It’s Not July 4th, It’s Independence Day

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

On July 2, 1776, George Washington sent general orders to his officers explaining the war effort:

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them.

The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect. We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die. Our own Country’s Honor all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. read more

Independence Day Presidential Passings Marked by Divine Providence

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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There were five Founding Fathers who became president. Some would say that no – in fact there were six. What about John Quincy Adams? Was he not a founder? No – no he wasn’t. He was the son of second President John Adams, but was only a child of the Revolution.

The five, in order, where of course George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe.

It was Divine Providence that brought all these great men together at this exact place and this exact time in history. It was through acts of Divine Providence that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were crafted and signed. It was Divine Providence that assisted in the founding of our nation. And it was Divine Providence that God put his final stamp on the founding of the United States, with the passing of three of the five Founder Presidents on the day of America’s declared Independence. And, save for just six days, it could have been four. Actually, I suppose, it wouldn’t be a stretch to really say it was four. read more

CAL COOLIDGE’S CRITICAL MESSAGE TO US

by Brent Smith for World Net Daily:

Calvin Coolidge

Daniel Horowitz of Conservative Review encapsulated equality and our natural individual rights as Americans quite ingeniously – representing our rights by use of a bell curve metaphor.

Horowitz cited the great President Calvin Coolidge’s July 4, 1926, address honoring the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. I would invite and encourage everyone to make the time to read the transcript of Coolidge’s speech. It is brilliant, educational and enlightening.

Coolidge said: “About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern.” read more

Treat the Constitution Like the NFL Rulebook

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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What does it mean when we right-wingers describe ourselves as conservatives? What is it that we are trying so hard to save, preserve or prevent the loss of – which is what conserve means. Those on the left would say we wish to conserve the days of slavery and Jim Crow – or maybe the white-old days of the 1950s before the Civil Rights movement.

Despite the fact that all those bad times were born of the left in this country, we conservatives wish to reestablish and conserve America’s original set of governing rules.

Our nation was founded on a set of ideals – the Declaration of Independence, and rules – the Constitution. Yet Americans today seem only to care about some rules, but not others. We demand absolute adherence to some rule books, while all but ignoring others.

As most of my readers know, I’m a huge fan of the NFL – particularly the New England Patriots, but also just a lover of everything pro-football. (Don’t hate me just because your team isn’t as good).

On many occasions, I’ve witnessed that we, at least we football fans, will have a nationwide collective meltdown, if say a player commits a penalty and gets away with it late in the fourth quarter of a close game. Fans take to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to vent their spleens over a flagrant violation that goes unpunished and may cost their team the game. read more

WND Exclusive – A DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCY

It was May of 1775, and the second Continental Congress met for the first time. Growing weary of King George III’s utter lack of attention toward the petition to redress grievances sent by the first Continental Congress, the colonists decided to act.

In June of that year the Congress developed a currency separate of the crown. They also established the first Continental Army, calling themselves the “United Colonies.”

Getting word of the colonies’ seditious behavior, the king declared that the American colonists were “engaged in open and avowed rebellion.” The British Parliament passed the “American Prohibitory Act” later that year, which instituted a naval blockade of all American ports and halted the colonies’ trade with the world and among each other. read more

WND Exclusive – Are you, too, a ‘Declarationist’?

1864 Two Cent Coin

Memorial Day has come and gone. I hope you all sought out the family of one of our fallen heroes or at least said a prayer on their behalf.

Now we’re into summer, though not technically, and America’s next great celebration is on the horizon – that of our nation’s independence.

We in America, and certainly us political wonks, write and speak constantly of the United States Constitution. We may do so often that it can sometimes seem tiresome to listen to – even for other fans of the Constitution. Not that I hear this from my friends and family or anything. read more

Inequality is the Natural State of Humans

My exclusive WND column:

One only has to look at our own federal government to witness the natural human state of inequality. Environmentalists always claim this about us humans – that nature in its purest, untouched form is the essence of equality. The delicate balance between plants and animals, predator and prey, is such that none will dominate the rest.

If you are a regular reader, you are no doubt aware of my penchant for using football and movies analogies. Well, this reminds me of yet another. This time it is the cult classic, “The Matrix,” the first (and best) of a three part series. read more

Compromiser in Chief

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Yes, he can be loud and brash. Oh, not like The Donald, but he will get in the face of the opposition… and then compromise with them.

I am of course speaking of the still rotund New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, who is one of the few Republican governors at the helm of a failing state. And why is his state in such disrepair? Sure, it’s run by a majority Democrat legislature and has been for years, but there’s another reason. It’s called compromise and it appears to be one of the cornerstones of Christie’s presidential platform.

Oh, he’s going to “tell it like it is,” even though the correct expression is to “tell it as it is.”

During his kickoff speech he said, “Both parties have failed the country,” and he’s right about that. He then goes on to claim that this country was built on compromise – “that somehow now compromise is a dirty word. If Washington and Adams and Jefferson believed compromise was a dirty word, we’d still be under the crown of England!”

Huh? I wasn’t aware of the founders motivation for crafting the Declaration of Independence, with its long list of grievances against the crown, was a compromise. read more

This is Progress

By: The Common Constitutionalist

If you are a regular reader (even if you’re not), you may have seen me use the the word “Progressive” (in political terms) as a synonym for liberal, which it is.

In fact, during the early Twentieth century, as the term “Progressive” developed a negative connotation, they simply changed it to liberal. We now see, with a negative reaction to the term “Liberal”, they are reverting back to progressive. Neat trick. Interestingly, the founders considered themselves “Classical Liberals”.

After speaking to a few people, I realize I have never really explained “progressive” properly – what it means & why political progressives think the way they do.

To do this I thought it might be instructive to go back and look at one of the founders of the American progressive movement, president Woodrow Wilson, using excerpts from one of his more famous speeches, What is Progress?“.

In his speech Wilson said, “We think of the future, not the past, as the more glorious time in comparison with which the present is nothing. Progress, development-those are modern words. The modern idea is to leave the past and press onward to something new.”

So far, progress sounds great, or does it? Does progress really mean to leave the past, forget the past, and press on to something new and no doubt glorious?

One could argue, unsuccessfully, that this is not what he meant. In his speech, he will reveal, this is indeed what he meant.

Wilson continues, “What attitude shall progressives take toward the existing order, toward those institutions of conservatism, the Constitution, the laws, and the courts?… Are those thoughtful men who fear that we are now about to disturb the ancient foundations of our institutions justified in their fear?”

You’re darn right they were justified in their fear!

You will notice how Wilson is trying to separate himself and progressives from the founders by describing the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as old dusty, ancient foundations, as if they were crafted on stone tablets thousands of years ago. read more

It’s Better to Look Back Than Forward

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

We all know of the giant $1.2 billion NSA storage facility in Utah. It tops out at over 15 times the size of Giants/Jets stadium and that’s just the part that’s above ground. 200 acres is evidently not enough room to store all the data to “keep America safe”.

In May of this year construction began on an additional 28 acre NSA site outside of Baltimore Maryland (and again, that’s just the part that we can see). Together they are seven times the size of the Pentagon.

But don’t worry; they need all that acreage to “keep us safe”.

Many have complained of all that data being stored, but our government assures us that they aren’t reading our transmissions or listening to our phone calls.

They say they must monitor us all “in general” so they can better find the bad guys. That it is essential for the administration to issue “general warrants” allowing the NSA to spy on everyone.

So the question is, should we allow it to continue? Is it legal or even proper? Good questions. For answers, we conservatives always go back to our original documents: the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Federalist papers as well as the founders actual statements.

But you may say, most of the surveillance is electronic. What did the founders know of that? Well, nothing of course. So what! A “general warrant” is the same, whether it is to intrude electronically or physically.

One has to go no further than the fourth amendment of the Constitution which states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by the oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

That seems fairly straightforward. But where did it come from? One of the fourth amendment purposes was to prevent the new American government from doing what the British crown had perpetrated on the colonies for so many years.

Prior to the revolution, British courts issued “Writs of Assistance”, a type of general warrant. It gave the crown very broad search and seizure powers. The writs gave customs officials the power to enter private homes and businesses to search for smuggled or untaxed goods.

Writs of assistance not only gave British customs agents the power to search for illegal imports, but as the name suggests, it allowed them to command other government officials and even private citizens to assist them. A holder of a writ had the power to search any building or residence and confiscate any suspected contraband.

Writs of assistance were very similar to the data collected and stored by the NSA. Unlike a standard search warrant it was and is permanent, remaining in effect until six months after the death of the King in power when it was issued. Now that I think about it, NSA stored data is worse than a writ of assistance for a writ does eventually expire where NSA data is truly permanent.

Writs were such a concern to the colonists that in 1756 the colony of Massachusetts banned the use of general warrants, but it did no good for the crown superseded all colonial law.

Attorney and founder James Otis, Jr. describes general warrants as: “the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law, that was ever found in an English law book.”

The issuance of writs had become so egregious as to be included among the specific complaints the signers of the Declaration of Independence laid out against King George III: “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”

So as is always the case, if one wishes to find the answer pertaining to law or government one merely has to look back, not forward. I’d say the founders would be firmly against the NSA program, wouldn’t you?