June 2011

America has an education crisis. Scores in math and the sciences are at almost all-time lows. When you converse with the random person on the street…or exchange an e-mail with a stranger, you find that English and grammar skills are dreadful in most cases. But the worst crisis in education is in regards to the average citizen’s understanding of the Constitution and how the document relates to them. And obviously this constitutional ignorance extends from top-to-bottom and left-to-right in our society and in our political universe.

There are two premiere examples of this ignorance, willful or otherwise, that appear in today’s top news stories. The first involves an absolutely ignorant statement by an absolutely ignorant liberal bloviator, Sen. Richard (Dick) Durbin (D-IL). From Real Clear Politics — Durbin: Illegal Alien Could Be Our Future President. According to Sen. Durbin:

“When I look around this room, I see America’s future. Our doctors, our teachers, our nurses, our engineers, our scientists, our soldiers, our Congressman, our Senators and maybe our President.” [emphasis added]

Uh, no Sen. Durbin…you pinhead! What is truly frightening is this ridiculous statement comes from an experienced legislator who we would expect to be well-versed in constitutional law…since I think we should expect our legislators to enact laws that are in strict conformance with the Constitution. But maybe that’s just me and my foolish expectations!?!

Well, Sen. Durbin…just for you…today’s edition of Constitution 101, or as we like to put it here at The Sky’s The Limit, The Constitution for Complete Imbeciles:

Article II, Section 1: The President
No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

I suppose that a person who was a strong supporter of Obamacare and it’s patently unconstitutional individual mandate requirement might have some trouble understanding the words contained in AII, S1. The good people of Illinois have the remedy to this problem, and I hope that they choose to remove this useless man from office at their first opportunity. But I fear that they see usefulness in his Liberal/Progressive ideology and his goody-getting for the state of Illinois — and this outweighs the man’s utter inanity.

Consider, please, if this statement were made by Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann, the MSM would be all over them like fleas on a bloodhound. But because Durbin is an outspoken “critic” of the GOP, he get’s yet another Mulligan…a hall pass.

All the previous constitutional ignorance leads me to my second example of utter constitutional ignorance — the recent decision by a three judge panel from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to declare Obamacare is constitutional. A two judge majority declared that Congress indeed has the authority to require American citizens to purchase health insurance under the Commerce Clause in the Constitution.

Okay, let’s go once again to The Constitution for Complete Imbeciles for the august judges who cogitated this decision:

Article I, Section 8: Powers of Congress
…To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes…

Now, Congress has the actual constitutional authority to regulate Commerce among the several States — as in interstate Comerce, but I fail to see where they have the authority to regulate Commerce among individuals and private businesses (of which health insurance companies are a subset.) The good judges, and apparently most of our misguided Congress — at least those on the Progressive/Liberal side of the political aisle — mistake the Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce with absolute power over dictating the behaviors of the citizens of the US.

Fellow citizens, we are on the precipice of a dark abyss. For the past century or so we citizens have ceded our Constitution and it’s care and feeding to the political elites. We have collectively forgotten that the Constitution belongs to each and every one of us. The Congress, supported by complicit courts or the SCOTUS, cannot push the proverbial “Easy Button” and conjure up work-arounds and abridgements for their actual, codified constitutional powers and authorities.

The actions of Durbin and the majority of that three justice panel on the 6th US Circuit Court makes me think that to them, the political elites, giving Congress new constitutional powers is no big deal. It indicates to me that they are in the end stages of wresting the control of the Constitution from us to them.

With all their unconstitutional claptrap and actions, apparently in the minds of the elites and the single-minded Progressives, the US would be a GREAT place if it weren’t for those pesky, empowered, freeborn citizens. Their plans for complete control of the country would certainly be a lot smoother without us.

It’s Anthropogenic Global Warming! Until it isn’t…or maybe it’s the scourge of Climate Change. Uh, nope. Or, perhaps it’s just the weather being the unpredictable weather. Hey, I think we’re onto something! An interesting tidbit from the cyclone and hurricane observers at Florida State University (Dr. Ryan Maue): Recent historically low global tropical cyclone activity. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought that all manner of bad things, meteorologically-speaking, were going to befall us due to AGW and our continued use of all things CO2-producing. Who would have guessed that  the DIRE predictions of super-strong hurricanes and cyclones that made Katrina look like a kitten in comparison would be dashed…at least they’ve been if we’re to believe the good Dr. Maue. Oh well, maybe these things are caused by, now take a seat you climate scaremongers, THE VAGARIES OF THE RANDOM WEATHER!!! I dunno…seems like a theory to me.

Tipping Point? There are incidents which occur that leave you scratching your head and make you think “What were they thinking?” There are other incidents that occur that make you think that we as a nation have reached a tipping point, and that perhaps the scale is weighted such that we are at a point of no return. Behold, a tipping point: Elderly woman asked to remove adult diaper during TSA search. Where has all logic and sanity gone in our government when an incident such as this may occur? It is abundantly clear that the TSA is no longer concerned just about our “safety,” whatever the hell that may be. No, I’m afraid that their intentions are more sinister at heart: They are gaining control over us! Now, I assume that we’re all still freeborn American men and women with certain inalienable rights: like those pesky attributes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution. For example, situations like what happened with the ailing, 105 pound, wheelchair-bound, 95 year old woman in her “encounter” with the TSA are most handsomely covered in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Read that passage very carefully and tell me that what the TSA is presently doing in the name of “safety” has any constitutional basis whatsoever. I’ll cut immediately to the chase for you — it doesn’t. This unfortunate lady was subjected to an unreasonable search of her person, without the benefit of a court order and furthermore was humiliated in her having to remove a very personal hygiene product at the order of a TSA “official.” Benjamin Franklin was right when he opined so many years ago:

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

His words ring true…as an ominous warning, even today.

Liberalism/Progressivism Has Failed. OKAY, it’s high time to start stating the obvious: that the precepts, agendas and programs that constitute the ideology called liberalism/Progressivism have failed. Spectacularly. Since the nascent probings of Progressivism by Teddy Roosevelt to the full-bore adoption of Progressive/socialist programs by Franklin Roosevelt, the US has suffered a great harm regardless of the “good” that all the hard-earned money spent on this ideology is alleged to have done. Regardless of the party line and the hype, we have come to the end. We are BROKE! There is no way to tax and spend our way out of the fiscal, social and moral abyss that we have backed ourselves into. For Americans, the FAILED ideology of liberalism/Progressivism isn’t the answer. It is the illness. The only way out of the present mess we find ourselves in is to re-adopt the prudent, frugal and austere precepts that are found in the Constitution. We must abandon our profligate and sinful ways and become the perfected society, based on constitutional and free-market principles, that we should be. I think that many Americans are waking from their profligate stupor; and they are realizing that the math that the Progressives espouse just doesn’t add up. There are no free rides, and you can’t get something for nothing (or almost nothing.) That taxing the “rich” only gives you the wages of sin (sloth, greed and envy) and that “helping” the poor with perpetual government alms and “charity” only breeds contempt and idleness from the “beneficiaries.” it’s time to shout the failure of this cancerous, unproductive ideology from the rooftops! “Liberalism/Progressivism is DEAD! Long live freedom and capitalism!!!”

Nothing New Under the Political Sun. It is indeed the silly season. Since the beginning of the 2012 presidential campaign we have seen the Dems/Progs/Libs ramp up their rhetoric and redouble their ad hominem attacks on the GOP candidates. One need to look no further than Michelle Bachmann for this political and media fold and spin job. Rep. Bachmann is truly a woman of substance. She has numerous scholastic, personal, business and political achievements to her credit. But unlike the Marxist Barack Obama, she is hated by the media and reviled by her political opponents for her strong conservative beliefs. See, regardless of the cries for more “civility” in the political discourse after the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Rep. Bachmann has been the recipient of some odious “scrutiny” for alleged gaffes and misstatements. In a recent interview on FOX News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked her if she was “a flake?” Rep. Bachmann is definitely not a flake…and such a question is both demeaning and insulting, regardless of Wallace’s intent. If the “flake” question by Wallace can be considered friendly fire, Ms. Bachmann had better steel herself for a fusillade of invective and insults that are now being dreamed up by the “civilized” left — from both media and politicians. Because the one thing we can count on is that there is NOTHING new under the political sun, particularly where desperate Democrats are concerned.

God bless Texas! Amid the constitutional chaos in the rest of our once great nation we can count on Texas to show us the way to our original constitutional rights and liberties as intended by the Framers. In a recent decision overturning a previous ruling by a U.S. district judge, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a ban on prayers in Texas schools. The ban had been put in place by previously by Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery because of a suit brought by the atheist parents of a graduating student in the Medina Valley Independent School District. The parents claimed that planned religious expression during the graduation ceremony at the school would cause “irreparable harm” to their son.

As a result of the initial finding, Judge Biery banned the following “religious” phrases: “join in prayer,” “bow their heads,” “amen,” and “prayer” at the graduation ceremony. He also ordered the school district to remove the terms “invocation” and “benediction” from the graduation program, in favor of “opening remarks” and “closing remarks.

Biery’s decision is just the latest in a long and insane list of assaults on our personal religious freedoms. Saying a prayer at a public event on government or municipal property does not go against the 1st Amendment prohibitions regarding religion. In order to see this for ourselves, a little review of the 1st Amendment is required:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So, now that these words are fresh in our minds, where are the now trite and oft cited words “separation of Church and State” in that paragraph? if you answered “nowhere, ” then ding, ding, ding…you win today’s prize of a pat on the back and the title “good citizen.” Biery’s ruling in Texas was made possible because we’ve allowed doctrinaire Progressive jurists the latitude to interpret our Constitution in such a wrongheaded and perverse manner. See, Congress has NEVER passed a law regarding a national religion — a religion of state as it were. Although we were founded under Judeo-Christian moral precepts, we are still a secular nation. But this does not mean that we must be a faithless nation when it comes to government events. Right there in the first amendment the Framers made sure that Congress (or any other part of our government could not prohibit our God-given right to freely exercise our religion. This doesn’t mean just a church or in the privacy of our own home. It means everywhere.

Bierly and his ilk ignore the prohibition of free exercise clause, giving it little weight in comparison to their skewed interpretations of the establishment clause, which is assigned maximum legal weight. Why? Because they are using the establishment clause as a social bludgeon to insure that the anti-religious, atheists and agnostics are not “offended” at public ceremonies. Because a few are not religious, then all must not be religious. In effect, these justices are employing a tyranny of the minority in order to insure that no offense is put upon the small minority of those who object to a prayer, blessing or religious language used at a public ceremony.

But these rulings abolishing religion or religious expression in relationship to schools, which do show ultimate respect for the feelings and wishes of the minority, offend and curtail the precious constitutional rights of the majority. See, the rights of the non-religious haven’t been trampled if someone says a prayer at a graduation ceremony or other public event. The Congress hasn’t made a law that establishes a state religion. Simply praying or saying God’s name at a public event doesn’t establish any religion as the religion of state. It is simply the free expression of freeborn citizens according to their constitutional rights. If someone is offended, well that is unfortunate but a fact of life in our Republic. The ability to be offended or affronted isn’t a right. It is a personal choice.

The courts in our land have no place adjudicating on feelings. Feelings are important, but they cannot be accounted for in our grand social compact also known as the U.S. Constitution. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals realized this simple fact, and reversed a great wrong that had been done to the Medina Valley Independent School District by Judge Biery’s initial ruling.

What we need is for judges to stay out of our personal affairs, leave feelings out of the equation and deal strictly in the law. It was obvious to even laymen and women that Judge Biery had grossly overstepped his judicial authority with his ruling and prohibition. Luckily, the U.S. 5th isn’t swayed by specious, patently unconstitutional rulings and findings.

We either have a Constitution that is immutable and that maintains the spirit and the letter of the Framer’s intent, or we have a “living” document that judges like Fred Biery can contort to their liking and to the sensibilities of the time. If we, the citizens and owners of the Constitution, let this happen, then we will find it nearly impossible to capture back the rights and liberties that have been voided by such judicial activism. It has happened to us time and time again, in a death by a thousand cuts manner. But if we are to remain free, with the liberties assured to us in the Constitution, we must remain ever-vigilant and willing to shout out when such egregious offenses are forced upon us.

God bless the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and God bless Texas!