Andrew Napolitano  - Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A British author, residing in the United States for the past 30 years, created a small firestorm earlier this week with his candid observations that modern-day Americans have been duped by the government into accepting a European-style march toward socialism because we fail to appreciate the rich legacy of personal liberty that is everyone’s birthright and is expressly articulated in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Os Guinness the author of more than a dozen books defending traditional Judeo-Christian values and Jeffersonian personal liberty, argued that we should embrace individual liberty and personal dignity and reject the “no givens, no rules, no limits” government we now have. He went on to opine that the government today is not the constitutionally restrained protector of personal freedoms the Framers left us, but rather has become the wealth-distributing protector of collective interests the Founding Fathers never could have imagined.

Yet the problem is a deep one. The Framers believed in the presumption of liberty, which declares that we are free to make personal choices, and the government cannot interfere with our liberties unless we violate the rights of others. Stated differently, the federal government cannot interfere with our personal choices by writing any law it wants; it can only regulate behavior or spend money when the Constitution authorizes it to do so.

However, for the past 100 years, the federal government has rejected the Madisonian concept that it is limited to the 16 discrete powers the Constitution delegates to it, and has claimed its powers are unlimited, subject only to the express prohibitions in the Constitution. Even those prohibitions can be circumvented since government lawyers have persuaded federal courts to rule that Congress can spend tax dollars or borrowed money on any projects it wishes, whether authorized by the Constitution or not. The courts have even authorized Congress to use federal tax dollars to bribe the states into enacting laws that Congress is powerless to enact, and Congress as done so.

The Declaration of Independence defines our personal liberties as inalienable aspects of our humanity, and the Constitution prohibits the government from interfering with those liberties — such as thought, speech, press, association, worship, self-defense, travel, privacy, due process, use of money and private property, to name a few.

The teaching of these founding documents is that our liberties are natural — their source is not the government — and they are personal, not collective. We don’t need a government permission slip to exercise them; we don’t need to belong to a group to enjoy them; they cannot be taken away by a congressional vote or a presidential signature.

Even though everyone who works for the government takes an oath to uphold the Declaration and the Constitution, very few are consistent with what they have sworn to do. We know that because on the transcendental issues of our day — life, liberty, war and debt — the leadership of both political parties and the behavior of all modern presidents have revealed a steadfast willingness to write any law and regulate any behavior or permit any evil, whether authorized by the Constitution or not.

Take life. Abortion is the most deadly force in America today. Abortions lawfully kill a baby every minute — that’s 1.1 million babies a year and 45 million killed since the Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. A simple one-line statute — “The fetus in the womb is a legal person” — could have been enacted by a simple majority vote in Congress and signed into law by any of our so-called pro-life presidents, thus stopping the slaughter. It never happened.

Take liberty. Both parties support the Patriot Act and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act apparatus, which together invade privacy, infringe upon free speech, permit federal agents to write their own search warrants and allow domestic spying on all of us all the time. This demonstrates that our political leaders do not believe that our rights are inalienable, but can be interfered with and regulated by them. They have written laws that literally permit federal agents to undertake the very acts the Constitution was written to prohibit.

Take the lethal combination of war and debt. Both parties support perpetual war and perpetual debt. The leadership of both parties has permitted every modern president to kill whomever he pleases in foreign countries without lawful declarations of war and to do so by going into a $17 trillion hole of debt, with no end in sight. Today, 20 cents of every tax dollar collected goes to interest on pre-existing government debt. Today’s taxpayers are still paying interest on the $30 billion Woodrow Wilson borrowed to finance World War I in 1917.

The British author is correct. Unless we have a radical change in the direction of government — its size, cost, focus, intrusiveness and rejection of first principles — and unless we elect people to the government who truly believe the Declaration and the Constitution mean what they say, we will continue our march toward the federal destruction of the presumption of liberty.

It is a slow march, but a steady one.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/7/andrew-napolitano-us...

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LIGHTER SIDE

The cartoonist's homepage, indystar.com/opinion/varvel

ALERT ALERT

Schumer Refusing To Help Border Kids
Wants To Hurt Trump Instead

The controversy over how underage illegal aliens are handled at the border is heating up — but Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer just rejected a good-faith proposal to fix the problem.

A growing number of people on both sides of the political aisle have expressed concern for border separations, which occur when migrants are caught breaking the law along the border while they have children with them, or when the often exploitative relationship between adults and minors at the border cannot be established.

A vast amount of mis-information and outright lying about the situation has muddied the water, making it tough to understand the situation in its entirety.

Both liberals and conservatives, however, have voiced their support for a better system that results in fewer family separations, and even President Donald Trump has indicated that he is willing to stand with Congress if they change the law.

Shockingly, however, it looks like one of the most well-known faces of the Democratic party isn’t willing to take action, and is instead playing politics in order to attack Trump.

On Tuesday, Schumer openly rejected a Republican proposal to fix the immigrant separation problem at the legislative level, and instead whined about the president.

“There are so many obstacles to legislation and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense,” Schumer stated, according to The Hill.

“Legislation is not the way to go here when it’s so easy for the president to sign it,” he complained.

Democrats Reject Bill To Keep Families Together At Border – Schumer Says He “Wants To Keep Focus On Trump”

Think about that for a second: The president’s job is to execute existing laws. The legislature’s job is to change or enact new laws when needed.

A senator elected to the legislature for exactly that purpose is now refusing to do his job and pass legislation, while simultaneously blaming the president for enforcing the existing laws, as he is sworn to do.

If there was any doubt that Schumer and the Democrats are playing politics instead of trying to actually help migrant families, the senator made his intentions clear: Obstruct and point fingers at Trump.

“Asked if that meant Democrats would not support a bill backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to keep immigrant families together while seeking asylum on the U.S. border, Schumer said they want to keep the focus on Trump,” The Hill explained.

Make no mistake: The Democrats dragging their feet and refusing to back legislation already drafted by Republicans will prolong the problems at the border.

“Schumer’s opposition to a legislative fix means there likely won’t be a quick end to the emotional images of immigrant children being separated from their families unless Trump backs down,” The Hill reported.

“Democrats want to keep the pressure on Trump instead of having Congress assume responsibility for the growing crisis,” the news outlet continued.

Again: There’s a solution ready to go, with Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ready to support it. Yet Democrats like Schumer apparently believe that scoring political points against Trump is more important than helping broken families on the border, even as their own liberal voters demand action.

“Congress alone can fix it,” stated Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Monday.

“I support, and all of the senators of the Republican conference support, a plan that keeps families together,” McConnell agreed.

“We need to fix the problem and it requires a legislative solution,” he said.

Yet Democrats refuse to budge.

This “do nothing but blame Trump” response from the left should prove beyond a doubt that all the tears and hand-wringing from liberals are disingenuous. They’re for show. If it was truly about helping innocent kids at the border, Schumer and his fellow Democrats could act right now.

If their priority was actually to solve the problem and help broken families, scoring points against Trump shouldn’t even be a concern. Even if they believed he was being stubborn on the issue, they could take the high road by doing their jobs and supporting bipartisan legislation.

They don’t, because solving the problem was never their goal. They are playing political games and using devastated children as pawns, while pretending that the president is the monster.

That’s sick… and the American people need to see exactly who is doing the obstruction.

SLAVEHOLDER??

Washington Post Compares
Jeff Sessions To Slaveholder’

The Washington Post compared Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “slaveholders” after he quoted the Bible on Thursday while discussing his department’s policy of prosecuting all illegal immigrants who cross the border.

Sessions made the statement during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

WaPo ran a story entitled “Sessions cites Bible passage used to defend slavery in defense of separating immigrant families” by general assignment editor Keith McMillan and religion reporter Julie Zauzmer on Friday.

Rather than detailing the statistics Sessions cited in the speech that explain the immigration policy, the story quoted John Fea, a history professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

“This is the same argument that Southern slaveholders and the advocates of a Southern way of life made,” Fea said.

Sessions spent much of the speech discussing the numbers behind current immigration policy, including separating families at the Southwest border.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” Sessions said.

“Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.”

“The previous administration wouldn’t prosecute aliens if they came with children,” Sessions said.

“It was de-facto open borders if you came with children. The results were unsurprising. More and more illegal aliens started showing up at the border with children.”

Sessions laid out the numbers in the speech.

“In 2013, fewer than 15,000 family units were apprehended crossing our border illegally between ports of entry in dangerous areas of the country,” he said.

“Five years later, it was more than 75,000, a five-fold increase in five years. It didn’t even have to be their child that was brought, it could be anyone. You can imagine that this created a lot of danger.”

The U.S. has the “opportunity” to fix its broken immigration system now, Sessions said.

“I believe that’s it’s moral, right, just and decent that we have a lawful system of immigration,” he said. “The American people have been asking for it.”

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