Getting back to the basics that I new to be true, was painful and many times harder, but it had to be done.

In construction, as in all areas of endeavor, there are tools to get us back to proven constants such as a squares, chalk lines, or levels. In other fields it may be a ruler, compass, or a Bible. Ancient mariners used the North Star as a constant. Math, algebra, geometry are based upon constants. In chemistry water is always, and forever will be, H2O and freezes at 32 degrees. In government the constant should be the Constitution. My point. What are your constants? What do you use to decide if something is true?

Are there constants in all fields of study—even in political science? When I find another out of harmony with myself, I want to know his/her constants. What do you read or watch? What is your base? I am unimpressed when I hear the labels republican, democrat, liberal or conservative as these change—thus are not constants. John F. Kennedy, a liberal and a democrat, would make George W. Bush, a conservative and a republican, look very liberal. These terms are not trustworthy over time.


If Something is Wrong with a Law the Supreme Court will Stop it? Wrong!!

How many times have I heard that if something is wrong with a law of Congress the Supreme Court will stop it and that the Court is totally independent of Congress? Both views are decidedly incorrect. Supreme Court members may, in fact, agree that something is unconstitutional but they, by themselves, or as a body, are helpless in blocking it unless it is first challenged by someone else.

The Supreme Court may not interfere with any law unless someone is hurt or damaged by it, and is able and willing to challenge the law, over a long period of time, with the likelihood of a costly but doubtful conclusion. In other words, much that is unconstitutional goes unchallenged by the Court and, if not challenged, becomes past practice and later is often used to support new alterations to the Constitution.

The Court is only a partial check on constitutional law. Congress, the body charged with making all law, as per Article I, Section I, is to responsibly check itself with the Constitution. Members of Congress take an oath to do so. The voter does not take an oath, but is expected to have greater loyalty to the Constitution then to political party, to be familiar enough with the Constitution to spot indiscretions, and to remove those who would defile it through ignorance or intent.


What to do when the Supreme Court Fails?

What if the Supreme Court became an arbitrator trying to please both sides rather than “letting the cards fall where they may,” ruling alone on constitutionality as designed? In the end neither side is really happy and the Court’s function is blurred or discredited. What if preserving its own image became more important to justices than defending the Constitution? Or worse, what if the Court forced a round peg into a square hole, so to speak, to force a decision not intended, or argued for by either side therefore creating new law—a function of Congress alone? What if all of the above were in one decision such as with the recent Supreme Court decision on National Healthcare? How can the states or people keep the Supreme Court in line with the U. S. Constitution? The answer is in the Constitution as understood by the Founders.

Our constitution first divided power between the states and the federal government with the powers given to the federal government listed, defined and limited and those of the states left undefined and not listed, as per Amendment 10. This is known as federalism and is sometimes thought of as a marriage—shared and equal—neither the state nor federal government the master nor slave of the other.

The portion of power left to the federal government is then divided between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The down side of federalism (our marriage) is that the umpire is one of the three branches of government at the federal level and as such is likely to rule in favor of a strengthened federal government were it to arbitrate between the states and the federal government. It is equivalent to two adversarial teams playing basketball and the referee is a member of the federal team. The balancing component to this, potentially lopsided division of power, is the doctrine of nullification.


Should we be frightened?

What follows are six major changes to traditional constitutional procedure that have happened the past six months, none of which through the change process required in Article V of the Constitution, but each will adversely affect the distribution of power in this country and how we define liberty in the future. This time period could very well be the most radical six-month period of constitutional change in U.S. history. Should we be concerned with, or worse, frightened by, our own government?

We begin on New Years Eve with the President signing into law the 600 plus page National Defense Authorization Act which, among other things, authorizes the military to seize and transport U.S. citizens from U.S. soil to Guantanamo Bay on the presumption that they are terrorists. The threat of potential indefinite incarceration without recourse to lawyer, judge and trial is unconscionable in a free society. The new law ends the writ of habeas corpus found in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution and Posse Comitatus protection (protection from ones own armed forces). It also lays waste to much of the Bill of Rights, notably Amendments 4, 5, 6, and 8. Its intimidation potential will impact free speech, press, and assembly as well. Local law enforcement is essentially bi-passed.

Then in February, The National Operations Center (NOC), a part of The Department of Homeland Security, released its “Media Monitoring Initiative” giving itself permission to “gather, store, analyze, and disseminate” data on millions of users of social media, primarily Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. So far they appear less concerned with the information on the average Joe or Jane, although all is kept just in case, as they deal with unmanaged journalists and bloggers. These are defined as those who use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed,” such as myself. Targeted are those who post articles, comments, or other information to popular web outlets. It is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment in the Bill of Rights.