I earlier wrote an article explaining why anarchists ought to stop their Constitution-bashing and start talking with Constitutionalists. Now I want to hit it from the other end, asking what Constitutionalists are prepared to give.
See, "Restore the Constitution!" is a nice motto (some even call themselves "restorationists") but it still leaves out the question of which constitution they intend to restore. The current one, with all the amendments? That, and an additional amendment saying, "We really mean it!", or adding some other enforcement mechanism? The Constitution originally ratified, with no amendments? Or with just with the Bill of Rights? Are you going to dump the General Welfare clause? Are you going to narrow the Commerce clause? Are you going to modify the verbiage about taxation? Are you going to keep the 14th Amendment, which was clearly improperly ratified and conflicts with the 10th Amendment? Are you going to keep the bait-and-switch 16th Amendment, installed by Progressives and enabling the out-of-control growth of government? Are you going to recognize nullification or secession?
It's time to go beyond the mindless "Rah-rah Constitution!" and tell us what you are actually shooting for. Whenever an anarchist hears the statement, "Restore the Constitution!", the first question out of his mouth should be, "Which Constitution?" Read The Full Story
If you think civics class and studying the Constitution wasn't important in junior high, you missed out on some really good life training. Civics, you might remember, is "the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of citizenship, its rights and duties; the duties of citizens to each other as members of a political body and to the government." It is also "the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens - as opposed to external factors - in the operation and oversight of government." Read The Full Story
Currency -- the bills and coins you carry in your wallet and in your bank account -- is founded on marketing, on the belief that banks and governments are trustworthy. Now, Paul Kemp-Robertson walks us through a new generation of currency, supported by that same marketing … but on behalf of a private brand. From Nike Sweat Points to bottles of Tide (which are finding an unexpected use in illegal markets), meet the non-bank future of currencies. Read The Full Story
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned on Monday that U.S. troops are “close to the breaking point,” after many deployments — and Congress risks worsening the situation if it doesn’t help the Pentagon with its budget.
“Our people are strong and resilient after 12 years of war, but they are under stress — and so are the institutions that support them,” Hagel told the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the group’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky.
“Last week at Fort Bragg’s Soldier and Family Assistance Center, I met a first sergeant who told me that in Afghanistan, he froze up and became overwhelmed by anxiety. He couldn’t command. He had lost his ability to command,” Hagel said. “I asked him how many deployments he had. He told me he was on his fifth consecutive combat tour when this happened. When you push human beings this hard, they break. Some people have been pushed beyond the breaking point.” Read The Full Story
An effort is underway in the House (Thanks to Justin Amash, the Republican congressman from Michigan) to defund part of the NSA. Special interests within and around the agency are concerned. For pretty much forever the agency has been seen as untouchable.
And though the attached article doesn’t touch on this aspect, it is important for people to remember that there is a massive complex of government contractors which work for and /or supply the NSA which wields lots of power on the Hill. The amounts which flow to these “private” interests is likely huge. (Judging from their buildings which litter Northern Virginia and southern Maryland, we don’t get to see actually how much they get as the information is classified.)
But neither the agency nor its many private satellites probably need to worry too much. For all the attention the NSA is getting at this moment, for all the calls for greater transparency, Diane Feinstein says she has the NSA’s back. As she is the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee that matters. The dollars will likely keep flowing as before.
We can only hope that people like Mr. Amash in the House, and Mr. Wyden in the Senate will keep the light burning on this issue. The establishment wants America to be OK with the NSA spying on them. I’m thankful at least a few people in the Capitol care enough to say and do something even if the rest of Congress quietly bows and pretends that the Bill of Rights isn’t being violated. Read The Full Story