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Your weekly update: The budget, Gregg and Smith County Days, TSA, and the Sonogram Bill
Mar 06, 2011 @ 10:53:27
Tags: Border and Intergovernmental Affairs, Budget, committee, Constituents, Constitution, Rainy Day Fund, Republican Women, Sonogram Bill, Texas Constitution, TFRW, TSA, Urban Affairs
Domestic Terrorism & Tyranny in 2010 & 1835
Oct 02, 2010 @ 06:51:07
Increasingly we are hearing a chorus about the threat of "home-grown terrorists" such as Major Nidal Malik Hasan who is accused of the tragic murders at Fort Hood last year. When whole regions of Arizona are being abandoned by the federal government and there is precious little enforcement of immigration laws, how can we not expect terrorists to arise within the U.S.? But "terrorists" are not the only ones causing terror among us. In Austin last Monday a student fired several shots into the air in a plaza on the UT campus and then killed himself. What are we to do in light of such aggression right here in our own U.S.A? Civil government’s first responsibility is to protect life, but it is not the only entity with that responsibility. It is a God-given individual right and responsibility inherent in our human nature to defend ourselves, our families and our property (Neh. 4:13-14).
There is another domestic threat that more and more people are considering - home-grown tyrants who infringe upon the individual right of self-defense. For example, brave and self-less American soldiers, like Wayne Irelan, after risking their all for our liberty are being denied the right to protect themselves and their families with a firearm. Thankfully, legislation has been introduced to correct this travesty, but it has yet to be passed. How did such outrageous application of a "law" come about? How did we come to pre-dominantly rely upon the police or the army to protect us? I fear it is because we have abdicated many of our individual responsibilities to civil government. We have allowed authorities at all levels to disarm us or at least limit the carrying of some means of self-defense (of course all "for our good"). Times have changed. America’s founding fathers believed in an armed citizenry.1 And the idea of disarmament was not tolerated by our Texas forefathers who fought both domestic Indian terrorists and domestic Mexican tyrants.
175 years ago the early settlers of Texas began in earnest defending themselves from domestic tyranny near the city of Gonzales. Santa Anna had repudiated The Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 under which the Texians had come peacefully to settle and raise their families. 100 Mexican dragoons were ordered to take back a cannon that had been given to the colonists in 1831 for their defense against Indian attacks. The citizens of Gonzales, after delaying and requesting help from neighbors, voted not to give up the cannon, and subsequently 140 Texians approached the Mexican camp in the early morning of October 2, 1835 and were fired upon. In response the colonists raised a flag with a cannon in the middle of a white field with the challenge "Come and Take It" written underneath. Afterwards a brief skirmish ensued before the dragoons retreated, not being able to maneuver in the midst of the trees along the river, and being out-gunned by the freedom loving patriots who would not give up one of their means of self-defense.
We again face domestic tyrants who would deny us of our means of self-defense and tread upon our liberties which they are oath-bound to protect under the Texas and U.S. constitutions. It is time that we live under the rule of law - not men who usurp our individual rights. No man or government can rightfully take away a free man or woman’s right to self-defense. But things are backwards. Why should veterans be prevented from being armed in self-defense and in defense of their families? What about teachers and students on the UT campus? Do they not have a right to defend themselves? The Austin police and the UT warning system worked well, but what if the man had not merely fired shots into the air? Let’s face it, part of our problem with domestic criminals or terrorists is that we have home-grown tyrants who would have us solely dependent upon their arms. We must return to an armed citizenry which is not only a threat to tyrants, but also to murderous students such as Peter Odighizuwa, who was immediately stopped by armed students at the Appalachian School of Law in Virginia in 2002 after murdering a dean and professor. The U.S. and Texas governments should not be allowed to limit the individual right to keep and bear arms. Let’s put individuals ahead of government. People are the first and last line of defense - not civil government.
1. Seeking to overcome arguments against ratification of the then proposed U.S. Constitution which did not overtly prohibit a standing army, Noah Webster wrote a pamphlet arguing that despite this possible defect the Constitution should still be ratified for this reason: "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States." (An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal States, 56. New York, 1888). For other sources see The Right To Keep and Bear Arms Report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the United States Senate (1982).
Tags: Arizona, armed students, Battle of Gonzales, Come And Take It, constitution, domestic tyranny, flag, God-given rights, Gonzales, home-grown terrorists, home-grown tyrants, individual right to keep and bear arms, Malik Hasan, Nehemiah 4:13-14, Second Amendment, self-defense, students, terrorists, Texians, tyranny, tyrants, UT student, veterans, Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, Wayne Irelan
State or Federal? (Part 2)
Sep 28, 2010 @ 11:01:57
"The powers not delegated
to the United States
by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the States,
to the States respectively,
or to the people."
What happens if Texas does not preserve local self-government? What happens if the U.S. exercises "the powers not delegated" to it by the Constitution? What if Texas gives up local self-government either voluntarily or otherwise? What if the U.S. government overreaches into the affairs of the States and individuals? Is it of any consequence? Article 1, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution indicates that it is of grave consequence: "the maintenance of our free institutions and the perpetuity of the Union depend upon the preservation of the right of local self-government, unimpaired to all the States."
"Houston, we’ve had a problem." In fact, we’ve had a dual problem: abdication or neglect of self-government by States and usurpation of "the powers not delegated" by the United States. Both acting in tandem make for a perfect storm endangering our freedom and national union. I am passionate about the Tenth Amendment because it is the cornerstone of our federal republic. However, if we ignore it, and fail to line up the other stones in our constitutional edifice with it, the building might eventually collapse. But this does not need to happen.
If your neighbor begins to build a greenhouse on your property, the neighborly thing to do is to go talk to your neighbor and point out the problem. If necessary, you may need to uncover boundary monuments and get out a survey instrument to demonstrate to your neighbor where the boundary line is and how he is encroaching upon your property. This usually solves the problem (if it is done in a timely manner).
The first point of this illustration is that there is dual responsibility: one must not encroach and the other must be diligent to identify and defend against encroachments. The second point is that vigilance and timely defense is necessary to avoid costly disputes. Even reasonable neighbors are very slow to admit and correct an encroachment if it is left uncontested for years. Unfortunately, the States for a long time have acquiesced to encroachments of their rights or the rights of their people - often because an unconstitutional federal action appeared to be beneficial.
If Texans are to be free, and our union preserved, Texas officeholders must wisely, peacefully, but immediately endeavor to restore our state’s self-government which is now impaired by the federal government’s use of "powers not delegated to the United States."
Tags: 10th Amendment, Constitution, Federalism, Individual Rights, Nullification, Real ID, States Rights, Tenth Amendment, Usurpation
State or Federal? (Part 1)
Aug 19, 2010 @ 04:34:17
The powers not delegated
to the United States
by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the States,
to the States respectively,
or to the people."
My passion for the Tenth Amendment is not new. It first arose when I was a mayor seeing and feeling the extensive burdens placed on city government and local schools by a multitude of unconstitutional federal mandates. Through the course of my campaign to represent Texas House District 7, that passion has not waned. I have made it clear that the Tenth Amendment is not merely a federal issue, but an issue of great consequence for state lawmakers who, among other state officials, are responsible to defend Texas sovereignty and independence.
The U.S. government has grown so large and so powerful and so intrusive, that the States are in very real danger of losing their self-determination and sovereignty. One of the reasons for this growth is the misconception that the federal government itself is the final interpreter or sole arbiter of whether it has exercised "the powers not delegated" to it by the Constitution. It is commonly believed the U.S. Supreme Court has the final say whether the U.S. has exceeded its constitutional bounds or not. If this is the case, we find ourselves in a situation akin to Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, where the creature cannot be checked and can overcome its own creator. As parties to the compact that created and empowered the U.S. government, States have legal standing to check the federal government’s use of powers that the States did not delegate.
Inaction and refusal to comply with an unconstitutional federal mandate is the primary tool States can employ. An example of this peaceful, efficient and effective resistance to federal meddling is the response to The Real ID Act 2005, which requires States to implement certain driver’s license and identification card standards and sharing of the same with other States. Most States simply have done nothing or passed resolutions opposing it. They neither have funded the program nor implemented it.
The Tenth Amendment is very important for state officials to understand because it authoritatively explains that: (1) the States and the people have kept all powers which they did not specifically delegate or specifically give up to form the union; and (2) the United States authority is limited, defined, and delegated by the States. The first reminds us that Texas is independent and sovereign and has the wherewithal to take care of itself. The second reminds us that the U.S. is not an unlimited and all-powerful master, but a steward charged by the States with certain duties.
The original Constitution was quickly amended with a "Bill of Rights" (the first ten amendments), because there was considerable concern that the original Constitution might later be misconstrued or misunderstood. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments, in particular, do not add or subtract anything. They are simply authoritative declarations which, like a monument, mark a boundary for future generations, and like a fence, keep some things on and some things off your property.
If Texas is to remain sovereign and independent, Texas officeholders must wisely, peacefully, but immediately endeavor to take care of the State’s own affairs and its people and to defend the State and its people against the federal government’s use of "powers not delegated to the United States."