Archive for February, 2009

Article 1 Section 5

Posted in Article I, Constitution as Written on February 24th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

“Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.”

Have you ever seen the old Jimmy Stewart movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”? In the movie Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart), was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Senate. He is anxious to please his superiors and vows to follow their lead. After he discovers a plan to uproot the young boys camp, however, he becomes adamantly opposed to a bill presented by his own Senator. He then exercised his right to filibuster. During the filibuster he, he requested a quorum call. This is according to the Article 1 Section 5.

This section also has come into play over the recent appointment of Senator Roland Burris of Illinois. According to Section 5 if two-thirds desire him to be out, they can vote him out. Therefore if he claims at any time that it is unconstitutional for him to be removed from office, you can know that it IS constitutional.

Great Quote On Government Intervention

Posted in Bailout, Political Discussion on February 24th, 2009 by halthouse1 – Be the first to comment

I would like to thank the people of Constitutional Freedom for giving me the opportunity to share some of my thoughts.  I am the writer of The Political and Financial Markets Commentator which discusses politics and finance around the world and how it affects all of us.

GREAT QUOTE! ~ by Dr. Adrian Rogers~ very timely

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.  The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.  When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.  You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

Annie Get Your Gun But Don’t Shoot the Toilet!

Posted in Second Amendment on February 16th, 2009 by Caroline – Be the first to comment

Despite tough economic times and retailers’ bleak Christmas sales, in the days preceding the inauguration, Americans went in droves to their local gun retailers. One NRA activist, Joel Rosenberg cleverly dubbed this phenomenon the “Obama effect.” In fact, the FBI reported that the number of background checks run for prospective gun purchasers during election week skyrocketed 49% from the same week a year ago.[1]

Well what’s changing? Honestly, no one really knows. Obama stands by his statement that he supports the Second Amendment. However, what President would really admit that they didn’t agree with the Constitution? Come on, Obama is much too smart for that. However, the answer no one has seemed ask is just how he interprets the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment is really quite simple. It reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Its simplicity leaves open much room to interpretation. Along with the recent national rash of gun purchases arose a western waxing of applications for concealed weapons permits. Is this really the response the Framers hoped for in drafting the Second Amendment? John Adams was quoted as saying, “Here every private person is authorized to arm himself, and on the strength of this authority, I do not deny the inhabitants had a right to arm themselves at that time, for their defense, not for offence…”[2] So where do concealed weapons fit into this? I’d say at the funeral for a toilet.

Just last month in Utah, where concealed weapon permits had soared at the announcement of our President, a funeral was held for a Carl’s Jr. toilet destroyed by a patron. The man, who held a concealed weapon permit, had the gun “concealed” when he went to use the restroom. However, at some point his gun slipped out and blew the toilet to smithereens. Wonderful, these are just the kind of people we want wielding guns at fast food chains.

So are concealed weapon permits going too far under the Second Amendment? Undoubtedly, I would say yes. Certainly, there are certain classes of individuals who need and/or are qualified for such weapons permits. But the blanket laws allowing nearly everyone to obtain one are downright scary. Supporters of these laws in Utah cite the Trolley Square shooting where an off-duty police officer prevented the massacre from escalating when he stopped the assailant with his concealed weapon. I am glad the officer had his gun. I think the Second Amendment was drafted for precisely that purpose – to help individuals protect themselves. Nonetheless, aren’t our standards steeping a little low when we let people who can’t even keep a weapon “concealed” at a Carl’s Jr. to be permitted to carry around a weapon at all times?

I have shot a gun. I have lived in Texas. I attended a former all-male military school turned state university and yet I don’t like the concealed weapon laws. I would argue that only policemen, former and current servicemen, security officers and those in exceptionally dangerous circumstances or under the witness protection program should be permitted to carry these kinds of weapons on their person or in their cars. Why, because these toilet killers are a danger to the American citizenry and themselves.

Should we be allowed to keep guns at our private residences? Yes! That IS our right under the Second Amendment. Even the toilet shooting nincompoops should be afforded that right. But let’s not get carried away, public is a different story. Where Obama will go with gun laws, no one knows. But I think the only thing to panic about right now is just who might be in the public restroom stall next to you.


[1] http://www.cfif.org/htdocs/freedomline/current/in_our_opinion/Buying-Guns-Just-in-Time.html

[2] Wroth, L. Kinvin; Zobel, Hiller B.; eds.. Legal Papers of John Adams. pp. 3:248.

Article 1 Section 4

Posted in Article I on February 16th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Big Government

Big Government

“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, (The preceding words in parentheses were superseded by the 20th Amendment.) unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.”

The above section of the constitution provides interesting insight into the understanding of government during the late 18th century. Primarily that, “The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year…” The mere fact that the writers felt they must include this type of requirement is fascinating. Did the writers imagine the day when government would be a perpetual activity, covered by 24 hour news broadcasts? Did they ever imagine the eventual size and scope of the US government? I would venture to say they had an inkling of the possibility, but probably few had the faintest imagination of what they were truly creating. I believe that this section gives us more insight into the intents of the framers design than any section covered thus far.

The framers maybe imagined a government run by well-educated citizens who spent the majority of their year managing their personal affairs. They would then assemble once or maybe twice a year and decide on a few critical issues and then return to their private lives. This viewpoint made sense until the challenges became more complex and larger. At the time the United States was nothing more than a few colonies desperately grasping for cohesion. Demanding much more of the government maybe seemed absurd.

Although, let us imagine what it would be like if the government assumed a more passive role. What would we be like as a people? Would we eventually learn self-reliance? Would we remember that honesty is the best policy? Would there be massive bank frauds and terrorism? Unfortunately, I believe that the government has grown in large part because of these human failures. So in the end this author recognizes the need of government, but insists that the government seek more ways to avoid intervention!

Something’s Fishy

Posted in Bailout, Political Discussion on February 16th, 2009 by Caroline – Be the first to comment

The previous post notes that the government has thrown water at a nation drowning in troubled waters. However, I think the government did a little better than that – they threw us fish (well at least some of us). For me, the bigger question looming behind the billion-dollar bailout is who exactly are we bailing out? The poor? Well I am not sure $13 dollars a week will do much to help an already fledgling American people. The rich? I wouldn’t say so, because one of the few coherent parts to the bill actually limited “bailed out” executive pay. The middle class? Not so sure about them either unless they are altruistic non-profit gurus hoping to secure a research grant. Oh, perhaps it is the thousands in Las Vegas that have been awaiting construction of a railway to Los Angeles, because Las Vegas isn’t star-studded enough. Or maybe it is just Harry Reid who’s excited.

While it is unclear who the bill was set out to serve, what is even more unclear is why it passed within 48 hours and was read by virtually no one. Was there something in it we were not meant to see? Was it that urgent? I’m still awaiting my $13 extra a week.

Some cry out that the bill is unconstitutional. Unwieldy, yes, unconstitutional, I don’t think so. Clearly it was passed in a legal, albeit hasty manner. The Constitution in fact says nothing that would prohibit massive bailouts for fledgling corporations or Southwestern railways. Instead the Constitution is there to preserve our freedoms. It allows Americans, even elected ones, to do stupid things. Why? So that they will be influenced by and attune with the will of the people. Perhaps the biggest problem here is that no one knew what the Senate was voting on, including the Senate.

Was the bailout a good idea? In my humble opinion, no. But some people think so. For some, this is hope that the economic crisis will end. It is hope that America can turn itself around. And once in a while you can give a starving man a fish and settle his stomach and allay his fears. And sometimes that is enough for him to go on living and to keep his way. I think there are many starving in our country right now and I am glad they might get their fish dinner. At least I hope they do. But next time maybe the government can teach us how to catch that red snapper. Teaching someone to fish takes more time, more effort and more responsibility. However, it reaps far greater rewards for all in the end.