A Constitution of Government Once Changed from Freedom Can Never Be Restored……

Conservatism

By Diane Rufino, September 1, 2014

True Conservatives understand why our country is falling apart. It’s not that we lack the power and the ability to be the country we used to be; it’s that our citizenry has willfully and ignorantly abandoned a moral imperative to defend our American ideals by living those ideals. America is special because of the ideals that she was founded on and the ideals that most people around the world still thinks she stands for.  But what they don’t know is that those ideals have been turned on its head. The exercise of freedom that once defined her is now killing her.  How is this happening?  It’s because of the implied understanding that with great freedom comes great responsibility and the fact that too many people – including most of our citizens, most of our country’s social leaders, most of our elected representatives, and certainly most of our sitting judges – have shirked the responsibility they have. Conservatives – true conservatives – are trying to conserve those fundamental ideals. They thought it would be easy because after all, the nexus between our greatness and the bedrock principles defined in our Declaration and protected in our Constitution is uncontested.  Yet, sadly, we see that It has become popular to make fun of “conservatives,” and in some communities, the very word “conservative” is too offensive to even speak. This is our downfall.

The first definition in Webster’s Online Dictionary of “conservatism” defines it as “A political or theological orientation advocating the preservation of the best in society and opposing radical changes.” The second definition, by Webster, defines the term as “The disposition and tendency to preserve what is established; opposition to change;…”  So, if conservatism means the preservation of an “establishment,” what is that establishment?

The establishment that conservatives mean to preserve is that of our founding, including American first principles like contribution to society, constitutionally-limited government, state sovereignty, independence from unnecessary assistance or control, common-sense in financial matters, fiscal responsibility, honesty, free speech and religious practice, the pursuit of happiness, the protection of human life, personal responsibility, and respect for the Judeo-Christian foundation that was and is woven into our nation’s fabric.

Every problem we face today can be traced to a large, imposing government and to the fact that it has strayed away from one or more of the principles listed above. We can’t hope to survive and overcome our problems with such a powerful top-down, one-size-fits all centralized government.  This was not the government of our Founders or of the 13 original “countries” (as England publicly recognized in 1791) who voluntarily formed into the union that established our country.

The problem, in short, is that government has gotten out of hand.  Instead of protecting liberty, it is skillfully eroding it.  By claiming to offer greater freedom to those living in “poverty” by relieving them of their discomforts, it is denying fundamental freedoms to those who the government feels can “give up some of their comforts.”  “Comforts,” my friends, is another word for “pursuit of happiness.”  We all have the right to pursue it but we don’t have the right to demand it.  It’s a right and not an entitlement.  By denying fundamental liberty rights to America’s middle class and wealthier citizens, the government is actually eroding our traditional notions of freedom and doing irreparable harm to the fundamental rights of ALL citizens. As John Adams once wrote to his wife Abagail: “A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

And Thomas Jefferson also gave us a few words of warning:  “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”  President Gerald Ford reminded a Joint Session of Congress of this warning in 1974 when he addressed both Houses.

Our downfall is the growing socialization of our country….  It is the growing (and perhaps political) incumbency to “take care” of people instead of protecting and enlarging their freedom to take care of themselves.  The downfall is our ever-increasing entitlement mentality and the growing financial obligations of a government that has adopted that mentality.  We can’t afford to support a political ideology that excuses so many people of taking responsibility for their lives and their conduct. We can’t raise all the children that people want. We can’t keep giving out checks (funneling money from hard-working, responsible families) to those who can’t assume responsibility for their sexuality and having children out of wedlock (or even worse, for the express purpose of getting that check).  We can’t afford to provide social services for every person who wants to come to this country. Our Constitution promises its citizens that there will be enforced immigration laws. It’s ridiculous that all of a sudden so many Americans just happen to be “disabled” and therefore relieved from working for a living.

Many years ago, religion and morality had its place in America’s government and in America’s citizenry. There were certain ground rules to government, because as our earlier generations understood, government was instituted (as the Declaration says) first and foremost to protect our INDIVIDUAL rights (not collective rights) of Life, Liberty, and property. “Pursuit of Happiness” was the term chosen by Jefferson to not only include property, but other rights, most notably the right to use one’s own intellectual property and ambition to acquire property and thus “happiness.” A moral people RESPECTED the rights of others. It’s guidelines included some of the basic tenets of the Ten Commandments, including the commandments not to covet and not to steal. There are too many people in this country who claim to be religious and claim that the Church dominates their lives and their conduct but have NO problem taking money from those who have the natural right to keep it. This is simply common sense. You work, you earn, you keep it (minus a tiny bit to support services that benefit YOU and the protection of YOUR rights). The old motto used to be “I must work to eat.” Now the motto is: “You work and I eat.” Government policies too often foster immoral conduct. And the growing immortality that has resulted is killing our culture of liberty. We need to BEWARE. And if liberty is to survive, I believe that groups of people will need to separate. Sad to have to think like this.

In the meantime, religion and morality MUST be qualities we demand in our elected officials, if we can even hope to restore this country to the City on the Hill that it was meant to be – where its people are of the content and character worthy of the grand principles it was founded on.  If our elected officials are to uphold the Constitution and defend – CONSERVE – our traditional and honorable institutions, they must do right as God gives them the ability to understand what is right.  And if we can do that, and if we have such men and women in office, then I believe they will do the very best for America.

 

Reference:
Shawn Paul, “What Does it Mean to Be a Conservative,” Western Journalism, November 24, 2012.  Referenced at:  http://www.westernjournalism.com/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-conservative/

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The Taliban Trade: The Trade of the Century

Taliban swap - Dos Equis guy     by Diane Rufino

“Obama admits that Taliban prisoner swap for Bergdahl could put Americans in danger.  He also acknowledged that the Taliban fighters could once again engage in efforts that are detrimental to U.S. security.”

The 21st century began with a massacre.  Almost thirteen years ago, terrorists based in Afghanistan plotted and planned the massive attack on the United States that would shatter our security and test the value of our freedom.  As a consequence of the events of 9/11, President George Bush vowed to hunt terrorists down. As he promised: “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” Since terrorism claims no unique nationality, the United States would engage any county that sponsors terrorism or harbors its agents.  On September 14, 2001, the US Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which authorized the use of US armed forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001. The authorization granted the President the authority to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against those whom he determined “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups. The AUMF was signed by President Bush four days later. [Note: The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, NDAA, which authorizes $662 billion for national security programs (“for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad”), includes a section on counter-terrorism within the United States. Two of the most controversial provisions of the counter-terrorism section are contained in subsections 1021 and 1022. These sections permit the indefinite detention of American citizens who the executive department identifies as “belligerents” against the United States. Congress cited the AUMF for its authority to target American citizens, although it is almost impossible to understand how].

In any case, the events of 9/11 plunged the United States into an undefined “war” on terrorism.  Never before has the United States waged war against a tactic. American civil rights were burdened and unprecedented powers were transferred to the US executive.  For years legal scholars have been watching the dynamic and the unfolding of circumstances to evaluate the burden on civil rights in relation to the furtherance of homeland security. And civil rights groups and constitutionally-minded Americans have been critical of the Patriot Act, the NDAA, NSA spying, etc from the get-go. They understand that any surrender of liberty is likely to never be reclaimed.

On Saturday, May 31, President Barack Obama announced that he made an arrangement to free an American soldier that has been held for nearly half a decade in Afghanistan.  That “arrangement” was a swap for five “Guantanamo detainees.”  As usual, the White House was not completely honest about its actions.  The American “soldier,” Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, was more of a “deserter” and Islamic supporter than he was an American soldier.  Testimony from some of his fellow platoon members claim that he walked off from his platoon voluntarily and reports have said that as many as six soldiers might have died while searching for him. And the “Guantanamo detainees” were, in fact, five top Taliban terrorists.  News reports claim that the freed terrorists are headed back to the battlefield – wherever that may be.

How has the United States honored those six Americans who were killed searching for Bergdahl when he “walked off”?   It rendered their sacrifice meaningless by releasing hardened terrorists to go back on the battlefield to kill more Americans.

Taliban Swap - 6 Americans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As justification of his decision, Obama alleged that “unique and exigent circumstances” presented the United States with an opportunity to save Sergeant Bergdahl’s life and he had to move as quickly as possible.  Lingering questions remain, and with each day the debate intensifies in Washington and among Americans all over whether the U.S. should have negotiated with the Taliban over prisoners.

Obama’s swap of 5 key terrorists – “the Terrorist Dream Team” – for an American deserter has raised serious questions, including of our President’s fitness to be President and his ability to keep our nation safe. How many Americans may have lost their lives or were wounded or who were sacrificed in trying to secure these five individuals?  And how many Americans have lost their lives – brutally at that – at the hands of terrorists related or financed by the Afghan Taliban.  The terrorists so cavalierly released by Obama have ties to the al queda and to Osama bin Laden.

Here are my concerns, just to name:

(1)  Deserter Bergdahl is a supporter of the Taliban. He deserted to offer support for the terrorist organization, in some form. If anyone should have any questions about that, just reflect back on the conduct of his father at the news of his son’s freedom in exchange for the release of the 5 terrorists. It should be noted that his father, Robert Bergdahl, looks like a Taliban member.  At a podium from the White House Rose Garden, and in the President’s presence, he offered a Muslim prayer in honor of the President’s decision to swap notorious Islamic terrorists – enemies of the United States – for his son’s release.  He spoke the words: “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahm,” which means, “In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Compassionate.”

Taliban leader Mullah Omar pointed to Bergdahl’s use of a Muslim prayer to characterize the actions of our government as a “clear victory” for their movement. He reported as much to the Pakistani news outlets.

To compound the insult, Robert Bergdahl sent a tweet (now removed, but clearly originating from his twitter account) that he would continue to work for the release of the rest of the Islamic prisoners at GITMO.

So here’s my concern.  Bergdahl’s conduct can arguably be characterized as traitorous – giving aid and support to an enemy of the United States. Because the US government doesn’t want to be limited to the constraints imposed by the US Constitution (Article III) when it comes to Americans who commit traitorous acts, it invented a new “creature” that would be beyond traditional law – the “enemy combatant.”  Originally used to refer to members of the armed forces of a country at which we are at war with, who, without wearing their uniform, wage war or aid/support their cause, the US Supreme Court has perverted that definition to apply it to Americans who “are in arms” against the US or give aid/support to the enemy.  Make no mistake, the “enemy combatant” is merely another term for the same individual – a traitor. But an “enemy combatant” has none of the civil rights protections afforded by Article III.  In fact, an “enemy combatant” has essentially no constitutional rights.  He is barely considered an American citizen. He has less rights than any one of the 9/11 hijackers, had any of them lived to see their day in court.

Obama’s swap then amounts to this:  He swapped someone barely recognized as an American for 5 key Taliban terrorists. Senator John McCain commented on the five detainees: “These are the hardest of the hard core.”  Two of the five detainees (terrorists) are linked to the massacre of thousands of Shiites in Afghanistan and one has been labeled by the US State Department as a “global terrorist.”  As mentioned above, freed Bowe Bergdahl has vowed to continue working to release the rest of such prisoners.  One can’t help but note how poorly our country fared in this exchange.  In fact, a TV poll today showed that 81% of Americans are concerned about the deal that President Obama struck.

(2)  We Americans lost many of our treasured civil liberties because of individuals like those detained as terrorists or likely terrorists in Guantanamo prison.  We have sacrificed these liberties in order that our government can identify, track, and prevent them from doing any further harm to us or to our nation’s security. We didn’t sacrifice these liberties in order that the government catch these individuals and then let them go.

(3)  The President broke the law by releasing the five GITMO terrorists. Is he not bound to follow the laws that he is tasked to enforce?  The President of the United States is required, BY LAW, to notify Congress at least 30 days in advance before transferring any prisoner out of GITMO.  He gave no such notification. He made a unilateral decision. There needs to be a full investigation and consequences – articles of impeachment, for starters.

(4)  The US has now made it clear that it has reversed its policy of not negotiating with terrorists. One of the greatest protections and assurances that US diplomats and soldiers abroad have is knowing that the United States does not negotiate with terrorists. And now that has been compromised.  Senator Ted Cruz perhaps sums up this last concern most concisely in his exchange on June 1 with Ambassador Susan Rise (of Benghazi notoriety): “According to Ambassador Rice, U.S. policy has changed. Now we make deals with terrorists. And the question going forward is, have we just put a price on other U.S. soldiers? What does this tell terrorists, that if you capture a U.S. soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorists we’ve gone after. … And the idea that we’re now making trades, what does that do for every single soldier stationed abroad? It says the reason why the U.S. has had the policy for decades of not negotiating with terrorists is because once you start doing it, every other terrorist has an incentive to capture more soldiers.”

Additionally, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-CA) and the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, James M. Inhofe (R-OK), wrote in a statement, “Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk.”

Again, how has the President’s conduct made the United States safer?   In fact, he has made us far more vulnerable and without credibility in our so-called “War on Terror.”

Of course, there are more concerns that I, and others, have regarding the swap of Bergdahl for “the worst of the worst” terrorists, and especially as suspicions continue to grow as to who this deserter and likely Taliban sympathizer is.

In a recent interview, Colonel Allen West said: “Those of us in the know and in the inner circles have known since 2009-2010 that Bowe Bergdahl was a deserter. He’s not a prisoner of war and we know the circumstances; we knew there were nondisclosure agreements that members of his platoon were forced to sign and, as always, the truth is starting to come out now. This whole episode was not about a swap, it was about an out-and-out release of five senior members of the Taliban structure.”

Taliban swap - collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West outlined the need for a thorough Congressional investigation and reiterated that the House ought to draw up articles of impeachment against the president. “I think the articles of impeachment are there because the president broke the law. I don’t care about this Article II signing statement; you can’t just pick and choose and say what’s constitutional and what’s not constitutional.”

The Obama Administration has shrugged-off the release of the GITMO terrorists by claiming that U.S. forces could always recapture them, an option that of course, could come at the expense of more American lives.

Borrowing a term from law school, the decision to swap Bergdahl for five notorious terrorists doesn’t pass the “smell” test.  In other words, it stinks. The truth is that there isn’t hasn’t been much from this administration over these past several years that “smells” right.  America, Americans, and especially our men in uniform deserve better.  We’ve sacrificed far too much for shady deals like this one.

 

References:

Robert Farley and Eugene Kiely, “Sorting Murking Issues on the POW Swap,” FactCheck, June 6, 2014.   Referenced at:  http://www.factcheck.org/2014/06/sorting-murky-issues-on-the-pow-swap/

Joe Saunders, “POW’s Dad Praises Allah at Suspicious Rose Garden Press Conference with Obama,” Biz Pac Review, June 1, 2014.  Referenced at: http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/06/01/pows-dad-praises-allah-at-suspicious-rose-garden-press-conference-with-obama-122631

Dan Friedman, Edgar Sandoval, Stephen Rex Brown, and Larry McShane, “Obama Admits that Taliban Prisoner Swap for Bergdahl Could Put Americans in Danger, NY Daily News, June 4, 2014.  Referenced at:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/obama-bergdahl-deal-circumstances-american-soldier-back-article-1.1814986#ixzz340WMGKZk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q_pmEbDbMM     (Video of Robert Bergdahl at the White House Rose Garden)

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An Easter Reflection

Jesus - bloody

by Diane Rufino

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very blessed Good Friday – Easter week-end.

Beginning yesterday, Holy Thursday, an innocent man was taken into custody to answer to trumped up charges and to be eventually be executed in order to spare the temple High Priests from being challenged in their power.  Yet in these sad, unfortunate chain of events, prophecy was fulfilled and we have the opportunity to establish a kingdom on Earth but even more, we can have eternal life with our Father in heaven.

We remind ourselves of the last moments of Jesus’ life and ministry:

Holy Thursday  —

Mid-day: Jesus’ disciples prepare the upper room for the Passover meal.

About 6 pm: Our Savior begins the Passover meal with his disciples.  After the institution of the Eucharist and the reception of communion by all twelve of the Apostles (and our Lord himself), Judas receives the dipped morsel (which was not the Eucharist, but simple bread) and departs.

About 8 pm: Jesus goes forth to the Garden of Gethsemane.

About 9 pm: Judas leads the soldiers to Jesus and the other apostles. Our Lord is arrested.  (the priests were afraid to arrest him during the Passover — because a public arrest could have triggered a riot from the crowds.

All flee, excepting Sts. Peter and John.

From 9 pm till midnight: Jesus is brought first to Annas and then to Caiaphas. These are the first two trials which our Lord undergoes. The trial before Caiaphas is often called the “Night Trial before the Sanhedrin”.

During the trial at the house of Annas, St. Peter denies Jesus the first time.

During the trial before Caiaphas, St. Peter denies the Lord twice more. The cock crows, and Peter flees weeping.

It is here that the Temple guards blindfold our Lord and strike him, asking him to prophecy for them.

Our Lord spends the evening in the dungeon of Caiaphas’ house.

Good Friday —

6 am: The Lord is brought to a brief trial before the Sanhedrin. They send him directly to Pilate.

Immediately after Jesus is sent forth from the Sanhedrin to Pilate, Judas returns to the chief priests, regretting his betrayal. Returning the money, Judas departs and hangs himself (probably before noon).

From 6 am to 9 am: The fourth trial now, which is before Pilate, is very brief. The Lord is sent to Herod (the fifth trial) and then back to Pilate. The second time before Pilate is the occasion of the more extensive questioning of Jesus by Pilate, including the infamous question: What is truth? (John 18:38)

The fifth trial (which is before Pilate) is when the Jews choose Barabbas over Jesus.

About 10 am: The crowds ask for Jesus to be crucified.  Jesus is scourged, crowned with thorns, cloaked in purple, and mocked.

Then, taking up the Cross, our Savior begins the journey to Golgotha.

A little before noon: Jesus reaches Golgotha, the “place of the skull.”

Then, he is stripped and nailed to the Cross.

From noon until 3 pm: Our Lord hangs, crucified upon the blessed Cross. Darkness covers the land.

3 pm: Jesus dies. The veil of the Temple is split in two. The earth shakes.

A little before 5 pm: St. Joseph of Arimathea courageously goes to Pilate and requests the body of Jesus. To prove that our Lord has expired, the centurian thrusts a lance through Christ’s side – blood and water pour forth.

Jesus’ body is prepared for burial by Nicodemus, the women, and his Mother.

Before 6 pm: Our Savior is laid in the tomb. A stone is sealed across the entrance.

Easter Sunday —

Just before 6 am: Without any seeing or knowing, our Lord rises from the dead.

6 am: The women come to the tomb and, seeing an angel roll back the stone, realize that our Lord had risen and come forth from the sealed tomb during that most blessed night.

Jesus - carrying cross

 

We recount the brutality and horror and indifference that surround Jesus’ passion and crucifixion and wonder why it had to happen.

Crucifixion was a widespread and exceedingly common form of execution that was used in ancient history by the Persians, Indians, Assyrians, Scythians, Greeks, and most famously by the Romans. Since Jerusalem was under Roman control at the time, crucifixion was the punishment of choice for capital crimes and for extreme political crimes such as treason, rebellion, and sedition.  [In 63 BC, Pompey Magnus, one-time friend and co-ruler with Julius Caesar, conquered Jerusalem, the seat of the Jewish faith, and incorporated Judea into the Roman Empire. The High Priest was allowed to remain in power and the temple to continue its function... as long as it played its role in paying tribute - and high taxes - to Rome].

A movement would then begin to encourage Jews to evict Rome from the Holy Land and restore independence to their land. This movement would cause Roman prefects to rule with a hard hand and to use fear and violence to deal with the Jews who incited rebellion against Roman rule. That’s why precepts such as Pontius Pilate presided as judges at trials for those who were accused as rebels, or charged with sedition (including blasphemy that led or would potentially lead to sedition – as in Jesus’ case).  And crucifixion would be the punishment.

It was Rome that conventionalized crucifixion as a form of state punishment, creating uniformity in the process.  So commonplace was crucifixion in the Roman Empire that Cicero (Roman senator) referred to it as “that plague.”  It would probably be incorrect to refer to crucifixion to be referred to as a “death penalty: because in most cases, the victim was first executed and then nailed to the cross.  The purpose of crucifixion was not so much to kill the criminal as it was to serve as a deterrent to others who might defy the state. For that reason, crucifixions were always carried out in public – at crossroads, in arenas, on hills, or on high ground (like Golgotha)….  anywhere where the population had no choice but to bear witness to the gruesome scene. The criminal was always left hanging long after he died; the crucified were almost never buried. Because the entire point of crucifixion was to humiliate the victim and frighten (and warn) the witness, the corpse would be left where it hung to be eaten by dogs and picked clean by various birds of prey. The bones would then be thrown onto a heap of trash, which is actually how Golgotha (the site of Jesus’ crucifixion) earned its name: “the place of skulls.”  Simply put, crucifixion was more than a capital punishment for Rome; it was a public reminder of what happens when one challenges the empire. That is why it was reserved for the most extreme of political crimes (treason, rebellion, sedition, etc).  Scourging, a practice by the Romans, was a brutal form of torture that served not only to inflict intense pain but also to further humiliate the victim. Also, it will help attract the wild animals to the corpse.

Jesus - scourged

If one knew nothing else about Jesus of Nazareth, the fact that he was crucified by Rome would tell you why he was killed. His offense to the empire as evident by the plaque that was placed above his head for all to see: “King of the Jews.”  Jesus crime was daring to assume kingly ambitions and challenge Roman rule.

When we confess, as Paul taught us, that “Christ died for our sins,” what do we mean?  Do we mean that God required the vicious murder of his Son in order to forgive us?  Did God have some scale of torture that once met would “satisfy his wrath?”  When we ask if his death had to be by crucifixion and if torture had to be part of the equation, we can understand the answers by the customs of the time.

The crucifixion was a catastrophe. It was the unjust lynching of an innocent man. The Apostles said as much in Acts:  “This Jesus…you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” –Acts 2:23

“The Bible is clear, God did not kill Jesus. Jesus was offered as a sacrifice in that the Father was willing to send his Son into our sinful system in order to expose it as utterly sinful and provide us with another way. The death of Jesus was a sacrifice in that sense. But it was not a sacrifice to appease a wrathful deity or to provide payment for a penultimate god subordinate to Justice.”

“We violently sinned our sins into Jesus, and Jesus revealed the heart of God by forgiving us. When Jesus prayed, ‘Father, forgive them,’ he was not asking God to act contrary to his nature. When Jesus prayed, ‘Father, forgive them,’ he was, as always, revealing the very heart of God!”

Jesus - on cross

Jesus’ agony and death on the cross is not about the appeasement of a monster god but of a generous offer to have an eternal relationship with a loving God.  At the cross we see where Adam and Eve’s original decision to turn from God, Cain’s capacity for killing his own brother, and the sin that has since plagued man has led us…   to the murder of Jesus.  But in that death is a covenant.

“The cross is about the revelation of a merciful God. At the cross we discover a God who would rather die than kill his enemies. The cross is where God in Christ absorbs sin and recycles it into forgiveness. The cross is not what God inflicts upon Christ in order to forgive. The cross is what God endures in Christ as he forgives. Once we understand this, we know what we are seeing when we look at the cross: We are seeing the lengths to which a God of love will go in forgiving sin.”

As we celebrate the passion and crucifixion, and then the resurrection of Jesus, let us understand that we can now live in Peace.

Jesus - resurrection

 

 

 

 

References:
Brian Zahnd, “How Does ‘Dying for Our Sins’ Work?”, April 16, 2014.  Referenced at:  http://brianzahnd.com/2014/04/dying-sins-work/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+brianzahnd+%28BrianZahnd.com%29

Reza Aslan, ZEALOT: The Life and Times of Jesus.  Random House (2013).

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RESOLUTION FOR a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE in PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

by Diane Rufino  (written as a draft for Special Operations Speaks)

RESOLUTION FOR  A VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE in PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Whereas, the American Founding Fathers and Framers of the US Constitution recognized that presidential abuse of power carried the greatest potential to derail and destroy the republic, and determined that the American presidency that there were creating should never become a monarchy, they armed the US Congress with two responsive weapons: the power of the purse and the power of impeachment; and

Whereas, we have seen in the years since 2008 that the power of the purse is not a practical check on President Barack Obama. While Democrats intentionally defy the Framers’ design, Republicans frustrate it by aggressive passivity;

Whereas, the Constitution divides and limits power according to individual branches of government and by subject matter (specific enumerated powers), and not by percentage of governmental control; and

Whereas, the numerous infractions of the Constitution and abuses of office committed by President Barack Obama have resulted in certain “Articles of Impeachment” to have been filed in the US House; and

Whereas, there is no likelihood that either Judiciary Committee consideration or full House action is likely to occur, if ever (although perhaps when and if the Republicans retain control of the House and take narrow control of the Senate at the end of the year); and

Whereas, in a highly-charged partisan political environment, there is no other avenue to put the brakes on a president who demonstrates repeated and egregious violations of the US Constitution; and

Whereas, in countries that operate with a parliamentary form of government (such as Great Britain and Spain), there is a procedure known as a “Motion of No Confidence” (alternatively “Vote of No Confidence”) which is a statement or vote which states that the person holding a superior position is no longer deemed fit to hold that position. This may be based on said person falling short in some respect, failing to carry out obligations, or making choices that other members feel are detrimental. As a parliamentary motion, it demonstrates to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in (one or more members of) the appointed government.

Whereas, there is no such instrument in our Constitution or in existing law that prevents the use of a “Vote of No Confidence” as a comprehensive de facto indictment and conviction for Contempt of Congress, violations of Oath of Office, and of the Constitution itself; and

Whereas, a list of some particular areas where President Obama has acted in a way so as to cause a “Loss of Confidence” –  a “Bill of Particulars” – would include the following:

1.  The failure to produce a Birth Certificate (that is not a forgery) to show that he is indeed meets the qualifications established in the US Constitution to hold the office of President;

2.   The repeated empty promises he has given for a transparent, accountable, non-partisan, post-racial, lobbyist-free and completely “fair and balanced” administration;

3.   The scandals that define his administration (including Fast & Furious, Benghazi, NSA domestic spying, and targeting of conservative groups by the IRS), thereby leading to the name for his presidency – “Scamalot”;

4.   His use of class, racial, and moral warfare to divide Americans, thereby creating social disharmony and erosion of traditional American values;

5.   His blind ambition to re-define social justice by pushing the Affordable Healthcare Act (federal, socialized healthcare) when he knew the majority of Americans were against such a federal program;

6.   His disregard for the strict constitutional limitations placed on government in the Bill of Rights by his expansion of Executive powers to target Americans under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), by his support of the UN Small Arms Treaty, his use of the NSA to spy on law-abiding American citizens, his use of the IRS to intimidate and silence groups that criticize his policies, his support and enlargement of the Drone surveillance program to improperly expand the powers of law enforcement, and his use of Drones to target Americans abroad.

7.   His unprecedented reliance on three dozen or more un-vetted and largely unaccountable regulatory “czars” and on scores of executive orders (over 20 on gun control alone), whose regulatory implications are virtually unknown — and not subject to congressional oversight;

8.   His crony-capitalist takeover and wasteful funding of most “green energy” initiatives — and simultaneous impediments to fossil energy production: coal, natural gas fracking, and “offshore” oil and gas on most federal lands — costing countless jobs, government revenues, balance of trade, and revenues to state and local governments;

9.   His explosive and “waste and fraud” expansion of the many welfare-state programs (food stamps, housing assistance, cell phones, disability status, workman’s comp, Obamacare, Medicaid, child care, school lunches, etc. ad infinitum — which has given rise to the term “Goverment Plantation;

10.   His use of Executive Privilege to frustrate the investigation of government scandals, his de-facto contempts of Congress, and his multiple violations of the Constitution’s mandates for both Separation of Powers and Equal Protection of the Laws;

11.   His constant manipulation of unemployment, economic growth, Obamacare, deficit spending, National Debt, and so-called climate change numbers — exemplified by his complete rejection of the Simpson-Bowles Commission’s bipartisan recommendations for solving the crisis that still threatens the stability of the American economy – as well as his rejection of Congressional Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Reports;

12.  His feverish efforts to remove God, Jesus, Christmas, the Nativity Scene, and major Judeo-Christian symbolism from federal government venues and usage, especially in the Armed Forces, and from the public square in general — while according Islam and sharia (Islamic law) more respect and deference than he does Christianity, Judaism, and the Bible.

13.   His feverish efforts to promote homosexuality and erode the institution of marriage.

Therefore Let it Be Resolved that the Pitt County GOP believes that the aforementioned list of deceits, misdeeds, mal-administrations, and violations of law are sufficient to justify an official expression of “No Confidence” by the US House of Representatives.

And Be it Further Resolved that the Pitt County GOP supports efforts to encourage a vote of “No Confidence” by members of the US House.

 

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RESOLUTION TO CHALLENGE OBAMACARE AS VIOLATING THE 13th AMENDMENT

by Diane Rufino, Deputy Director of the NC Tenth Amendment Center and Resolutions Chair of the Pitt County GOP.  The following resolution will be presented at the 2014 Pitt County GOP Convention on March 8.

RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) AS VIOLATING THE THIRTEENTH (13th) AMENDMENT

Whereas, the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, ratified on December 6, 1865, reads:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

Whereas, Sect. 17 of the North Carolina state constitution also reads: “Slavery and involuntary servitude.  Slavery is forever prohibited.  Involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the parties have been adjudged guilty, is forever prohibited.”

Whereas, the term indentured servitude refers to a contractual relationship that exists whereby one person engages in labor for the benefit another, usually in return for exchange for clothing, food, shelter, or other essentials (instead of money); and

Whereas, since indentured servitude is forbidden in the United States by constitutional amendment, it is particularly audacious when the government itself, through policy and legislation, creates a condition in some individuals of servitude for others; and

Whereas, the Supreme Court, in the case Bailey v. Alabama (1911), defined “involuntary servitude” as: “that control by which the personal service of one man is disposed of or coerced for another’s benefit”  (219 U.S. 219, at pg. 241) and held that the right to personal liberty guaranteed by the Thirteenth Amendment is inalienable; and

Whereas, the Bailey decision announced a principle of broad application that says a contract for service is consistent with the Thirteenth Amendment ONLY IF the contractor “can elect at any time to break it, and no law or force compels performance or a continuance of the service.”

Whereas, the healthcare law may not necessarily be a contract (under the definition of Bailey), but the spirit of the decision would seem to suggest that a law forcing or compelling performance for the benefit of another is consistent with the Thirteenth Amendment ONLY IF the individual can elect at any time to break it (without punishment); and

Whereas, Obamacare, through its forced mandate and subsequent higher (significantly higher) insurance prices, is requiring those who can afford to purchase health insurance to also purchase it for others who cannot afford it; and

Whereas, the federal government, through the healthcare law, is directly forcing a class of citizens to work to serve the benefit of others; and

Whereas, an individual may opt not to purchase healthcare insurance under the government plan and pay the penalty instead (ie, the tax). That person would have no health insurance and nothing to show for that payment, but another person would get the benefit of that forced payment.

Whereas, although those who are forced to purchase (unsubsidized) government insurance plans do NOT receive any benefit from those they serve, the Pitt County GOP believes the servitude amounts to that of the type forbidden under the thirteenth amendment.

Thereforebe it RESOLVED that the Pitt County GOP opposes the Affordable Healthcare bill as unconstitutional, being violative, on its face, of the Thirteenth Amendment.

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RESOLUTION TO CHALLENGE OBAMACARE AS AN ABUSE OF FEDERAL POWER

by Diane Rufino, Deputy Director of the NC Tenth Amendment Center and Resolutions Chair of the Pitt County GOP.  The following resolution will be presented at the 2014 Pitt County GOP Convention on March 8.

RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) as an ABUSE of FEDERAL POWER 

Whereas, the Declaration of Independence establishes the moral and legal foundation of the United States through its proclamation that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

Whereas, our Founding Fathers did not look at Independence as a quest for new Liberties but rather, as a revolt against a government bent on taking their Liberties away; and

Whereas, the US Constitution was drafted, and a federal government designed, to embrace the principles and the notions of liberty proclaimed in the Declaration. The two documents are inseparable; and

Wheres, Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution lists the express powers delegated from the States and the People to the federal government to legislate on their behalf, and

Whereas, Article V of the US Constitution outlines the only legal avenue by which more power and authority can be given to the federal government and that is through the “amendment process,” which is a strict scheme that gives the decision to the States, the rightful parties, and not to 9 unelected members of the Supreme Court; and

Whereas, the unique design feature of the American government system is federalism, which divides power between two sovereigns, and by the vigilante and jealous guarding of such powers by each sovereign, government power shall forever remain checked and evenly-balanced in order that individual liberty is most securely protected;

Whereas, the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution  is the “restatement” of that essential feature: “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.”

Whereas, the Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution operates to prevent the federal government from overstepping its authority and invading rights, not necessarily listed, that belong to We the People on account of Natural Law and the Laws of Nature (ie, on account of man’s very humanity). The Ninth Amendment reads:   “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Whereas, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, in an attempt to explain the meaning of the Constitution and provide assurances to the States that they could RELY on in voting whether to ratify it, wrote in Federalist No. 45: “The State governments will have the advantage of the Federal government, whether we compare them in respect to the immediate dependence of the one on the other; to the weight of personal influence which each side will possess; to the powers respectively vested in them; to the predilection and probable support of the people; to the disposition and faculty of resisting and frustrating the measures of each other….. The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security.”

Whereas, healthcare is NOT one of the areas of responsibility delegated to the US Congress (federal government) under Article I, Section and therefore, it is reserved to the States; and

Whereas, as James Madison explained, the power to regulate for the health of its citizens is one of those powers which “extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people….”; and

Whereas and furthermore, the power to regulate for the health of its citizens is one of the implied “police powers” of the State – which is the authority of the States recognized by the Tenth Amendment to delegate to their political subdivisions the right to enact measures to preserve and protect the Health, Safety, Welfare, and Morals of their communities. Under the system of government in the United States, only states have the right to make laws based on their police power. The lawmaking power of the federal government is limited to the specific grants of power found in the Constitution.

Whereas, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a usurpation of a power not delegated to the federal government and each time the government seizes power that it was not rightfully and legally delegated, such powers are wrongfully and illegally divested from its rightful depository, which are the People and the States; and

Whereas, a “right” is defined as a moral and inherent claim to freedom of action; and

Whereas, the Declaration of Independence states that certain rights are “self-evident” and these include the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

—  We have the right to Life and the associated rights to protect and promote it; we cannot be deprived of life without due process;

—  Liberty comes from the latin word “libertas,” which means “unbounded.”  Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration, defined “liberty” in this way: “Of liberty then I would say that in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will, but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” (In other words, liberty is the freedom to do whatever a person wishes, except when that exercise injures another or deprives another of his/her liberty).  Jefferson also strongly argued that such liberty is not given up when individuals enter into a society.  Individuals cannot be deprived of liberty without the due process;

—  Furthermore, this freedom to act is useless if the Property acquired through productive action can be expropriated, confiscated, or diminished.  To deprive an individual of his right to keep the product or products of his mind, personality, ambition, investment of education, and life-sustaining action is to deprive him of the right to sustain his life.  Property rights are therefore an extension of the rights to life and liberty;

—  Finally, certain freedoms are necessary for the Pursuit of Happiness and fulfillment in life, including the right to property (in all its forms, including salary); no such pursuit can be advanced from within the confines of a cage.  And no individual, even if compelled, could ever “redistribute” his happiness to another; happiness is a unique, personal, self-generated virtue.

Whereas, the only means by which an individual’s rights can be violated is by force, either by another individual or by government itself; and

Whereas, the Affordable Care Act violates the essential rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness as follows –

—  It violates the right to Life by putting limitations on life-saving medical treatment and procedures for the elderly and disabled through the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB; aka, the healthcare law’s “death panel”), a 15-member board created  by sections 3403 and 10320 of the ACA, delegated with the task of reducing Medicare spending and hence helping to control the costs of the government healthcare program. The ACA directs the Board, which is comprised of mostly bureaucrats (experts in “health finance and economics”) and only a few doctors, to issue recommendations to limit what ordinary citizens and their health insurance coverage can pay for medical treatment to keep the rising costs of healthcare as low as possible. Furthermore, the decisions of the board will become law by a fast track process that will bypass the usual legislative procedures.  Doctors who violate a ‘quality’ standard by prescribing more life-saving medical treatment than it permits will be disqualified from contracting with any of the health insurance plans that individual Americans, under the Obama Health Care Law, will be mandated to purchase.

—  It violates Liberty by mandating and coercing individuals into a one-size-fits-all scheme that forces a group of persons to purchase healthcare insurance (government plan), or pay a penalty/tax, for the sole purpose of generating revenue to provide healthcare to other persons who cannot afford it themselves. It also forces individuals to use their hard-earned money to pay for services that they will never need (such as men and the elderly to pay for reproductive services) and hence constitutes a government confiscation of property;

—  It violates the Pursuit of Happiness by taking the fruits of one’s labor and indeed by compelling the performance of one person, to benefit another.

Whereas, wealth redistribution is a major component of Affordable Care Act, there is no provision in the Constitution, and that includes the General Welfare Clause, that grants the federal government the power to collect taxes and use that money to provide healthcare or to improve the welfare of individuals. (To be clear, the federal courts have denied that healthcare is a fundamental right; see the lawsuit filed by Florida and 25 other states to challenge the ACA).  The wealth redistribution takes place in the form of many different taxes placed on wealthier individuals in order to fund subsidies granted to low-income individuals for the purpose of purchasing health insurance. In fact, wealth redistribution is a direct violation of one of our most fundamental God-given natural rights. This right is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence with the phrase “the Pursuit of Happiness.” Pursuit of Happiness means our individual right to acquire property and wealth and use it as we wish as long as we do not harm others or interfere with their rights. We as individuals certainly have an obligation to pay taxes, but only if that revenue is used to provide those services that governments has a constitutional obligation to provide.

Whereas, the ACA has little to do with health care but everything to do with the enlargement of a federal entitlement scheme and the promotion of social equity through massive federal legislature. An article in The American Thinker described the ACA in the following terms: “The legislation is a disgusting and tyrannical seizure of liberty from private business and the American individual.” Those liberties are prescribed in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the U.S. Constitution. It can be argued that just about every essential liberty, every one addressed in the texts that follows the words “We the People…” and “When in the Course of Human Events..,” have been violated by the Affordable Care Act.  For example:

(i)  The abortion coverage and the contraception mandates infringe upon the First Amendment’s guarantee of Religious Freedom and rights of conscience of many “religious” employers

(ii)  Some businesses which do not fall under the “religious employer” also find that the abortion coverage and the contraception mandates infringe upon the rights of conscience.

(iii)  The ACA provides that doctors have the ability to ask about firearms ownership and to ask questions designed to explore a patient’s mental stability. The fact that these responses will be included in a patient’s “medical history” that will be stored on-line and shared with the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) bureaucracy infringes upon an individual’s Freedom of Speech (First Amendment) and his right to own and bear arms (Second Amendment).

(iv)  The ACA allows the federal government (through the HHS and the IRS) to have full access to a person’s personal health insurance records and to an individual’s bank account against his will (to make sure that he is paying his healthcare insurance premium). The government power provided by the ACA infringes upon an individual’ right to be secure in his person, papers, and effects, and amounts to an unreasonable search and seizure (Fourth Amendment).

(v)  The Individual Mandate, and indeed the very scheme of the healthcare law, is to confiscate the fruits of one’s labor and to compel the performance (service) of one person, to provide a benefit for another, often without providing the compelled party any benefit at all in return. (Thirteenth Amendment ban against “involuntary servitude”).  With the ACA, the federal government forces a group of individuals (those who make “enough money”) to “work” in order to fund the insurance policies of another group of individuals (lower-income) – to take an “economically productive action for another, without compensation.” Furthermore, an individual deemed “able to purchase” the government’s healthcare insurance is penalized should he fail to provide that service to benefit another.

(vi)  Forcing an individual to purchase an object to further a goal that is not enumerated in the Constitution amounts to a Taking (an unconstitutional confiscation of property without due process violation)

(vii)  Constitutionally, the federal government is empowered to legislate and regulate under the Commerce Clause when individuals are part of an economic activity; it does not have the power to regulate individuals simply as individuals and to compel them into conforming to a scheme the government has unconstitutionally established. [As the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) noted in 1994: "Federal mandates typically apply to people as parties to economic transactions, rather than as members of society.”]

(viii)  The federal government’s unconstitutional take-over and pre-emption of healthcare constitutes a violation of the Tenth Amendment and the Ninth Amendment (an individual should have the inherent right to manage his own healthcare).

(ix)  The ACA violates the constitutional principle of “Equal Protection of the Laws.” The law certainly does not treat every citizen equally. Its gross inequality is seen in its treatment of those citizens forced to pay for the government’s healthcare insurance while providing exemptions (and even rebates!!) and special privileges to millions of Americans who do not have to participate in the scheme. (Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment)

(x)  The US Supreme Court (in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 2012) defined the Individual Mandate penalty as a “tax.”  As the National Review points out, “This is a direct tax on the middle class (through the ACA’s proposed $500 billion in tax increases, the $500 billion in Medicare cuts, and the Individual Mandate, and other regulations).  Furthermore, as a tax on income, the mandate is a tax on the person and is, therefore, a capitation tax. So the Sixteenth Amendment’s grant of taxing power to Congress to assess an income tax does not apply. The Constitution does allow Congress to assess a capitation tax, on the express condition that the capitation tax be assessed evenly based on population. Yet that is not how the healthcare mandate works.  It grants exemptions and carves out far too many exceptions to pass muster as a capitation tax. The healthcare law and its Individual Mandate may have been deemed a “tax” by Justice Roberts, but it is still unprecedented and unconstitutional even as a tax. (Sixteenth Amendment).  Indeed, as opined by Justice Antonin Scalia for the dissent, the legal gymnastics and convoluted contortions that were performed by Chief Justice John Roberts are beyond comprehension. Worse, he engaged in rewriting a law that was passed by Congress and as explained and sold to the American people (Congress and President Obama gave assurances that the healthcare mandate was not a tax).  The judiciary is forbidden, under the Separation of Powers doctrine, from substituting its intentions and opinion for those of another branch, especially the legislature (which is a branch voted upon and directly accountable to the people every two years). There is one thing we now know for certain about Justice Roberts’ decision in the National Federation of National Business case. First, Roberts originally said the law was unconstitutional. He was the primary author of the opinion that eventually became the minority opinion. Then very late in the process Roberts abruptly switched and supported the constitutionality of the law. He then wrote the majority opinion. It was hastily written and illogical.

(xi)  The President is improperly and unconstitutionally altering provisions of the ACA, in violations of Article I, Section 1 of the US Constitution (“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives”), Article II of the Constitution (“The executive Power shall be vested in a President..”; that is, the President is to see that the laws of the federal government are faithfully executed), and the Separation of Powers doctrine.

Whereas, On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court, the ruling body that our Founding Fathers created to protect citizens from tyranny, decided to uphold the Affordable Care under the most expansive interpretation ever of the Taxing Power, and thus stripped Americans of their personal liberties and freedoms.

LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the Pitt County GOP takes the position that the US Constitution was written to be understood by the average citizen;

FURTHERMORE, the Pitt County GOP embraces the “original intent” of the US Constitution and believes, as our Founding generation explained, that the US Constitution is a fixed and certain document that represents the permanent will of the people as to the boundaries of government in their lives. Its purpose is “to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights.” [Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782]. “A constitution is not the act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution is power without a right. All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. There are not other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either.” [Thomas Paine, Rights of Man (1791-1792)]

FURTHERMORE, the Pitt County GOP is skeptical of the mindset that the federal government, including the Supreme Court (which, after all, is a branch of the federal government), is the sole interpreter of the Constitution and the ultimate authority on of the powers of the federal government. As Thomas Jefferson wrote: “If any branch in government could ultimately settle questions of the location of constitutional authority, it would tend to settle them in favor of the government to which it belonged, and ultimately its very own body. In short, the tendency would be to concentrate all authority in one body, and that body would have few or no restraints on its authority. Such a concentration of power would sooner or later be arbitrary and capricious and hence tyrannical.”

FURTHERMORE, the Pitt County GOP embraces the mindset of Thomas Jefferson who understood that America was born of protest, revolution, and a mistrust of government. It believes that people who do not stand up for their rights are unfit to maintain a free society and aren’t deserving of the freedoms we were once promised by our founding documents; and

FURTHERMORE, the Pitt County GOP is of the position that the Affordable Care Act exists because Barack Obama is in the White House.  This piece of unconstitutional legislation is a direct consequence of the American people’s political decisions and dereliction of duty in electing a servant who would uphold and support the US Constitution instead of violating it. And much like President Obama himself, the healthcare bill was deceptively sold to the American people.

FURTHERMORE, the Pitt County GOP takes notice of the disastrous effects that the federal healthcare law has already had on the economy, on the jobs situation, and on the healthcare market.  So far, at least 5 million Americans have lost their current healthcare plans because their insurance no longer meets the new standards set under the Affordable Care Act. And of those who already have an insurance policy, most have seen their premiums go up significantly. While the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that that 7 million people would sign up through state- and federally-run exchanges by this time, only approximately 3 million have actually signed up.  (March 31 is the 2014 enrollment deadline to avoid the law’s individual mandate penalty for going without coverage). In its report of February 2014, the CBO announced that the healthcare bill will cause Americans to work fewer hours – enough to be the equivalent of 2 million fewer jobs.  (Businesses with at least 50 full-time employees will cut back or limit full-time staffing to avoid the penalty for not providing health insurance meeting minimum standards). The healthcare law is a job-killer.  Furthermore, an analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation from November 2009 shows that by 2016, three-quarters of the tax imposed by the individual mandate will fall on those making less than $120,000 of income for a family of four or $59,000 for an individual. Families of four making $72,000 or less and individuals making $35,400 or less will bear nearly half of the mandate tax. The ACA is a massive taxation scheme to be borne by the middle class

LET IT BE FIRMLY RESOLVED that the Pitt County GOP believes the Affordable Care is an unconstitutional usurpation of power by the federal government, in violation of the powers legally delegated to it in Article I, Section 1 of the US Constitution.  It also believes the Supreme Court wrongfully decided the National Federation of Independence Business v. Sebelius case and incorrectly concluded that the Affordable Care Act is a constitutional exercise of Congress’ taxing power.  The Supreme Court, by incorrectly interpreting the Constitution and redefining the boundaries of government in the lives of the American people, has allowed the government to violate and usurp our precious individual liberty.

The Pitt County GOP hereby supports every principled effort by members of the NC General Assembly, local authorities, and even citizens to reclaim their constitutional rights, and it encourages the same.  It encourages citizens to fight every hour, every day, with every opportunity, with every voice, in every form of communication, and in every body of government to oppose and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

References:

“Obamacare and the Constitution.”  Referenced at: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/3075257/posts

Rand Paul, “Obamacare is not Constitutional,” National Review, June 28, 2012.  Referenced at:  http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/304386/obamacare-not-constitutional-sen-rand-paul

Deborah B. Sloan, “ObamaCare vs. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” American Thinker, February 5, 2011.  Referenced at:  http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/obamacare_vs_life_liberty_and.html.

“Does Obamacare Violate the US Constitution?,” Constitution Myth Buster, June 25, 2011.  Referenced at:  http://constitutionmythbuster.com/2011/06/25/does-obamacare-violate-the-us-constitution/

“Does Obamacare Violate the US Constitution?,” Constitution Myth Buster, August 22, 2011. Referenced at:  http://constitutionmythbuster.com/2011/08/22/does-obamacare-violate-the-us-constitution-article-2/

Wesley Coopersmith, “Obamacare’s Biggest Impacts: Americans Losing Hourss and Losing Coverage,” The Daily Caller, February 3, 2014.  Referenced at:  http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/03/obamacares-biggest-impacts-americans-losing-hours-losing-coverage/

David Nather and Jason Millman, “Obamacare and Jobs: CBO Adds Fuel to Fire,” Politico, February 4, 2014.  Referenced at:  http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/obamacare-first-year-enrollment-numbers-103098.html

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RESOLUTION TO RESPECT & PROTECT THE LIFE OF THE UNBORN

by Diane Rufino, Deputy Director of the NC Tenth Amendment Center and Resolutions Chair of the Pitt County GOP.  The following resolution will be presented at the 2014 Pitt County GOP Convention on March 8.

RESOLUTION TO RESPECT & PROTECT THE LIFE OF THE UNBORN

Whereas, the Declaration of Independence guarantees the Right to Life, without any pre-conditions; and

Whereas, the Bill of Rights evidences a position of greater rights as opposed to less rights; and

Whereas, the Supreme Court has found ways of enlarging rights for various groups, while extinguishing them for the unborn in Roe v. Wade; and

Whereas, the Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, articulated the right of a woman to control her fertility and have an abortion on demand in order to make social change from the bench (in order to give woman unfettered ability to compete equally in the workforce); and 

Whereas, in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court put a greater value on the right of a woman to control her fertility (including the ability to terminate a pregnancy that has produced a new life) than on the developing life she has created by virtue of the laws of nature; and

Whereas, the Court overlooked the obvious reality that a woman already has the right and the power to control her fertility; it’s called “consent to sexual intercourse” (She holds the power to have children, not to have them, or to decide when she will have them); and

Whereas, if a woman decides to engage in sexual activity with protection and that protection fails, she has the option of immediately addressing the situation.  After all, a fertilized egg doesn’t immediately begin its program to create life. Even after 12 hours after conception, the fertilized egg cell still remains a single cell.  Only after approximately 30 hours does it finally begin to divide from one cell into 2 cells.  And then another 15 or so hours after that, it divides again, to yield four cells.  At the end of three days, the conception event is still merely a ball of 16 cells; and

Whereas, the current legal climate shows very little concern for the struggling life inside a woman and the current moral compass of our society continues to subject the most innocent of human beings to the sad and horrific consequences of unwanted pregnancies; and

Whereas, in our current social climate where individuals can do what they want without having to suffer the consequences of their actions, the government seems to have an interest in the population control that abortion offers.

Therebywhile recognizing of the competing interests and allowing a woman choosing to terminate a pregnancy, the Pitt County GOP wonders how a society, and indeed our highest courts, can legislate compassion for hardened criminals yet allow the torture and murder of an unborn human being simply because it hasn’t had the opportunity to take its first breath. 

Be It Resolved therefore, that the Pitt County GOP takes a position of greater respect and protection for the unborn, whether it be legislative, judicial, or through social policy.

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