Friday, January 9, 2009

Post Check* On Liberty - The US Senate


The US Senate is arguably the strongest governmental entity in the world
designed to preserve and protect the liberty and freedoms that have been the
hallmarks responsible for the most envied society in the history of the
world, the United States of America.

In addition to the power to create laws and appropriate money like the US
House of Representatives, the Senate alone has the power to approve Treaties
and to determine who sits on the US Supreme Court. Think about the
far-ranging impacts of these two powers. Treaties become "the law of the
land" thereby overruling the Constitution. Think about the Kyoto Protocols,
UN "Conventions" that the Courts have held are "treaties" in such things as
"endangered species" and gun control and education and myriad other matters.
Consider Supreme Court appointments that dismiss our "contract" with
government (the US Constitution) vis a vis the boundaries and role of
government to protect our freedoms and liberties as a "living document not
to be taken literally.

In short, the monumental collapse of the US Senate in recent years is
responsible for the slide back into the sort of despicable central rule by a
few that The Founding Fathers sought to replace with The Declaration of
Independence and US Constitution after so many sacrificed their lives and
fortunes to drive tyranny from our shores. It was precisely this guarantee
of rights and freedom that nurtured our economic health and lured millions
to leave the homelands where their ancestors had lived for generations and
centuries to start a new life they could only imagine in their dreams.

There are two Senators from each State. This is because they were intended
to represent the interests of THEIR State as they exercised their power and
duties in the national government. Thus little Rhode Island and gargantuan
California are equal in this forum: why? The reason was that the US Senate
was intended to be THE bastion to protect States Rights from Federal
usurpation. How quaint this sounds in the age of Endangered Species
Act-based taking of private property and Federal rules on "Puppy Protection"
and Wilderness and forced accommodation of wolves and bears that kill
people, pets, stock, and rural economies. As the Senate has abrogated this
defense of States Rights, their chief purpose, the rights of communities to
regulate their own standards and lifestyles have steadily diminished.

State Constitutional responsibilities for everything but National Defense
and Interstate Commerce were the cornerstone of American success. Local and
State elected officials were answerable to local voters. For instance a
local or State official that did not respect the willingness of local
communities to use privately-owned animals as they wished (remember how New
Mexico Governor Richardson signed a bill to ban cockfights, a popular and
historic tradition in that State, just before he announced his intention to
run for President?) was at least moderately answerable to the electorate.
No such accountability exists in the US Senate today. New England Senators
garner New England votes from unaffected voters by forcing wolves into Idaho
or banning logging in Oregon or eliminating grazing allotments in Arizona.
Senators from other States maintain their careers by "bringing home the
bacon" otherwise thought of as money from other taxpayers living elsewhere.
As this reelection Ponzi scheme has grown, Americans have come to demean
States Rights' as archaic relics of a past that impedes "progress". One
need look no further than the calls to eliminate the Electoral College
process (election of Presidents by STATES in these United States of
America) for electing Presidents as the importance of local control of local
community life becomes a dimming star in an assumedly distant past.

In order to preserve our individual rights and the right of our state and
local governments to provide for our freedoms and traditions, the US
Constitution provided that the Senate "shall be composed of two Senators
other words, US Senators were appointed by State Legislatures and not by a
popular vote. Why was this? It was because regardless of our opinion of
State legislatures (think Illinois or New Jersey, etc.), such legislatures
are the political barometer of that State's interests at that time. Their
appointment or reappointment of a US Senator depended not on how much money
the Senator could get from national and international groups or how much he
or she shafted the bumpkins of far away States; their service as US Senator
depended on how well they protected the rights of their State as they
supported the National Defense and Interstate Commerce of the United States
of America.

The US Constitution was amended on 8 April 1913 to "two Senators from each
State, elected by the people thereof". Curiously, this was just two months
after the US Constitution was amended to give the Congress the "power to lay
and collect taxes on incomes". At first blush the popular election of
Senators seemed "democratic" and "good"; sadly this has proven to not be the
case. When US Senators are popularly elected, thanks to their enormous
power, they become political versions of the aristocracies of old. They are
showered with money and publicity from powerful interests as they exercise
their power in ways that are unseen by voters. They shrug and blame "the
law" or others for regulations authorized and enforced based on legislation
they supported on behalf of their benefactors. Consider the growing areas
of Federal seizure of State jurisdictions in recent years from the rights of
parents and taking of property to life issues enacted by activist Supreme
Court judges approved by Senators that give us the illusion of getting other
things with the "taxes" they "lay and collect" on "incomes" (assumedly of

A simple look at the US Senate today only confirms the preceding scenario
and attests to the dire difficulty of achieving needed reforms.

As I write this, the papers are full of three US Senate scandals that say

- The Illinois Governor has just appointed a replacement US Senator
into the vacant and reputedly "black" Senator seat vacated by
President-elect Obama. The Illinois Legislature refuses to call for an
election due to fear of election of someone from another party and "black"
legislators are implying that failure to seat the "black" replacement into
the "black" seat may evoke national protests (i.e. riots). The similarities
here to Bosnia (a "Croat" seat or a "Serb" seat or a "Moslem" seat?) should
send chills down every American's spine.

- Minnesota's Senator election as I write this on New Years Eve is
being recounted under the auspices of a highly partisan official that used
to work as a "community organizer" for ACORN. The original vote result has
been twisted and distorted such that everyone simply shakes their head at
the reversals and chicanery. Beliefs by more and more people that elections
are rigged leads to the concept of governments like Zimbabwe or Russia; such
beliefs are poison for a Republic like ours.

- When Mrs. Clinton sought political office she moved to New York (a
place she never lived) and ran for and won the US Senate seat. Now with her
appointment to be Secretary of State the seat is spoken of as a "woman's"
seat. Thus we have the spectacle of yet another female (Mrs. Kennedy
Schlossberg) with nothing to recommend her as a replacement except her name
(Kennedy) and the powerful support of her uncle Senator Kennedy of
Massachusetts. These two inexperienced females as Senators are worthy of
note as they bracket before and after the pillorying of another female
(Governor Palin) with an extensive resume of Mayoral and Governor service.
While the Governor was ridiculed and belittled and the two other ladies were
lauded; one is reminded of French Aristocrats and the French King's jealousy
and destruction of Joan of Arc, another peasant that dared to do what those
"who know Washington" or those "from the right family" would "handle

There are more recent Senate scandals that have raised the stench of the
current Senate to record levels:

- Three of the four contenders for President and Vice President were
serving US Senators. One of them (Senator Obama) ridiculed rural people as
"clinging to guns and religion". Another (Senator McCain) sponsored a law
(McCain Feingold) that purportedly "controlled" campaign money but in
reality led to the biggest cash inflow into Presidential campaigns with the
least available information about where it all came from in history.
Additionally, this law exempted "Native" Americans (more shades of Bosnian
"classifications" and Rwandan categories like Hutus and Tutsis) so that the
Senators could get "casino lobbying money" while further marginalizing
unrecognized (by government classification) rural Americans with problems
involving "Native" Americans. The third Senator (Biden) was forced to drop
out of the race for President last time due to plagiarism and now is
expected to be succeeded in the US Senate by his son. These are not the
best America has to offer.

- Senator Schumer leads the Senate information campaign about the
origins of the housing market collapse and what must be done to fix it.
Yet, his daughter holds a high position in the sham "Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac"
(are they government or private or both???) mortgage debacle. Setting aside
questions of hiring policies, how can the Senator be believed if his own
child is involved in the scandal?

- Senator Stevens is convicted of failing to declare favors and
gratuities. He loses his simultaneous reelection campaign. He like Schumer
and Biden and Kennedy and others provided his offspring with profitable
government employment when his daughter went to work with the US Fish and
Wildlife Service at a top position right off the street. Such hires, and
there are more than can be mentioned here are jokingly called "gifts that
keep on giving" by cynical government employees that used to jump through
many hoops for such jobs.

- Senator Webb and an Assistant land at Reagan Airport and a half
hour later put their bags on a Senate Office Building X-Ray machine. Inside
the bag is a loaded 9mm plus a loaded clip all registered to the good
Senator. It is a felony to transport or possess such a gun in the District
of Columbia that was necessarily traversed from the airport to the Capitol.
Congressional regulations forbid such guns FOR EVERYONE while in the US
Capitol or Congressional Office Buildings. Weeks later the Capitol Police
quietly announce that there were no charges "due to lack of evidence" (it is
lucky they weren't in charge of the Nuremberg Trials). The rabidly anti-gun
District of Columbia government was likewise curiously silent since
offending a US Senator may be harmful to future funding. How can any of us
hope for or expect the repeal or amendment of bad laws when such laws do not
apply to Senators. One is reminded of that aristocratic right in Scotland
in the Middle Ages where Lords had the right to brides on their wedding
night: the movie Braveheart depicts where such "special rights" have led in
the past.

- Senator Clinton is nominated to become Secretary of State and the
law forbidding her serving in such office if she has voted for a pay
increase is simply changed to accommodate her. Her husband is making
millions and millions from Middle Eastern despots inimical to American
interests and this is not considered an impediment to the Senators that
expect to confirm her.

Put it all together and what have you got? You've got Senators that serve
thirty and forty years: Senators that assure Senate careers and high
government jobs for their offspring: laws that are changed for their own
convenience or ignored to avoid complaints from people like gun owners that
would be imprisoned and lose their right to vote or hunt for things that don't
apply to their "betters". You've got all this while the structure of our
Constitutional government and the increasingly government-controlled economy
leads us into the discredited aristocratic model of bygone days.

Much the same is going on in the House of Representatives. It has now been
years since a Louisiana Congressman was in the news carrying suitcases (full
of?) out of his flooded New Orleans home and later was found to have cash
from an FBI sting in Tupperware in his freezer. Likewise the current House
spokesman for the economic collapse used to fix parking tickets for a
homosexual prostitute that he lived with on Capitol Hill. We can and must
do better.

*A Post Check refers to a supervisor's duty to check security posts in
either a civilian building or a military post or outpost at least once per
"watch" (often an 8-hour shift). The supervisor usually signs the log and
inspects the post and sentry. Under certain circumstances, severe
punishment can result from sleeping or not remaining alert. Only someone
that has stood such watches can really appreciate the Psalm that goes "My
heart yearns for you like a sentry yearns for the dawn". Post Checks are
important and can result in catastrophe if not carefully performed. This
article is a Post Check on the US Senate by a citizen.

Think of our American freedoms, rights and traditions as being protected by
an impregnable wall. That wall is our Constitution. There are various
sentry posts on that wall to guard against those that would take away our
rights and indeed our very lives. Presidents, Senators, Representatives,
Judges, Military leaders, Governors all have important roles to play. The
Senators have an especially important role as discussed above. We might
think of them as guarding a key gate. I suggest that our mid-watch Post
Check of the US Senate reveals a vacant post with a specter in the shadows
of an ancient aristocrat with a powdered wig, fancy clothes, a hanky in one
hand and a snuff box in the other. Like Dickens' Christmas Ghosts, the
current aristocrat-wannabees in the US Senate are little more than scary
illusions that are only good for convincing us of the need for reform.

Today's US Senate is proof that all power corrupts and absolute power
corrupts absolutely.

Jim Beers

31 December 2008

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