10/10/11

WE’RE ALL FEDERAL CRIMINALS NOW!

By: Chad Kent
Chad Kent Speaks

“The more corrupt a state, the more it legislates.”

Tacitus

If you had to guess – about how much time on average would you say you spend reading federal statutes?

If you are like virtually everyone else in this country, you probably said, “none,” right?

In that case there’s a good chance that you are guilty of violating federal laws and don’t even know it. Just ask Eddie Leroy Anderson – an Idaho man who recently became a federal criminal for violating the ever-popular Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979.

Wait – you haven’t heard of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979? Neither has anyone else. That doesn’t matter – you are still expected to comply with it.

Mr. Anderson hadn’t heard of it either… until he went to a campground with his son to look for arrowheads and accidentally wandered onto federal land. Apparently that violates the ARPA and Mr. Anderson and his son each had to pay a $1,500 fine and are now federal criminals.

Before we move on to examining the idiocy behind this situation, it’s fair to ask exactly what type of federal land that Mr. Anderson wandered on to. According to the Constitution, the federal government can own lands “for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings.” It would be interesting to find out exactly which of these categories this land in Idaho is being used for.

This is an example of one of the greatest threats to our liberty today – the mindset of our public officials that they are above the law. The mindset that if they ignore the law it’s excusable. In this case, the fact that the federal government owns that land is likely a violation of the Constitution – and no one in our justice system says a word about it. But if an old man and his son accidentally look for some old rocks in the wrong part of town, they swarm on you like bees.

Anyhow, Mr. Anderson’s situation is a great example of how the general approach we take toward government today poses a threat to our freedom. Three ideas from the Founders will help us see exactly why it’s such a serious threat.

Idea #1:

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are [published], or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known and less fixed?

James Madison, Federalist Papers #62

Basically what Madison is saying here is, what good is it for the people to elect their own representatives if they pass so many incoherent laws that no one is able to read them or understand them? Regardless of who your representatives are, when the government makes it impossible for you to know what the law really is, that is an immediate threat to your freedom.

You might be thinking, “Ok… immediate threat to my freedom sounds bad… but how many laws could there really be in this country anyway?”

Well, according to the Wall Street Journal:

“Counting [the regulations] is impossible. The Justice Department spent two years trying in the 1980s, but produced only an estimate: 3,000 federal criminal offenses.

The American Bar Association tried in the late 1990s, but concluded only that the number was likely much higher than 3,000.

[…]

A Justice spokeswoman said there was no quantifiable number. Criminal statutes are sprinkled throughout some 27,000 pages of the federal code. “

Wait what?!? So the federal government – with all of the resources it has at its disposal – can’t even count all of the regulations. But somehow I’m supposed to know and obey all of them? How the heck is that supposed to work?

I guess it’s time to get studying, folks. You’ve got 27,000 pages of federal code to get through.

The sad part is, if you were ever actually able to read all of that, it would probably violate some regulation on reading too much or making too many computer printouts.

The ridiculous prosecution of Mr. Anderson serves to illustrate Madison’s point very well – it’s unreasonable to write an uncountable number of laws that no one really understands and then expect citizens to follow them perfectly.

Idea #2:

“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding, and should therefore be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subleties which make anything mean everything or nothing, at pleasure.”

Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson’s point here is pretty simple – if you expect the average person to obey the law, you’d better write the laws so that the average person can understand them. Seems hard to argue with that logic.

But look at how one attorney general in the article talks about the the federal code:

Roscoe Howard, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, argues that the system “isn’t broken.” Congress, he says, took its cue over the decades from a public less tolerant of certain behaviors. Current law provides a range of options to protect society, he says. “It would be horrible if they started repealing laws and taking those options away.”

By “a range of options” he means that everyone can be found to have violated some law, so the government can always find some way of convicting a person. Nope, I don’t see any possibility for corruption there. I know I feel safe! Don’t you?

Laws that “provide a range of options” aren’t written with any intention of average people being able to understand them – or even with the intention of serving the government’s primary purpose of protecting our rights. These types of laws are designed to protect the people in government and give them more power.

I can now say proudly that I have read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and it is every bit as exciting as you would expect. But I can tell you that it wasn’t written so that normal people could understand and obey it. It’s filled with all of the mind-numbing legal mumbo jumbo you would expect about this or that section being subject to subsection (x) of some other law that no one has ever heard of.

This law was written to serve the purpose of government in that it gives bureaucrats power. It forces us as citizens to look to government for permission every time we want enjoy a simple pastime like digging for arrowheads – and gives bureaucrats the ability to prosecute unsuspecting regular citizens whenever they want to prove a point.

And while I’m on the topic of prosecuting unsuspecting citizens like Mr. Anderson, here’s one part of the Act that I did understand:

16 U.S.C. 470ee(d), Penalities

d. Any person who knowingly violates, or counsels, pro- cures, solicits, or employs any other person to violate, any prohibition contained in subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both […] (emphasis mine)

Everyone in this case acknowledges that Mr. Anderson wasn’t aware of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and had no idea he was on federal land. But the feds still decided to fine him and put him on probation.

When you consider that we actually wasted federal resources prosecuting an otherwise law-abiding citizen for accidentally digging a tiny hole in the wrong place, it really illuminates the wisdom of Jefferson’s idea that we should write and interpret our laws according to ordinary common sense.

Common sense laws would allow you to protect your freedom not only by avoiding legal trouble (since you know what the law is, you can make sure you follow it); but also by allowing you to understand exactly what kind of laws our politicians are passing – and then hold them accountable in the voting booth.

Idea #3:

“[Our representatives] being but servants of the people cannot be greater than their Masters, and must be responsible to them.”

Pittsfield Petitions, May 26, 1776

Do you get this feeling from our politicians, government employees, or even when you walk into the DMV? More often than not, when you interact with someone from the government you get the feeling that they think they are in a position of superiority – not a position of service.

For example, when Mr. Anderson was notified of his violation of the ARPA, federal authorities told him “to get a lawyer and a damn good one.”

That doesn’t sound like a public servant doing his best to make sure a citizen understands the situation he’s facing. That is clearly a threatening statement made for the sole purpose of intimidating Mr. Anderson with the power of the federal government.

This is really the source of so many of our problems right now. We have a great number of public officials who get this sense of power and feel that they are untouchable (and sadly a lot of citizens who view the government as all powerful and allow themselves to be intimidated).

Everyone in a free society should understand that when someone takes a job with the government – any job with the government – it does not make him superior to everyone else. It is actually a step down. You are making a move from being the Master to being the Servant.

Until we are able to convince our politicians that they are the servants, we will continue to get thousands of incoherent laws that defy common sense and serve to reinforce the bureaucrats’ feeling of superiority. And as Madison explained, in that situation we will never truly be free.

10/10/11

We Are the 99% of Useful Idiots

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

The protesters for the ‘Occupy’ movement, for the most part, are useful idiots. They don’t seem to realize that when the Marxist elitists are done with them, they will be eliminated. Loose ends and all that. But hey! They are getting all the drugs, food and sex they can handle. Good hippie times – for now. As for those on the right who have strayed into their webs, well, you are making a deadly mistake.

Zombie has done a post pitting the Occupiers against Fleet Week. Hmmm… Let me think… Which is more popular I wonder? No contest – military rules, hippies drool. Well, literally.

You will love the photo essay. Great pics and great insight. I’ll take Fleet Week any day over the Occupiers. I believe them when they say they are the 99% – they are the 99% of the losers that mooch off the rest of us. Useful idiots unite!

Head over to Pajamas Media and read Zombie’s post. Excellent work as usual. Then go thank someone in the military and avoid the Occupy movement like the plague it is.

10/10/11

Leapfrogging the Constitution

By: “Senator Bob” Smith
Accuracy in Media

Many of us will remember a childhood game called “leapfrog.” Your classmate would run, stop, lean forward and the person running behind would leap over his playmate. After a few steps, the person who had just made the jump stopped, leaned forward and the process repeated itself. This was a fun game for elementary school children at recess time. It is more sad than ironic that there is a striking similarity between that children’s game and the process by which we nominate our candidates for president of the United States.

Iowa and New Hampshire have claimed the “right” to hold the first caucus and primary in their states, respectively. No one dares move ahead of them. Over the past several election cycles this has contributed to calls of “unfair” from other states which have a much later, and usually lesser, role in the decision making process due to late primaries. New Hampshire and Iowa do not budge. They are determined to go first, no matter what date they have to set. New Hampshire has not yet established its date for the primary because it wants to be the “First in the Nation Primary” as dictated in their state law. Iowa has settled on January 3rd, and its caucuses are always a few days before New Hampshire.

There is no better example of leapfrogging than what has been happening in the past week. Florida moved its primary up to January 31, 2012. Then South Carolina decided to trump Florida by moving its primary up to January 21st. Under Nevada law, that state must hold its caucuses the “Saturday before the NH primary” and, according to that state’s website, they have set the date for January 14th, thinking that New Hampshire was planning to set its primary on January 17th. But now it is more likely that New Hampshire will hold its primary sometime between the caucuses in Iowa and Nevada.

I suppose if we were to carry out this insidious process to the extreme, we could have the primary for the 2016 Presidential election before the 2012 election is over! In an effort to stop the games, the Republican Party has even threatened to penalize any state that changes its primary or caucus at this late date, with a loss of voting delegates at the Republican Convention. This makes the situation worse with even more animosity. The game of leapfrog continues. Unfortunately, this is not a game.

It might be beneficial to ask just how this enhances our nominating process to pick someone who may be the next leader of the free world. The candidates do not know where to campaign or when. States could be denied delegates to the convention, and are pitted against other. The process has now become a political power struggle with no rules. Those states that have caucuses deny the right to vote to our servicemen and women, who are often out of their state, sometimes putting their lives on the line to defend our freedom. They deny the right to vote to the ill or disabled, who cannot be physically present to vote in person. Even where primaries are held, how can our military get an absentee vote mailed in a timely manner, when they do not even know the date of the primary or the names of the candidates running? Lost in this process is the focus on the quality of the candidates and the convenience of voters. No longer is the focus on the selection of the best candidate. It is about raw political power at its worst.

Presidential elections are, as Paul Skousen, a former CIA officer in the Reagan Administration has called them, “a two billion dollar beauty pageant.” It is a pageant with constantly changing rules and attempts by states to secure advantages over each other for profit and recognition. High up on the profit list are the news media. The media shamelessly court the candidates for their advertising money, while they brutalize them in their news and editorials. Is it any wonder that the Founders warned us about the danger of political parties? Political parties have commandeered the way we nominate and elect a president, the American people seem to have acquiesced, and the media laugh all the way to the bank. Not only did the Founders warn us of the dangers of political parties, they left the term completely out of the U.S. Constitution.

When the U.S. Constitution was written in 1787, Article II, Section 1 stated the following:

“Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of Electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.”

What and who are electors? According to the debate at the Constitutional Convention regarding this matter, electors were supposed to be independent and “wise men” whose job was to “nominate” the best candidates for president. Notice that the word “nominate,” not “elect,” was used. The job of the electors in each state was to submit names of candidates for president. The candidate selection was to be achieved by counting the nominations. Article II clearly states that electors shall be appointed by the states, as directed by their respective legislatures. However, the method of appointing was at the sole discretion and prerogative of the legislature of the respective states. If a state wished to have its legislature simply pick the electors, it could do so, or it could have the voters of the state participate in the election of these individuals. Whatever the decision, one thing was clear. It was the states, not the federal government, and certainly not political parties, who would make the decision. The Founders were intent on maintaining the principle of federalism.

It did not take long for politics to diminish the spirit and intent of the Founders. George Washington’s stature kept him above politics and he easily won two elections with little partisan bickering or demagoguery. However, in the election of 1796 between Adams and Jefferson, it began to come unglued. Adams was the old line Federalist and Jefferson represented the more populist agrarian element of American society. Under the Constitution, incumbent officeholders could not be electors and this antagonized the Federalists. The entire process deteriorated into wrangling to select electors based on allegiance to either Jefferson or Adams as opposed to their selection based upon their independence. Adams barely won, but politics was now here to stay. The election of 1800 was even worse when Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson, both Democratic-Republicans, tied in the electoral count at 73 votes each, and incumbent Federalist John Adams came in third with 65 votes. It took 36 ballots and the intercession of Alexander Hamilton to finally select Thomas Jefferson as the third President of the United States. This occurred when Hamilton urged his supporters to desert one of their own, John Adams, to support Jefferson, who was the lesser of two evils between Jefferson and his longtime nemesis, Aaron Burr.

The political wrangling in the elections of 1796 and 1800 led directly to the ratification of the 12th Amendment to the Constitution in 1804. The amendment is much too lengthy to include in this commentary. In essence, the passage of the 12th Amendment is a political decision that violates the spirit and intent of the original document. The primary function of the electors, in the language of this amendment, has transitioned from NOMINATING candidates and evolved into the FINAL SELECTION of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. The 12th Amendment legitimized the political parties entry into the selection of our president and it was used by many to dwell upon what was “wrong” with the Constitution and how to “fix it” as opposed to reaffirming the original intent of the Founders to have electors nominate rather than elect.

It would be easy to argue that states do in fact follow the Constitution today because they have agreed to conduct presidential elections for electors pledged to a particular candidate from a political party. Since these electors are pledged to vote for the candidate who “wins” the election, then the spirit and intent of the Constitution are followed. Those who make this argument either do not understand the Constitution or deliberately attempt to misguide. Electors, under the intent of the Constitution do not elect, they SELECT the candidates for President. The election should occur when the ballots are counted in the House of Representatives after the nominating process has taken place. This, of course, is not what happens in our presidential elections today. We talk of the “Electoral College” and we watch the ballots counted on “election” night to see who wins the most “electoral votes” and, therefore, become the president elect of the United States. The Framers intended for the electors to choose wisely and independently from the most qualified individuals in the nation. The best qualified is not meant to be restricted only to candidates of a political party.

If the American people wish to elect their president by popular vote and have political parties do the nominating, then the correct approach is to amend the Constitution, not ignore it. One thing is certain. Electors selected based upon their party affiliation are not independent and unbiased people. They are selected to “rubber stamp” the “election” in their state. There is undoubtedly a strong case to be made for the election of our president by direct popular vote. There is not, however, a good case to be made for doing so without a constitutional amendment. Gary and Carolyn Alder in their excellent book, The Evolution and Destruction of the Original Electoral College, lay out the argument for a return to original intent as succinctly as anyone could ever do it.

“The states do not need to leave the process in the hands of the political parties. It would take courage but they could reclaim their prerogative and control over presidential elections.

“This is where education in the ‘science of government’ becomes so vital. When the people are ready to learn about freedom and what made this nation great, they will see that freedom is more important than allegiance to political party.

“In our opinion, having wise Electors nominate the most qualified presidential candidates is the way to go. The best answer by far is to return to the original design of the Framers as carefully outlined in Article II of the Constitution.”

There is a serious and growing effort to do just the opposite of what the Alders propose. As a matter of fact, it takes us beyond the current method of presidential elections and calls for a law to effectively eliminate the Electoral College as we know it and elect the president by popular vote. This movement is not advocating a constitutional amendment. Instead it calls for an “Agreement Among the States” compact, which would take effect only when the member states control a majority of electoral votes (270). Thus, under this scenario, whoever won the popular vote nationwide would be the president-elect because they would be guaranteed a majority of the electoral votes.

Since we still have free speech in this nation, proponents of the current political street fight primary mess can continue to defend it. Others may believe in the idea of original intent. Some may favor discarding the Electoral College entirely. However, one direction that is not justifiable for our nation is leapfrogging the Constitution.

10/10/11

Communists Lead “Occupy Los Angeles” Movement – Nationwide Takeover Planned

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Two prominent members of the Communist Party USA are leading the growing “Occupy Los Angeles” movement.

Occupy Los Angeles in action

Further, the Communist Party is deliberately infiltrating the “Occupy” movement in other parts of the country, to ensure that revolutionary forces gain as much control as possible.

The two Southern California communists at the heart of Occupy Los Angeles movement are veteran party leader Arturo Cambron and his comrade, Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council member Mario Brito.

Arturo Cambron

Arturo Cambron is a long time Party member and is the husband of Rossana Cambron, the Party’s Southern California coordinator. He is the president of the Party run Los Angeles Workers’ Center, situated in South Saint Andrews Place, which essentially serves as the Communist Party HQ for the area.

Cambron is active in the Occupy Los Angeles protests and has acted as a moderator for the organization’s nightly core group meetings.

Mario Brito

Mario Brito is Labor Relations Rep. and Community Outreach organizer for the Laborers Union and a long time Communist Party supporter. In January 2003, Brito attended a meeting of the National Board of the Communist Party USA in South Chicago. He has also been a supporter of the Party front Latinos for Peace and active in the immigrant “rights” movement.

Mario Brito, is Occupy Los Angeles city liaison, tasked with dealing with the police and City officials. In a city lead by long time Communist Party affiliate, mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, this is probably not too difficult a job. Brito has also moderated at least one Occupy Los Angeles core croup meeting.

Earlier in October, Mario Brito summed up the occupation cause’s raison d’etre as “economic justice,” and told fellow Communist Party supporter Ed Rampell of Back Page Magazine: “This is an international movement – it’s not only happening in Wall Street, it’s happening in 170 cities in the U.S., and cities in Europe and Latin America.” Brito asserted: “The vast majority of Americans actually believe income inequality is a major problem. They only reason they haven’t acted upon it is because there hasn’t been a mass movement.”

Demonstrators in Los Angeles camped out in front of City Hall and said they would remain camped at the site ‘indefinitely.’ ” We have no time limit, this camp will remain until we achieve what we want: the population’s right to employment, education and health services; immigrants’ right to employment and no companies influence on politics,” Mario Brito declared.

The group also decided to work with the Los Angeles Police Department to obtain permits and cooperation, hoping to avoid altercations with police. “If we have an adversarial relationship with the cops, it’s not going to work,” said Brito, moderator of a September 25 meeting.

On September 26, Occupy Los Angeles made an appearance in West Hollywood for President Barack Obama’s fundraising visit. The plan was not to embarrass the Party’s long time “friend,” the President, but to reach out to other activist groups, to build the movement.

After a sometimes frustrating organizing process that is filled with many diverse points of view, Bitro said protesters are unified. “We agree on one thing, that the economic inequalities in this country have to stop,” he said. “We have to fight back on this issue. We have to hold corporate America responsible, and the politicians that support them.”

On Tuesday, October 11, 2011 8 pm, the Communist Party USA held a national teleconference to discuss the “Occupy Movement,” which the Party noted had already spread to more than 200 other cities. Arturo Cambron, “of the Communist Party and the Occupy L.A. Movement,” was the key speaker on the call. Wrote Illinois Party leader John Bachtell on the CPUSA website:

Southern California Party leader Arturo Cambron will share how the CPUSA and Young Communist League (YCL) are working in “Occupy Los Angeles.”

This movement, also known as the “99% movement,” is being hailed across the country. Movements and organizations are reaching out in solidarity. The AFL-CIO is opening union halls and offering other material assistance. Ordinary people are donating food, money and materials.

A big challenge for the CPUSA and left, progressive movements is to link these demonstrations with the labor led all-people’s coalition and help deepen understanding that the path to progress must be through electoral and political action including defeating Republican Tea Party reaction in 2012.

Of primary importance is linking it with the burgeoning fight for jobs and especially passage of the American Jobs Act.

We can also play a role in offering more advanced programmatic ideas like nationalizing the banks and socialism. To have a positive impact, the CPUSA and YCL must be a part of the “Occupy” movement, participating at every level and building greater local support for the actions among labor and progressive forces.

Doing its bit, the Southern California chapter of the Young Communist League has already produced a video in support of the “Occupy” movement.

Unlike the anarchists and lunatic leftists, who run the “Occupy” movement in most cities, the Communist Party USA is disciplined and highly focused on returning Barack Obama and the Democrats to complete power in 2012.

They will never allow the “Occupy” movement to become a threat to that goal. They will make sure that the movement becomes a vehicle for their demands and a weapon against what’s left of US capitalism and any force which legitimately threatens the re-election of their comrade President.