Independence Day

Two hundred thirty-three years ago the 13 colonies declared their independence from Great Britain, throwing themselves fully into armed conflict with what was the greatest empire on earth. The war had already been engaged in 1775, but up to this point it was largely the Massachusetts colony that was bearing the brunt of British might. Now all the colonies stood together. If they failed, the delegates to the Continental Congress would have been hanged as traitors to the crown. The repression in the wake of a British victory would more than likely have made the Intolerable Acts seem like a walk in the park.

The war raged on for 5 more years. Americans suffered cold, starvation, disease, privations of the worst kind, all for the promise of freedom, of independence, of building a nation whose overriding purpose was to safeguard the liberty of its citizens.

Those of you who have read this blog, and those of you that are paying attention to our present and past, know that we have never really lived up to that dream, that ideal for which those Americans suffered and died. We have fallen short. We have accepted less. We now suffer at the hand of a federal government that no longer feels even the most modest sense of moral obligation to uphold its oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. This being the case we cannot celebrate the state of America. We cannot celebrate our freedom. We are not free.

We are not free when our Congress passes legislation it does not read. We are not free when our government taps our phones without warrants. We are not free when we are made to pay taxes to a regime that makes us indentured servants to a foreign power that massacres its own people, while the United States government turns a blind eye to such atrocities in the name of preserving the global economy.  We are not free when more than half the population of the United States is not seen as equal.  We are not free when the vilification of Jews passes as criticism.  We are not free when it is deemed acceptable by the President of the United States to be an instrument of the continued marginalization of the gay community.

What we can do is celebrate the fact that those early Americans accomplished that which had never been done on the face of the earth: inorganically fashion a nation, determining the type of government that would run it, and fighting for its birth. That is no small thing. It was arguably the greatest moment in the history of the struggle for human liberty to that time (it would have been greater if the establishing of a “more perfect union” did not happen with the legitimization of slavery, and the nearly complete genocide of the indigenous nations of North America).  We have squandered it, and are in danger of losing the chance to achieve that ideal, forever.

What we can also do is look around the world, see what others have dared to do, against far more brutal regimes than ours, and ask ourselves what we are willing to do to gain our freedom. What risks are we ready to take? What are we willing to sacrifice? Half way around the world, the people of Iran are approaching a month of protest against the illegitimacy of their government. As we speak they are being shot at, tear gassed, arrested, tortured, and executed for daring to stand up for human liberty.

Ukraine, Lebanon, China, Iran…look at these pictures carefully. These were not one day tea parties. This was not a protest here or there.  These were, and are not online petitions, or letter writing campaigns, or one day general strikes.  When the chips are down…when push comes to shove…are you willing to risk it all if need be? Are you?
Think about it.  It’s Independence Day.

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Are You Ready To Be Inventoried?

Tavern regular Laree from You Have To Be This Tall To Go On This Ride clearly isn’t, and neither am I.

Take a stroll over there and read, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

What are your thoughts?  Personally, it’s time Naughty Nazi Nancy’s constituents sent her into retirement.  Perhaps she could be a useful idiot for Chris Matthews.

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The Cost of Freedom Buried In The Ground

arlington-national-cemetery-arlington-va128.jpgToday we remember the fallen men and women of our armed forces. Swearing an oath to protect the Constitution from enemies, both foreign and domestic, they gave their lives in popular, and unpopular wars. But it is not enough to remember them alone. Behind every fallen soldier is a wife, husband, parent, or child who has lost a loved one.  Let us remember that for every soldier sent to war there are families left behind, too many of which are never whole again.

And thanks to the National Women’s History Museum, we are reminded why we celebrate Memorial Day in the first place. From NWHM:

Much of women’s history is missing from our public story. One more example — women were almost entirely responsible for the recognition of Memorial Day. Its origin was the Civil War and until recently, the day focused on the terrible War between the states that, at tremendous human cost, ended slavery.

Just weeks after the Civil War ended in April 1865, Ellen Call Long organized a women’s memorial society to reconcile embittered enemies. Usually named some variant of “women’s relief society,” groups sprang up in both the North and South that not only memorialized the dead, but also cared for the war’s disabled and its widows and orphans.

On June 22, 1865, women adopted these profound, forgiving, and future-oriented resolutions. The document read in part:

The object of this meeting is to initiate a Memorial Association…that shall perpetuate in an honorable manner the memory of the gallant dead…

In no invidious spirit do we come; the political storm that shook our country to its foundation, we hope, is passed… We are done with the [Confederate] cause…and are willing to do all that women can do to stem the tide of bitterness…and angry feelings… We will practice and teach forbearance and patience, which must finally bring peace and justice…

Our society has forgotten that women cleaned up the mess. They took the gruesome reality of approximately a half-million dead men, and by promoting cemeteries, led the way in turning blood and gore into something that encouraged serenity and reflection.

In our nation’s capital filled with museums, there is not one to remind us of the totality of the experience of American women. That is why NWHM needs you. Please emulate Ellen Call Long and others who understood that the past is an essential prologue to the future. Support us, “Right Here, Right Now!” by going to www.nwhm.org and sending a letter to your Members of Congress urging them to give women’s history a home in our nation’s capital by passing HR 1700.

To my mind the best way to honor our fallen soldiers is to exercise the freedoms for which they died, especially when the government tries to claim you no longer possess them.

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How To Impeach A President

Crossposted at Logistics Monster

MANY inquiring minds want to know the answer to that question, and I know because of watching the search traffic to this site.  After reading the following, you will probably agree that Bambi’s impeachment is not going to happen as it has to start in the House with Nazi Nancy, and we all remember that impeachment danced around the table quite a bit with Bush II.  Looks like we are on our own again; just one more reason to vote them out in 2010.

The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

–U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 4

From Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law:

What is Impeachment?

Technically, impeachment is the Senate’s quasi-criminal proceeding instituted to remove a public officer, not the actual act of removal. Most references to impeachment, however, encompass the entire process, beginning with the House’s impeachment inquiry. The term will be used in that broader sense here. By design, impeachment is a complex series of steps and procedures undertaken by the legislature. The process roughly resembles a grand jury inquest, conducted by the House, followed by a full-blown trial, conducted by the Senate with the Chief Justice presiding. Impeachment is not directed exclusively at Presidents. The Constitutional language, “all civil officers,” includes such positions as Federal judgeships. The legislature, however, provides a slightly more streamlined process for lower offices by delegating much of it to committees. See Nixon v. US, 506 U.S. 224 (1993)(involving removal of a Federal judge). Presidential impeachments involve the full, public participation of both branches of Congress.

The Impeachment Process in a Nutshell

  1. The House Judiciary Committee deliberates over whether to initiate an impeachment inquiry.

  2. The Judiciary Committee adopts a resolution seeking authority from the entire House of Representatives to conduct an inquiry. Before voting, the House debates and considers the resolution. Approval requires a majority vote.

  3. The Judiciary Committee conducts an impeachment inquiry, possibly through public hearings. At the conclusion of the inquiry, articles of impeachment are prepared. They must be approved by a majority of the Committee.

  4. The House of Representatives considers and debates the articles of impeachment. A majority vote of the entire House is required to pass each article. Once an article is approved, the President is, technically speaking, “impeached” — that is subject to trial in the Senate.

  5. The Senate holds trial on the articles of impeachment approved by the House. The Senate sits as a jury while the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial.

  6. At the conclusion of the trial, the Senate votes on whether to remove the President from office. A two-thirds vote by the Members present in the Senate is required for removal.

  7. If the President is removed, the Vice-President assumes the Presidency under the chain of succession established by Amendment XXV.

Constitutional Authority

At the time of the drafting of the Constitution, impeachment was an established process in English law and government. The Founding Fathers incorporated the process, with modifications, into the fabric of United States government. The Constitution, however, only provides the framework-the basic who’s, why’s, and how’s. The remaining procedural intricacies reside in the internal rules of the House and Senate. (emphasis mine)

Who?

Article 2, Section 4–“The President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States. . .”

As noted above, this includes Federal judges. It does not, however, include House Representatives or Senators.

Why?

Article 2, Section 4–“. . .on impeachment for, and on conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors.”

This implies that the impeachment process is not tightly linked to the criminal law. The test is not satisfied by all crimes. With only two named offenses to provide context for the inclusive phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the standard remains undefined. The language suggests, however, that criminal action may be required. It is worth noting that the term “misdemeanor” does not correspond to the modern definition of a less serious (sub-felony) statutory or common law criminal offense.

In the case of Andrew Johnson, the House accused the President, among other things, of speaking disrespectfully of Congress “in a loud voice.”

How?

Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5–“The House of Representatives . . . shall have the sole power of impeachment.”

The power of impeachment translates into the power to indict. The House, through the Judiciary Committee, conducts investigation and gathers evidence. At the proper time, the House assembles the evidence into individual indictments or charges known as Articles of Impeachment. Each article requires a majority vote of the House to pass to the Senate. Once impeached, the officer is on trial.

Article 1, Section 3, Clause 6–“The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.”

The trial of the impeached officer is held in the Senate. In Nixon v. US, regarding the impeachment trial of a Federal judge, the Supreme Court ruled that the application of the phrase phrase “sole power to try all impeachments” to a particular case was not justiciable. In other words it held that the proper application of this constitutional language to a specific impeachment proceeding was not a question for the courts. Therefore, the process and procedure for impeachment lie solely within the purview of the legislature. The officer subject to an impeachment proceeding has no appeal to a federal court.

Article 1, Section 3, Clause 7“Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.”

An impeachment and removal does not activate the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment. The ex-officer may face criminal indictments and trials for the same conduct that led to their impeachment and removal from office.

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A Veteran’s Perspective on the DHS Drivel

Last week it was revealed to all police authorities and the American public that veterans were now considered terrorists. I have had some time to mull the thought over. I have gone from tears to just plain angry. I remain angry today.

I have capabilities that the United States Navy taught me. I have never once thought about using them against my own country or other Americans. There is something about honor and loyalty so deeply entrenched in my soul if I did that my guilt would be my undoing. The country would be one less veteran.

My duty remains to this country. I have never stopped serving my country. I work as a grassroots veterans advocate. I was the original driving force for the Tea Parties in Wichita, KS. And my work is not done.

I am extremely angry that a fraudulent and weak kneed administration would possibly consider me a terrorist without empirical evidence. There is absolutely no evidence that veterans have become members of militia. None would either….

I have only known duty to my country. I served with honor and a deep loyalty that 275 million Americans wouldn’t even consider doing nor understand. The truth is veterans generally gather together at American Legions, they ride with the American Legion Riders and there are the most incredibly brave ones who are members of The Patriot Guard. They remain ever faithful to a country that has deemed them to be terrorists.

Janet Napolitano attempted to apologize to veterans but it was hollow. It lacked true feeling. Her apology was as hollow as Obama’s when he attempted to apologize for his singular attack on veterans a few weeks back. Obama wouldn’t even meet with the veterans organizations, he left it to Pelosi. The great usurper has exposed his yellow under belly, he is nothing but a coward who has denigrated veterans.

I am more pissed off than ever because no one in DC can apologize to veterans and mean it. The hollowness rings loud and clear. And by the way I don’t accept their apologies…for they are not real, they are bogus.

Simply put the usurper and his administration HATE veterans, a word that doesn’t usually find its way into my vocabulary. The usurper’s administration are running scared of veterans because they are so anti-American while we remain American to the core. They are trying to keep us from organizing as a legitimate voice against their policies.

Well the asshats need to run scared. We stand up today supporting our Constitution, speaking out against a bunch of crooks in DC who are trampling on the very rights it endows to its citizens. Rights that I protected through my service.

After this action I am more certain than ever that the usurper in the White House must be impeached. Napolitano must be fired. Clean house at the Department of Defense because there are now evil agents working within the system to destroy the military. Off with all their heads I say!

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COMMON SENSE

Cross-posted at Oy…My Valve!

Because there are still many people who still don’t understand what is happening on the American street, because they cannot seem to grasp the enormity of the events of April 15th and the door that is being kicked down City Tavern is going to be hosting an extended meditation on Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.

The title infers that everything within should be obvious to anyone possessing the ability to engage in critical thinking.  So let’s have a little common sense ourselves and keep moving forward.  Tea Partiers carrying signs condemning Republicans and Democrats alike is the moment those of us in the Lagoon of the Unaffiliated have been waiting for all these years.  Common sense seems to finally be getting through.

As a long and violent abuse of power is generally the means of calling the right of it in question, (and in matters too which might never have been thought of, had not the sufferers been aggravated into the inquiry,) and as the king of England [read: The Resident] hath undertaken in his own right, to support the parliament [read: Congress] in what he calls theirs, and as the good people of this country are grievously oppressed by the combination, they have an undoubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally to reject the usurpations of either.

The cause of America is, in a great measure, the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all lovers of mankind are affected, and in the event of which, their affections are interested. The laying a country desolate with fire and sword, declaring war against the natural rights of all mankind, and extirpating the defenders thereof from the face of the earth, is the concern of every man [and woman] to whom nature hath given the power of feeling.

These are the stakes.  We are not speaking simply of government reform.  We are speaking of reforming government for the sake of preserving human freedom. The Congress through legislation like S.773/778 and Harry Reid’s Green Energy bill, the stimulus, omnibus, and budget bills, are attempting to centralize government power in the hands of the Executive Branch.  To my mind there is only one reason to do so: the supression and/or control of society.  Americans aren’t taking to the streets simply because of taxes and government spending.  They are out in the streets because after 8 years of government subverting our rights to privacy and expression, the new administration is working harder deeper faster longer to accelerate that process.  And the Republican Party, with its transparent attempts to look like they are leading the opposition, is as big a part of the problem as the Democrat controlled government.  One need only look at the last eight years to see that.  Seeing signs from the 15th that said things like, “Republicans suck too!” tells me we are on the right track.

It’s time to stop standing by personal political agendas.  There can only be one agenda for all Americans who love liberty: The protection and preservation of the constitutional republic.  We can sort out the way forward once we stop the government’s Constitution crushing freight train of bullshit.  We ain’t got time for that now.  Now is the time to stand up against the corruption and smothering of freedom.

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You’re The Dream Operator

Today was the day of the Tax Day Tea Parties. Pretty tremendous knowing that Americans of all political persuasions decided to get up off their keesters and make their voices heard in the face of rampant political corruption.

Regardless of who people voted for, most of us wanted change. Not, “Change,” but change. But many of us understood that we were not going to get it. We were going to get a third Shrub term regardless of who won. The only difference is who gets to play on the team, and who is getting the free deluxe box seats. With the Shrub it was Haliburton, Bank of America, AIG, and selling our economic soul the the Chinese. With Tushy Obama it’s…the aforementioned, plus all his new little piggies come to suck at our taxpaying teat, and screw us. McCain at least was more like dancing with the devil you know, as opposed to the demon you don’t. But still, that’s just choosing evil isn’t it? I’ve always said so, which is why I have cast the majority of my votes for President for animals, fictional characters, and dead relatives. At least then I didn’t feel like a tool.

We had a couple friends over to dine with us. One of them, whom I have known for nearly eight years, tried to convince me tonight that I should look at the glass as half full; that our choice in November was between watching Death of Salesman, and La Cage Aux Folles on Broadway. He would rather watch La Cage and feel entertained and happy, than bitter and depressed over the breaking of Willie Loman. “The glass is half full,” and I should stop seeing the glass as half empty. What I have not been able to get him to understand is that I see the glass as neither.

The glass is broken and no longer holds water. I want a new glass.

The zombie media can say what it likes about the Tea Parties being run by domestic terrorists, and that our Iraq and Afghanistan vets are coming back as domestic terrorists (the final insult in a long chain of abuses, from sending our men and women into harm’s way to line the pockets of American corporations, to chipping away at their benefits until the current administration had the audacity of dope to suggest that disabled vets should pay for their own insurance, while the new First Lady came to North Carolina to tell soldiers and their families that she was going to make them a priority), but this is why Americans took to the street today:

We want a new glass. A new frickin’ glass so we can drink cool clear water again. We’re tired of oligarchs and autocrats who spend our money, don’t heed our voice and, in the end, could care less about our wants, needs, dreams, or desires. Our government was designed to keep things together on a national scale so that we would be free to pursue our dreams, not be told what our dreams should be, and what we have to do to make them come true.

Today was a day for Americans to stand up and tell the government that they are not the Dream Operators, we are.  Deal with it.

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