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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lawful vs Constitutional


  1. Take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force.
  2. Take the place of (someone in a position of power) illegally; supplant.

My gut is talking to me, and I don't what it's saying.  It seems like we're seeing the degradation of our personal rights move much more rapidly as of late.

Historically, these usurpations of our rights has been a gradual process.  The government takes a little bite of the apple, and sees if anyone protests.  After the dust settles, they take another bite.  After time, only the rotted core remains.  Most folks don't even realize - or care - that the apple is gone.  They forget they even had an apple.

Lately, it's like the .gov has been on a fevered feeding frenzie, gobbling up our rights - or more directly - granting themselves rights which are in direct conflict with the Constitution.

This Keystone oil pipeline is a good example.  Congress granted the president the power to unilaterally decide whether the pipeline goes in or not.  WTF?  Congress does not have the constitutional power to grant these private land use powers to the executive branch.

Yet they passed a law doing just that.

Private companies want to contract with private land owners to gain easements for their pipeline.  Said pipeline will deliver tens of thousands of jobs and 800,000 barrels of oil a day from a friendly, local neighbor.  In one fell swoop, we reduce our dependence on volatile middle east oil, strengthen our economy and strengthen the economy of one of our neighbors.

Instead, Obama nixed the pipeline for political reasons.  The Canadians are now in talks with China.  They'll build a pipeline westward so China can pick up the oil on the coast, and ship it home.

The result:  Our neighbor still gets strong, economically.  China gets a new, stable oil supply outside of the volatile middle east.

We get zip.  This is good for America, how?

In one move, three parts of the Constitutional were ignored.  First, Article 5 (the amendment process) defines how powers can be granted or rescinded.  There is nothing in the Constitution that allows any arm of government to grant itself or another branch additional powers.  The president can't constitutionally exercise the powers he's been granted, since the only way he can gain additional powers is via an amendment.

Secondly, the Fifth amendment ([private individuals will not]... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation) is ignored, since no due process (a trial) has taken place, nor compensation made.  They've just told the private individuals involved that they can't do what they want to do.

Lastly, they've ignored one of the two catch-all amendments, that being the Tenth (the Ninth amendment being the other).  In short, it clarifies that unless a power is specifically granted to the federal government or denied to the states, all other rights and powers are endowed to the states or the individual.  Nothing in the Constitution grants the feds these land use regulatory powers, nor are the states or the individuals involved denied the power to build the pipeline.

What the president and congress have done is create laws, thus their the departments and individuals enforcing those laws would be acting lawfully.  But the laws are not constitutional, as congress does not possess the authority to create those laws.

If you ignore a lawful, but unconstitutional directive, what happens?

Article 2, Section 1
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
I see no defending, and lots of attacking.

The challenges to these abuses of power get little support from either party in power, nor their media lapdogs.

I was listening to Mark Levin on the radio a few days ago.  He can't stand Ron Paul's small, Constitutional government ideas.  In Levin's eyes, it's OK to crap on the Constitution when it advances traditional Republican ideals such as trading freedom for security (see USA PATRIOT Act for clarification).

He was whining about how a bunch of Paul supporters had gone onto and gave crappy reviews to his new book, which is, ironically, about the Constitution.  He then went on this child-like ad hominem rant about how Ron Paul - a mere baby doctor - had no right to speak about what is Constitutional and what is not.  Especially when it challenged the beliefs of uppity Constitutional scholars such as himself.

For some reason, Levin does not believe that a regular citizen has the ability to read and understand the Constitution.  We don't have the ability to go to writings such as The Federalist Papers to get into the heads of the founders/authors to gain insight into Original Intent.

Only elites such as Levin have this ability.  I guess that would have to include Constitutional professor Barak Obama as well.  He's got the creds and the sheepskin to gain entrance into the club.

Nice company Mr. Levin keeps...

Look what's been proposed or enacted in recent times.

SOPA - empowers the government to take your property (websites) based on accusations only, no due process necessary.

NDAA - empowers the government to snatch up American citizens, and hold you without due process or habeas corpus.

USA PATRIOT Act - re-upped last year, is so rife with abuses, I don't have the time or ability to list them all.  Off the top of my head, we have the TSA and their searches, warrantless wire taps and draconian, invasive financial laws.  It gave us the new legal concept of "domestic terrorist" which allows the feds to deem an American citizen a terrorist, and be stripped of their rights.  No trial (again, that pesky 'due process') necessary.

These are all in the last year.  Why the rush?

I'll ask the question again, "If you ignore a lawful, but unconstitutional directive, what happens?"

It seems that these usurpations of our rights come at the same time that various levels of government are bulking up on their ability to enforce these new, unconstitutional laws.  Convenient, huh?

It seems every Mayberry RFD in America now has a Bearcat Armored Personnel Carrier, and Homeland Security training on crowd control.

Local police departments are deploying aerial drones.

Local police department look less like, "To Protect and Serve" and more like, "STFU, and do as I command!"

Who are these guys going to war against?

That'd be you.

Take a look at this long, but powerful article, "The Rise of the Praetorian Class".  If history is a guide, we should be very worried.
As they serve in their martial role, members of the Praetorian Class learn to despise members of the Political Class and to view the plight of the Economic Class with detachment or even contempt. Law enforcement and military personnel will converse behind closed doors about the most horrific injustices and brutalities with cavalier amusement. While perhaps natural, their training for violence and teamwork is a fundamental cause for why members of the Praetorian Class abandon their roots and in time come to view their peers "back on the farm" with contempt.
I guess the answer to the question above is, "Don't get caught" or perhaps a better answer would be, "Don't get caught up".  Stay off the government radar.

Accept The Challenge

Reduce your "electronic" footprint.  It IS all being saved, logged and analyzed.  Pay with cash whenever possible.  Especially purchases that will raise a flag.  Ammo, self-defense training, camping equipment, food storage products and equipment, books, magazines, drugs, medical supplies.

Remember, the "typical" domestic terrorist has water proofed ammo, more than a week's worth of food storage and is missing fingers.  As one of my favorite radio guys said, most of us are a lawnmower accident away from Gitmo!

Create and manage your own "profile" that is captured.  Groceries, gas, utilities, "normal" clothing.  Buy these with electronic money and checks.  You're alive, but appear to be a nice, compliant sheeple.

Barter and trade.  Craigslist, Salvation Army, Goodwill, flea markets.

Use proxies (i.e, TOR) and anonymizers to reduce or eliminate your electronic path through the internet.

Manage your life to limit your possible inclusion on various government lists.  Stay off the ridgeline...

Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Shy Wolf said...

The rush is time: they've got to implement all this crapola before the elections to insure some patriot does the wrong thing and they've got their excuse to declare martial law, cancel elections or institute the Darkie to status of god in command.
The DHS roadchecks and growth of local police into Praetorian units will increase exponentially when little resistance is encountered.
We're asleep at the wheel and no intention of awakening. Drudge did an article on 40K new laws instituted last year alone- we can't breathe without breaking one.
As for the battlespace, the CW cube says it all: it's going to be ethno-social and we'll hardly be able to trust those closest to us.

Oblio13 said...

I used to say that we were 'marching towards socialism', but we're not. We're already there. Now we're on a downhill run to totalitarianism. What's happening, and what's going to happen, are not mysteries. As Marcus Aurelius said, “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.” We're on a well-worn path. The Weimar Republic, Hungary, Argentina, Bolivia, Congo, Zimbabwe, and a bunch of others have already gone down it. Greece, Spain, Ireland and France are on it in front of us. Instead of turning off onto a different path, we're hurrying to catch up.

I was gratified to see people rise to defend their First Amendment rights against SOPA, but those same people have let the Second, Fourth, Fifth and Tenth Amendments die the death of a thousand cuts. And an alarming percentage of our electorate literally thought SOPA was about soap. Really.

Personally, I've lost hope that we'll develop the national will to avert an ugly decade, and am just battening down the hatches.

I can see a silver lining as we high-dive into the Third World, though. I spend a lot of time in poor countries, and people there are more free than we are in the sense that there isn't much official interference in their lives. It's not that their governments don't want to control them, it's just that they don't have the resources to extend their tentacles everywhere.

It's already started: in my state the Department of Environmental Services has become a virtual terrorist organization as far as anyone who owns waterfront is concerned. It took days of my life and hundreds of dollars just to get a permit to repair my own dock, for example. And then they made my life miserable for months after someone made an anonymous report that I was doing it wrong. I have a friend who was fined for digging cattails without a permit, from his own pond. I recently read with glee that the DES no longer has the budget they need to pursue all the litigation they want. In most of the world, regulations or no regulations, if someone has a dock that needs fixing or muck that needs dredging, they can just do it without fear of punishment.

Chief Instructor said...

Shy, the number of laws written is virtually impossible to keep track of. Last year alone, California passed over 3000 new laws. One damned state. You can't scratch your ass without a permit.

Oblio, right now, I'm trying to follow the lead of folks in Argentina, as I think that's where we're headed, at least in the short-term. Precious metals, in many forms (gold and silver, in bullion and jewelry forms) to help maintain purchasing power. The dollar's dead, it just doesn't know it yet.

Regarding your land use issues, I don't know if you've seen what they're doing to the folks in the Southern California desert. These folks have been out there for decades, and the county is suddenly jacking them up over "anonymous" eye-sore complaints. When the public officials are confronted in public meetings, they don't answer the questions of the press... 'cause the law says they don't have to.

Honestly, I can't believe one of these old desert rats hasn't shot one of these county bastards.

Adam said...

My biggest concern is that people aren't seeing the forest for the trees. Take the NDAA, most people believe the Senators and Congressmen when they say it's meant for Al Qaida. They gloss over the fact that it doesn't just say that. When you bring up the fact that they can use it against anyone deemed to be a terrorist, they scoff and say that would never happen. They refuse to see the news articles and speeches where people from the Administration call people terrorists whether they are Tea Partiers, people making their own silver, etc.

And those same people are prevalent in every walk of life, whether they are businessmen, law enforcement, military, teachers, etc. It's the death of a thousand cuts and if there was a great big sudden change, it wouldn't happen because people wouldn't stand for it. It will occur slowly over the course of several months/years before it all happens so people get used to it and then when they look back, they realize they lost all their rights.

Anonymous said...

I think you have misstated Levins point and Puals problems. Levin would agree with you about the loss of our constitutional rights and agree with Paul about "some" of his statements. The problem comes in with most of Pauls statements. He is certifiable, looney, unfit for office. You focus in on a few things he says supporting our constitution and ignore the vast majority of what he says that is unsupportable.

Chief Instructor said...

Adam, people don't want to have to think any more. They'll take as fact anything the media feeds them. As long as they have their TV and a full belly, everything's good.

Anon, I didn't misstate anything. Levin is himself a statist. As long as the unconstitutional usurpations fit his personal moral outlook, he's good with them. He and his ilk think it's A-OK telling us poor, stupid clumps of sod what we can put in our bodies, and that it's a good thing to give up our rights to privacy in the name of safety. Bite me.

Yep, that crazy old Ron Paul. Actually holding politicians accountable to the Constitution. What a whacko!

Tell you what, give me your top three "Ron Paul's A Whacko" items, and I'll address them.

Anonymous said...

His anti-Jewish racism.

His anti-military "loser" syndrome" that will surely cause ww III

His desire to turn all our children into crackheads.

His inability to understand international politics.