Loss of Property Rights…

Equivocates into the beginning of the loss of all rights and liberties.  The right to property (be it money, land, intellectual property, etc) is the foundation of individual liberty.  I have made this point in times past by quoting the 17th century political philosopher, John Locke, who wrote:

“…every man has a property in his own person; this nobody has any right to but himself.  The labour of his body and the work of his hands we may say are properly his.  Whatsoever, then, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property…For this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to…”

 This fact was not a new concept to Locke; it is a concept as old as mankind’s earliest civilizations.  Every civilization from that of the ancient Sumerians to our time have held individual property to be sacrosanct.   That this is an inalienable right, i.e., one granted by our Creator and not bestowed upon us by man, is upheld by the fact that God included it in one of the ten commandments – “Thou shalt not steal.”  It is so important that this principle was incorporated in not just one amendment to our Constitution, but in four – the third, fourth, fifth and fourteenth!

When there is a loss of private property, depending upon the cause and scope, a number of situations may unfold, none of which are good.  A thief who attempts to steal someone’s property may be shot in the attempt, or if successful, cause the victims to feel violated.  When a group of individuals destroy the property of their fellow citizens, it creates a maelstrom exhibited in anarchy, such as we’ve recently witnessed in several of our cities this year.  Or it may be in the form of tyranny and oppression when government confiscates the property of its citizens through taxation, be it income or forfeiture due to the failure to pay property taxes.

Unfortunately, such is not new to America, or to mankind.  For example, we celebrate the “Boston Tea Party”, yet it was not any different than the looting we witnessed in Ferguson, Baltimore and Charlotte.  It was the willful, wanton and unlawful destruction of another’s property over the frustration of what was felt to be an injustice.

Our war for independence was begun over the attempt of the government to seize private property.  On April 19, 1775 British soldiers set out from Boston en route to Concord to seize a cache of munitions that were stored there.  The American militiamen, upon hearing of their approach, assembled in Lexington Commons to oppose them.  It was there that the “shot heard ’round the world” was fired and our fight for independence and freedom was launched.

So what’s the point of all this?  If we are to remain a civil society, then it must begin with a firmness to instill respect in the heart of every citizen this respect for each other and one another’s property.  We must demand that the government respect our property rights as well.  Without it, we will continue to slowly disintegrate as a society and a country.  The key to achieving this can be found in another of the ten commandments:  “Thou shalt not covet…”  We shun the wisdom and commands of God to our peril; but, it’s not too late to turn back to this foundation of life and liberty.

-September 30, 2016

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There He Goes Again…

If President Reagan were with us today he might well make use of this line he made famous in his presidential election debates with President Jimmy Carter, but this time in reference to President Obama.

A couple of weeks ago I commented on President Obama’s unconstitutional use of executive power to “federalize” 400,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean, declaring it off limits to commercial fishing and mineral exploration (Federal Overreach into State Territory).  He is now threatening to declare off-limits to commercial fishing (and “other activities” – think drilling for oil/gas) in large portions of the 200-mile continental shelf off both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of our country, all with the flourish of his mighty pen.  In both instances there were/are no hearings, no legislative debates and no representation of the people; just a tyrant and his minions wielding their power to force their environmental agenda down the throats of our citizenry.

The consequence of this will be to put many fishermen and those industries dependent upon their fishing success either out of business or severely restricted.  This will in turn negatively impact the communities that have for centuries built their economy around the fishing industry.  Those who press on to continue their business will have to venture further out into the ocean to hopefully continue providing us with fish entrees.  Of course, those entrees will now cost consumers more as well, but all of this is of little concern to Obama and his henchmen.

I realize that these leftists will claim they have the authority to make such sweeping grabs of land and ocean, based upon the 1906 American Antiquities Act, signed by Teddy Roosevelt (no friend of the Constitution or limited government).   This Act grants the president the power to designate land (and now oceans) by simple degree “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest.”   However, this Act is wholly unconstitutional and should be declared as such for no authority of this magnitude is granted to the president in the US Constitution.

Behind closed doors President Obama is working with the leaders of many other countries to do likewise with their coasts and to designate up to  2.3 million (yes, you read that right) square miles of ocean as protected areas for natural parks for fish and other marine life!  You just can’t make this stuff up.  And we wonder why we see our property rights – the foundation of individual liberty – being eroded away?

Unheralded stories like these are why our upcoming election is so vital to turning back this tyrannical onslaught upon our liberties, our Constitution, and our “American way of life.”  The prospect of putting an end to such atrocities will vanish as a vapor should Hillary Clinton become our next president.  In that event America, as most of us knew her, along with our freedom, will be no more.

-September 23, 2016

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Who has Constitutional “Rights”?

In the debate over immigration, those advocating for open borders and legalization of those who enter our country illegally are often heard to assert that these individuals have “constitutional rights”, but do they?  To answer this question we must return to the understanding of exactly what a constitution is and why they are created.

A constitution is a compact – a contract if you will – between members of a society in which they agree with one another as to what authority they will cede to a government that will rule over them in order that society might be orderly, and the rights and property of the citizens be protected.

However, not all constitutions are of this exact nature; it all depends upon who drafts the constitution for the society.  For example, the old Soviet Union had a constitution, but it was created by those in power to secure their power over their citizens, not for the benefit of the people.

Our constitution is different.  All you need do is read the opening words of the Preamble – “We the people of the United States…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  In our constitution we see the definition of a constitution that I stated above.  We – the citizens of the United States – agreed (and each generation continues to agree amongst ourselves) that the powers contained within the Constitution are those, and only those, which the government may exercise over us, and all those not granted to it reserved, ultimately, to us, the people (Amendments IX and X).  Within the first eight amendments certain of our rights are enumerated and guaranteed to be protected from government encroachment.

However, again, to whom are these guarantees given?  Remember, these are part of a contract that “We the People” made and continue to agree to as belonging to us, American citizens.  Those who come to our country illegally have never entered into this agreement; they are not part of our society, though they live among our society.  They have no allegiance to our principles of government and society, and have not assimilated into our culture, learned our language (English), nor come to an understanding and appreciation for our history and the sacrifices of those before who made our country the greatest on earth.

This being the case, therefore, they do not have “constitutional rights” or guarantees as they have not become a part of “us” who agreed to continue that contract established over 200 years ago.  They have inalienable rights granted to them by our Creator, but constitutional rights, no.  You see, rights are those things that no one has the authority to give or take; they come from our Creator.  A constitution cannot grant rights, only protect or restrict them as agreed to by those who created and perpetuate it, and illegal aliens living among us are not of us nor parties to our contract known as our Constitution.

-September 9, 2016

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Federal Overreach into State Territory

On August 26, 2016, President Obama created the largest ocean reserve in the world off the Hawaiian Islands.  He did this without the consent of Congress, but simply with the flourish of his signature on a presidential proclamation.  His proclamation expanded the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument by over 400,000 square miles (that’s right, miles), increasing the total size of the preserve to 582,578 square miles!  This means that this region is now off-limits to commercial fishermen and mineral exploration, which will, in a statement released by the White House, “allow scientists to monitor and explore the impacts of climate change on these fragile ecosystems.”

This action will adversely affect those whose livelihood depends upon fishing or exploring that part of the ocean as well as prices for their products, all in the name of the bogus concept of “climate change”.  Furthermore, American citizens who violate this “protection” will be subject to prosecution; but how will this be enforced against foreign fishermen and companies?  582,578 square miles of ocean is a lot of ocean to “rope off!”

The bigger question, though, is does the general government have the constitutional power to make such a land grab (or in this case, ocean grab)?  The answer would be a definite ‘NO’!  I realize the argument is made utilizing the “Property Clause” in Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution that Congress has the authority to do as it wishes with federal territory:

“The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.”

 However, this does not address the issue as to whether or not the federal government has the right to this property in the first place.  Turning to our Constitution and reading what properties it authorizes the general government to “own” we see that it strictly limits the kinds of property it may constitutionally acquire.  Article I Section 8 lists the “enumerated powers” of the general government, and within those powers are given the kinds of properties it may possess:  (1) Post offices and post roads, (2) the District of the seat of the government, (3) Forts, (4) Magazines,  (5) Arsenals, (6) Dockyards, and (7) other “needful” buildings.  All of these properties were to be purchased by the general government upon the consent of legislature of the state from which the property was to be acquired.  The Union of the States did acquire property by other means, namely purchasing land from foreign countries (e.g., the “Louisiana Purchase”, Alaska) or as a result of war (Arizona, New Mexico, California, etc).  However, once these territories were divided into states, those states became as much a sovereign entity as the original thirteen.

Nowhere in those enumerated properties will you find national parks, preserves, etc authorized.  So for President Obama to annex such a huge swath of ocean to the control of the general government is an act outside the bounds of his constitutional authority.  As former Hawaiian governor George Ariyoshi (a Democrat by the way) stated in July at a rally regarding ownership of the ocean, “The ocean belongs to us.  We ought to be the ones who decide what kind of use to make of the ocean” –  a statement echoing the words of the ninth and tenth amendments:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

  The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

 So remember – if a president or group of legislators can with the stroke of a pen or passage of a piece of legislation seize control of 400,000 square miles of ocean that it has no constitutional right to, what can they do regarding your and my property?  This is precisely why we have a constitution to limit the power of government; it’s time we returned to it.

-September 2, 2016

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