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Tag Archives: Constitution

Wow! It’s been over four months since my last blog post! My, how time flies when I’m thoroughly disgusted with politics! And that just about sums it up for me. I’m disgusted.

It was just over one year ago when I attended a rally for erstwhile Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul here in Pittsburgh. As the year passed I watched the “news” and the “debates,” and came to this conclusion: everything about the American political system as it is now construed is a farce.

Why do I say it’s a farce? Well, let’s just start with the blatant violation of the Constitution by nearly all politicians. Now, maybe I’m missing something here but, it is supposed to be the law of the land, is it not? It is supposed to protect us, the people, against the depredations of government, right? Well, unfortunately, most politicians simply regard it as “just a piece of paper.” And while there are numerous abuses of that document that could be noted, I’ll just mention  the one I consider to be the most egregious. It’s pretty simple, really. According to the Constitution  the power to declare war is given to Congress. However, since the Korean War, yes for longer than half a century,  the president, regardless of his party affiliation, regardless of any popular outcry against going to war from the American people, has been given the authority to bomb anyone, anywhere, at any time, WITHOUT a congressional declaration of war. Congress has shirked its Constitutional responsibility, and the president is now EXPECTED to be the final arbiter in all matters of war. And what do we hear from the mainstream media about this illegal  congressional transfer and presidential usurpation of power?

Zilch.

Call it the liberal media or the conservative media. The truth is that it is the Statist media.

Even more farcical is the fact that our central bank, the Federal Reserve, receives virtually no blame for the calamitous financial situation that exists in America today. Never mind the fact that the dollar has lost 96% of its value since the Fed was created in 1913. Never mind the fact that there exists virtually no oversight of the Fed. Never mind the fact that the housing bubble never would have been “inflated” had it not been for the Fed’s artificial lowering of interest rates to ridiculous levels. Never mind the fact that the United States would not have entered into so many preposterous wars over the last several decades had it not been for the Fed’s relentless dollar creation. Don’t pay attention to any of these facts. Just listen to the blabbering airheads on CNN and Fox News, and their State Department correspondents, Defense Department correspondents, and White House correspondents. Then sleep well knowing that you are receiving the “inside scoop” from all of these wonderful “journalists” who allow us to share in their privileged access to the inner workings of the American body politic. As if they’d even be granted their “privileged access” if they actually reported the truth.

And so here we are on the eve of another presidential election. On the left we have Barack “guns and butter” Obama. On the right we have John “bombs and…well, more bombs” McCain. You call this a choice?! I’d rather see the presidency completely vacated than have either of these two frauds occupying it.

Barack Obama is not about “change.” Sorry to disappoint people but, if he really intended to change anything about the American political system he would have never made it this far in the campaign. If he truly intended to “change” Washington, the media would have paid very little attention to him. Just think about that for a second. When has the mainstream media ever glorified a candidate who truly represented a dramatic change from mainstream American politics? The bottom line is that Obama is just another politician who is willing to say anything to get elected.

As for John McCain, well, I just get the feeling that the man is desperate to be president before he shuffles off this mortal coil. Forget all of this “maverick” nonsense. The man is clueless. Oh, and he never met a war he didn’t like, so I guess that’s a plus when you’re running for President of the American Empire.

As for me, well, I think I’m going to get one of those bumper stickers that reads: “Don’t blame me. I didn’t vote!”

Sometimes the hypocrisy emanating from the mouths of politicians is so brazen, that it’s nigh on impossible to keep a straight face after hearing it.

By now, everyone knows about the trials and tribulations of the poor Olympic torch. In city after city, its presence has been met with protests and condemnations of the 2008 Summer Olympics host country, China.

China’s human rights violations have been cited by newscasters and politicians aplenty as reasons why President Bush should boycott the opening ceremonies of the games. Protesters are also demanding that Tibet be freed from Chinese government control.

Funny but, I haven’t seen any massive demonstrations to condemn the American government’s mass slaughter of innocent Iraqis that’s been happening every day since March of 2003. And where’s the outrage over the American government’s support for the murderous sanctions against Iraq throughout the 1990’s? And while we’re on the subject, what about the American government’s indiscriminant killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese in 1945, with atomic bombs, no less?

Of course, when the government of the United States violates human rights around the world it is necessary to “protect our freedoms.” Only communist and “islamofascist” countries are interested in global military hegemony. And only those sinister nations would employ any barbaric means to achieve those ends. Only they would stoop so low as to engage in the wanton annihilation of innocents simply to arrogate more power for themselves. For we must remember that our enemies are irrational. They just don’t think “right,” like we do. They’re crazy. They have no respect for human life. They practice evil religions and speak weird languages. We just can’t trust them. So, in order to preserve our freedom we must eliminate them before they destroy us. Because they really do want to wipe us off the map! Really, they do!

At least that’s what we’re supposed to believe. Now back to the China situation.

On Wednesday, Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for China to end its crackdown on Tibet. As an aside, I’d like to mention that Ron Paul, Dr. No himself, cast the only vote against this resolution. And it’s not because he favors the Chinese crackdown on Tibet. Simply put, the Constitution does not give Congress the authority to pass resolutions condemning the governments of foreign countries .

Now, returning to those members of Congress for whom the Constitution apparently means nothing, I found this statement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be rather interesting:

“It is long past time for Beijing to reassess its failed policy to attack and demonize the Dalai Lama, and show the world it can have civilized discussions as a responsible world power.”

Is it just me, or is there something terribly hypocritical about that type of statement coming from a high ranking member of the United States government? Actually, with a few simple word changes that statement would apply perfectly to the United States government’s policy toward Iran since the late 1970’s. How about this?

“It is long past time for Washington D.C. to reassess its failed policy to attack and demonize Iran, and show the world it can have civilized discussions as a responsible world power.”

Talk about a perfect fit!

The ignominious war in Iraq is now five years old. Much was proferred by the proponents of war in the buildup to this crusade. We were warned that we needed to take immediate action to rid the planet of Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. We were told that the “liberation” of Iraq’s long oppressed masses was at hand. We were reminded incessantly about the grave threat the entire planet faced from this latest “Hitler.” Alas, none of their statements were true.

And here we are in 2008. We’re five years into an undeclared war that is illegal according to the United States Constitution. We’re reminded daily by the neoconservative satraps of the Bush administration that the U.S. must continue this war in Iraq until victory is achieved. But what constitutes victory? Since this war is reputed to be part of the larger War on Terror, is the U.S. going to stay until every last suspected terrorist in the world has been killed, or at least waterboarded into admitting he is a terrorist? Or will victory come when Iraq has a stable and suitably pro-American government in place? Which begs this question. If establishing freedom for Iraqis was really the goal, then why didn’t the U.S. simply leave the country immediately after Saddam Hussein was captured? Could it be that there are actually different types of “freedom?” On the one hand there could be the generic and quite possibly dangerous to American interests brand of “freedom.” While on the other hand there could be the “correct, American government approved freedom.” I wonder…

Anyway, I just thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight some of the key U.S. government “accomplishments” during the past five years of “Iraqi liberation.” But first I’d like to draw your attention to the number 935. For that is the number of lies told by members of the Bush Administration in their effort to sell this war.

And speaking of the Decider, there is the number 3,857. That would be the number of American deaths in Iraq since he declared “mission accomplished” on May 1, 2003.

Of course, other numbers are quite significant as well. Take for instance the number 1,191,216. This is the estimated total of Iraqi deaths that have resulted from the U.S. led invasion of their country.

And how about this statistic? Since 2003, as a result of the violence in their nation, nearly 5,000,000 Iraqis have become refugees. I suppose they are just thrilled that the American occupiers have brought them “freedom” from their homes.

But that’s not all. Thanks to the abysmal security situation in their country, many Iraqis now have “freedom” from the fetters of employment, as well. There are nearly 200 major factories in Iraq that used to employ over 300,000 people. Most of those plants are now closed.

Ah, but I can hear it already! I hear those shrieks of “Hey, Ed, its the terrorists in Iraq that are creating the security problem, NOT the United States government!”

Well, the thing is, those terrorists wouldn’t be in Iraq right now if the U.S. hadn’t invaded in 2003.

But now I hear the shrieks again. “But, Ed, are you saying that you liked Hussein? Don’t you remember how he tortured people? Don’t you remember how evil he was?!”

Believe me, as a libertarian I harbored no affection for Hussein. He embodied everything that libertarians abhor in government and human beings in general. But, and here is the crux of the issue. Hussein was no threat to the national security of the United States. The internal problems of Iraq should be solved by the people of Iraq, not by the United States military.

The Soviet Union once posed a much greater threat to its own people and to the United States than Hussein ever could have. And what happened there? The United States was not required to liberate the Russians from the yoke of Communism. Against a truly menacing State the people simply stopped obeying the orders of their leaders. Soviet Communism crumbled from within.

Within the Iraq War we see things crumbling as well. But, in this case, it’s nothing to celebrate. Just take a look at this gut wrenching story from the USA Today concerning the effects of the war on Iraqi children. Imagine dealing with this situation when you were a kid:

“Many Iraqi children have to pass dead bodies on the street as they walk to school in the morning, according to a separate report last week by the International Red Cross. Others have seen relatives killed or have been injured in mortar or bomb attacks.

‘Some of these children are suffering one trauma after another, and it’s severely damaging their development,’ said Said Al-Hashimi, a psychiatrist who teaches at Mustansiriya Medical School and runs a private clinic in west Baghdad. ‘We’re not certain what will become of the next generation, even if there is peace one day,’ Al-Hashimi said.”

How many of these children will look back fondly on the time when the Americans came to “liberate” them?

Finally, as if the Constitutional and humanitarian cases against this war aren’t enough to elicit widespread condemnation from Americans, there is the financial cost of fighting this war. How about the nice round figure of 3 trillion dollars? Just read what Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes have to say about it. Boy, this empire expansion thing sure is an expensive business!

And just think. Five years of the Iraq War is really no time at all. If John McCain wins in November, we can look forward to another 95! What joy!

I must admit that I had my doubts when I learned that Ron Paul was going to campaign for the Republican nomination for president in 2008. Yes, I was well aware that he had been elected as a member of the GOP every time he ran for Congress but, this was the presidency. In Congress Dr. Paul and his message can be swept under the rug, so to speak. For example, note what time it is as he is introduced before giving this speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. And as we all know Dr. Paul actually takes his oath to obey the Constitution seriously, making him very unpopular with the neoconservatives who have hijacked the Republican party. On this topic I highly recommend a book by one of the most influential libertarians of all time, Murray Rothbard. It is entitled The Betrayal of The American Right and can be read online here.

As for yours truly, well, I felt betrayed by the Republican party in the Fall of 2005 and changed my voter’s registration to Libertarian. I was very enthusiastic for several months and believed that joining a “third party” was absolutely the correct thing to do. But one thought was nagging me. It occurred to me that if the goal of the Libertarian party (LP) was to swell its ranks and become a “big tent” party, then it would inevitably end up just like the Democrat and Republican monstrosities. And surely, I believed, to make that happen, the very principles on which the Libertarian party was founded would be severely compromised. Well, it appears my concerns were well founded as the Libertarian party decided to gut its platform at the 2006 national convention. From that point on I identified myself as a “small ‘l’ libertarian,” meaning I really wanted nothing to do with the national party, but still considered myself a libertarian. I’m actually kind of glad that the LP took the actions they did a couple of years ago. I learned a very valuable lesson from it. I learned that political parties are essentially meaningless . Political principles, however, are vital. And the more I read the writings of Ron Paul, the more I realized that he was a man who was unwavering in his commitment to the principles of liberty. He emphasized free trade with ALL nations, while opposing government managed trade agreements such as NAFTA, that masquerade as free trade . He underscored the importance of civil liberties in a free republic. He denounced aggressive war as the greatest enemy of liberty. He advocated drastically smaller, constitutionally limited government. AND, he was a Republican. Sure, he ran as the Libertarian candidate for president in 1988, but he was out of Congress at that time. The point is, I saw that Ron Paul was a genuine “Republican.” He favored a return to the old American Republic of the Founders.

All of a sudden it made perfect sense that he was running for president as a Republican. Furthermore, Dr. Paul is well aware of the fact that our electoral system is biased against third party candidates. And if you think the media coverage of his campaign for president has been alternately appalling and non-existent, you are correct. BUT, running as a third party candidate, or independent, he would have received practically NO mainstream media coverage at all.

At this point I think Ron Paul chose an excellent strategy. He has used the established system to speak out against that very same system. And although this strategy may not have resulted in as many votes for Dr Paul as we all would have liked, it made many media types and politicians realize that there exists a large, rather young contingent of voters who are just beginning to understand how severely their government is ripping them off everyday.

The mainstream media will continue to ignore him but, Ron Paul’s campaign has injected a large dose of principle back into politics . He has shown all of us just how important it is to place commitment to principle far above loyalty to members of “the party.”