The Role of “The People” in Protecting Inalienable Rights

by Ed Noyes, SuperLiberty.com

It is interesting to know that many of the attendees at the Constitutional Convention held in 1787 were OPPOSED to including a Bill of Rights in the Constitution. Why would this be so? The chief concern was that if a written bill of rights were included, the people would, over time, think that these rights were the ONLY rights they had. They were wise enough to know that the people would not understand how vast this body of “inalienable” rights was, and would therefore allow the government (especially the federal government) to dictate, and invade, the sacred domain of self-government that was to remain with the people.

As a result, the Bill of Rights was not included in the original Constitution, but was later introduced by James Madison in 1789 to the First United States Congress as a series of amendments to the Constitution.

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For The General Welfare Of The Country

by JR Dieckmann, Great American Journal

For far too long, Congress has been violating the Constitution by passing legislation that gives them powers that were never authorized by the Constitution. In every case, those powers represent rights that were intended to be reserved to the states and to the people.

How has Congress committed these grievous violations and gotten away with it? By claiming that “to provide for the common defense and general welfare” is an enumerated power granted to Congress under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. It is not. It is a general statement describing the section content and justifying the need to levy taxes.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

If “[to] provide for the general welfare” were intended to be an enumerated power, just that one statement alone would render the rest of the article unnecessary. It would allow Congress to do whatever it wanted, so long as it could be explained as being for the general welfare of the country. The framers’ intent in writing the Constitution was to limit the power of government, not to grant it unlimited power.

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Freedom is Golden

by Rep Ron Paul

As the Olympics wind down, I am amazed at how things change every four years.  Many Americans were glued to their televisions to watch the excitement from Beijing, and also heard announcers wax nostalgic with memories of times when the Soviet Union was the USA’s biggest competitor for Olympic gold.

There was a time when it was unthinkable that a government as powerful as that of the Soviet Union’s could possibly crumble, yet crumble it did.  The irony is that the strength of the Soviet government was also its weakness, as no country, no economic system can remain strong under the crushing burden that is central planning.

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Leave the Drinking Age to the States

“The federal government should stop trying to do everything, which it doesn’t do well, and start doing, and doing better, the few tasks that only it can handle,” says Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president.

“For instance, Uncle Sam has become a nanny-state, telling us what we can eat and how old we must be to drink. More than 100 university presidents have called on Washington to reduce the drinking age of 21. Maybe they are right and maybe they are wrong, but this isn’t a job for Congress. It should be the decision of the 50 states, which have very different histories, traditions, and views of such issues.”

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The Constitution, the Executive Branch and War Powers

In reading the Constitution, we can plainly see that Congress possesses the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, to raise and support armies, to grant letters of marque and reprisal, to provide for the common defense,” and even “to declare war.” Congress shares, with the President, the power to make treaties and to appoint ambassadors. As for the Executive, the President is assigned only two powers relating to foreign affairs; commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the power to receive ambassadors.

The United States Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land in our country, delegates the power to declare war to the Congress and the power to wage war to the President. What that means is that only the Congress, as representatives of the People and of the States, can determine whether or not the nation goes to war. If the People, through Congress, decide that the nation shall go to war, the President then, and only then, has the authority to wage it.

Unless the country is being invaded, if the congress does not declare war against another country, the president is constitutionally barred from waging it, no matter how much he desires to do so. This is, again, shown clearly in the following statements:

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How Foreign Policy Affects Gas Prices

by Rep Ron Paul

We’ve heard how the value of the dollar affects gas prices – and indeed the price of everything.  I was pleased that my request for a hearing on such was granted by the Financial Services committee and we were able to hear some very informative testimony.  Certainly domestic policies, regarding off-shore oil drilling bans, ethanol mandates, refining capacity, and CAFE standards are interventionist and harmful enough in the energy market.

But how does foreign policy affect gas prices?  One important factor is that oil on the world market has been priced in dollars exclusively since 1973.  Only two leaders have gone against this arrangement – Saddam Hussein in 2000 and more recently Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with the recently opened Iranian Oil Bourse which trades in non-dollar currencies. 

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Constitutional Hypocrisy

by Pudge

Today in the same breath someone, to me, attacked Bush for violating the Constitution, and not supporting Social Security enough.

Apart from the fact that the “raiding” of Social Security actually makes the S.S. Trust Fund more solvent and is a good investment (as it is guaranteed safe by the Constitution, and earns interest), and apart from the fact that Congress controls that more than Bush (and that it has continued under the Democrats) … there’s also the fact that Social Security is an unconstitutional violation of our rights, as per the Tenth Amendment.

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Were the States Sovereign Nations?

by Brian McCandliss, LewRockwell.com

A defining – but so far unasked – question regarding the Civil War is the political status of the states: specifically, was the “United States of America” indeed, as our popular Pledge of Allegiance claims, “one nation, indivisible?” Or was it, rather, a union of sovereign nations, bound only to each other by mere treaty, as with any other treaty – such as the current United Nations? (As a point of fact, the term “union” is the only term used in the text of the Constitution to refer to the United States, while the word “nation” never appears a single time).

This question seems to be the proverbial “elephant in the room” of American law and history, for its answer is key in defining a state’s right of secession: this question marks the difference between, for example, Boston seceding from Massachusetts, and Spain seceding from the United Nations. While in the first instance, few would question the legal right of state officials to use force in preventing local urban inhabitants from seceding with a state’s city, such an exercise against a sovereign nation in the latter example would be (hopefully) viewed as nothing short of ruthless imperialism equivalent to that of Saddam Hussein, Adolph Hitler or Genghis Khan.

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Oklahoma: Standing up for State Sovereignty

by Rich Hand

As usual, Walter Williams hits the nail on the head. This article references a referendum introduced in the state legislature of Oklahoma to put the Federal government on notice that it has over stepped its bounds based on the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The founders would have never been able to get the constitution passed by the states if they could foresee the current actions of the federal government.

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What’s in a Bill Name?

by Rep Ron Paul

Recently Congress passed the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act., also known as the Housing Bill.  Its passage was lauded by many who are legitimately concerned about foreclosures and the housing market in our country’s economy.  I was asked how I could vote against a bill to help American homeowners, but I found this bill to have more to do with helping big banks than helping average Americans.

The answer is that there is more to any bill than its name or the headlines surrounding it.  If one only paid attention to bill titles, one could happily vote for almost any bill put to a vote on the floor.  Titles do not tell the complete story of a bill’s provisions, and many titles are downright deceptive and come close to emotional blackmail of legislators.

But we cannot afford to be fooled by fancy titles. 

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