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Madison, Jefferson Vs. Obama, Reid, Pelosi on Obamacare Exemptions

William F. Jasper
The New American
November 16, 2013

Thomas Jefferson believed that “legislators ought not to stand above the law they create but ought generally to be bound by it as are ordinary persons.” So noted the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1972 decision in Gravel v. United States.

The ideas of liberty will stand forever.

The ideas of liberty will stand forever.

James Madison expounded on this principle in The Federalist, No. 57, explaining that Congress “can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.”

It is a principle based on plain fairness and common sense. And it is going to play a key role in the ongoing battle over ObamaCare.

Every member of Congress who voted for the deceptively named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, or ObamaCare) knows that he is facing potential political extinction in the November 2014 elections because of that vote. That means the entire lineup of Democrats in the House and Senate, with the exception of Reps. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.).

Many Democrats are desperate and are openly, vocally in revolt against the Obama White House and their party leadership. Zeke J. Miller at Time.com noted on November 14:

President Barack Obama is facing one of the toughest tests of his political life: a Democratic revolt that threatens to do irreparable harm to his signature legislative achievement.

There is plenty in the mammoth ObamaCare program to anger everyone. But perhaps one of the most troublesome issues that will plague congressional Democrats in the coming election is the matter of the controversial exemptions to ObamaCare that the Washington ruling class arranged for themselves. ObamaCare cheerleaders vehemently insist that it is wrong to call the special privileges they are receiving “exemptions.” Technically they may be correct, but substantively they are wrong. The ACA, thanks to constitutionalist and Tea Party Republican opposition, does indeed require that members of Congress and their staffs purchase healthcare insurance provided under ObamaCare. However, as we have reported in previous articles (here and here), Democrat and Republican leaders later connived with President Obama to have the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) come up with an illegal ruling that allows members of Congress and their staffs to keep the luxurious Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) “Rolls Royce” subsidy that pays for 75 percent of their premium costs. This amounts to $5,000 in subsidy for an individual plan and $11,000 for a family plan.

Members of Congress insisted that Capitol Hill would be hit with a terrible “brain drain,” as staff members would leave if they had to pay for their own health care without these subsidies. The same congressional whiners making these complaints have not shown the same concern for the tens of millions of Americans they have pushed into the same situation with the ACA. The ordinary citizen facing ObamaCare sticker shock cannot simply vote himself a fat subsidy.

This is not the first time, of course, that Congress has exempted itself from laws it imposes on the rest of us, or provided itself with special privileges. A continuing sore point with many taxpayers is the cushy pension system that Congress has bestowed on its members, in addition to the many other perks they have voted for themselves. Members of Congress become fully vested in the retirement system after only five years of “service” and receive payouts far in excess of what their constituents receive in the private sector. Only two members of Congress, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.), have steadfastly stood on principle and refused to participate in the system, claiming that it is inappropriate and immoral to saddle taxpayers with the bill for this extravagant pension plan for privileged politicians.

A “Vigilant and Manly Spirit” — Madison

Congressmen Paul and Coble would, no doubt, merit the approbation of James Madison for their stands on this issue. Madison, frequently referred to as the “father” of the U.S. Constitution, wrote in The Federalist, No. 57:

I will add, as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.

“Without which every government degenerates into tyranny.” That’s pretty strong. And who will argue with Madison on that point? Almost every day that passes brings new evidence that federal bureaucrats and federal politicians are becoming more and more a class of privilege and oppression, like the nomenklatura, the small, Communist Party elite that ruled the old Soviet Union and other communist states.

Madison continued in The Federalist:

If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America — a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.

If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty.

This article was posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

The Age of Authoritarianism: Government of the Politicians, by the Military, for the Corporations

by John W. Whitehead

Recently by John W. Whitehead: On Target Pressure Points: Militarized Police

“[F]orce alone cannot make us safe. We cannot use force everywhere that a radical ideology takes root; and in the absence of a strategy that reduces the well-spring of extremism, a perpetual war – through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments – will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways.” ~ Barack Obama, May 23, 2013

President Obama’s declaration that “America is at a crossroads” in the fight against terror, a fight that is increasingly turning inwards, setting its sights on homegrown extremists, should give every American pause.

We have indeed reached a crossroads. History may show that from this point forward, we will have left behind any semblance of constitutional government and entered into a militaristic state where all citizens are suspects and security trumps freedom. Certainly, this is a time when government officials operate off their own inscrutable, self-serving playbook with little in the way of checks and balances, while American citizens are subjected to all manner of indignities and violations with little hope of defending themselves. We have moved beyond the era of representative government and entered a new age, let’s call it the age of authoritarianism.

Even with its constantly shifting terrain, this topsy-turvy travesty of law and government has become America’s new normal. Don’t believe me? Let me take you on a brief guided tour, but prepare yourself: the landscape is particularly disheartening to anyone who remembers what America used to be.

The Executive Branch: Whether it’s the Obama administration’s crackdown on whistleblowers, the systematic surveillance of journalists and regular citizens, the continued operation of Guantanamo Bay, or the occupation of Afghanistan, Barack Obama has surpassed his predecessors in terms of his abuse of the Constitution and the rule of law. Despite his prior stint as a professor of constitutional law, President Obama, like many of his predecessors, has routinely disregarded the Constitution when it has suited his purposes, operating largely above the law and behind a veil of secrecy and specious legal justifications.

Drone Strikes on American Citizens: For almost two years, the United States government has been targeting American citizens abroad for death by drone, with at least four American citizens assassinated by drones outside the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. These assassinations of individuals entitled to the full protection of the Constitution have been carried out without any due process whatsoever – no charges detailing their alleged wrongdoings were brought before them, no trial was conducted to determine their guilt or innocence, and no convictions of guilt were found. Obama has also gone to great lengths to give the impression that the drone assassination program is a carefully controlled, highly selective process, within the bounds of the rule of law. Yet when hundreds of individuals, innocent women and children among them, are being killed as a result of these drone strikes, clearly the process is far from controlled or selective. These “signature strikes,” which involve targeting groups of unknown men who resemble al-Qaeda members, are the equivalent of bombing a fraternity house because there are young men inside who may be up to no good. It is a practice that is inhumane, immoral and illegal, and no amount of legal parsing or political whitewashing will remove this particular stain.

Expanding the War on Terror: Although Obama insists he has no intention of continuing the wars in which the United States is embroiled, administration officials are sending an altogether different message – namely, that America’s engagement in the ongoing war on terror spans the entire globe. At a recent congressional hearing, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations, cited the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) law as justification for the administration’s ability to send American troops to places such as Yemen and the Congo without first seeking congressional authorization. Sheehan also asserted that the United States conflict with al-Qaeda will last for another ten or twenty years. As Senator Angus King (I-Maine) remarked to Sheehan: “You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today… I don’t disagree that we need to fight terrorism. But we need to do it in a constitutionally sound way.”

Law Enforcement: By and large the term “law enforcement” encompasses all agents within a militarized police state, including the military, the police, and the various agencies such as the Secret Service, FBI, CIA, NSA, etc. Having been given the green light to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts, America’s law enforcement officials, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace, are part of an elite ruling class dependent on keeping the masses corralled, under control, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens.

The Legislative Branch: It is not overstating matters to say that Congress may well be the most self-serving, semi-corrupt institution in America. Abuses of office run the gamut from elected representatives neglecting their constituencies to engaging in self-serving practices, including the misuse of eminent domain, earmarking hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracting in return for personal gain and campaign contributions, having inappropriate ties to lobbyist groups and incorrectly or incompletely disclosing financial information. Pork barrel spending, hastily passed legislation, partisan bickering, a skewed work ethic, graft and moral turpitude have all contributed to the public’s increasing dissatisfaction with congressional leadership. Thus, it is little wonder that a recent Gallup poll shows Congress with a 79 percent disapproval rating.

The Judicial Branch: The Supreme Court was intended to be an institution established to intervene and protect the people against the government and its agents when they overstep their bounds. Yet through their deference to police power, preference for security over freedom, and evisceration of our most basic rights for the sake of order and expediency, the justices of the United States Supreme Court have become the architects of the American police state in which we now live. As a result, sound judgment and justice have largely taken a back seat to legalism, statism and elitism, while preserving the rights of the people has been deprioritized and made to play second fiddle to both governmental and corporate interests.

A Suspect Society: Due in large part to rapid advances in technology and a heightened surveillance culture, the burden of proof has been shifted so that the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty has been usurped by a new norm in which all citizens are suspects. This is exemplified by police practices of stopping and frisking people who are merely walking down the street and where there is no evidence of wrongdoing. Making matters worse are Terrorism Liaison Officers (firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees) who have been trained to spy on their fellow citizens and report “suspicious activity,” which includes taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs and buying items in bulk. TLOs report back to “fusion centers,” which are a driving force behind the government’s quest to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on American citizens.

We the People: Essentially, there are four camps of thought among the citizenry when it comes to holding the government accountable. Which camp you fall into says a lot about your view of government – or, at least, your view of whichever administration happens to be in power at the time, in this case it being the Obama administration. In the first camp are those who trust the government to do the right thing, despite the government’s repeated failures in this department. In the second camp are those who not only don’t trust the government but think the government is out to get them. In the third camp are those who see government neither as an angel nor a devil, but merely as an entity that needs to be controlled, or as Thomas Jefferson phrased it, bound “down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution.” Then there’s the fourth camp, comprised of individuals who pay little to no attention to the workings of government, so much so that they barely vote, let alone know who’s in office. Easily entertained, easily distracted, easily led, these are the ones who make the government’s job far easier than it should be.

I haven’t even touched on the corporate state, the military industrial complex, SWAT team raids, invasive surveillance technology, zero tolerance policies in the schools, overcriminalization, or privatized prisons, to name just a few, but what I have touched on should be enough to show that the landscape of our freedoms has already changed dramatically from what it once was and will no doubt continue to deteriorate, unless Americans can find a way to wrest back control of their government and reclaim their freedoms.

May 25, 2013

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead [send him mail] is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He is the author of The Change Manifesto (Sourcebooks).

Copyright © 2013 The Rutherford Institute

The Eventual Terrorist

 I believe in the Constitution of the United States. I believe in the Bill of Rights. I believe in God and in the perfect beauty of Liberty and Freedom. I believe that our Founding Fathers were Great Men, Heroes to all Free Spirits and Icons to be emulated. I believe that We The People have a Duty to Stand Up and Speak Out in order to promote Real political change. I believe that people are individuals and are entitled to their own opinions. I believe in our God given Natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

My belief in the above is why the Department of Homeland Security has labeled me a Suspected Terrorist, and once Uncle Sam is ready to start their Civil War…I and anyone who agrees with me, will become a full-blown Terrorist…by their definition. Gun Owners? Terrorists. Question Authority? Terrorist. Attend a March, Rally, or other public gathering that could be considered a “protest?” Terrorist. Do you feel that the nation is changing into something unrecognizable? Terrorist. Do you believe in Liberty, Freedom, or some other Dangerous Ideology? Terrorist.

What about the new stories that include the following rhetoric? “NRA and Gun Owners are the new KKK.” “Turn in your guns white people, the brown folk aren’t coming for you.” “Gun Owners are Racists.” “Those who do not support Obamacare are Racists.” “Gun Owners are responsible for the Sandy Hook and Aurora shootings.”

There is a very defined narrative being distributed from the State-run Mainstream Media and other mouthpieces of political power. That narrative is that “If you’re not one of us, then you are one of THEM…a homicidal hate-filled Terrorist…and we now have extra-judicial strategies that have been specifically designed for Terrorists, a.k.a. The American People.

The NDAA 2011 designates the US Homeland as a battlefield and allows the Federal Government to arrest and detain US Citizens indefinitely without charge. American Citizens can also be executed without trial or warning, based solely upon “secret evidence” and an unelected bureaucrat’s decision. NDAA 2012 strengthened the power of NDAA 2011 and the “Secret Police” through congressional approval, thus legitimizing these murderous and tyrannical powers.

Have you noticed the US Versus THEM attitude of government and Law Enforcement? You are either one of US or you are one of THEM. This is an extremely dangerous attitude to have in government…because our “Government” is supposed to be a Government OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE…not just “Us” or “Them” or “Whites” or “Blacks”…our government is SUPPOSED to be Of, By, and For ALL OF THE PEOPLE.

I Say You Are But What Am I?

There was a study performed on students, where a class of Average Students were split into two groups. The first group was told that they were Gifted and then treated like Gifted Students with the expectations one would expect from Gifted Students. The second group was told that they were “Slow”, treated like Learning Disability Students, with the expectations one would expect from “Slow” kids. At the end of the year the two groups were reunited and researchers discovered that the “Gifted Students” had actually become Gifted Students, while the “Slow Students” had actually become Learning Disabled. The point is this: People become what they are told…we adapt and conform to our environment. We become what we are expected to be…

What the HELL do you think will happen when the Federal government continuously demonizes Patriots, Gun Owners, and Veterans as TERRORISTS? How does a man respond when told by Mainstream Society that everything he loves and believes in is a Terrorist Ideology? Weak-willed individuals may crumble, give up their Integrity, and conform. Most men, REAL MEN, take offense, refuse to sacrifice their Honor and Integrity, and will BECOME that which they are being accused of.

If you’re going to do the Time, you may as well do the Crime…

I fully embrace the mantle of Terrorist that Uncle Sam has bestowed upon me. I take it as a BADGE OF HONOR that I, solely through my philosophies and morality, cause them to FEAR ME to such a fantastic degree that I must be categorized as a “Terrorist” and “handled” like a Terrorist. The TRUTH of Liberty and Freedom, which I try to represent Every Day, is like a virus to them and their system. The Flame of Liberty burns so Bright and its flame so Fierce, that in order for Them to continue to exist, it must be extinguished at all costs…even if it requires a forcible reduction of 60% of the Nation’s population…a Great Culling of the American People.

If the fear that the Tyrant has for We The People is so great that the solution is to “handle” us in an all-out civil war, then exactly how much more Monstrous is the world they want to bring about?

Be Careful What You Wish For…

Just like the students in the research project, people adapt to their environment. If the pressure being exerted by government continues as is, the Department of Homeland Security will have actually have REAL Terrorists to deal with. If I, Prometheus Unchained, an IT Professional, an Educator, a successful entrepreneur, an amateur writer/painter/sculptor/drummer, a Hippie, and a Philosopher…If I am willing to DIE before I submit to a Dictator, and Kill to Defend my Integrity and faith in Liberty…then how many other “Dangerous Terrorists” are there sitting at home, RIGHT NOW, feeling the same way and harboring the same “Evil Intent?”

Uncle Sam is trying to keep us afraid of Terrorism while at the same time castigating Moral and Law-abiding Citizens as Terrorists. Americans are a Proud and Stubborn people who do not submit easily to Dictators nor trade their souls lightly. When boxed into a corner, We The People ALWAYS fight like a trapped tiger, as history has repeatedly shown. Americans NEVER meekly hand over their Lives, Liberty, or Sovereignty to Goose-stepping Authoritarian Scum. Rather, we kill them out of necessity, like the vermin that they are, and make an example for any future Tyrant to consider.

In a article on Washington’s Blog, Glen Greenwald wrote:

Documents just obtained from the FBI by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund reveal, as the New York Times put it, that “the [FBI] used counterterrorism agents to investigate the Occupy Wall Street movement, including its communications and planning” and in general show “how deeply involved federal law-enforcement authorities were in monitoring the activities of the movement.” The heavily redacted documents, which can be read here, reveal numerous instances of the FBI collaborating with local police forces and private corporations to monitor and anticipate the acts of the protest movement.

As obviously disturbing as it is, none of this should be surprising. Virtually every seized power justified over the last decade in the name of “terrorism” has been applied to a wide range of domestic dissent. The most significant civil liberties trend of the last decade, in my view, is the importation of War on Terror tactics onto US soil, applied to US citizens – from the sprawling Surveillance State and powers of indefinite detention to the para-militarization of domestic police forces and the rapidly emerging fleet of drones now being deployed in countless ways. As I’ve argued previously, the true purpose of this endless expansion of state power in the name of “terrorism” is control over anticipated domestic protest and unrest.

It should be anything but surprising that the FBI – drowning in counter-terrorism money, power and other resources – will apply the term “terrorism” to any group it dislikes and wants to control and suppress (thus ushering in all of the powers institutionalized against “terrorists”). Those who supported (or acquiesced to) this expansion of unaccountable government power because they assumed it would only be used against Those Muslims not only embraced a morally warped premise (I care about injustices only if they directly affect me), but also a factually false one, since abuses of power always – always – expand beyond their original application.

Meet The New Face of Terror

I am the face of Terror. You are the face of Terror. Patriotic Americans, We The People, American Citizens who recognize the oppression that we live under EVERY DAY are now Terrorists to these illegitimate Fascist bastards…and I am oddly comfortable with that. Because we SHOULD be FEARED by these despicable sub-human Monsters. If some street-punk is stupid enough to try to rob and kill me, then he SHOULD be AFRAID of Me because of how far I am willing to go protect myself and my constitutionally protected Rights and Private Property. This is no different for the Dictator Obama, as “The Anointed one” SHOULD tremble in DRED as to just how far We The People are willing to go to protect ourselves and our constitutionally protected Rights and Private Property.

The fact that our Fascist government, and it has become a Fascist Government as Fascism is a Corporatist/Socialist dictatorship, is purposefully destroying the American People through dependency, purposefully destroying our economy via a designed economic collapse, purposefully BRAINWASHING the American public to believe in their Government Sanctioned LIES, purposefully poisoning its own citizens, and purposefully destroying any semblance of Health-care in America… This are crimes of TREASON and should be sufficient as blatant violations of our Constitution and American Principles to GET FURIOUS and ARMED, and DEMAND that these Criminal Scum be exiled from Public Office, and Prosecuted, else We The People are Duty-bound to begin taking back OUR so-called “hallowed halls” of power.

Enough is Enough! These traitorous bastards pay no heed to the voice of their constituents. These Royal Scum never consider the good of the country over their own selfish machinations. These black-hearted demons flaunt the fact that OUR Laws do not apply to THEM…The Chosen Ones…all the while criminalizing innocuous activities and making examples of We The People.

If this nation truly desires an army of Terrorists in every Town in every County in every State…then let the Dictator Obama continue to rape and murder the Constitution. Let the usurpers of our great nation continue to Bleed us dry and Poison our food supply. Let the bastards reign like the Kings they believe themselves to be. All you have to do is nothing…just keep living your life on Facebook and consuming Reality TV until your brain rots. Continue to bend over and take it rough like the prisoner you Truly are.

Or…Stand UP, Speak OUT, and Talk HARD…while that “privilege” still exists.

Prometheus Unchained
03/04/2013

prometheus@prometheusunchained.us
http://prometheusunchained.us
https://prometheusunchainedus.wordpress.com

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