Constitution 101 (5)

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/week_05_overview.aspx

Lesson 5:“The Separation of Powers: Ensuring Good Government”

Study Guide

Overview
The separation of powers helps to ensure good government at the same time it guards against tyranny. Independent in function but coordinated in the pursuit of justice, the three branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—must each have enough power to resist the encroachment of the others, and yet not so much that the liberty of the people is lost.

A political regime has three dimensions: the ruling institutions, the rulers, and the way of life of the people. In America, the rulers—the people themselves—and their ruling institutions—staffed by the people’s representatives—aim at securing the Creator-endowed natural rights of all citizens. The Framers did this in two ways. “Vertically” considered, our ruling institutions are defined by federalism, or the division of power between the national, state, and local governments. “Horizontally” considered, the ruling institutions of the federal government itself are separated and co-equal.

In the American regime, the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land.” No one branch is superior to it; all three branches have a duty to abide by it. While each of the three branches plays a unique role in the passage, execution, and interpretation of laws, all of the branches must work together in the governing process.

The legislative branch is closest to the people. It is also the branch in which the danger of majority tyranny lurks. The passions of the people are reflected most in the House of Representatives, where the members are elected for terms of two years. The Senate, with its six year terms, was designed to be a more stable legislative presence than the House.

The defining characteristic of the executive is “energy.” The president can act swiftly and decisively to deal with foreign threats and to enforce the law, and can also provide a check on legislative tyranny through the veto.

Members of the judiciary, the third branch of government, must exercise judgment in particular cases to secure individual rights. Through “judicial review,” the judiciary is given the authority to strike down laws that are contrary to the Constitution. But judicial review is not judicial supremacy; even the Supreme Court must rely upon the other branches once it has rendered judgment.

The checks that each branch can exercise against the encroachment of the others ultimately protect the liberties of the people. The separation of powers promotes justice and good government by having each branch perform its proper function. This institutional design allows the sovereign people to observe and to know which branch is responsible for which actions in order to hold each to account. The sense of mutual responsibility built into the separation of powers is a reflection of the moral and civic responsibility all Americans share.

A Fork in the Road

Stuart Chase was a progressive and Fabian socialist, who wrote a book called “The Road we are Traveling”. He wrote this book in 1942.Chase was a well-known progressive of his era and was part of the Woodrow Wilson administration. He has been credited for the term “The New Deal”.

No one, including me, had heard of this gentleman, until Glenn Beck brought him to light a few days ago. The reason why he brought him to light was the new film, the propaganda film, narrated by Tom Hanks, called “The Road we Traveled”.

When I heard of this book by Stuart Chase, I, like Glenn, thought, what a remarkable coincidence that this progressive book and this new film could be so similarly titled.

Over the past few days Glenn Beck has done some research on this progressive, Stuart Chase and has come up with some remarkable similarities between the book, “The Road we are Traveling” and the situation we find ourselves in now.

As Glenn Beck has stated, when Barack Obama said five days before the election in 2008 that he wanted to fundamentally transform America and the world, no one listened. We should have.

As many people say, words mean things. It’s no different for progressives. Words mean things to them also. Progressive’s words are always carefully crafted. We should realize that they do in fact mean what they say and say what they mean. They are not just hollow words nor campaign rhetoric.

Knowing now whom Barack Obama is and the people that he has surrounded himself with are, we must surely take him at his word that he and they wish to change the entire structure of America and the world.

Most of us today would consider this progressive march to be a march toward socialism communism or fascism. Once again we go back to, words mean things.

Stuart Chase was smart enough to realize that, in 1942 no one wanted to hear about socialism or fascism or communism. Instead he called his proposed fundamental transformation, simply “Political System X”. Chase claimed, in his book; once you have enough pieces of the society fundamentally transformed, you will not be able to turn the ship around, as it were. In other words, there will be no turning back to capitalism or the free market.

So now let’s juxtapose what Stuart Chase had in mind and just how far Barack Obama has come.

As we go through this list just keep in mind that Barack Obama and his ilk are not the first to attempt to transform this country. It has been a progressive project for 100 years. These are patient lot.

In his book Chase describes his political system X as the following [Chase’s words will be italicized]: You will need a strong centralized government. I think we can all agree that we have a strong and ever stronger centralized government. I guess we can check that one off.

You will need an Executive arm growing at the expense of the Legislative and Judicial arm. I think we can all agree that this is happening right under our noses. President Obama and his administration appear to be doing whatever they want whether they have the constitutional authority to do so or not, simply brushing aside the legislature as they go. I suppose we can give him a big thumbs up for this one.

You will need to have control of banking, credit and security exchanges by the government. The tarp bailouts pretty much took care of the control of banking issue. As far as credit goes, try getting a student loan or purchasing a house without having the government involved in the financing. Let’s check that one off.

Seems they are doing rather well with their fundamental transformation project so far.

You will need underwriting of employment through armaments or by public works. This sounds a lot like the stimulus package. I guess we’ll check this one off also, at least partially.

You will need underwriting of Social Security by the government, underwriting of food, housing and medical care by the government. Social Security, that’s a given. Underwriting of food is certainly being taken care of with the FDA, the USDA and Michelle Obama with the rest of her food Nazis telling us what we can and can’t eat. And let us not forget the foodstamp program. Housing is certainly being taken care of through Fannie and Freddie and all the other government organizations controlling loans and whatnot. Of course, Obamacare will take care of medical care. That’s check, check, check and check.

The use of deficit spending to finance underwriting is essential. This one is fairly obvious. We’ll give them a big checkmark.

There must be an abandonment of gold in lieu of managed currency. The Fed accomplished this during the Nixon administration in the 1970s. Check that one off.

You will need government control over trade, natural resources, transportation, agricultural production, organize labor unions and youth corps. You will need a youth and people dedicated to the ideology of government authorities. What part of trade doesn’t the government already control? That is of course a rhetorical question. They are certainly busy trying to control natural resources, coal, oil and natural gas; the air we breathe and the water we drink, etc. as far as labor unions are concerned I’m not sure who controls whom? Is it the government that controls labor unions or vice versa. I guess they are actually one in the same. Glenn Beck contends, and I agree, the youth and people dedicated to the ideology of government authority is Occupy Wall Street. They are the youth corps.

Heavy taxation of Estates and incomes of the wealthy is essential. Gee, who has been pushing for that for as long as I’ve been alive? I’d give that a half a checkmark, but it seems they will eventually achieve this.

There must be state control over communications and propaganda. It appears they’re well on their way to achieving this goal. We don’t call them the state-controlled media for nothing. Let’s give them a big checkmark for that.

Well now. Can I get a holy crap?!

I think it might’ve been easier to compile a list of what they haven’t accomplished instead of what they have. I guess the old saying “Ignorance is Bliss” really does apply in this case. Maybe we should all just go back to sleep and allow the government to take complete control of our lives.

By the way, Glenn Beck believes, as do I, that the reason this new propaganda film is titled “The Road We’ve Traveled”, is that these progressives believe that the journey is virtually completed. As I’ve stated before, these progressives choose their words very carefully. They did not choose this title by accident.

I truly hope that Stuart Chase is wrong and that we will be able to turn this ship around, or at least slow it long enough for a majority of our citizens to wake up.

Attribution: I would like to thank Glenn Beck for compiling this list. He and his staff are an invaluable resource.

Rush and the New Blacklist

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The original “Hollywood blacklist” dates back to 1947, when 10 members of the Communist Party, present or former, invoked the Fifth Amendment before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

The party was then a wholly owned subsidiary of the Comintern of Joseph Stalin, whose victims had surpassed in number those of Adolf Hitler.

In a 346-17 vote, the Hollywood Ten were charged with contempt of Congress and suspended or fired.

The blacklist had begun. Directors, producers and writers who had been or were members of the party and refused to recant lost their jobs.

Politically, the blacklist was a victory of the American right.

In those first years of the Cold War, anti-communism and Christianity were mighty social, political and cultural forces. Hollywood acknowledged their power in what it produced.

Rhett Butler’s departing words to Scarlett O’Hara — “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” — were the most shocking heard on screen.

Catholicism was idealistically portrayed in “Going My Way” and “The Song of Bernadette.” Priest roles were played by Bing Crosby, Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck.

But over a half century, the left captured and now controls the culture.

The Legion of Decency is dead. The Filthy Speech Movement from Berkeley 1964 has triumphed. The “seven filthy words” of comedians like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin are regular fare in films and steadily creeping into prime-time.

Movies show sexually explicit scenes that make Howard Hughes’ 1944 condemned film, “The Outlaw,” starring Jane Russell, look like “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.”

Where Ingrid Bergman of “Casablanca” fame had to flee the country in 1950 after an adulterous affair with director Roberto Rossellini, the media today happily provide all the salacious details of every “relationship” that Hollywood stars enter into and exit.

All of this testifies to the cultural ascendancy of the left.

Yet every establishment has its own orthodoxy, its own taboos, and its own blacklist. And, despite its pretensions to be open to all ideas, our cultural establishment is no different.

While the Hollywood Ten have been rehabilitated and heroized, it is Christians and conservatives who are in cultural cross hairs now.

Traditional Catholic morality is mocked, as are Southern evangelical Christians. And the new cultural establishment has erected a new regime called Political Correctness. It writes the hate-crimes laws that citizens must obey and the campus speech codes students must follow.

The new mortal sins are not filthy talk or immoral conduct, but racism, sexism, homophobia and nativism. The establishment alone defines these sins and enforces the proscriptions against them, from which there is no appeal, only the obligatory apology, the act of contrition and the solemn commitment never to sin again.

If you still believe homosexuality is unnatural and immoral and gay marriage absurd, you are a homophobe who is to keep his mouth shut.

If you think some ethnic and racial groups have greater natural athletic, academic or artistic talents, don’t go there, if you do not wish an early end to your journalistic career.

If you think illegal aliens should be sent home and legal immigration should mirror the ethnic makeup of the nation, you are a xenophobe and a racist.

All of these terms — racist, sexist, homophobe — are synonyms for heretic. Any of them can get you hauled before an inquisition.

To control the politics of a nation, control of the culture is a precondition. For who controls the culture defines what is moral and immoral, and what is heroic and villainous. And if you can set limits on what journalists write and broadcasters say, you can shape what people think and believe.

Through history, frightened establishments have dealt severely even with peaceful challenges to their power, which is why Socrates was forced to drink poison, Christ was crucified, Sir Thomas More was beheaded and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was sent to the Gulag.

When Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” for demanding that Georgetown Law School subsidize the $3,000 women students annually require for birth control to exercise their sexual freedom, the media that piled on Rush objected less to the term than to the target he picked: one of their own.

Bill Maher routinely uses far more odious terms on Sarah Palin. Yet his $1 million gift to an Obama Super PAC was welcomed by agents of the same president who phoned Fluke to console her over Rush’s remarks.

Rush apologized. But the left still campaigns to have his voice stifled and censored, by threatening advertisers of his radio show with boycotts if they refuse to drop him.

Thus does the left honor the First Amendment.

As shown in HBO’s “Game Change,” John McCain in 2008 ruled out attacks on Barack Obama’s 20-year ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago preacher of “God damn America!” fame.

Why? Wright and Obama were black, and such attacks might agitate the latent racism of white America. The Republican Party censors itself so as not to antagonize a cultural establishment that wants to see it dead.

“Beautiful losers,” my late friend Sam Francis called them.

Adolf goes Hollywood

It sounds like the bizzare script of a Hollywood B-movie. Maybe it still could?

In a parallel universe the Nazis have won the war and Adolf Hitler moves to Los Angeles where he mingles with the stars of the silver screen while running his evil empire from a luxurious ranch deep in the LA hills.

But during the 1930s, American sympathizers were so confident this exact scenario was actually going happen they spent millions building a deluxe compound ready for their fuhrer’s imminent arrival.

Equipped with a diesel power plant, 375,000 gallon concrete water tank, giant meat locker, 22 bedrooms and even a bomb shelter, the heavily guarded estate was home to a community of Hollywood fascists who hoped to ride out the war there.

There were further plans to build five libraries, a swimming pool, several dining rooms and a gymnasium with money from Germany.

But on the day after Pearl Harbor, as America entered World War Two, police raided the premises and rounded up the the 50 or so American fascists who were living there.

Today the eerie landmark lies in ruins, splattered with graffitti, and awaiting the bulldozers so it can be turned into a picnic area for hikers, a soon-to-be forgotten slice of American history.

Close to the homes of actors and directors such as Stephen Spielberg, the site has been a magnet for historians, curiosity-seekers and modern-day nazis.

At one point after the war it became an artists colony and was home to the novelist Henry Miller.

It was built by the Silver Shirts, a sinister group of 1930’s fascists who took their name from Hitler’s Brown Shirts grass roots organization. Their official name was the ‘Silver Legion’, but were nicknamed the ‘Silver Shirts’ due to their attire. A silver shirt, silver tie,  a campaign hat and blue corduroy trousers with leggings. The shirt was emblazened with a large scarlett ‘L’ signifying Loyalty, Liberation and Legion.

By 1934, the Silver Shirts had about 15,000 members, led by William Pelley and funded directly by Nazi Germany.

Fascism had been on the rise in the wake of the Great Depression and the Silver Shirts were one of the most fanatical groups.

The 55-acre ranch, was sold to mining fortune heiress Jessie Murphy in 1933 by screen cowboy Will Rogers.

In the next few years, Murphy struck up a relationship with a German man known only as Herr Schmidt. Unbeknownst to her, Schmidt was Hitler’s agent in America.

He persuaded her to invest $4million ($66 million today) to transform the property into a nazi stronghold fit for Hitler.

Historian Randy Young said, “This was supposed to be the seat of American fascism from where Hitler would one day run the United States”.

“The neighbors were a little freaked out by the construction and weird happenings, but until war broke out, they thought they were just eccentric people.”

Attribution: Daily Mail

The Road They’ve Traveled

Glenn Beck uncovers the origin of The new Obama campaign documentary, or propaganda film. It is truly chilling.

If you do nothing else, watch the video discussion by Beck and his crew at the end of the article. It is a real eye opener.

Link to it here

Communism Doesn’t Work

Meet Elke. This inspiring woman was born in Hitler’s Germany and lived under communist rule for years before becoming an American citizen.

Her video explanation of what happened in Germany under communism and the parallels to our current administration and the path we are on will give you a chill.

Attribution: The Blaze

Constitution 101 (4)

You may review the first 3 lessons here:

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4:

“The Separation of Powers: Preventing Tyranny”

 

Study Guide

Overview

Separation of powers is the central structural feature of the United States Constitution. The division of power among the three branches—legislative, executive, and judicial—is necessitated because human beings are imperfect. The imperfection of human nature means that well-structured government is necessary, though not sufficient, to prevent tyranny.

The United States Constitution is structurally designed in part to prevent tyranny. Separation of powers is the means by which power is divided and its accumulation in the hands of any single entity denied.

During the 1780s, most states had constitutions that formally divided the government’s power, yet in practice the legislatures dominated. The state constitutions required separation of powers in theory, but failed to deliver it in reality. As a result, the constitutions were little more than what Publius called “parchment barriers.”

In order for separation of powers to work, each branch of government must have the “constitutional means” to resist the encroachment of the other branches. This is what today we call “checks and balances.”

In addition to institutional checks and balances, there exist also the “personal motives” of people that will lead them to resist the encroachment of the other branches. Human nature is constant across the ages, according to Publius, and human beings are naturally ambitious. Instead of ignoring or attempting to suppress ambition, the Framers sought to channel it through the Constitution, so that it might serve the cause of liberty and justice rather than threaten it.

The Framers understood that human nature has noble characteristics that are essential to self-government, but also that it contains baser features, for which government must account. The Constitution’s structural separation of powers recognizes this truth, and in preventing tyranny makes self-government possible.

Obama & 2016

Dinesh D’Sousa will release his movie 2016 which demonstrates life in America under a second Obama presidency. If we think the Obama administration has been destructive, wait until he has no further worries about running for another term. Obama’s game plan can be taken directly from one of the books he allegedly wrote, “Dreams From My Father.

As will be pointed out in the video below, the words “From My Father” instead of using “Of My Father,” unlocks the thought process’ for this very complex individual. His father was an anti-colonialist and a Marxist. Obama certainly seems to be following “his fathers dreams.”

Attribution: Jim Campbell

Constitution 101 (3)

Lesson 3: “The Problem of Majority Tyranny”

Study Guide

Overview

America was governed under the Articles of Confederation from 1781 to 1789. Unable to redress the problem of “majority tyranny,” the Articles were abandoned in favor of the Constitution, which created a “more perfect union.”

Shipwrecked Watch

A pocketwatch belonging to one of the survivors of the Lusitania ocean liner that sunk in 1915, has been valued at £1,000 ($1600) despite its inoperative state.

Frank Holman, a waiter on the liner, was wearing the timepiece when the ship was hit by a German torpedo.

The watch stopped as soon as Holman was flung into the Atlantic Ocean, where he was forced to tread water for five hours before he was eventually rescued.

His daughter Barbara Wiffen who has held the watch since her father’s passing told the BBC: “My late father, Frank Holman, was on the Lusitania at the time she was torpedoed.”

“The torpedo struck, I understand, at twelve minutes past two and his watch stopped at two twenty eight when he hit the water.”

“He didn’t speak about it very much because he found it very traumatic, but he was in the water for five hours before he was picked up.”

“At one stage he found a young boy who was obviously in difficulties and my father swam for some time with with his hands clasped round his neck but as time went on it became obvious to him that the lad had unfortunately passed away.”

“So regrettably he had to release him, and I think that stayed with him for the rest of his life. When I was a child, I use to hear him shouting in his sleep.”

Antiques Roadshow expert Hilary Kay insisted that the watch would generate much interest despite the relic not functioning.

She told the show: “Lusitania artifacts have appeared on the market in the past, and they always create a stir, particularly in The States, of course. I would see this certainly fetching £1,000 at auction, if not more.”

“Over a thousand people were drowned, of which over a hundred were American civilians, and it was what catapulted America eventually into the First World War.”

“So it is an incredibly important piece of 20th century history. And we have a piece of memorabilia here which I find incredibly resonant.”

Despite the estimation, Holman’s daughter has insisted that she would never part with the watch given its sentimental value.

The ship, bound for Liverpool from New York sank in approximately 18 minutes, claiming the lives of 1,959 passengers in the process.
Attribution: David Gerges