Treatise on
Twelve Lights

To Restore America the Beautiful Under
God and the Written Constitution

 

 

 

 

Struble’s remarks to accompany the third chapter [13  minutes]
Click Here

 

Audio only!  Sound, not video_

 

 

 Chapter Three_

Commentaries on Key Reforms:

 Democratize Congress; Impede Presidential Wars; Defend U.S. Sovereignty;
Secure Environmental Protections; Bolster Workers; Guard Life, Liberty,
Property and Morality; Reconcile Church and State; Check Judicial
Usurpation and Reassert the Written Constitution.

 

 

 

══ INTERACTIVE CONTENTS ══

 

POLITICAL [1]

Rotation in Office

Amending by Adjudicating:  Article V

Declaration of War

 

ECONOMIC

Unemployment

Defending the Physical Environment

Defending Domiciliary Security

Property Rights and Domiciliary Defense

 

SOCIAL

Liberty vs. License

The Importance of Culture

Rebuilding the Levees

Re-illuminating the Darkness

Conclusion

 

 

Chapter Three_

Commentaries on Key Reforms:

 Democratize Congress; Impede Presidential Wars; Defend U.S. Sovereignty;
Secure Environmental Protections; Bolster Workers; Guard Life, Liberty,
Property and Morality; Reconcile Church and State; Check Judicial
Usurpation and Reassert the Written Constitution.

 

 

As our case is new, so we must think anew,
and act anew.  We must disenthrall ourselves,
and then we shall save our country.
Abraham Lincoln, December 1862

Keep your eyes on the stars, and

keep your feet on the ground."

Theodore Roosevelt,
graveside inscription

Oh "you shall see how finely she sails," exulted one of the Founding Fathers shortly after the U.S. Constitution was written.  His maritime metaphor calls to mind another constitution of that day — Old Ironsides, the U.S.S. Constitution.  I had the good fortune of going aboard often while the navy was refurbishing the Constitution for the bicentennial of America's Independence.  To watch the renovation of that floating shrine would have been a memorable experience for most any historically minded citizen.  From the writer's standpoint, the repairs were inspiring for their symbolism, representing the need to refit the written Constitution as well.

That document was composed in 1787, ten years before Bostonians built the warship Constitution, and decades before the Industrial Revolution radically transformed America.  The voyage to the constitutional tercentennial in 2087 promises a plenitude of struggles and storms.  What farseeing patriot can expect our grandchildren to celebrate such a crossing if, given the certainty of international and domestic upheaval, we fail to caulk the hull, brace the masts and mend the sails?

Christ Church, Boston (Old North Church) and Paul Revere statue

Christ Church, Boston
 (Old North Church) and Paul Revere statue,

Today the warship Constitution, Old Ironsides, is in Massachusetts peacefully harbored on the Charles River.  A Bostonian standing beneath her spars will recognize on a hill near the opposite shore, the white steeple of the Old North Church.  There on an April night in 1775 a church official, Robert Newman, placed a pair of signal lanterns — two lights telling Paul Revere, a courier of the provisional government, that British troops were crossing the river toward Lexington and Concord.[2]  Thus the American Revolution began with a joint effort by two Americans — Newman the churchman and Revere the statesman — acting on the necessity of teamwork against a common foe. 

Here history gives us a pattern or prototype for the sacred / secular aspect of the aquiline coalition discussed in the previous chapter.

Official precedent for the spiritual / secular combination is plentiful and ranges from the American flag in the sanctuary of many a church, to the Great Seal of the United States, as it appears on the dollar bill and on Federal buildings coast to coast.  The two sides of the Great Seal represent the dual nature of the American union – spiritual and secular.[3] 

 

The Great Seal of the United States, on the one dollar bill

 

The Great Seal of the United States, on the one dollar bill

Other precedents include religious themes incorporated into secular laws, including such landmark laws as the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation.

On the other hand, there is a tendency is some circles to look askance at religious citizens, regard them as out of step with post-modernity, and question their fitness to participate in the democratic process.[4]  Militant secularists are so completely estranged from believers committed to Judeo-Christian values that we can expect them to be dead set against any kind of coalition with religious people.  Groups like "Americans United for Separation of Church and State" will mobilize their formidable resources to destroy our hopes.  Yet as Vaclav Havel observed during the years when his fight against tyranny won him prison sentences rather than freedom for Czechoslovakia:

 

Hope...is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.  The more unpropitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper that hope is.  Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism.  It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.[5] 

 

We hope the kind of cooperation foreshadowed by Revere and Newman not only makes sense, but can actually take place in 21st century society.  Indeed, in the American southwest a state-of-the-art telescope testifies to sacred / secular, or rather religious / scientific cooperation, that is ongoing in the 21st century.  At Mt. Graham, some 90 miles E-NE of Tucson, Arizona, the Vatican Observatory has operated a telescope and astrophysics facility since 1993.  There the Roman Catholic Church shares both observing time and responsibility with the University of Arizona, on a 75% (Vatican), 25% (U. of A.) basis.[6] 

 

Apollo 8 insignia, NASA, 1968

Apollo 8 insignia, NASA, 1968

As a space age archetype for secular / religious cooperation in the public domain, consider Christmas Eve, 1968, when, for the first time in history, astronauts traveled to the moon.  In a broadcast from lunar orbit America's three Apollo astronauts recited the ten opening verses of the Bible, surely a fitting way to convey what no human beings before them had seen and felt.  Clearly there was a mixture of sacred and secular contributions.  The U.S. Government paid, trained, and launched the federal employees – astronauts Borman, Lovell & Anders – who beamed earthward those ten lights from the religious sphere.[7] 

The realm of law is also in need of light.  Indeed keeping in mind the Biblical proverb, "the law is light,"[8] the twelfth chapter sets forth one light, or rather a constellation of twelve lights, as an arch-amendment under which to carry out the imperative of counterrevolution.

Like the Maccabees’ festival of lights (first Hanukkah, 165, B.C.), or Robert Newman's signal lanterns of 1775, or the astronaut's broadcast of 1968, the lights proposed for the 21st century are amenable to Judeo-Christian elements.  Although largely secular in content, three of its twelve sections will have particular appeal to believers and people who value faith and good morals (sections 10-12).

 

            Everything discussed so far, indeed all aspects of human activity, fall into three broad categories — political, economic and cultural.  Between these three categories the boundaries are often indistinct, or they may substantially overlap.  For example the Emancipation Proclamation was not just political, or economic, or cultural in its implications, but all of these.  Nonetheless an analysis can be useful that isolates, say, the cultural impact of emancipation and contrasts it with the political and economic effects.  The political-economic-cultural approach is valuable in studying human institutions, not only because this trichotomy is an intuitive academic tool,[9] but because there is nothing in human affairs that does not fit into at least one of the categories, and usually predominantly into one.  Accordingly the arch-amendment has three preambles that demarcate its political, economic and cultural categories.

 

 

POLITICAL[10]

---Rotation In Office

            In the late 1970s and early 1980s, against what he called a "mandarin Congress," former Senator Howard Baker waged a lonely campaign highly unusual for an influential insider.  Baker wrote that members of the Legislative Branch were in generations past more representative of the electorate, because "they played an integral and active part in the civic and economic and social affairs of their constituencies.  They went to Washington temporarily and they came home."

In order, as he put it, "to restore Congress to its original and intended character as a ‘citizen legislature’ and not an assemblage of elected bureaucrats," the Senator from Tennessee proposed reducing sessions of Congress to about six months per year.  Keeping our representatives at home longer would put them in closer touch with the people they represent, Baker argued.[11]  The constellation law would cut more deeply by far than Baker's proposal, as the aim is numerous citizens serving in Congress rather than a few hundred professional politicians paying more lengthy visits to their constituents.

Instead of shortening sessions of Congress, the amendment would shorten the incumbent's tenure in office.  The U.S. Representative is to serve a total of four years and two months, moving up in stages to the seat in Congress.  After serving two years apprenticeship as ombudsman and in other bureaucratic oversight capacities, the Representative surrenders that office to his successor and proceeds to a two-month transition assemblage of all 435 Representatives.  The Representative then advances to the single two-year term in the House.  His predecessor steps down from the office of Congressman, just as the newly sworn member must yield two years later to his own successor.

Thus the 435 Representatives would graduate from stage one to stage two, and finally to stage three, the congressional level.  After 26 months of experience working with the nuts and bolts of government, the 435 should know the intricacies of the federal government like a cartographer knows his map.  Moreover, their responsiveness to people outside the crowd of lobbyists and special interest groups –– that is their responsiveness to the ordinary constituents who utilize the services of an ombudsman –– should be habitual after a biennium of constituent services.  As they enter the House of Representatives they will bring to government energy, fresh perspectives, and uncalloused outlooks, but without the naiveté or the low seniority status of today's freshman Congressman.

Biennial rotation of membership in the House of Representatives would multiply opportunities for outsiders to serve in that body, while also reorienting the House toward the country as it exists outside Washington, D.C.  And rather than merely reducing Federal politicians to half-time (as per Baker) the rotation will continually infuse new blood and citizen perspective into the most democratic chamber of Congress.  Among the effects will be to sweep away half the power of political oligarchs and their courtiers on Capitol Hill.

In the Senate, however, incumbents will remain eligible for as many reelections as they can win.  This upper house contrast with the lower house is designed to maintain opportunity for the more sagacious and statesmanlike Senators to continue serving in the Legislative Branch.  The continuity, institutional memory and expertise that long service does generate can continue contributing to every act of Congress, as long as we rotate but one house of Congress and forgo term limits for the other. 

This is a significant departure from the term-limit laws of the 1990's, i.e. the congressional term-limit laws in half the states, all of which were nullified by the Supreme Court in U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (1995). 

Of federal reform, naught to show,

Save adjudicated populist surge –

Stayed, struck-down, brought low,

To status quo, dashed hopes, dirge.

At the time, the term limits movement aimed to impose rotation on 100 percent of the membership of Congress.  The constellation law will take a more refined approach, leaving the upper house [19 percent of the congressional membership] open to continuous service.  This system will answer the foremost objection to term limits as formerly proposed –– the argument that the best legislators had no place to go, and their constituencies lost all opportunity to retain lawmakers they trusted.

Under the constellation law, section 1:1, the numerous Congressmen required to retire each term will generate a vast increase in competition for the Senate.  Incumbent Senators are sure to face tough races from waves of retiring Congressmen who would (if all were to compete) outnumber Senators by an average of thirteen to one.  Experienced candidates being more numerous, voters will have many viable options, and so it will take wiser and more meritorious Senators to win reelection.  Surely the quality of the Senate will rise in terms of character and capacity.

Another way this system of rotation in office differs from the versions overturned in 1995 concerns the speed or rate of rotation in office.  The nullified laws applied limits of several terms to both Houses of Congress.  The constellation law limits House members to a single term.  It stands to reason that a rapid rotation in the one chamber will exert a more potent democratizing effect than a languid rotation in both chambers. 

The latter form gained some notoriety as early as 1965, when former President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the idea in his memoirs.[12]  Eisenhower's concern about congressional careerism was justifiable, to be sure, but his solution was to bring in new blood by mandating a sluggish turnover of twelve years for both chambers. 

This same version of term limits garnered the most votes of the several plans defeated on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995 and again in 1997.[13]  Not surprisingly the sitting Congressmen gave it twice the votes as the stronger system passed in most state initiatives.  The voters in referendums held in half the states had (in most cases) limited their congressional delegations to six years in the U.S. House and twelve in the U.S. Senate. 

The latter and more stringent version appealed least to House incumbents for the obvious reason that it was more threatening to their congressional careers.  On the basis of political self-interest, it stands to reason that an inverse relationship would exist between the stringency of term limits and their popularity in Congress.  The more rapid the rotation the more repugnant to Congressmen. 

But in whatever version, the bottom line on term limits is that Congress is unfit to reform itself, thus necessitating a convention that circumvents the Congress.  This reality was evident to Eisenhower: 

an amendment of this kind could never
achieve the blessing of Congress; it
could only be initiated by the states."
[14]

Most of the incumbents who did vote for term limits were Republicans who did so in deference to their party’s Contract with America (1994 campaign).  Many acquiesced reluctantly and then only to the least stringent form of rotation.  Although twelve years in both houses was a lesser evil for many incumbents, it was far too lenient from the standpoint of most voters.  The 12/12 reform would have done little or nothing to break up the intra-house oligarchy.

In the 1990's, most people who did the footwork for term limits at the grass roots were working to establish a citizen legislature, not just to modify the seniority system or fine-tune the oligarchy.  Likewise the Founding Fathers when they established rotation in office for the continental congress were not trying to get the federal elite to play by more democratic rules, but rather to prevent the formation of a federal officeholder class in the first place.

The 12/12 scheme for term limits balanced continuity with new blood by watering down the two principles and applying the tepid combination uniformly to each house of Congress.  The 6/12 laws were not so lukewarm on the principle of new blood, but did no better toward saving continuity and institutional memory.  All of the methods enacted during the 1990s would have undermined the main redeeming feature of oligarchy –– that it enables the rise of political giants, statesmen like Daniel Webster, Robert LaFollette, and Winston Churchill. 

By contrast, the form of rotation proposed in the arch-amendment would consist of two blends, each undiluted.  On the one hand, the absence of mandatory rotation in the Senate would address Congressman Henry Hyde’s eloquent defense of an aristocracy of merit, as voiced in opposition to all four bills of 1995:

I just can’t be an accessory to the dumbing down
of democracy.... America needs leaders, it needs
statesman, it needs giants – and you don’t
get them out of the phone book.
[15]

The constellation law takes advantage of the bicameral structure of Congress.  Unlimited service in the Senate lets us hold on to continuity and decades of institutional memory, balanced against fresh new blood in the House.  Because freshmen Representatives would have a monopoly in the House, there would be no one in that chamber to co-opt the newcomers or dissuade them from wielding the full powers of the lower house in a populist direction.  Moreover, the ban on reelection to the House will eliminate seniority, and (unlike the six years, or three-terms, reform of the 1990’s) will set the chamber free from the multifarious corruption associated with the reelection motive.[16]  The dynamic goes like this for representative democracy: 

- minimal democracy –– reelections without limit
-
partial democracy –– limited reelections
-
maximum democracy –– no reelections.

Since the bicameral system does not give all power to the House, we can safely maximize representative democracy in the lower chamber.  No need for House composition to reflect balance between oligarchy and democracy.  The role of the House is to provide the populist balance, relative to the rest of the government.  To the timid who want to maintain the reelection system lest the House be excessively democratic, we reply that in a system of checks and balances, the House ought to be the balance.  Otherwise the system is very much out of balance.

A bicameral system with the two chambers quite distinct in terms of tenure was envisioned in the famous Virginia plan, introduced at the outset of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.  The plan proposed a rotation of the entire lower house after one term, but would have left the upper house of the national legislature open to continuous reelection.[17]  The upper house or senate was intended as the place to retain the services of great statesmen when such blessings (rare even in those halcyon days) did come along.  The old principle is still vital and valid:  make a concession to careerism in the Senate, so that a highly democratic and uncompromising form of rotation can safely be applied to the House.

The key need today is rapid rotation that really transforms and democratizes the one house, rather than less transforming versions of rotation for both houses of Congress.  The slower the rotation the less inclined are incumbents to identify personally with the constituency they represent.  Moreover, even allowing just one reelection would split the House roughly down the middle into freshmen and sophomores, rendering the former vulnerable to the lures and leverage of special interests who offer to fill the incumbent's reelection campaign war chest, or who threaten to finance the challenger's campaign.  Under one-term limitation, however, there would be no reelection campaign whatsoever.  Ruling out reelection will free incumbent Congressmen of their prime necessity of selling votes to campaign financiers; and also deprive the plutocrats of their main market for buying –– the biggest such market being the House because its membership constitutes 81 percent of the congressional total (House, 435; Senate, 100; total, 535).  With full democracy, no reelection, survival will no longer compel politicians to rent themselves out like taxi drivers for CEO’s.[18] 

Representative government has broken down.
Our politicians represent not the people who
vote for them but the commercial interests
who finance their election campaigns. We
have the best politicians that money can buy.
[19]

            Another factor in favor of a policy forbidding reelection altogether involves competition.  When an incumbent steps down, candidates spring up like ferns in a rain forest.[20]  The vacancy attracts many people of talent and merit who would never invest their time, energy and money in an uphill battle against the enormous advantages of incumbency.  Democracy flourishes and elections are competitive when the incumbent vacates his seat.  As proposed in the constellation law, all House seats will be vacant for every election.

            The great travesty committed by political “geniuses” like Carl Rove and Dick Morris has been to reduce politics to the art of corralling voters like so much livestock.  The pollsters, spin doctors and political operatives have perfected Madison Avenue techniques to the point of engineering and stage-managing the choice of elected representatives.  Incumbents are no longer men of the people who serve public needs, but manipulators who manage the techniques of molding public perceptions.  They are like experts in domesticating herds of wild horses.  To be a mere public servant who answers to the governed is seen as obsolete and simplistic.

            Elected officials in the postmodernist regime are not expected to be masterful public servants but rather adepts in mastering public opinion.  How adept incumbent Congressmen have become is demonstrated infamously by a marked decline in competitiveness at the polls since World War II, accompanied by reelection rates approaching 100 percent (99% of incumbents were reelected in the 2002 and 2004 U.S. House elections).[21]  But where a death or retirement creates an open seat, competitiveness increases wonderfully.[22]

            To restore the Congress, then, the watchwords are rapid rotation in the House with no reelection, balanced by unlimited terms in the Senate.  This form of rotation will reverse the 20th century devolution of Congress, which rendered both chambers upper houses, both of them closer in perspective and sympathy to the beltway oligarchy in D.C. than to the people in their constituency.  The constellation law would revive the vision of the Framers who sought to have the Senate alone as an upper house checking the popular tumult; meanwhile the House of Representatives or lower house would provide genuine representation for the electorate rather than for the capitol city establishment.  (For a more extensive study, including the linkage between rotation and recall, see below, chapter six).

In conclusion the general purpose of the rotation is to bridge the moat and breach the political bastions euphemized by one political scientist as hardening of House boundaries.[23]  It is precisely in a political environment sealed off from penetration by outsiders that the wealthy and influential in-groups manage virtually to monopolize the legislative process.  A biennial changing of the guard would leave no oligarchy or in-group to defend the walls which now stand between the lower house of Congress and the body politic at large.  Instead of incumbents whose retainers and courtiers man the barriers against outsiders every election year, each biennium would admit a fresh contingent of 435 men and women who break up the insider mindset and renew the proximity of the House to the general populace.[24]

            Another link we can renew between government and the public interest is set forth in the constellation law, section 2:3-9.  The 435 U.S. Representatives would serve the single term of a little more than four years (or 50 months), in three stages: [1] the initial service in the new office of ombudsman.  After a biennium in a kind of congressional apprenticeship, the incumbents would [2] graduate to a two month interim of transitional duties.  They would then [3] move up to the House of Representatives, for the final two years in the path of service.

During the first part of this three stage path of advancement, the ombudsman duties, the U.S. Representative's major function would be solving red-tape problems that constituents encounter in dealing with the federal government.  Many House members today spend most of their time on the ombudsman function anyway.  It is tremendously time consuming and distracts from legislative duties, and some members have proposed electing a second representative per district to handle the constituent casework duties.  Moreover, as Morris P. Fiorina has shown, the preoccupation of Congress with constituent casework in the bureaucracy has become a new kind of pork barrel, whereby each incumbent virtually guarantees his or her own reelection.[25]  But eliminating reelection would undercut the whole pork barrel system.  And so having U.S. Representatives specialize in ombudsman duties during a pre-congressional apprenticeship for two years would free House members to focus on legislative problems per se.  Congressmen might actually get around to the business of reading bills before they vote. 

Other political sections of the constellation law focus on the administrative apparatus in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.  Among the provisions are improved oversight (section 2:6-7) and quantitative reduction (2:8-9) of the federal bureaucracy.  Additional reforms (section 3) would revamp the congressional committee system along more democratic lines and subordinate it to the whole House and full Senate.  The objective is to make the executive bureaucracy and the committees of Congress cleaner, trimmer, and more responsive.  (See chapter seven for details).

 

 

Amending by Adjudicating:  Article V ---

 

U.S. Senate, Oct. 21, 2003

U.S. Senate, Oct. 21, 2003

Presidential signature, PBA ban, 11/5/03

Presidential signature, PBA ban, 11/5/03

U.S. District Judge, Phyllis Hamilton

U.S. District Judge, Phyllis Hamilton, strikes down the PBA law, 6/1/04  AP photo

 

O judge of high decree,

Forbid us not, we groan.

For little lives we plead,

Solicit, pray, and moan.

 

And who might we be,

Who ask and beg so loud?

Why, scions of Washington’s army,

Once free and brave and proud!

 

To nominal liberty reduced,

For permits we freely apply.

By ease and wealth seduced,

We plead to potentates high.

 

     Another major area of reform included in the arch-amendment involves the power and propensity of the Judiciary to issue edicts that overrule the expressed will of the people.  In no sense did the Framers of the Constitution intend to establish the Judiciary as an alternative form of legislating, to be invoked when some faction dislikes the way the Legislative branch does (or fails to do) its job.

            But postmodernists care not a whit about original intent that dates back two centuries.  Under the new order, democratically elected representatives are mainly to micro-manage the country, though Congress may legislate tentatively and provisionally on macro-management issues.  The proviso is that any such laws must pass scrutiny in the federal courts, who serve as a sort of filter against legislation that conflicts with the postmodernist vision.

 To demote the Legislative Branch in this way, it is necessary also to dethrone the written Constitution; because Article I, section I, vests “all legislative powers” in the Congress.  To justify stealing the scepter from the written Constitution and transferring it to the postmodernist regime, their attorneys have invented weighty phrases (“governing case law,” for example, and “living, breathing Constitution”) to provide cover for the revolution by usurpation.

While watching the usurpers flex their muscles in order to starve / dehydrate his daughter to death, and bring an end to living and breathing on Terri’s part, Bob Schindler said this: 

They're showing who's in command of this country. And we're not. The public is not, and the people you elect to Congress are not. The judges are. And woe to this country with those people in power.[26]

The photograph, above right, shows the U.S. Senate after a hard-fought, seven year campaign for a ban on partial birth abortion.  The ban passed the Congress twice during the Clinton Administration, only to be vetoed both times.  Finally, in October 2003, the bill cleared both houses and secured the President’s signature (G.W. Bush).  However, it took three hours for a federal court to suspend enforcement of the law.  By the following June it had been overturned by permanent injunction.  “The act poses an undue burden on a woman's right to choose an abortion," decided U.S. District Judge, Phyllis Hamilton.[27]

Finally, after an additional 3-1/2 years tied up in the courts, and after many killings by PBA during that interval, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007, by the narrowest of margins, that the Act of Congress could stand.  In a 5 to 4 decision, the court bowed to the Congress of the United States, the people’s elected representatives, who had well expressed the will of the country.  Long had the vast majority of Americans recognized, as Dr. James Dobson put it, that “there is no constitutional right to slay a healthy, nearly born baby by stabbing it in the back of the head and vacuuming out is brains – all without even anesthetizing the child.”[27a]

This judicial, life-tenured oligarchy is worse than were similar oligarchies in the democracies and republics of antiquity.  The Athenian Council of Areopagus and Spartan Gerousia were at once the first and last line of defense against the ferocity of ancient democracy.  By contrast, American democracy is well impeded by elaborate checks and balances, or rather over-checked given the growth of extra-constitutional impediments like autonomous committees and filibustering.  Unlike the life-tenured councils of antiquity, therefore, federal judges are far from being the sole line of defense against the excesses of democracy.  The crucial initial check was penned admirably in the U.S. Constitution’s original system of checks and balances.

By dethroning the written Constitution, the courts have trashed the very principle of checks which they claim to defend.  To secure their independent despotism, the Judiciary chronically intervenes under the guise of defending civil liberties and individual rights against democratic institutions.  While the written Constitution counterbalances the republican branches, Executive and Legislative, so that they hold each other in check, the out-of-control Judicial Branch is free to wrest self-government away from the citizenry.  Thus, the federal courts have stolen away that “most valuable” of freedoms – Jefferson’s right of self-government.[28]

As legal expert and former federal judge, Robert Bork puts it:

courts, being uncheckable, freely do
what the Constitution forbids while
ordering others not to do what
the Constitution allows.
[29]

Consequently, though we the people do still elect representatives, our choice is of much reduced consequence.  In de facto power, our elected officials are now quite subordinate to the oligarchy of Nine, none of whom are subject to free elections.  So much for the idea that every vote counts.  Votes may get counted, but they count for less – much less – than did the ballots of yesteryear.

Not surprisingly our grandparents and great-grandparents were more willing to go to the polls, whereas today not even the ease of mail-in voting gets more than a minority of eligible Americans to cast depreciated ballots.  In Presidential elections the public shows somewhat more interest.  During the eight Presidential races of 1972-2000, voter turnout was in the 49%–56% range, rising to just under 61% percent for the Bush/Kerry race of 2004.  However, even this latest crest in the trend line was nothing to brag about.  Some 78 million Americans, though eligible to vote, chose to boycott the process in 2004, so that the 51% cast for the winner really amounted to less than a third of the country’s eligible voters (30.8%).  [Bush’s predecessor in the White House, Bill Clinton, got even less support than that].  In other words, the best voter turnout since the Nixon – Humphrey race of 1968 saw almost 70% of American adults either vote against the winning candidate in 2004, or refuse to vote at all.  And yet Bush proclaimed his reelection as a vindication by the people of his war policy in Iraq.

Not without reason do many Americans see their vote as a waste of time to cast.  Although I myself do vote, I can see why others do not.  Why vote when decisions rendered by elected representatives, or even popular decisions in referendum elections, get overturned at will by unelected, irremovable, life-tenured judges?  Refusing to vote is not just an expression of apathy, as some commentators claim, but also a way of protesting a form of governance that has betrayed the governed.  The postmodernist revolution has outflanked representative government and radically devalued the franchise.  Is it any wonder that voter turnout has declined? 

For most of American history, laws duly passed under the provisions of the Constitution went directly into effect.  Under the postmodernist regime, however, unelected and irremovable judges get the final say, pro or con.  In 2005, for example, the politburo of nine overturned what two elected governments had decided in Kentucky.  Here is how our Ten Commandments visibility committee of the Knights of Columbus responded in our local newspaper:[30]

On June 27th, the Supreme Court issued decrees ordering the removal of the Ten Commandments from two county courthouses in Kentucky.[31]  In February when the Court heard these cases the Rev. Bryan Fischer spoke to the heart of the problem:  “The Founding Fathers trusted the individual states to be able to sort out matters of religious freedom without having to wait for a black-robed oligarchy in Washington to make such decisions for them….  That this case is even in front of the Supreme Court at all is in indication of how much territory ‘we the people’ have meekly given over to activist judges.”[32]

            … The underlying rationale for judicial usurpation (theft of power) is apparently to liberate Americans of the postmodern era from the thinking of eighteenth century men.  Unlike the document as written by the Framers, a “living breathing Constitution” can substitute secular psychology for the morality of our ancestors; it can also put unbelief on a par with the theistic principles that underpin the Declaration of Independence — “the laws of nature and nature’s God;” the “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence;” the appeal “to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.”

            Amending the Constitution by adjudication has empowered postmodernists to downplay the noble sentiments of our forbearers, and to elevate agnosticism and atheism to a level (at least) with Judeo-Christian faith and morals.  Shelved to a dusty archival status is the principle enshrined in our nation’s founding document, that we are endowed by our Creator with the inalienable rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

            In the democratic impulse, however, the courts encounter resistance.  Consistently up through the generations, a populist current reaffirms the old values.  President John F. Kennedy lived not so long ago and his New Frontier did not seek to disown our spiritual heritage, or discount it as obsolete.  Consider JFK’s inaugural address (January, 1961):  “And yet the same revolutionary belief for which our forebears fought is still at issue around the globe, the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”

            To finesse or repress the popular esteem for America’s heritage, the judicial oligarchy revises the historical record and twists the clear intent of the Framers, and then carries deception down to new depths by spinning the demotion of the God of the Bible as a manifestation of “democratic aspirations,” even though public opinion surveys indicate three quarters of the American people favor the continuation of the Ten Commandments in public as well as private life.  As Justice Scalia notes in his keenly insightful dissent to the Kentucky ruling: “Even assuming, however, that the meaning of the Constitution ought to change according to ‘democratic aspirations,’ why are those aspirations to be found in Justices' notions of what the Establishment Clause ought to mean, rather than in the democratically adopted dispositions of our current society?”[33]

            As members of the Knights of Columbus’ Ten Commandments Visibility Committee, Bremerton council, we prefer to side with God and with genuine democratic aspirations, rather than with postmodernist judges who have usurped dictatorial power and imposed it without consent of the governed.  We deplore their dishonesty in amending the Constitution under the guise of judicial interpretation.  We are mindful also that in the Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers refer three times to usurpation as justification for the American Revolution.

            Bob Struble, Chairman, Ten Commandments Visibility Committee, Knights of Columbus, Bremerton Council 1379, July 10, 2005

Must readings on legislation from the bench are in the November, 1996 and January, 1997 issues of the prestigious religious / political journal, First Things, with its symposium, The End of Democracy? The Judicial Usurpation of Politics.  A majority of the contributors had by the late 1990’s come to the conclusion that the United States had arrived (or nearly so) at a despotism or dictatorship headed by the Federal Judiciary.  Judge-made law macro-managing American society is now commonplace:  To name just twelve examples:

 

·         secularization of the public schools and of public life.

·         overturning pro-life laws in all 50 states.

·         opening the floodgates to pornography.

·         restructuring state government, and requiring reapportionment, so that counties no longer serve as the basis for representation in the upper house of state legislatures (Baker v. Carr).

·         overturning the people's will on term-limits reforms, as decisively expressed at the polls.

·         overturning the line item veto, that allowed the President to eliminate particulars in tax and spending measures.[34]

·         curtailing the right to trial by jury for citizens threatened with jail for less than six months.

·         empowering government to confiscate private property, including the family home, and give it over to private developers.

·         redefining congressional declarations of war to include “force resolutions.”

·         overturning the people's will, as expressed in statewide referendums, against special rights for homosexuals.

·         inserting sodomy into the Constitution as a “full right,” thus sullying the Bill of Rights.

·         debasing the Constitution: converting it from the epitome of order and balance, to a formula for disorder and dissonance, and for rule by usurpers in black robes rather than governance by elected representatives of the people.

 

In 2005, Patrick Buchanan chronicled the usurpations as he witnessed them first hand during the years after Brown v. Board of Education:  

            The Brown decision of 1954, desegregating the schools of 17 states and the District of Columbia, awakened the nation to the court's new claim to power. Hailed by liberal elites – and finding no resistance from a Democratic Congress or president who spent his afternoons at Burning Tree – Warren's court went off on a rampage.   It invented new rights for criminals and put new restrictions on cops and prosecutors. It reassigned students to schools by race and ordered busing to bring it about, tearing cities apart. It ordered God, prayer and Bible-reading out of classrooms. It said pornography was constitutionally protected, making Larry Flynt and Al Goldstein First Amendment heroes, rather than felons. It ruled naked dancing a protected form of free expression. It declared abortion a constitutional right and sodomy constitutionally protected behavior.

            It outlawed the death penalty, abolished terms limits on members of Congress voted by state referendums, and told high school coaches to stop praying in locker rooms and students to stop saying prayers at graduation. It ordered the Ten Commandments out of schoolhouses and courthouses. It condoned discrimination against white students in violation of the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection. And, two weeks ago, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that towns can seize private homes and turn them over to private developers. [35]

Ben Franklin's warning has come home to roost:  "A republic, if you can keep it."  Keep? – Rather, if we can recover it!  As President Abraham Lincoln put it in his first inaugural address, 1861:

If the policy of the government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court...the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned the government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.

Small consolation, but the United States will not be the first republic to exchange its liberty for dictatorship by a panel of judges.  In ancient Carthage the council of 104, a tribunal larger than our own politburo of nine, but similar in penchant for encroachment, expanded its constitutional powers and converted the Carthaginian republic into a tyranny.[36]

What we are witnessing today is steady reduction of the U.S. Constitution to window dressing for enforced social change, i.e. social engineering, by an unelected and irremovable dictatorship.  According to Robert J. McKeever, a school of thought has evolved in the law schools which abandons all pretense of interpreting the Constitution and defends the exercise of raw judicial power.[37]  Let us now examine a particular case in point of the judicial coup d’etat that has come to pass:

 

In 2003 the Court declared that the US Constitution gives sexually active homosexuals “the full right to engage in their conduct” – effectively inserting sodomy into the Bill of Rights.[38]  To alter the Constitution so radically, the Supreme Court had to get past the Court’s own precedent.  Seventeen years earlier, JFK’s first Supreme Court appointee, Justice Byron White, had written a contrary decision, Bowers v. Hardwick

In 1986, with Justice White writing for the 5-4 majority, the US Supreme Court decided the Bowers case in favor of the elected government of Georgia.  The 13th state had outlawed certain kinds of perversion, including the sexual acts practiced by homosexuals.  Justice White cited the fact that in 1961, during his service as deputy to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, sodomy was illegal in all 50 states.  White also made the point that sodomy was illegal in all 13 states when they ratified the Bill of Rights.  How then could the Constitution be turned against such ancient traditions?  White maintained that it could not, except by means of an Article V constitutional amendment.

 

Byron “Whizzer” White

Byron “Whizzer” White at U of Colorado

 

Byron White & Bobby Kennedy, 1961

White & Bobby Kennedy, 1961

The postmodernists moved to trump the Bowers decision by benching Byron White, posthumously, and fielding Anthony Kennedy in his place.  In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), written the year after White’s death, Justice Kennedy took triple the length of White’s analysis in order to overturn it.  In the 1986 decision, Justice White had tersely observed:

The issue presented is whether the Federal Constitution confers a fundamental right upon homosexuals to engage in sodomy, and hence invalidates the laws of the many States that still make such conduct illegal, and have done so for a very long time….  Respondent would have us announce, as the Court of Appeals did, a fundamental right to engage in homosexual sodomy. This we are quite unwilling to do.

In 2003 Justice Kennedy countered with 5500 words, his first word being “liberty,” and his conclusion embellished with what passes for eloquence among postmodernists:

Had those who drew and ratified the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment known the components of liberty in its manifold possibilities, they might have been more specific. They did not presume to have this insight. They knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom.           

Justice White had explicitly eschewed judicial usurpation, opting instead for judicial restraint on the issue of sodomy.  Argued White:

The Court is most vulnerable and comes nearest to illegitimacy when it deals with judge-made constitutional law having little or no cognizable roots in the language or design of the Constitution…. There should be, therefore, great resistance to … redefining the category of rights deemed to be fundamental.  Otherwise, the Judiciary necessarily takes to itself further authority to govern the country without express constitutional authority.

But in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s edict, six of the nine “Justices” went where angels fear to tread.  The majority opinion manufactured a new “right,” creating it out of thin air, in the process overturning a law enacted by elected representatives of the people.  In doing so Justice Kennedy and his fellow oligarchs created by judicial fiat a revisionist Bill of Rights — all without reference to the constitutional amending process under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, and all for the purpose of elevating sin to the level of a civil right.  In other words he and five other usurpers foisted upon us a twisted and distorted version of the Constitution, without going through the process whereby the republic secures the consent of the governed.

Judicial usurpation is contagious and has infected state and local courts.  Less than five months after the Lawrence decision, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts overturned a county court ruling against same-sex marriage.  A constitutional crisis resulted in the Bay State, and both houses of the state legislature convened in a constitutional convention.  This is the authorized way under the venerable Massachusetts system for amending the written constitution.  But the sodomites and their supporters on the bench were not about to be patient.  Just 60 days after the con-con met to begin the long amending process, the court’s edict superseded the process.  In the rush to implement the homosexual agenda, the means for constitutional change set forth in the written state constitution got trampled underfoot like so much straw.[39]  With same-sex "marriage" now shoehorned into place by the courts, the gay agenda campaign adopted a defensive strategy, and fought successfully to prevent the people from rendering a verdict at the ballot box.

Eventually the contagion will surely spread throughout the culture at large.  After all, if the highest judges in the land can steal power, why should we obey traffic ordinances, or any other laws?  As Justice Louis Brandeis put it,

 

 

 

Justice Louis Brandeis

 

Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941)

 

Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.

US. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, [Olmstead v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438 (1928)]

The crime of usurpation leave us no option but to respond in self-defense.  Let our response exert enough force to purge the Constitution of accumulated dross.  Repair workers in shipyards must get rid of unwanted growths.  Restoration of hulls requires putting the ship in dry-dock and scraping away barnacles.  Likewise with our ship of state — purge the encrusted, alien accumulation that attorneys bedecked in black robes have and will build up over time!

     It may be profitable to digress on the dissimilarities in the two men writing the polar opposite decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court on sodomy.  (This is not an ad hominem appeal to one personality over another, but a comparison of two types of leadership, as personified in a modern man and a postmodern American.)  Not only were the majority opinions opposed radically on the issue of sodomy, but also the divergent personalities of the two spokesmen for the majorities of 1986 and 2003 serve to juxtapose modern versus postmodernist America.

Justice Bryon “Whizzer” White was made in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt, the scholar-athlete.  Abandoning his pro-football career to serve in WW II, White exemplified the heroic American male in the days before masculinity itself came under postmodernist scrutiny.

Byron White came to the court on March 30, 1962, the eve of the postmodernist revolution.[40]  Anthony Kennedy came to the court in 1988, a quarter century into that revolution.

Byron White was a self-made man who knew hard times.  Anthony Kennedy was a scion of economic affluence, wanting for nothing, and inheriting his father’s law practice.

Byron White spent his youth in small town America, experiencing undergraduate life at the University of Colorado.  Anthony Kennedy grew up in the capitol of California, and spent his undergraduate years in the San Francisco Bay area, in the elite atmosphere of Stanford University.

Byron White was the son of a lumberyard manager and mayor in the small town of Wellington, Colorado.  He got into the University of Colorado on an academic scholarship, and became an all-around star athlete (baseball, basketball, football).  Many of his football records still stand at the U of C.  He also won the student body presidency, a Rhodes scholarship, and later, membership in the NFL hall of fame.  During World War II White served as a naval intelligence officer in the South Pacific, earning two Bronze Stars.  As a Supreme Court Justice, White was able to draw upon a Jeffersonian like experience of politics and of the world.

Anthony Kennedy’s background was much narrower.  He was mainly a scholar and attorney, and until coming to the federal bench lived most of his life in the Sacramento / San Francisco area – except for some schooling and a year in the National Guard.

Byron White was eulogized by his colleague, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, as a man who "‘saw life steadily and saw it whole.’"[41]  Anthony Kennedy approached life as a specialist, replete with knowledge of particular trees.  His view of the forest resembled a woodpecker’s perspective more than an eagle’s. 

Indeed specialization is at once the muscle and the malignancy of the postmodernist era, with larger issues decided on the basis of feelings rather than immutable principles.  Today’s high-level decision makers are too often climbers, who have “wasted” no time for contemplation and deliberation informed by faith and reason.  Many of the rising stars who reach the utmost round have precious little to guide them – except feelings.

Byron White’s heroics made him famous before he came to the court.  Anthony Kennedy worked quietly during the postmodernist age of anti-heroes.

Byron White was JFK’s first choice for the court, based partly on his honest and forthright manner.[42]  Anthony Kennedy was President Reagan’s third choice after a factious Senate rejected the great Robert Bork, and after Reagan’s second choice was forced to withdraw.  The “Borking” of one of America’s finest jurists, inaugurated the era of low profile appointees.  Anyone with a track record on a major issue – especially if he or she had balked at political correctness – was liable to be filibustered or defeated outright.

In the late modern era, Byron White was looked up to, and widely admired.  Under the postmodernist regime, however, men of White’s ilk were unwelcome.  "The same qualities that made him a memorable jurist would make him a lightning rod for fierce opposition if he were named to the Supreme Court now."[43]

By contrast, Mr. Kennedy’s obscurity and non-controversial track record made him confirmable in a polarized Senate.  Like Justice David Souter, Anthony Kennedy showed his true colors only after reaching the highest rung of the ladder.

            Indeed, obfuscation goes hand in glove with postmodernism, prioritizing spin over honesty, and rejecting the reality of absolute truth.[44]  Denying the immutability of any moral code, the black-robed potentates of postmodernist paganism have no scruples about stealing power to advance their aims, nor qualms about adulterating the Constitution by adjudication in order to embrace two of the four Biblical sins that cry out to God for vengeance.[45]

To overturn the usurpation practiced by our presiding oligarchs, i.e. the postmodernist politburo of nine, former federal judge Robert Bork proposes to let Congress override U.S. Supreme Court decisions.[46]

One crippling shortcoming in Bork's strategy is that Congress itself is part of the problem.  Congress is unreformed, and without term limits no fundamental reform will be attainable through the Legislative Branch.  Even in the so-called revolution of ‘94, Congress could not muster the collective will to bring the issue of school prayer to a floor vote, as promised.  The same supposedly “radical” Congress failed to get the requisite two-thirds for minimal constitutional reforms that Republicans had pledged in their contract with America –– such as the watered-down version of term limits, or the balanced budget Amendment.[47]  And before 1994, during the four decades in which Democrats dominated Congress, the Democratic Party let their stated aim of full-employment, as mandated by two statutes passed since WW II, lapse into a dead letter.[48]

Existing restraints against legislation from the bench have proven to be more like dental floss than steel cable.  Federal judges are utterly unaccountable.  Not even FDR was able to use court packing effectively.  Never in history has Congress impeached a Supreme Court Justice.  Nor has any post-WW II Congress exercised its authority under the Constitution, by removing Federal Court jurisdiction over matters where usurpation has been chronic.

Indeed it was because Congress sat quiescent in the 1950’s, loath to legislate against racial segregation, that a powerful and popular precedent for Judicial intervention was established.  As one of the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Rush, put it in 1776:

It becomes us to remember that arbitrary power
has often originated in justice and necessity.
[49]

Or as President Washington put it in his epic Farewell Address (1796):

…let it be corrected by an amendment in the way the Constitution designates.  But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.  The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit….[50]

If Congress had fulfilled its obligations to minorities before 1954, and had done its duty under the democratic process rather than defaulting to the Court to intervene in Brown v. Board of Education, the sinister trend of usurpation since the early 1960s would have been much more difficult to foist upon the nation.  We might still have a Republic worthy of the name.

Without a rapid rotation in office (congressional term limits) – a tool confiscated from intrastate reformers by the Supreme Court in 1995 – the Congress will remain too much a part of the beltway establishment to bring Courts back into line.  Here may well have been a sly motive in the Court’s decision to overturn the term limits enacted by referendums in 23 states.  As long as Congress remained unreformed, the unelected and irremovable federal judges would never have to give account for their usurpations.  It is not therefore without a perverse logic that the postmodernist regime, via its politburo of nine, thwarted rotation in office.

There is no point in setting ourselves up for protracted and demoralizing disappointment by entrusting our hopes to an unreformed Congress, or campaigning for state laws that the postmodernist Courts can sweep aside at will.  The judicial dictatorship is able to overrule legislation it dislikes – federal or state – and will do so at its discretion.[51]

 

    Adulteration
by Adjudication
[52]

 

"We the people" it starts,

'Tis true, dear hearts;

The Constitution, you see,

Was for you and me.

 

Until the Court did decide,

No Religion to abide.

When judicial power raw

Down gaveled God's law

 

When the nine, or less,
Moguls for moral regress,
Found the right within:
The entitlement to sin.

 

Sodomy they hailed.

Pornography availed.

Ten Commandments despised,

Moral heritage revised.

 

Let kids pray?  Banned in schools!

Unborn child?  Cruel choice rules!

By the Constitution bent,

The agenda was sent.

 

Heaven and hell?  Paid no heed!

Amend?  Too slow, no need.

Thus usurpers evoked evil,

And provoked the upheaval.

 

O highest law of the land,

How judges who’ve stolen command,

Ruled till they sullied and smeared,

Your splendor so long revered.

 

Hearkened they to the True?

To what Framers did contrive?

No!  Yon words never “grew,”

Nor “breathed,” nor stayed “alive.”

 

Sweet land, gone forever sour?

Not yet - if soon falls this regime;

Palisades of lies, tall in power,

As Jericho's walls, it would seem.

 

For in God we trust,

So the motto states.

Counterrevolution or bust,

Open the gates!

 

            Toward restoring the clear balance of powers as set forth in the U.S. Constitution, the constellation law (section 5:1-9) sets forth incentives and constitutional guidelines for a congressional counterrevolution against judicial theft of legislative power.  Such a counterrevolution would help recover our liberties.  It would dismantle the postmodernist order in which elected representatives are allowed to micro-manage the country, while life-tenured elites macro-manage our basic direction as a society.  (See chapter seven for more details on bringing the Federal judiciary back into a balance of powers).  Briefly the reform would proceed as follows:

Just as the Federal system provides for upward appeals within the judiciary, so that an errant state court must yield to the Federal Court; the constellation amendment will empower the reformed Congress to use Article III, sect. 2 so as to reverse the direction of the appeal on Constitutional grounds.  In other words, when the Supreme Court metamorphosizes into a usurpatious politburo, let Congress remove jurisdiction from the Federal Courts over the subject matter where they are running wild.  State courts will then become the final arbitrator of what the U.S. Constitution says in the congressionally designated area of jurisdiction.

Thus Congress could proceed against the oligarchy of federal judges, jurisdiction by jurisdiction, by dispersing some of their power to the states on Constitutional questions. This may strike the reader as similar to the Articles of Confederation, or to the nullification doctrine endorsed by John Calhoun during the Jacksonian era.  In the former case, however, there was no such thing as federal courts, while in the latter case the respective State government would have been at liberty to go its own way. 

Under the arch-amendment by contrast, Congress will, as the elected representative of the Union, be at liberty to restore the jurisdiction of Federal Courts whenever it sees fit (section 4:1).  Furthermore, a sunset clause will restore that jurisdiction automatically every four years, or rather at each Presidential inauguration, unless a new Congress, with new membership, shall by law extend the suspension. (section 4:4)

Hence the task of determining the Constitutionality of statutes would not be delivered over to any legislative branch (as Judge Bork proposes).  Empowering the very branch which writes statute law to review the statutes for their constitutionality, would open up Pandora-like problems in terms of conflict of interest.  But under the constellation amendment, the legislative branch [Congress] could transfer jurisdiction from the Federal to the State courts, and back again, as a way of securing checks and balances between courts at the Federal and state levels, i.e. vertically in both directions.  In other words Congress would be able to invert the current hierarchy of appeals, so that the Federal judges get preempted [and humbled] by judges in the States.  Against the arrogance of usurpation there is nothing quite so effective as a healthy dose of humility.

Should some State courts go along with usurpatious federal rulings, the arch-amendment puts more arrows into the congressional quiver.  When Congress removes jurisdiction under Article III, sect. 2, it will also obliterate the accumulation of aberrant case precedent that underpins the usurpation – constellation law, section 4:2-3,5.  In the area of jurisdiction that has been transferred to state courts, therefore, a body of Federal court rulings –– measuring back to a date set by Congress, but no further back than the centennial of the Bill of Rights –– these precedents would be purged from the system of judge-made law.  This pruning would disencumber the written Constitution from the overgrown thicket of precedent, which has ceased to demarcate boundaries and – like a hedge never trimmed back – over-spreads the space reserved for the other branches.

Malignant Federal case precedent surgically removed by Congress would lose its official link to American jurisprudence.  The oblivion would hopefully be at least as ignominious as the place where surgeons toss excised tumors.  And there would be no grafting back (section 4:5) except by a supermajority of two-thirds –– not likely in that Congress would have to reach consensus that the vacuum must be filled, not with newly developing precedent, but with the same sainted (or tainted) air.

Let us change metaphors and use an analogy from North American geology.  The accumulation of judge-made law is like the innumerable tons of ice and snow in Greenland.  Amassed over eons to a depth of some three miles, Greenland’s great ice sheet has depressed the bedrock of the world’s largest island to more than a mile below sea level in some places.[53]  Likewise the written Constitution has been submerged under a great mass of courtroom precedent and legislation from the bench.  The constellation law, section four, will authorize a revitalized Congress to clear away much of the accumulation, so that the great work of the Framers can rise again as the “supreme Law of the Land,” and so that the United States may again be a republic of laws not men.

In short the counterrevolution to postmodernist usurpation will restore and reaffirm the first paragraph after the Preamble to the Constitution (Article I, section 1): 

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be
vested in a Congress of the United States….

 

Declaration of War

            Another original provision of the Constitution that calls for re-confirmation and bolstering is the authority of Congress, and of Congress first and foremost, to decide for or against war –­ as per Article 1, section 8.[54]  George Washington, the only President to lead an army in the field as Commander in Chief, reiterated the Constitutional principle as follows:

The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure.[55]

            The last conflict for which we had an official declaration of war was WW II.  Congress declared war on Japan, December, 8, 1941, and on Germany and Italy, three days later.[56]

Since then the President has on his own initiative sent the U.S. military into five major wars: Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I, Afghanistan, and Iraq (Gulf War II).  This list does not count lesser commitments of the military, in places like Grenada, Somalia, and the Balkans.[57]  None of the five major post-WW II conflicts have received the official authorization set forth by the Framers of the Constitution.  In 1952, during the first full-scale U.S. Presidential war (Korean War) Justice Hugo Black began deconstructing the Congressional war-making power by writing for the majority that “theatre of war” is an “expanding concept.”[58]  The fact that this judicial notion inaugurated the most war-ridden half-century in American history is perversely fitting. 

The same Supreme Court decision featured a concurring opinion by Justice Robert Jackson, who opposed “a niggardly construction” of the President’s war-making authority, lest the Commander-in-Chief’s powers “be narrowed.”  Instead this Quisling defender of the Constitution gave us a confession that he preferred,…

to indulge some latitude of interpretation for changing times. I have heretofore, and do now, give to the enumerated powers the scope and elasticity afforded by what seem to be reasonable, practical implications, instead of the rigidity dictated by a doctrinaire textualism.[59]

As a consequence of expanded Presidential war-making power, backed by constitutional revisionism characteristic of our politburo of nine, GI’s have been sent to defend causes that honesty cannot justify.  If we must ask young Americans to risk their lives; if we must bereave wives and mothers; then we owe our troops and their families the consolation of fighting in a justifiable way.  Yes there is, under God, such a thing as a just war.  But without declaration by proper authority, war against another nation cannot be well justified.[60]

Neither can we defend our troops adequately when they suffer setbacks.  Early in the 2003 war on Iraq the following letter appeared in a Seattle newspaper: 

News refers to captured Americans as "POWs."  Without a declaration of war, however, Iraq is justified if they treat captured Americans as nothing more than criminal terrorists, as we would have treated those who carried out the 9/11 attacks, if any had been captured.  Without a declaration of war, the Geneva Convention for treatment of POWs doesn't apply.  One wonders why our elected government cannot support our troops enough to give them the status of a declared war before sending them into a dangerous conflict.[61]

After Sgt. Jessica Lynch was taken prisoner during the Iraq “war” of 2003, she was raped and otherwise mistreated.  It is not impossible that her abuse by captors would have been too out of bounds even for Saddam Hussein’s army, had we declared war as indicated by international law and our own Constitution.  Instead we chose to “support our troops,” including Lynch, by sending them to fight an unconstitutional, Presidential war upon false pretenses.  And then the war machine heaped lie upon lie by using Jessica as propaganda, issuing fantastically contrived news releases about a GI Jane whose supposed heroics bore no relation to the facts in the Lynch tragedy.[61a]

Paradoxically, it seems that in favoring undeclared Presidential wars American policy theorists are not looking to protect American soldiers but rather to maximize freedom in dealing with enemy prisoners.  We should be on a level playing field legally, they argue, lest any advantage accrue to terrorists or other foes who have not signed on to international rules of engagement, such as the Geneva Convention.[62]  Can it be that the likes of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld want the USA free to deal with the torment of captured Americans by responding in kind against enemy captives!?  Are we to avoid declared wars in order that our own military be free to violate international rules against brutality and torture?[63]  If so, then I would argue that returning to the ethic of declaring war before we attack is desirable for its civilizing effect on America.[64]  

Moreover, violations of the written Constitution inherent in virtual declarations of war by the executive branch must encourage criminal conduct at every level of society – as per Justice Brandeis on the contagious effect of government lawbreaking (see above).  Troops engaged in illegal wars are not so likely to be sensitive to official policy on treatment of prisoners, especially if the more humanitarian approach entails extra risk.  As one Navy Seal sought to justify his shoot first, ask questions later approach: “The way I look at it is that if Congress doesn’t have the guts to declare war, I’m not going to leave my guts here.”[64a]

Had we declared war on Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, the Iraq war might not have given rise to the demoralizing Abu Guraib prisoner abuse scandal.  Like the My Lai Massacre (1968, Vietnam War), the atrocity took place during an undeclared war.

Moreover our liberty itself is safer when politicians are compelled to declare the country’s wars.  As one-time Congressman, Abraham Lincoln, put it in opposing President James Knox Polk's land-grab war with Mexico (1846-48):

Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure.  Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect.... If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, "I see no probability of the British invading us," but he will say to you, "Be silent; I see it, if you don't."[65]

            Lincoln noted further that the power of absolute monarchs to make war was ‘“the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions,”’ and that to avert similar abuse the Convention at Philadelphia ‘“resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us.”’[66]

During the debate over whether to ratify the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton reassured his countrymen that precisely such war making powers as the King of England had wielded were now safely vested in the U.S. Congress.[67]  During the Convention itself, a proposal to give the President the power to make war did not even get a second.  The idea was immediately opposed by liberal statesmen like James Madison and James Mason, and by conservatives like James Wilson.  Elbridge Gerry (later Vice-President) expressed astonishment, indicating that he ‘“never expected to hear in a republic a motion to empower the executive to declare war.”’[68]  In his writings Thomas Jefferson added, "‘We have already given … one effectual check to the dog of war by transferring (to Congress) the power of letting him loose.’"[69]  Under the postmodernist regime, however, the balance of powers has become defunct on the issue of war making, rendering the Constitution "‘no longer a reference point:’"[70]

"‘the concentration of power in the executive branch has progressed to such a point that it is no longer accurate to characterize our government, in matters of foreign relations, as one of separated powers balanced against each other.’"[71]           

            Of course even a Congressional declaration will not stop all wars, or assure that wars be just.  Congressman Lincoln’s oratory notwithstanding, the Congress did declare war against Mexico.[72]  But wars of conquest have been rare in our history, and to America’s credit we conducted far fewer wars for territorial aggrandizement than other great powers.  Our restraint in this respect can be attributed, in no small part, to the checks on the Commander-in-Chief vested by the Constitution in the Legislative Branch, i.e. to the Congressional authority to declare war, or not to declare war.  But since the Supreme Court disconnected the “doctrinaire textualism” that acts as a circuit breaker on any militaristic impulse in the White House, the country has experienced a surge in war-making.  During the first forty years of the postmodernist era, 1963-2003, the United States averaged one major war per decade (all undeclared); as compared to an average of one major war per quarter century from colonial times – i.e. since the French and Indian War– up to but not including the Vietnam War, the first of the postmodernist wars. (see figure 5:1, chapter five)

·         1763-1963: 8 major wars (without counting Texas Independence), averaging one per quarter-century.

·         1963-2003: 4 major wars beginning with Vietnam (not counting Serbia or Grenada), averaging one per decade.

In that postmodernists disown the principle of fixed truth, politicians have no scruples about inventing some impending threat to justify a particular postmodernist war.  We were told, for example, that if Vietnam fell, then – like dominos – country after country would go Communist.  In 2003 the President explained that UN inspections were going too slowly, and that we must invade pronto, lest the Iraqi dictator use his weapons of mass destruction.  Thus spurious short-term rationalization negated the Constitution’s long-term wisdom in requiring declarations of war.

There is, indeed, a compelling spiritual rationale for avoiding wars at this stage in American history.  Insofar as our purpose in invading foreign lands is to remove splinters from the eyes of other nations, war will be of doubtful justifiability, unless and until we remove the timber from our own eyes.[73]  In other words, given our own nation’s morally corrupt condition, whatever makes wars politically more difficult to undertake – so much the better.  The last thing foreign nations need is an apostate superpower using shock and awe to corral them into a postmodernist world order. 

Domestically too, the prodigal nation is more likely to revive economically, ethically and politically insofar as she reforms her wayward culture. For the individual citizen an examination of conscience must precede contrition. Likewise for American society as a whole: introspection is prerequisite to national repentance and redirection. Reform is always preceded by introspection, so that a great deterrent to domestic reform is a focus outward on foreign policy. In proportion, then, as imperial distractions are in check, we the people will have more opportunity to address national sins, follies, weaknesses, etc. here at home, and to press for a radical cleanup.

            In 1952 the Supreme Court put forward various rationales for eschewing “doctrinaire textualism,” including Justice Jackson’s “zone of twilight”[74] between Presidential and Congressional war powers.  Anticipating Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone by seven years, the fantastic logic conjured up to justify this de facto constitutional amendment has sanctioned Presidents in conducting five major undeclared wars in 53 years — again, the highest rate of war-making in any half-century of U.S. history.[75]

The constellation law (section 5:1) will override usurpation and illuminate legal murkiness (his Honor’s zone of twilight) by means of a straightforward clarification of the Constitution.  A declaration of war will allow Congress to be specific in terms of targeting a regime and demarcating a time frame.  The Constitution already imposes time limits on the duration of congressional war appropriations,[76] and it is in the same spirit that the arch-amendment will limit all presidential wars to a fortnight (14 days), unless extended by Congress.  This two week limit will get Congress involved much sooner than the six month grace period conceded to a President by the War Powers Act of 1973.[77]  This federal statute, with its 180 day limit on unilateral Presidential war-making, and its provisions to require withdrawal of combat troops unless Congress issues a 60 day extension, did nothing to prevent three more Presidential Wars – 1991, 2002, 2003 – all of which were declared to be over before any time limit had passed.

However, in the Iraq war that began in mid-March, 2003, the Presidential proclamation that combat had ended was dramatized with a Presidential landing on the aircraft carrier, Abraham Lincoln, on the 1st of May, 2003.  The hoopla proved tragically premature.  The reality was that exponentially more GI’s died in combat after the President’s announcement.  Nonetheless, the Bush/Cheney Administration issued no retraction of the claim about combat ending, and both Congress and the President ignored the spirit of the War Powers Act.  They kept our troops fighting and dying in Iraq long after the six-month statutory limit. 

Pro-war attorneys were able to justify the war’s extension without congressional approval, because both the House and the Senate had been misled before the war began[78] — having swallowed the WMD argument, much as President Lyndon Johnson had spun the Gulf of Tonkin incident to deceive Congress into authorizing a Presidential war in 1965.  [In mid-October of 2002, Congress had enacted a loophole contained in the letter of the War Powers Act itself].  As a consequence, the White House was able to disregard the War Powers Act as nonbinding.[79]  What the history of this legislation proves is that it will take more than a statute to limit Presidential wars.

            Under the constellation amendment, the restored congressional preeminence in deciding for war or for peace will represent an enhanced hindrance to unilateral warfare by any President.  So too will the two-thirds in both houses – a supermajority – required for continuance of a Presidential war beyond 14 days.  Of course the original constitutional avenue will still be available to any Commander-in-Chief in much the same form that Presidents have always had it at hand, namely a congressional declaration of war (simple majority in both houses).

Suppose, however, that some international complication should deter a formal declaration of war.[80]  In such an eventuality, a congressional supermajority can invest the Commander-in-Chief with the power that some Presidents have been so bold (or brazen) as to exercise extra-constitutionally.  Except that under the constellation law (5:1) congressional extensions beyond the initial fortnight have built-in sunset clauses — automatic expiration two weeks into the next Congress.  Thus each year's new Congress, with its rotated roster of membership, will have their say about any extension of time for a presidential war.

Again, the constellation amendment, section 5:1, will make it constitutionally explicit that no President shall conduct an undeclared war for more than a fortnight, unless so authorized by a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress.  If, however, such a supermajority is impossible to obtain, the President will have other options.  Four of the Commander-in-Chief's five options would be legal:

·         Refrain from war.

·         Order the withdrawal of U.S. military forces as soon the time limit on fortnight-wars shall expire.

·         Seek a formal declaration of war, as heretofore required by Article I, section 8.   Such a declaration requires a simple majority in both houses of Congress.  In declaring war Congress may demarcate a time frame beyond which the declaration expires, unless renewed by both houses of Congress.

·         Get two-thirds approval in both houses of Congress for an undeclared Presidential war.  Approval required annually for each new Congress within 14 days of being sworn in.

·         As Commander-in-Chief, violate his duty as chief executor of the laws.  The Chief Executive is sworn to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution, but he might dare to violate his oath of office and carry on a Presidential war beyond 14 days.  The incumbent would thus run an enhanced risk of impeachment and removal from the Presidency.

For this last option, violation of the fortnight-war provision, the constellation amendment (section 5:1) facilitates the impeachment procedure.  The process will be more facile, for war-powers violations, insofar as a constitutional majority will suffice to convict — rather than the two-thirds of the U.S. Senate required by Article II, section 4, for impeachment on other high crimes and misdemeanors.  A constitutional majority consists of yea votes equal to more than 50 percent of the number of seats in the Senate.  At this writing, a constitutional majority would mean just 51 Senators voting to convict, not the 67 that is currently required.[81]

Furthermore, the Secretary of Defense will also be forbidden to commit troops to combat, except under conditions just as restrictive as pertain to the President, and subject to the same terms of impeachment.  It will therefore take two war-mongers to violate section 5:1 of the constellation amendment, unless the Secretary of Defense bows to the law, and the President is so set on war that he fires or overrides his recalcitrant Cabinet member.

 

 

Conclusion:

     The arch-amendment will restore ten of the original, governmental principles of the Constitution that have somehow lapsed, or that usurpers have trampled underfoot.  Restoration would embrace:

 

§         The institutional link between the state and national legislatures (see recall, section 1:12-13)

§         The House of Representatives as the engine of democracy in D.C.

§         Exclusively congressional lawmaking authority, as opposed to legislation from the bench

§         Subordination of congressional committees to their parent chamber

§         Majority rule in the Senate (no filibusters)

§         Subordination of the bureaucracy to congressional oversight (see chap. seven)

§         Decentralization as mandated by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments

§         A preeminent congressional role in deciding for war (Article 1, sect. 8)

§         The right to keep and bear arms, enshrined in the Second Amendment (see below)

§         The right to life, liberty and property as guaranteed in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments[82] (see below)

 

The last of these ten principles of the American polity — life, liberty and property — involves a great deal more than strictly political questions.  Life as well as property fall respectively into the cultural and economic spheres.  In both spheres the postmodernist regime has occupied most of the crucial high ground.  Unless we retake those positions, our counterrevolution will surely fail, no matter how spectacular our gains in the political sphere.  To claim victory and yet leave the economy and culture under postmodernist control, would be as futile as recovering Kuwait during the first Gulf War (1991) yet leaving Saddam Hussein as dictator of the aggressor regime.

If we let the first counterrevolution prevail in vain, there may never be a second chance.  Or the second insurrection may garner significantly less support.  Therefore, let the counterrevolution follow-through at the outset, retaking strategic highpoints in the economic and cultural realms.

The U.S. Government was designed by the Framers to minimize power, surely not to preside over radical turnabouts in the economy and culture.  Once restored to its full-measure of proficiency, the balance of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches will still leave the new government inadequate to oust – or blast – the postmodernist regime from its positions of economic and cultural power.  Therefore, the constellation law provides for a provisional government capable of a thorough cleanup in the economic and cultural spheres.

Section six of the arch-amendment would temporarily vest all executive, legislative and judicial authority in a Transitional Assembly of Cincinnati, or TAsC .  Its task — to deprive the regime of the leverage and power it wields over the whole of American society.  Armed with the wherewithal to punish evildoers, as per the Biblical trust (Romans 13), let the delegates live up the illustrious name of Cincinnatus, and by no means carry the sword in vain.

There is always the danger, of course, that a provisional government will seek to prolong its duration by indefinitely extending its mandate — like the prolonged constitutional Convention during the French Revolution, which was drawn-out for more than three years, unlike our own Convention of 1787 that finished its work in four months.  To check against temptations along French revolutionary lines, the constellation law, section 6:6 carries the implicit threat of prosecution and punishment for members of the TAsC unless they surrender their powers according to the schedule specified in section 6:5.  Stepping down in timely fashion will confer immunity upon each Cincinnatus from consequences for unpopular actions taken during his or her incumbency.  This assurance of impunity will give the TAsC a freedom to move decisively against postmodernist positions of power.  Such a freedom of action will be quite out of the question after the restoration, when checks and balances will come back into play.

Among the measures that TAsC must undertake if the counterrevolution is to accomplish a lasting turnabout in the American condition, refer to chapter five, under the title, “Post-Ratification.”  As the provisional government spearheads the counterrevolution, section 6:3 commissions the TAsC generally to… 

act in the spirit of King Hezekiah the reformer, 2 Kings 18-20, and
exercise power in the tradition of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus,
who held the constitutional office of dictator with
advantage and honor to the republic of Rome.
 

 

ECONOMIC

 

Unemployment---

Unemployment is a pain that some academics and corporate CEO's think the American worker needs to live with.  A certain level of joblessness is desirable, they say, for the sake of labor force mobility and docility.

But rank-and-file Americans hate involuntary unemployment.  So in a campaign for an Article V convention, this is one issue where the general flow of public opinion should be favorable from the outset.

Preamble II of the arch-amendment introduces three economic sections (7, 8 & 9).  Section seven addresses the fundamental problem of chronic unemployment / underemployment.  Since the Vietnam War, unemployment has ranged from a high of 9.7 percent to a low in 2000 of 3.8 percent (see figure 3:1).  At this writing (Summer '07) the unemployment rate is at 4.6 percent, or 7.1 million unemployed.  Even the lowest percentage represented 4-1/2 million Americans, enough to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena 50 times over.  Nor do the official unemployment statistics include either the underemployed or the hidden unemployed, the latter being jobless Americans who no longer show up in U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics counts because their unemployment benefits have run out.[83]

 

Figure 3.1

U.S. Unemployment Rate, % of the labor force

1948 to mid-2003

image

Source: US Dept. Of Labor,
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Chronic joblessness and underemployment constitute the Achilles' heel of the industrialized democracy, as witnessed by, among other critics, the Marxist ideologues.  Communists point skeptically to the failure of the free enterprise system to solve the unemployment problem.[84]  In his attacks against capitalism, Karl Marx himself concentrated heavily on joblessness.  So did Vladimir Lenin.[85] 

Even after 1989-91 when Marxism fell into a well-deserved disrepute, the main objection to a market economy and a primary reason for the reticence about capitalism was the fear of unemployment.  This factor helped promote the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1992, as Slovakia seceded from the union rather than abandon the command economy.

What spray is to a skunk, unemployment is to capitalism.  And yet rid of the gland that provides the fetid secretion, the animal can be domesticated.  Like the skunk's notorious smell, chronic joblessness can drive its victims mad.[86]  Seething discontent in Great Britain spurred by an employment rate of eleven percent, led in 1981 to destructive riots in 30 British cities.  Compared to the U.K. the United States has a great deal of street violence, and firearms per capita are more plentiful and available.  Indeed during the decades since the Watts riots of 1965 many an American metropolis –– including New York, Newark, Detroit, Miami, Los Angeles and Seattle –– have suffered violent rampages fed by the resentment, despair and disorder that spring from joblessness.

The Obligation to earn one's bread by the sweat of one's brow also presumes the right to do so.  A society in which this right is systematically denied, in which economic policies do not allow workers to reach satisfactory levels of employment, cannot be justified from an ethical point of view nor can that society attain social peace. 
    
Pope John Paul II [87]

Create Jobs Not Jails

Create Jobs Not Jails

The dearth of social peace is evidenced by the fact that America has the largest prison population (2.2 million) of any nation in the world.[88]  Over the course of a year 13.5 million people go behind bars in the U.S., and at some point in their lifetime, one in twenty Americans spend time in jail.  Total American prisoners currently outnumber the civilian population in each of 16 states (including Idaho and Montana combined).  In this “carceral state,” more people are currently behind bars in some 5000 facilities – averaging 100 jails and prisons per state – than the entire citizen body in scores of smaller nations around the globe, including ten European countries.[89] 

The postmodernist regime has created such a troubled society that to keep order it spends $65 billion in annual tax dollars on prisons, up sevenfold in less than a quarter century.[90]  Postmodernism has yielded societal disaster, and indeed cruelty, insofar as 2.3 million kids are growing up with a parent behind bars (a total that quadrupled during the 20 years prior to 2005).[90a]  Nevertheless, with unceasing hypocrisy and/or confused thinking, the regime touts education (but rarely religion) as a cure for social maladies.

Postmodernist apologists attempt to downplay this social indicator.  They claim that one-fourth of imprisonments are now drug related.  Their explanation may well be true, for the new order has made society an unhappy place, so that millions of Americans resort to escapism by means of illegal drugs.

Americans also suffer from drug abuse that is legal.  Worldwide sales of Prozac already surpass the gross national product of small countries.[91]  Down a labyrinth of escape routes Americans flee cruel aspects of postmodernist life: suicide has skyrocketed for youthful males; television is an obsession in every sector of American society.

 When JFK took office the prison population in the United States was 217 thousand.  Since then the prison population has increased more than tenfold to 2.2 million (a 6½  fold increase per capita).[92]  The U.S. prison population is half again the number of Americans serving in the Armed Forces.  What kind of regime is it that puts more citizens in jail than into military service? (a combined 1.4 million in the Army, Navy, Air Force & Marines Corps).[93] 

Moreover, the more than two million Americans behind bars were not counted in the unemployment census.  If prisoners were included in the count, it would have inflated the unemployment rate (for July, 2007) from 4.6 to 6.0%, and would have narrowed the unemployment gap between the USA and Europe, where incarceration rates are substantially lower.

            Even during lows in the official unemployment rate, minorities – particularly blacks – endure depression like levels of joblessness.  Bleak and heartbreaking is the data on young black males in the inner city.  Their real unemployment rate may be as high as 50 percent, and more college age black men – one in three – are currently under criminal justice control, i.e. prison, probation, parole, than are in college.[94]  As Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. put the problem: “'In our society, it is murder, psychologically, to deprive a man of a job or an income.  You are in substance saying to that man that he has no right to exist.'”[95]  Robert F. Kennedy, Sr. spoke of “the breaking of a man’s spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father, and as a man, amongst other men.”[96]  The Biblical principle is the same: “He slays his neighbor who deprives him of his living.”[97]

 

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in support of striking workers,[98] Memphis Tennessee, 4/3/68

Referring specifically to black Americans (and with evident relevance to underprivileged age-gender-race groups generally), the Nobel prize winning economist, James Tobin of Yale, wrote:  “The most important dimension of the overall economic climate is the tightness of the labor market.”[99] 

Leaving able-bodied workers in idleness harms a portion of this country's own populace and fills them with loathing and bitterness.  Joblessness that leads to alcoholism, drug abuse and crime is but one of many ways that unemployment lowers public morale and attacks the cultural well being of society.  Although many chronically jobless Americans receive welfare and public assistance, these “benefits” have tended to humiliate the recipients, to create a mindset of dependency on government, and to impose a heavy tax burden upon working citizens.

Involuntary unemployment is an ongoing flaw in the capitalist economy.  The official figures charted above (figure 3:1) are only the tip of the iceberg.  Underemployment – like working in fast food restaurants, day-care centers and other low paying service industries, or in part-time jobs – takes people off the unemployment roles but leaves them in poverty.  They number in the tens of millions.  David K. Shipler documents the plight of such Americans in The Working Poor: Invisible in America (2004).[100]

By 1976, a dozen years into the postmodernist revolution, only two out of every five jobs in the American economy paid enough to support a family.[103]  As Christopher Lasch observed, the ethic of a “family wage” (or “living wage”) has gone the way of the family business and the family farm.[104]  In place of the former unwritten law of American capitalism that attempted to keep the single wage high enough so one breadwinner could support a family, we have now the necessity of a dual income, with both parents working and a burgeoning industry in day-care centers (many of whose employees work at minimum wage).

For the sake of the labor force as a whole, and not just for the long-term jobless, a remedy is long overdue.  A cure appropriate to political freedom and capitalistic free enterprise is all the more pressing in view of totalitarian approaches which have demonstrated real success in solving the unemployment problem by dictatorial means.[105]  In 1934 the Nazi government spent 4.6% of GNP on job creation.  Germany went from 6 million unemployed in 1932 to a labor shortage by 1936.[106]  Just as unemployment had made Hitler’s rise to power possible, so as a result of his full-employment policies the Fuhrer’s popularity skyrocketed.[107]

Even during the Brezhnev period, the U.S.S.R. gained a certain degree of credibility among its downtrodden citizens by incorporating the right to a job into the Soviet constitution.[108]  For the most part the Communist regime was able to enforce that right.[109] 

Now that National Socialism and Communism are thankfully discredited in the Western World, it is incumbent on the West to resist indulging in a triumphalist celebration of capitalism, so as to acquiesce in the dreadful downsides documented by economist Robert Reich.[109a]  His quintessential analysis, Supercapitalism:  The Transformation of Business, Democracy and Everyday Life ( Knopf, 2007) is must reading for citizens who would save the middle class and rescue the political process from plutocratic domination.  In countermanding the "Faustian bargain" implicit in supercapitalism –– our power waxes as consumers and investors, but as workers and voters our power wanes –– Reich proposes various regulatory solutions that Congress might enact.[109b]  But in addressing such negative social consequences of supercapitalism as the widening gap between rich and poor, the exportation or elimination of blue-collar work, reduced job security, and the decline of unions, reforms will stand a much better chance of success if anchored in full employment.  As elaborated below in chapter eight, a full employment economy is the best way to strengthen labor in relation to capital.

            To that end, the constellation law (section seven) authorizes both direct and indirect means, as a kind of pincers attack on unemployment during the years when normal market mechanisms fail to achieve full employment.  The United States would undertake a program of labor intensive public works, with financing by a national sales tax graduated from zero to ten percent, the lower rates levied to favor the labor intensive sectors and technologies.  Conducted entirely through contracts with private firms, the public works projects would comprise the direct approach, (section 7:4-8) and simultaneously the revenue source for the work projects would itself generate jobs indirectly (section 7:9-11).  Taxation of retail sales would be graduated up to a maximum of ten percent against goods and services produced by automated methods that afflict the workforce with unemployment.  The aim here is to promote interproduct and interbrand consumption patterns with high demand for people over machines, thus helping labor intensive technologies to survive when they are reasonably competitive with automated methods.  In other words the tax is graduated, so as to reward consumers who buy goods produced by human workers.

Ramifications of such a system are assessed in detail in chapter eight.  Let us note here that the automation tax (jobs levy) ceiling of ten percent is too low to deter automation except where labor is in roughly the same league with automated production methods, in terms of efficiency.  However, unless a better quality product or substantially faster work is at issue, we need to discourage employers who would give robots preference over men and women.

For example the jobs levy might well save a furniture factory that is labor intensive and produces a bedroom set for $990, while an automated competitor firm makes a comparable product for $900 plus a jobs levy of $90.  Keeping the employees of the first factory off public assistance will compensate society for the extra $90 paid by customers.  On the other hand, if automated methods become efficient enough to produce the product for $800, even the maximum jobs levy of ten percent will have too little impact on prices to save the labor intensive factory.

Where human labor is clearly no longer competitive, then machines will have to displace people.  But the jobs levy revenues from those sectors will at least help to reemploy the people elsewhere through public works projects.  There are two equally foolish goals: an economy with no machines at all or with machines in full control.  Men can break machines (ludditism) or machines can enslave men.  The middle ground proposed here is to let machines proliferate, but in submission to mankind –– i.e. let machines pay a sort of tithe toward employment of human workers (ten percent tax on full automation).

     Moreover the jobs levy is on domestic sales alone.  Under section 7:10 of the arch-amendment the taxation would apply impartially to imports and American makes, lest automation overseas gain a competitive edge in the U.S. marketplace.  Unlike tariffs, which discriminate directly against foreign products, the evenhandedness of the tax, irrespective of where the product originates, will not invite retaliatory raising of tariff walls against U.S. exports.

Automation is not the only job thief.  The job drain is accentuated by outsourcing, the “great sucking sound” about which H. Ross Perot warned in 1992.  Even an ardent supporter of the gospel of free trade like J.F. Rischard, European vice-president of the World Bank, lists “international labor and migration rules” as one of the top 20 global problems.[110]  In the free-trade global economy, bargain basement labor markets are steadily squeezing and gradually impoverishing the American labor force.  In place of the well-paid middle class workers who typified democratic capitalism during what Robert Reich terms “the Not Quite Golden Age” of the American economy (post-WWII through Vietnam), the supercapitalistic economy has enriched upper echelon management while cutting wages, benefits and job security for rank and file workers.[110a]  Since the death of “democratic capitalism” about the mid-1970s, the supercapitalist system has been working to emasculate the middle class and reduce posterity to some postmodernist version of serfdom.

Under the constellation law, however, jobs levy tax breaks will go to firms whose production is labor intensive, as calculated by the input ratio of capitol to labor.  This tax schedule will serve as a sort of speed bump against the overseas job drain coupled with layoffs.  Outsourcing jobs to foreign labor will suddenly become less profitable under the constellation law, for a firm’s labor input is to be calculated not by the size of a low-cost work force, but “by payroll expenditures” (section 7:11).  A well paid labor force could be considerably smaller and yet reap a lower tax rate than a firm with numerous low-paid workers.  The competitive advantage will then go to firms who find the golden mean between the two extremes of the sweat shop [lots of cheap workers] and maximum automation [few or no workers].  Firms resorting to either extreme will have to compete uphill, i.e. at a disadvantage of up to ten percent.

Obviously, the main purpose of the outsourcing of recent years has been to reduce payroll costs.  The constellation law will impose an obstacle to this trend.  The firm that outsources for cheap labor in say China or Indonesia will find it more difficult to compete in the American marketplace.  On the other hand, firms who stay American, or who keep pay rates up to U.S. standards, will get jobs levy breaks all the way down to zero percent.

The imperative is to meet our sovereign responsibility as a nation to our own working population.  The means is to create economic disincentives for outsourcing that undercuts the livelihood of fellow citizens.

Firms exporting jobs in order to reduce their wage costs find their stratagem profitable under pro-WTO supercapitalism.  Such companies save more in payroll costs than the cost of transporting their products back into the American marketplace.  Under the constellation law, however, firms that outsource jobs to cheap, third-world workers will have to pay extra taxation (up to ten percent) as well as transportation.  As a consequence, fewer American workers will have to undergo the great double-cross from American CEOs..

 

Note also that the constellation law designates the jobs levy as the sole revenue source for the authorized works projects.  We would thus avoid the trap of deficit spending, attended by inflation, as an answer to unemployment.

Another pitfall, putting the jobless workers on government payrolls, is averted by requiring private enterprise projects (section 7:5).  Unlike the old WPA of the Depression era, the public works would be conducted through contracts with private firms who hire and fire, and who pay wages.  Although ethical responsibility certainly overrides laissez faire preferences, the command economy might prove worse than the malady against which it intervenes.   Prudentially, therefore, unless a higher consideration dictates otherwise, let the economy default to the rules of supply and demand for labor as they govern the private sector.

            Finally, suppose both measures — the work projects supported by the graduated taxation against automation and/or against outsourcing — still fall short and fail to generate enough jobs to match the will to work.  Given such a shortfall in jobs, there would be a guaranteed constitutional option under the arch-amendment for Congress to spread the available work around by reducing the length of the workweek, workmonth, or workyear (section 7:2).  The average workweek ranges widely in the US economy, but as of 2003 it was down to 34 hours per week — six hours below the traditional definition of full time, 40 hours per week.

In his 1989 book, economist and former Senator Eugene McCarthy advocates downsizing the definition of full-time.[111]  As proposed, however, in the constellation law (section 7:3) curtailing overtime could begin at the outset, but the generation of more full-time jobs would take priority over the fall-back option of pushing hours at work below 40 hours per week.  In other words, Congress will be obligated to implement the job creation program associated with the jobs levy before Congress defines downward what constitutes full-time work.

            In conclusion, unemployment is a cruel feature of modern society that springs from unredeemed capitalism.  Unemployment attacks the industriousness and self-respect of the victim, creating a host of ills and evils in society.  We all stand to gain by helping the millions of citizens who do want work, shifting them from idle frustration to productive activity.

Not only will full employment slay a multi-tentacled evil, it will also empower the labor force to defend and advance itself more effectively in the marketplace.  In a tight labor market, collective bargaining and individual assertiveness will do more to help workers than a host of government interventions like poverty programs, minimum wage legislation, government job placement agencies or the U.S. Department of Labor.

Compassion and a preferential option for the poor give protections like the family leave bill, or extended unemployment benefits, a certain stopgap necessity today.  This necessity would lose some of its urgency in a labor market where workers have the upper hand.  Many welfare programs would become partially or wholly redundant, so that the associated tax burden could be lifted – a burden much heavier than the proposed graduated jobs levy.  

To put it succinctly: A gigantic welfare state sits astride the capitalist system, weighing heavily down upon the economy.  Lightening the economic load will be consistent with compassion for the poor, as well as fair play for the rich, in proportion as full employment becomes a regular feature of the U.S. economy.  And with, as it were, a trim jockey in the saddle instead of a quarter-ton obesity, the American economy will be more competitive in the global marketplace.

 

 

---Defending the Physical Environment---

            Fair play does not always follow from empowerment of individuals.  Because the helpless or handicapped person cannot exercise power so well, individualism gives the upper hand to the able-bodied.  In primitive societies, for example, the old and infirm fend for themselves.  This form of cruelty is vividly portrayed in Jack London’s, The Law of Life.

Exceptions and provisions made for the weak constitute one good gauge of the level of a civilization.  If this principle of civilization applies at the top of the world’s hierarchy of life, i.e. within human society, so too must a civilized society defend life forms further down in the order of creation.  Otherwise, flora and fauna fall victim to raw, unbridled, and irresponsible human strength.

Stewardship is a key principle in the Christian religion.  Its relationship to the environment comes under the Ten Commandments, specifically under “thou shalt not steal.”  As the Catechism puts it: 

Man’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.[112] 

            The concept of religious respect for creation comes out in a finely researched polemic by Bobby Kennedy, Jr., Crimes Against Nature (2005).  His book points out that cost-benefit analysis and other bureaucratic formulas on how to use natural resources will mostly ignore the fact that human beings have other appetites besides money, and that if we don't fill them, we will never become the kind of beings our Maker intended.”  The restorative effect of access to nature is indeed religious in some respects.[112a]

            RFK, Jr. is a Democrat, but it was a Republican President, Teddy Roosevelt, who threw the weight of the government behind pioneering conservation efforts.  After WWII my late father, a conservative Democrat, worked for the Washington state pollution control commission, and for the state department of public lands.  He raised me to love and treasurer nature.

            I find that I can renew my strength and revive my morale with visits to what James Fennimore Cooper called “the great temple of nature.”  For that reason I detest government edicts that would keep us from the woods and wilds, the flora and fauna which we love.  By building tank traps or medal gates at the entrance to wilderness roads, U.S. Forest Service policies are depriving Americans of restorative recreational opportunities.  It is good for us morally, spiritually, and mentally to retreat periodically to bare creation, as Samuel Adams called it.  The government has closed to motor vehicles many thousands of miles of dirt roads, or even obliterated them (roads ripped up and replanted with grass, etc., thus destroying the road forever). 

            This policy might be termed pseudo-environmentalism, because its purpose is to segregate people and the natural environment, by separating one from the other.  People with a genuine love for the environment desire to be near (as with most loves), to frequent, to embrace what they cherish.  Such opportunities are greatly reduced by the closing of roads and the effective denial of access.  The anti-road policy may not bother vigorous young backpackers, or wealthy outdoorsmen with planes or packhorses.  But for the rest of us, the closing of roads into the forest will put beyond reach, or at least will limit, the restorative effect of an escape to nature.  In Sonnet to Solitude John Keats set this natural balm to verse; also in these lines:

To one who has been long in city pent,

‘Tis very sweet to look into the fair

And open face of heaven, – to breathe a prayer

Full in the smile of the blue firmament.

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing

A flowery band to bind us to the earth,

Spite of despondence, or the inhuman dearth

Of noble natures, or the gloomy days,

Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways

Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,

Some shape of beauty moves away the pall

From our dark spirits.  Such the sun, the moon,

Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon….

John Keats, 1816-17[113]

Today’s Forest Service road closings are analogous to the hunting reserves of the Middle Ages, where nobles accompanied by their servants were allowed to enter the forest, but anyone else was charged with criminal trespass.  The latter day version may be a well-meaning policy, like a teacher punishing her whole class for the poor deportment of one student.  But such an approach to classroom discipline, like shutting everyone out of the forest, is generally a solution worst than the malady.  It is counterproductive for four reasons:

1. By fixating on campers, wildlife users, fishermen, sportsmen, and on American Indians, such government agencies as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service relegate really serious environmental problems to a lower priority.  They end up arresting ordinary citizens, and letting big corporate polluters go scot-free.  As Bobby Kennedy, Jr. and John Cronin write, the government too often reacts to environmental pollution not by punishing polluters but by harassing the public that owns and uses the resource.

2. Fencing off nature has the additional effect of eliminating a resource's most vocal and protective constituencies.  Kennedy and Cronin cite their years of founding and leading the Water Keeper movement.  Our experience is that fishermen often know more about the water than do government scientists.  When a resource is closed, society loses its best advocates.

3. In terms of public relations, pitting nature against humanity is a trap that has worked against greens.  “Environmentalists share some of the blame for the rise of anti-environmentalism,” according to Kennedy and Cronin, in that coming across as anti-people has been adeptly exploited by neo-con propagandists.  Consequently, public support for the green movement has declined among everyday Americans who worry about jobs, health care, and social injustice.  The more effective ecological argument emphasizes both human and divine precepts to the effect that thou shalt not steal.  We the people own many natural resources collectively – i.e. the public trust and injury to the blessings of nature is an act of theft against each member of the citizen body.  People respond more readily to this sort of bluecollar environmentalism, than to arguments or implications that humans are untrustworthy, that we are unfit for proximity to nature.[113a]

4. Making nature less accessible lowers the character of citizens generally.  “Thoreau went into the woods not to escape civilization but to make himself more civilized.”  Not only does exclusion from the wilds impoverish ordinary citizens, but so too the character of leaders.  The four Presidents memorialized on Mt. Rushmore all claimed strong ties to the land, and each of the four was a competent naturalist.  Close connection to nature gave them a special clarity of vision about the destiny of the nation.”[113b]

The problem of people littering or otherwise despoiling the wilderness is best solved by enforcement of existing laws through increased patrols (see below in chapter eight), conducted with the assistance of private citizens, not by punishing the 90 percent who act responsibly and depriving them of an important freedom of access.  In big cities the government encourages motorists to report freeway drivers who cheat against commuter lane rules.  The U.S. Forest Service could tap into an enormous resource by encouraging citizens with cell phones, in addition to organized patrols, to help exercise stewardship over a forest kept open.

The constellation law would restore access to the woods and wilderness to those of us who require a motor vehicle to get us there.  Our right of access is well worth protecting.  To deny this right is to close people off from hallowed havens.

Under the constellation law, restoration of popular access would be enshrined in section 8:3 as follows:

we reserve the right to access forests and public lands
via dirt roads that motorized vehicles may responsibly
share with hikers, horses and wildlife.

            Compared to the massive upsurge in environmental activism in the 1960s and ‘70s, today’s environmental movement is far advanced in strength and influence.  Under the Bush/Cheney Administration, however, a government-corporate combination pursued “radical destruction of 30 years of environmental law.”[114]  The constellation amendment will be of further service in three ways: 

            First, it will specify, from within the highest law of the land, our “duty to exercise good stewardship” over the environment.  This explicit constitutional language (section 8:1) will reinforce and help consolidate gains in defending our natural environment; and it will frustrate powerful neo-cons and their ilk who demean public trust doctrine and downgrade our ability to enforce it.

            Second, the constellation law will secure and/or restore hard-won environmental regulations, imperiled by associations of globalist plutocrats like the World Trade Organization (WTO).[115]  Under Article VI of the Constitution as it presently stands, a treaty with the WTO, or an international protocol with some multi-national grouping like NAFTA, has the potential to supersede all statutory protections that we have heretofore secured in state and federal law.[116] 

… history and experience prove that foreign influence is one
of the most baneful foes of republican government.

George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796 

It is to the U.S. Constitution that statutes ought to be juxtaposed for compatibility, not to international agreements between officials over whom the American people have little or no influence.  Therefore, the constellation law would amend the Constitution to make it clear and unequivocal that, 

the U.S Constitution supersedes
any international treaty. (
section 8:2) 

Also, the arch-amendment would deter the growth of a new world order based on the power to levy income taxes, sales taxes, or any other tax from American citizens.  Our Constitution cannot release us, of course, from moral obligations in international relations.  But under section 8:1, no treaty requiring payments by the U.S. will be legally obligatory.  Otherwise, the Senate in one Congress could ratify a treaty that pares down the power of the purse for all subsequent Congresses.  If the Congress responds voluntarily to an international request for appropriations, that is another matter.

However, empowering any international body to requisition American funds would, under the constellation amendment, be in violation of section 8:1 

no treaty is legally binding
that requires the payment
of American monies
to foreign entities.
 

Postmodernists who advocate a global government to preside over their new world order will, no doubt, fight against the provisions in section eight.  For it is not just our tax revenues that they would like to distribute globally, but they would also give away hard won protections for both the physical environment and the working environment. 

            Environmentalists and labor advocates have worked for decades, walked many a mile, and engaged in numerous hard-fought political battles, in order to establish pollution controls and better wages and working conditions.  Not without some justification do they see the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, NAFTA and the like, as looters who have subverted the environmental / worker friendly modifications that helped redeem democratic capitalism.[118]  In order to make capitalism work for people, rather than people for the magnates of capital, concerned men and women spent years using the democratic process, street actions, and the strike.  All these gains will go down the drain if we let our economic future be decided by globalist supercapitalists.[119]

For over a century, popular struggles in the democracies
have used the nation-state to temper raw capitalism….
So the real issue is not ‘trade’ but democratic governance.
[120] 

Lest democratic progress in regulating the economy give way to “wild capitalism,”[121] and rather than surrender our long held hopes to neo-cons for whom supply-side economics is like a theology, we the people of western Washington began a resistance in the streets.  The insurgency erupted dramatically during the last weeks of the 20th century with the “Battle of Seattle” against the WTO.[122]

            The extraordinary variety of opposition to globalism was symbolized by the presence in Seattle of the Reform Party nominee for President, Patrick J. Buchanan, also protesting the WTO[123] — from the safety of his hotel room.  Meanwhile the streets were a war zone.   Also present during the Battle of Seattle, with plenty of police protection, was the incumbent President, Bill Clinton, who came not to protest but to address the WTO delegates.

            During a downtown Seattle vigil outside the the jail where many protestors were being held, I talked with a Teamster Unionist (retired) in a yellow rain slicker.  I brought up the subject of the surprising alliance he had joined.  A protestor’s sign had billed it, “Teamsters and Turtles, united at last.”  We conservatively dressed people found ourselves arrayed with others who looked like gypsies and 60’s radicals.  He replied that a “strange bedfellow” coalition is a must, since none of us is strong enough to do it alone.

 

The constellation amendment targets international trade protocols and treaties to the extent that they would supersede the US Constitution, and circumvent its ordained democratic process.[124]  The reinforced Constitution would override any international laws or trade protocols contrary to full-employment measures like section seven’s new pro-labor automation tax, levied “on domestic retail sales of goods and services – imports as well as American makes.” (7:9)  The amendment will also draw clear constitutional lines against globalist encroachment on a sovereign U.S. responsibility, namely our country’s… 

duty to exercise good stewardship over the natural bounty
bequeathed to this continent from time immemorial.
(section 8:1) 

In a third service to the green cause, the constellation law (sections 8:3 & 9:5) will establish an equitable balance for environmental advocacy vis-à-vis advocates for private property rights.  Greens will profit from such a peace initiative.  In her book, The Morning After Earth Day: Practical Environmental Politics (1999), the longtime environmentalist, Mary Graham, writes of a… 

permanent tension in American political life: the conflict between
public interests in how land is used and the interests of landowners
in deciding for themselves what to do with their own property.
[125] 

The way to reduce this tension is to strike a democratic balance.  The federal government would retain an activist role,[126] along with states and localities, in working for anti-pollution protections.[127]  Federal law will continue to apply to big polluters like manufacturing plants, sewage systems, and corporate farming.  On the issue of private property rights, however, the constellation amendment confines the federal role to one of guarding and maintaining, as opposed to restricting or regulating, (A) tax-free domiciles, and (B) Second Amendment rights.  In both A & B, the primary regulatory role goes to elected state and local governments.

Under the constellation law no bureaucratic agency will be at liberty to regulate private domiciles or restrict the defense of domiciliary security, except as an extension of the authority vested in representatives elected at the state or local level (section 8:3).  Note the emphasis on elected officialdom and, for certain purposes, decentralization. [128]

 

---Defending Domiciliary Security

            Just as the rights to liberty and to property are null and unreal without guarantees for the right to life (the dead have no such rights), so before defending one’s home under the Second Amendment, one must be sure of a home to defend.  By means of de facto rents termed property taxes, government reduces the owners of house and home to tenants who must pay to stay.

If you refuse to pay unjust taxes, your property will be confiscated.  If you
attempt to defend your property, you will be arrested.  If you resist arrest,
you will be clubbed.  If you defend yourself against clubbing, you will be
shot dead.  These procedures are known as the Rule of Law.
  Edward Abbey

            The Constitution guarantees due process of law in two places – the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments – both with reference to life, liberty, or property.  Lest due process degenerate into a masquerade starring the proverbial “wolf at the door,” the constellation law (section nine) will privilege householders with a measured immunity from property tax.  The federal role (sections 8:3, 9:4) will be to keep the tax collector and the regulator at bay for the first one-tenth acre (4356 sq. feet – 1/3 house, 2/3 green space) of the homeowner's property.

The homeowner can gerrymander the green space to a shape of his choosing (no strips narrower than five yards), so as to incorporate the most valuable land — provided the green space is contiguous with the house itself (no tax-free archipelagos).  Larger holdings, or floor space on the house in excess of 1452 sq. feet, will remain taxable.  Land in excess of 1/15 acre will lack the special status of green zones, and be subject to taxation or regulation just like any other land. 

Section 9:6 does provide a grandfathering clause for homeowners whose holdings predate the constellation law.  These “old” homeowners can claim double the exemption that accrues to green zones, allowing them a maximum of .133 or 2/15 acre.  The grandfathering phases out, however, as soon as the property sells or passes on to heirs.

            Householders who rent rather than own their home (or who live in condominiums) will benefit similarly.  Section 9:3 will unburden the landlord for each rental, so that for every small or moderate sized unit, the currently high cost of taxation (highest now in the inner city) will no longer be passed on to the tenant – for ultimately taxes get passed on to the renter.

The objective for low and modest income renters is to lower the price by an amount equal to the property taxes currently charged.  As with homeowners the constellation law affords renters a maximum tax-free floor space of 1452 sq. feet.  Anything more would be taxable.  A green zone surrounding the rental property would also be tax free,[129] thus encouraging landlords to develop green zones around apartments and condominiums.  Possible dimensions of the green zone for a square apartment building would be triple the building’s footprint (or vertical shadow), as follows:

 

Tax-free green space,
12 quadrants

 

 

 

 

Rental with surrounding green space

Society can count on section nine to deliver at least ten positive effects:  [1] Graduating the tax to favor smaller domiciles will increase the supply of rentals for poor and moderate wage earners.  An increase in supply will bring the price down further still.  [2] Homelessness will decline as the supply of less expensive rentals increases. [3] Downtown areas will have more green zones, easing the cruelty of concrete and steel. [4] Landlords for other than rich tenants will no longer be driven by astronomical property taxes from the inner city. [5] Residential corners downtown, with supporting infrastructure like grocery stores, will civilize and transform the core city after 5PM, when office workers go home.  [6] More office workers will be able to afford living downtown, reducing the number of commuters with the associated transportation problems.  [7]  Elderly and poor will find downtown living not only affordable but desirable, in that transportation and proximity make services more easily accessible than in sprawling suburbs, where a car is indispensable.  [8] Outside the inner city, low to moderate income homeowners will not find tax-collectors standing like a wolf at the door, threatening to foreclose the "mortgage," as it were.  [9] Land use, both urban and rural, will tend in the direction of frugality, insofar as property taxes kick in when the size thresholds (section 9:2-3) are crossed.  [10] The great divide in terms of political / economic self-interest will shrink between renters and homeowners.  Currently, renters and especially transient renters who themselves pay no direct taxes on land or real-estate vote selfishly to swing the tax burden toward homeowners, who are rightly aggrieved.  Thus when property tax levies come to a vote, renters can shirk paying for public services by redoubling someone else’s burden.  But under the constellation law, for both renters and homeowners, domiciles will be property tax free up to a set size.

Of course there is no mandate for property taxes at all.  Indeed, section nine will motivate localities to adopt more efficient and equitable means of collecting monies — the land tax being a form of taxation most common to primitive economies.[130]  Advanced economic conditions afford numerous alternative ways to gather public revenues. 

But with no land taxes whatsoever, we could anticipate the undesirable consequence of ever more extensive tracts being hoarded for prolonged periods of time.  Land might come to be concentrated into the hands of fewer and wealthier owners.  An additional consideration is that if we are to have property taxes anywhere, let it be in the localities where assessors are locals themselves, democratically elected.

Here the constellation law strikes a balance: the theoretical ideal as against the pragmatic.  As per the ideal, the poor and the lower middle-income homeowners will have tax-free yards, i.e. green zones.  Pragmatically, larger tracts of land costing more, will or will not be taxed as the local political process may determine.

The same idealistic / pragmatic dichotomy will apply to houses.  Ideally, regressive taxation on small to moderate sized homes should and will be eliminated.  Practically, the higher income groups who choose to invest in homes larger than 1452 sq. ft., may have to pay the equivalent of a luxury tax on the extra space.

            In addition to checks and balances in the realm of property taxation, section 9:2, will bolster the principle of private property vis-à-vis newly expanded versions of eminent domain.  In Kelo v. New London, Connecticut (23 June 2005) the US Supreme Court made a unilateral modification of the Fifth Amendment.  As a result, government’s power to seize private property is no longer limited to confiscations for public use; it now embraces private profiteering.  Under this manifestation of our “living, breathing constitution,” a local government can order your neighborhood leveled to make room for a shopping mall, your block for high rise office buildings, or your church for an upscale complex of condos.

            The constellation law will restore a rightful prerogative that accompanies private ownership of land, namely that small land holders may refuse to sell out to large private developers.  Section nine will restore the historic balance between eminent domain laws and our rights as property owners within the private domain.

           

 

---Property Rights & Domiciliary Defense under the Second Amendment           

It does little good to secure the family home from officialdom’s muggers, if common criminals can break in and rob you (or worse) before the police arrive.  This rationale for armed self-defense is set forth in an edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries, published in 1803 during the Administration of Thomas Jefferson.  The same point is cited some two centuries later (D.C. v. Heller, 2008) when the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed, by the narrowest of majorities, that the 2nd Amendment grants not just to National Guardsmen (the militia), but also to civilians in this country, “the right to keep and bear arms.”[130a]
            The minority of four Justices in the case argued, to the contrary, that American citizens possess no such right as civilians.  The 5-4 divide was so polarized that the nine agreed about little except that the Heller case portends lots of courtroom activity in years to come.  The decision will, as Justice Stevens wrote in dissent, “surely give rise to a far more active judicial role in making vitally important national policy decisions … (and) to use the common-law process of case-by-case judicial lawmaking to define the contours of acceptable gun control policy.”[130b]  Or as Justice Scalia’s majority opinion put it, “…we will have to consider eventually what types of weapons (the Constitution) permits.”  Further, …

since this case represents this Court’s first in-depth examination of the Second Amendment, one should not expect it to clarify the entire field, anymore than Reynolds v. United States 98 U.S. 145 (1879), our first in-depth Free Exercise Clause case, left that area in a state of utter certainty.[130c]

In other words, as of 2008, the closest thing to a consensus among the nine Justices was that the momentous question of what kind of arms we the people are entitled to keep and bear, and where we can carry them, will be subject to a long process of adjudication comparable to the way the Court defined church-state issues.  Inauspicious antecedents indeed!  Do we really want issues of gun ownership decided by the same unelected, life-tenured, black-robed oligarchy that diminished religion in the public square, never deigning to secure the consent of the governed?
            As proposed in the constellation law, section five, the issue will go not to a tribunal of nine judges unaccountable to the people, but to an Article V convention for proposing amendments.  Insofar as the American people are disinclined to surrender their right to keep and bear arms (as evidenced by many public opinion surveys), let us submit a delineation and elaboration of that right to elected delegates representing the general populace, remembering that all of their proposals are subject to the democratic process of ratification by ¾ of the states.  It would be a foolish and exceedingly high-risk gamble if we leave such matters to a Supreme Court whose decrees require no ratification, a Court which came within one vote of declaring the 2nd Amendment inapplicable to us as civilians.

            In Switzerland the matter was subjected long ago to the democratic process, rather than to judges.  The longstanding Swiss policy requires all males aged 20 to 42 to undergo training in the use of arms.  Under Swiss militia system regulations, householders have also been obliged to keep a firearm in the home, with every militiaman possessing an assault rifle and retaining it after leaving the army.  Not surprisingly, the Swiss robbery rate is less than one-sixth of what homeowners have to fear in America.[131]  Breaking and entering a home in Switzerland is a high-risk activity.
            In the USA of the Founding Fathers, the same principle applied to homeowners (minutemen in Massachusetts), who were not merely permitted but compelled by law to keep arms and ammunition on hand.[132]  Under postmodernism, however, the armed householder is becoming culturally and politically incorrect.  Although burglary has declined a bit over the past 30 years,[133] the lowest figure represents more than 3 million burglarized homes per year, nothing to boast about.  And as our second amendment rights erode away, the trends may take a U-turn.  Besides trend line graphs must be kept in perspective: statistics did nothing to deter the breaking and entering of millions of American homes last year.            
            Furthermore, downward sloping bar charts provide no consolation to physically frail and vulnerable people like my widowed mother.  Until her passing in 1999, Mom lived alone.  She enjoyed an enhanced sense of safety and security thanks to her late husband’s 380 Colt pistol that she kept by her bedside.
            While confiscating her handgun might have been politically fashionable, it would also have been heartless.  For big business, by contrast, the fashion is running in the opposite direction.  Statutary law has expanded the concept of self-defense for large corporations, like Macy’s, who run their own private police forces – replete with armed security guards, private jail cells, police dogs, and handcuffs.  According to Dr. Richard Hollinger, a sociologist and criminologist at the University of Florida, “'Retailers have abandoned the criminal justice system because they know the system is not interested in them as a victim.'[134]
            If civil recovery statutes grant merchants such privileges, why should not the householder enjoy an equivalent right to defend his or her home?  The constellation amendment will therefore fortify insecure domiciles by reinforcing the existing Second Amendment, lest it devolve into a dead letter like the Tenth Amendment.
            Following the pattern of decentralization frequently employed in the constellation law, section 5:2-4 will establish wide constitutional parameters, within which each state government will position its own policy on gun ownership.  At a minimum, the arch-amendment will guarantee the U.S. citizen in good standing a right of ownership embracing revolvers; or semi-automatic pistols, rifles, and shotguns; or weapons of lesser potency.  At the upper parameter, or maximum, the citizen will be able to possess weaponry comparable to what a national guardsman would typically carry unaided during combat on a march of five miles. 
            If the respective state is uncomfortable with the Swiss equivalent of leaving its citizens in possession of M-16 rifles, then that state – not the federal government – can impose restrictions accordingly.  In the absence of such legislation, a state’s policy will default to the militia standard in place when the Constitution was written and which still applied until WW II.  On May 15, 1939 – well before the postmodernist court embarked upon the path of brazen usurpation – the U.S. Supreme Court indicated (U.S. v. Miller) that the principle governing whether private possession of a firearm fell under the protection of the 2nd Amendment would turn on whether or not the weapon was of the sort a militiaman (or national guardsman) might carry.[135]

Among the benefits to society of the guarantees in section 5:2-5:

 

·         For criminals contemplating robbery or an assault – increased deterrence to the extent that their intended victims are better armed.

·         For homeowners – reassurance of the means of self-defense, without having to rely solely on a police response, which dangerously lags in more than a few cases.

·         For citizens generally – an accentuation of the spirit of independence that derives from self-reliance.

·         For our liberties – more security against an overreaching Federal government.

 

On this latter point the Founders of the American Republic had plenty of personal experience.[136]  Less than fifteen years prior to the composition of the Bill of Rights, the minutemen had stood their ground at Lexington Green.  Hours later at Concord, armed civilians had fired the “shot heard round the world,” sending the redcoats into a hurried retreat, and putting teeth into our fight for liberty.  And so in drawing up the Bill of Rights, statesmen acted upon what was still fresh in their memories.  They were careful to include the citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.

            In conclusion, the economic benefits that will accrue from ratification of the twelve lights amendment are briefly as follows:

 

Section seven would bolster labor as follows:

 

Sections eight/nine would reinforce greens, as follows:

 

Sections six/eight/nine would help property owners, as follows:

 

 

SOCIAL

            Finally, we turn to the issue of redeeming American culture.  Full-employment will, to be sure, have a beneficial social / cultural impact.  Also, curtailing judicial usurpation will help indirectly, insofar as legislation from the bench has played so prominent a role in opening the floodgates to cultural decadence.  But because the moral and spiritual retrogression has been steep, precipitous, and abysmal, quite direct reforms are requisite to a radical turnabout.

 

 

---Liberty versus License

During the administration of James Madison, in 1815, the old "poet of the American Revolution," Philip Freneau, addressed the relationship between politics and culture.   

Where social strength resides, there rests, 'tis plain,

The power, mankind to govern and restrain:

This strength is not but in the social plan

Controlling all, the common good of man,

That power concentrated by the general voice,

In honest men, and honest people's choice,

With frequent change, to keep the patriot pure,

And from vain views of power the heart secure:

Here lies the secret, hid from Rome or Greece,

That holds a state in awe, yet holds in peace."[137] 

It was the conviction held by George Washington and others among the Founding Fathers, and by Montesquieu their philosopher mentor, that when a free society loses its ability or its will to distinguish between liberty and license, that society will eventually forfeit liberty.[138]  As Benjamin Franklin observed: 

I believe, further, that [the U.S. Constitution] can only end in despotism,
as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so
corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.

[Ben Franklin's remarks during the Constitutional Convention, 1787][139] 

If Sir Patrick Devlin is right that "bad societies can live on bad morals just as good societies on good ones,"[140] then even after hedonism has brought social mores to the lower depths, the United States might continue for yet many decades as a single political entity — perhaps resembling the post-republican Rome of the Caesars but with a technocratic and Orwellian twist.  A neo-Petronius may then arise with a new Satyricon on how democracy was profaned in the temple of Bacchus by the descendants of colonists who once gathered in the Jamestown church to launch democracy in the Western Hemisphere.[141]  Alas by then two old hymns, America, which celebrates a "sweet land of liberty," and America the Beautiful, which calls the citizenry to “confirm thy soul in self-control,” will have become funeral dirges.[142]

 

            For people with allergies, the very air they must breath can be toxic.   To move to a place where pure sea-born air – salty and clean – purges the lungs might be a matter of life or death. 

  A nation’s culture is metaphorically its spiritual atmosphere.  For people with moral scruples and consciences formed by Holy Scripture, a culture like America’s in the early 21st century is spiritual poison.  To live in it afflicts Christians, Jews and Muslims, demoralizing them spiritually, in proportion as they take their religion to heart. 

 

Floodtides unchecked bring death and woe,

Salt and brine do kill what we grow.

As when levies demolished admit the sea,

So the licentious freedoms harm ye and me.

 

There is little liberty in more freedoms sated,

Nor by quantity of paths is quality rated.

Noble freedoms hold dear.  Liberty’s parodies fear.

For they coexist harshly with the rights we revere.

 

 

Raising children in such an environment is like growing crops on a chemical landfill, or wheat on tide flats.   But by negating public manifestations of sin (like pornography) we begin to dike out the sea that kills the soil, and the toxins that pollute the culture.

As for the no small number of Americans who seem happy in the societal equivalent of Love Canal, they too should be counted among the victims. Witness an unadvertised fruit of postmodern culture: 1.7 times more Americans are behind bars than serve in the U.S. armed forces.  In the period 1980-2001, the incarceration rate more than tripled, lifting America to a dubious distinction over all industrialized nations — that of having the highest percentage of its populace (nearly 5%) who get sentenced to jail at some point in their lives.[143]  Everyone has to pay for the skyrocketing costs of our criminal justice system.  Over roughly the same two decades, direct expenditures on criminal justice more than quadrupled, from $35.8 billion annually to $146.5 billion.[144] 

The worst of it cannot be measured in money.  Consider school age children.  In the old culture, adolescent years were relatively carefree.  In postmodernist culture, youngsters must navigate a great barrier reef of temptations and hazards.  Many young lives suffer shipwreck.

It is plain that much and perhaps all of the population is sickened spiritually by a libertine culture.  Cultural diversity is not like a play area filled with multi-colored balls into which children can jump harmlessly.  Nor is a diverse culture like an archipelago with various islands we can choose to inhabit or not.  Rather the culture is like a single atmosphere with a mixture of various elements, and (like a resident of Los Angeles before they greatly reduced air pollution) inhaling this spiritual and ethical smog is inescapable as long as you live there.

We may enter into buildings with air conditioning that can filter out toxins to a limited extent.  Analogously we may go against the flow with sub-cultures that foster a limited degree of countercultural endurance in individuals – families, churches, homeschooling, etc.  But we cannot completely escape the cultural atmosphere without joining the diaspora of American citizens, the some 3.8 million civilians who live overseas.  We cannot reside in the USA and still evade the creeping deterioration.   A decadent culture will negatively impact the nation as well as every citizen individually.

Thus, the vapid and shallow soundbites about cultural diversity and tolerance, must run afoul of a pervasive rot that all residents, young and old, have to suffer.  Short of fleeing the country, there is no escaping the culture where vice is rampant and flagrant.   To the extent that the atmosphere is all-pervasive, it demoralizes the best elements in society and weakens their influence in public life.  Meanwhile the worst elements are stimulated, confirmed, and deepened in the exercise of anti-social conduct.

 

After reconstruction of a clean culture, however, like the advent of a sea breeze, the general level of distress will decline.  Those who suppose that the decadent atmosphere was more agreeable, and who spew out black ink about having morals forced upon them, will be unwitting beneficiaries.  They may writhe, agonize, protest, and litigate, but their children will turn out kinder, with manners more pleasant to encounter.  Even citizens who think they prefer perversity will be better off in real terms when America the Beautiful is restored.[145]

There is a noble freedom that dignifies, but an ignoble freedom that degrades.  During the first term of his Presidency, George Washington addressed the Congress on knowledge and its importance to “the security of a free constitution.”  Echoing Puritan pioneers like John Winthrop of Massachusetts, President Washington contended that knowledge would improve the country by nurturing the people's discernment… 

to discriminate the spirit of liberty
from that of licentiousness
cherishing the first,
avoiding the last.
[146]

President Geo. Washington 

If the crucial distinction between liberty and license is to be operational in a republic of laws, the disparity of the two should have an explicit conceptual basis in constitutional law.  Thus the proposed arch-amendment begins with an invocation that would affirm the prime importance of America's conversion "from license to liberty."

 

 

---The Importance of Culture---

Beyond this opening statement of principle, it should be obvious that something tangible and concrete should follow.  An earnest attempt to upgrade our cultural condition must parallel political and economic reforms.  Put more bluntly, we need to clean up our act.  Accordingly, the last three sections of the constellation law are designed to facilitate the release of positive spiritual forces at the grass roots of American society.

Judeo-Christian culture is the base, the foundation, on which the Constitution is laid.   To shore up the Constitution is also to address the milieu in which the Constitution must function or falter.  To repeat: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”[147] (President John Adams)

If he paid the 21st century a visit, Adams would find modern America consistent with his dictum.  Postmodern America tends to honor the Constitution as much in the breach as the observance.  Consider the Ninth and Tenth Amendments which limit federal authority relative to the states, the localities, and the citizenry.  Or ponder the flagrant and multi-faceted legislating from the Federal bench in the guise of interpreting “a living breathing Constitution.”

Appeals to honor the Constitution as written are not uncommon.  Yet when cultural rot is pervasive, preaching about constitutionality, and about adherence to the intent of the Framers, falls on deaf ears of corrupt officials and jaded citizens.

Wisdom and love of country forbid that the cultural basis, the underpinning of a robust Constitution, be left to chance –– or rather to the shallow, fickle instincts that pervade the increasingly immoral and impious multitude.  Restoration of the Constitution must include restoration of the country, especially its culture.

The regime that governs America is both intricate and obscure.  Like the tip of an iceberg the government is most apparent, yet politics per se comprises the least part of our country’s regime.  The great bulk of the regime’s power lies below in the economic and cultural spheres.  If we cut the tip down to the waterline, and cap it with a replacement of soft white snow, the submerged vastness of the regime still remains.  It arrests the hopes and dreams of our forebears as surely as that north Atlantic iceberg terminated the Titanic’s voyage.

 

A spiritual recovery in our culture would be based on two pillars: reverence for God, and high regard for the sanctity of the human person.  The vandalized condition of these two pillars today has led to a host of social evils, ranging from a million abortions per year since 1973, to an annual rate of more than 93,000 reported rapes, plus the many unreported.[148]  Pick a given Presidential term of four years.  During that time frame America will see more people murdered in our streets, homes, workplaces and public schools than our total loses of life in the entire ten years of warfare in Vietnam, our most deadly war since WW II.[149]

Consider the murderer himself who is oblivious to the sacred spiritual nature of the human being he destroys.  His worldview, acquired perhaps in school, or via the media and entertainment industry, is sanitized of religion and closed off from the concept of an immortal soul responsible to “the Supreme Judge of the world.”[150]  Consequently, he is open to destroying any irritating life form that gets in his way.  His sole deterrent is the fear of getting caught and punished in this world, where crime and punishment can never be linked well enough to civilize unruly people – not at least in a democratic society.

The rapist is likewise indifferent to the sanctity of human life.  Ted Bundy raped and sadistically killed his victims because, said he, his character as a youth was influenced and distorted by hard-core pornography.[151]  "In the worst cases," confirms a Vatican commission, "pornography can act as an inciting or reinforcing agent, a kind of accomplice, in the behavior of dangerous sex offenders – child molesters, rapists and killers."[152]

Our intent here is not to intervene against murder and rape with a constitutional Amendment outlawing acts which are already 100 percent illegal.  Rather we seek to starve the roots of these and other social mutations by irrigating the ground of American culture with a fresh sense of the sacred. 

Still, when the dogs are marking the marigolds, the gardener’s first priority is to put up a fence.  The cultural ground is indeed fertile in America, but it will produce a richer yield, and grow fewer mutations, to the extent that the irrigation brings in spiritual spring water (a sense of the sacred) while we repair dikes against toxic saltwater.

 

 

---Rebuilding the Levees

From four directions currently the culture of death floods in:  pornography, sodomy, euthanasia, and abortion.  Cloning is a fifth fissure in the dike about to break open.  But after we seal the breaches with blocks of granite, our levies will hold and our ground will bear good fruit.

Among the bad fruits is what Jesus called an “obtuse spirit.”[153]  Americans afflicted by this inner defilement cannot detect that the country’s very survival is at stake, at least as a beneficent republic.  People afflicted with such myopic lack of discernment tend to see no further than democracy.  Citizens are entitled, they say (with the ancient Athenians), to what the democratic process yields.  On the contrary, however: 

Democracy cannot be idolized to the point of making it a substitute for morality or a panacea for immorality. Fundamentally, democracy is a "system" and as such is a means and not an end.  Its "moral" value is not automatic, but depends on conformity to the moral law…. The value of democracy stands or falls with the values which it embodies and promotes.  [John-Paul II, Evangelium Vitae 70, March 25, 1995]

Take the problem of pornography.  To plug the dike and reverse the ongoing conversion of America into a pornotopia, three general counter-strategies are possible.  A failed countermeasure that has already been tried, is to educate the public as to the many studies and testimonials about pornography’s harmful effects on children and adults.  By itself such a strategy has a track record as abysmal as the decades old sex-education programs in public schools.

Health classes have employed the educational approach to the maximum, in hopes of promoting reproductive responsibility, and yet America boasts the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the industrialized world [10% of girls aged thirteen through eighteen[154]].  Is reliance on education alone justified when the prevailing educational methods make other problems associated with human sexuality distinctly worse?  Witness the fact that one-third of the babies in the United States are born out of wedlock, up from five percent in 1960!  Obviously public education alone is not solving the problem it purports to address.

A second and somewhat stronger approach would be to harass and harry the pornographers’ supply lines, but to stop short of severing them.  Michael Medved, author of Hollywood Verses America, reconnoiters very well the dispositions of the foe.  But his recommendations for counteraction would be analogous to the Polish cavalry charges in 1939 against German tanks.  Against gratuitous violence and sex in the movies Medved would levy a “slasher tax,” on the assumption that an additional dollar or so at the box office would put socially destructive productions at a competitive price disadvantage relative to good films.  Mr. Medved is usually an astute analyst.  He needs, however, to read his history of victory in warfare, for it is a culture war in which we are indeed engaged. 

While Medved’s book identifies the front where fighting is furious, and where we have so much to suffer if we lose, his proposals would virtually assure that victory eludes us.  Even a historian like Macaulay, a 19th century liberal, points out the sheer folly of undertaking warfare in a halfhearted manner.[155]  It would be better not to fight at all, than merely irritate and annoy your adversary.  Unless you are willing to deliver a knockout blow, the probability is high that warfare will be prolonged and collateral suffering increased.  Moreover you may very well lose.  Ask Vietnam vets about the loss of their cause to the ragged fighters whose supply lines and sources we never dared to cut.  Consider Gen. George McClellan’s failure to be aggressive and cut off Lee’s retreat from Antietam, thereby lengthening the Civil War by 2½ years and by hundreds of thousands of young lives.

The third counterstrategy against the porno-pollution of America is to use weapons which God puts at our disposal, including political power to remove the purveyors and perpetrators from society.  Not without reason does government carry the sword [Romans 13:4], as we shall be obliged to demonstrate after ousting the postmodernist regime from political control.  At that point, let us not fail to unsheathe this sword because we fear the humiliation of being called Nazis or Fascists or some other slander.

Being subject to such accusations is an affliction suffered by nearly any public figure nowadays who eschews moral compromise and delivers a firm rebuke, and a definitive no.[156]  Many of us quail under the withering fire of such ad hominem attacks.  Also, in our weakness, we feel obligated to genuflect to every version of freedom however distorted, and so we dutifully mouth the standard sound bites condemning censorship.  For such light and transient causes we submit to the heavy burden of cultural decadence and moral corruption of our children.

Now therefore we propose to put some teeth into the anthem, “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”  Instead of cringing before the false gods of diversity, tolerance and hedonism, or tweaking their noses with half-measures, let us break the idols in the temple of Baal.  Let us prefer the Ten Commandments to the nine “Justices.”[157]  Let us defend freedom in a manner worthy of our forefathers who gave their own last full measure of devotion in places like Yorktown, Gettysburg, and Omaha Beach.

Preamble III of the arch-amendment prefaces what might be termed a full-fledged counterattack in cultural self-defense, or put another way, a societal rescue operation.  Section ten of the constellation law would safeguard the sanctity of human life against the threefold menace of abortion, euthanasia and cloning.  Just as cloning perverts the process of conception, so sodomy and pornography pervert the sanctity of human sexuality.  Tenderness ought to accompany anything that has a sanctified nature, and we cannot allow brutality and profiteering to drive out the loveliness that gives quality to life.  Beauty is not only worth defending, but her tender nature requires a collective chivalry to defend her.

For a more detailed analysis of the reforms relative to abortion, euthanasia, cloning, sodomy and pornography, see chapter ten, “Fighting Diabolical Fires.” 

The reform that cuts perhaps to the deepest level of America’s cultural malignancy is section eleven of the arch-amendment. Here the immediate purpose of the constellation law is to close the floodgates to inundation of the culture with reeking tides of movies, videos, and pornographic photos – in hard and soft copy.  By early 21st century the U.S. industry in hard-core pornography was producing some 11,000 movies annually.[158]

Even so-called 'soft-core' pornography can have a progressively desensitizing effect, gradually rendering individuals morally numb and personally insensitive to the rights and dignity of others.[159]

Let civil libertarians note that the constellation law is not devoid of sensitivity to their concerns.  For example, the constitutional machinery for a cleanup (section 11:11) would exempt “works displaying only the spoken or written word” – as distinguished from the photos and films – so as to keep secure the right of intellectual dissent.  The pornographic magazines, movies and web sites viewed in a single month probably do more to spread rudeness, vulgarity and violence throughout society than a decade's worth of obscene literature.  Prose and poetry approach people through their intellect.  Seen cerebrally, obscenity can be rationally rejected.  But the obscene photograph or film approaches the populace through instinctive cravings which block the light of rationality.  Society can survive the bad literature, provided we roll back commercialization of vice by means of photographic images.

Moreover, words constitute the prime medium for the exchange of ideas –– an intellectual commerce which gains nothing from the mass marketing of pornographic pictures.  Freedom of the press is involved where ideas clash and compete, as with political dispute or dissent.  Serious press has, however, no genuine stake in the proliferation of pornographic images.

By way of concession, therefore, section eleven would constitutionally reinforce the prevailing policy of permissiveness for the printed or electronic page – i.e. written words. But in battling blight at the heart of our culture, pictorial pornography will be subject to a full-scale cleanup.

The constellation law will empower America to recover virtue.  It will empower us, and our descendants, to defend her honor by fighting in collective defense of the moral integrity of the USA.

 

 

---Re-illuminating the Darkness---

 

To dissipate the shadow that looms over American society, section twelve will reassert, particularly in public education, a cordial or cooperative separation of church and state, as opposed to the antagonistic church-state relationship that has reared its head since 1963.  In 1985, for example, in his dissent to the U.S. Supreme Court mandate against one minute of silent prayer in public schools, then Chief Justice Warren Burger lamented that the decision manifests not neutrality but hostility toward religion.[160]  Burger’s successor noticed the same ill will.  In June of 2000 Chief Justice William Rehnquist dissented, joined by Justices Thomas and Scalia, when the U.S. Supreme Court created yet another no-prayer-zone, this time football stadiums.  Wrote Rehnquist: 

… even more disturbing than its holding is the tone of the Court’s opinion; it bristles with hostility to all things religious in public life. Neither the holding nor the tone of the opinion is faithful to the meaning of the Establishment Clause, when it is recalled that George Washington himself, at the request of the very Congress which passed the Bill of Rights, proclaimed a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.” [161] 

On December 2, 2009, in advocating same sex marriage for New York State, Eric Adams of Brooklyn told his fellow state senators, “when I walk through these doors, my Bible stays out.” His rationale is pro-schizophrenia. It would have every citizen adopt a split personality. It contends that when deciding questions of politics and law, civic duty requires Americans to disregard deeply held convictions about religion and morality. This call for sacred / secular schizophrenia ignores President George Washington’s warning in his Farewell Address,


Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.

Before World War II American law and tradition had long separated the state from particular religious bodies and their leading institutions.  In the postwar years, however, a new version of separation came gradually to the fore, its essence being to separate public affairs not just from ecclesiastical control but from the principles and moral precepts that are religiously inspired.  In public education the early 1960s saw court mandates alter the classroom environment so as virtually to sheath the sword of the Spirit – the Apostle Paul's metaphor for the word of God.[162]  Thus the courts have tabooed the keenest spiritual check to the array of vices and temptations which schoolchildren encounter in their peer group subcultures.

The youth culture today is formed largely by adults, and it is adult society that has chosen to feed posterity a diet of rock lyrics and role models from the television wasteland even as the principles of the Bible and the sense of reverence fostered by prayer are suppressed.  As the Scripture says, "hidden wisdom and unseen treasure – of what value is either?  Better the man who hides his folly than the one who hides his wisdom."[163]

Surely the same principle applies to nations.  We have great resources of wisdom in the Judeo-Christian values which have long guided civilization in the West.  And yet after the Court began deciding church-state cases in the schools on the principle that those who believe must give way to those who believe least, all 15,000 public school districts were forced to conceal spiritual wisdom from schoolchildren even in curriculum areas like social studies.  Such classes as history, contemporary events, and civics can be weak and misleading when it is forbidden to have recourse to the great Source of wisdom whereby we discern good from evil, fair from unfair, expedient from inopportune.  Certain other areas of the curriculum, including health classes, are likewise jeopardized.

Moreover, power abhors a vacuum and postmodern morals are filling it.  The court imposed suppression of America’s religious heritage in public schools has given ethical judgments over to the control of elements unfriendly to the old time religion.  These foes of the Judeo-Christian tradition consider biblical values outdated, and seek to recast American cultural norms in a mold that is unfavorable to the nation's spiritual heritage, or even overtly hostile.

Why should the defenders of Judeo-Christian values be accused of bellicosity and disarmed in a culture war they never started?  The playing field, or rather the battlefield, should at the very least be leveled lest we forfeit the hearts and minds of students by the millions to the apostles of postmodern paganism.  The right of self-defense is sacred, including the right in schools to speak in defense of the country's moral and spiritual heritage.

During the 2006-07 school year I taught Contemporary Issues to 12th graders at a public high school.  The only way I could openly address the divine dimension associated with human life was by sponsoring a debate on intelligent design, with outside speakers both pro and con.  When one of my students suffered a severe brain injury on the football field, and the boy lay in the hospital in danger of death, the best we could do in the classroom was have the class honor his empty desk with one minute of silence.  Vocal prayer for his recovery might have gotten me fired, or at least reprimanded.

In contrast to the Judiciary's one-sided performance as referee for the public school curriculum, the U.S. Supreme Court did show an admirable restraint in 1990 by letting stand the Equal Access Act, a Federal law passed six years earlier, whereby Congress required public schools, grades 7-12, to give religious clubs equal status with any other extra-curricular organizations that meet on campus after school.[164]  However, among the drawbacks to statutory intervention by Congress – even when the legislation is enlightened – is its centralized nature as policy imposed on the schools from the top down.[165]  Another weakness is that the legislation may be rescinded or amended by Congress at any time.  Even leaving these misgivings aside, we must emphasize that our 40 million morally besieged and spiritually benumbed public school students need something more than expanded extra-curricular opportunities.  Their education will remain spiritually dry and even damaging to kids' character as long as unbelief (practical atheism or agnosticism) retains its spiritual monopoly in the classroom and in the curriculum.

With the exception of the equal access case in 1990, separation of church and state, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court after 1962, has moved far beyond the realm of moderation.  The public school curriculum as recast by the Court denies equal access and repudiates the spirit of accommodation.  The 1962-1963 bans on Bible reading and prayer in public education were a watershed that began a 30 year experiment in social engineering, culminating in 1992 when – in a decision opposed, according to surveys, by 80 percent of the American public – the Supreme Court forbade a minister, as distinguished from the students themselves, from offering the invocation at graduation exercises.[166]  Banning the minister's invocation from commencement exercises may conform to the ideas set forth during the preceding 30 year period by nine unelected and life-tenured attorneys, but the precedent goes against the grain of harmonious church-state relations during the greater part of U.S. history.

How has this 30 year experiment fared?  Increasingly an alienation or adversarial relationship has developed between church and state in America.  The poet Robert Frost tells us that "good fences make good neighbors."[167]  And just as a New England stone fence need not be so divisive as to prevent neighborly conversation and cooperation across the property line, so likewise with what Thomas Jefferson metaphorically called the wall of separation between church and state: if indeed it is a wall at all, it should be a reasonable and friendly fence between fellow countrymen, not hostile fortifications or a kind of Berlin wall severing natural interchange and communication.  Extreme separation has tended to foster suspicion and confrontation, and to minimize cooperation, even in areas where crucial sacred and secular interests overlap.

In 1948, after the Everson and McCollum decisions, John Courtney Murray, S.J. asked: is Jefferson's famous `wall of separation between church and state' on the way to becoming an impenetrable barrier to cooperation between these two forces in society upon which the good of society depends?[168]  By 1963, regretfully, the American Judiciary had answered stridently in the affirmative, and the fortification of this cultural iron curtain continues unabated to the present day.

It is as though the sacred and secular spheres as represented on the two sides of the Great Seal of the United States (see the back of a dollar bill) went to war with each other in the early 1960's.  Certainly it was the secular sphere which started this civil war, not visa-versa.  Has the clash been constructive in its effects?  We will leave it to the informed reader to decide whether our streets are more safe, our children more civilized, our movies and television more uplifting, and the prevailing culture higher morally than in the period before JFK’s assassination.

As for public education, it is manifestly false that schools are better learning environments as a result of the grand experiment.  On the contrary, with chronic breakdowns in discipline and declining academic standards, government schools are often frightful places to send children.[169]  The rising demand for private schooling and the burgeoning home schooling movement give witness to the deterioration in public education, a tragedy to which I can personally testify along with many others who have actually taught in public schools.

A source as liberal as Time magazine conceded in a 1991 cover story that:

For God to be kept out of the classroom or out of America's public debate by nervous school administrators or overcautious politicians serves no one's interests.  That restriction prevents people from drawing on this country's rich and diverse religious heritage for guidance, and it degrades the nation's moral discourse by placing a whole realm of theological reasoning out of bounds.  The price of that sort of quarantine, at a time of moral dislocation, is – and has been – far too high.[170] 

Allow me to offer a personal anecdote.  My son Daniel was in a public middle school program for gifted students.  On May 30th, 2003, I sent the following email to his teacher and to his principal; both of whom happened to be Christians. 

I sent Daniel off to the bus this AM with a word of encouragement about being brave enough to say something in class about St. Joan of Arc.  Today is the day in 1431 that churchmen in the pay of the English, notably the infamous Bishop of Beauvais, had Joan burned at the stake on trumped up charges.  Consequently the feast day of this patron saint of France has been May 30th since her canonization in 1920.

Daniel is more than reluctant.  He thinks he has an obligation to remain silent about this beautiful figure in history, lest any classmate who might not believe in God be offended.  I told him that even in public schools, we have the right to study history, and that the longest war in history, the Hundred Years War, turned in favor of the French thanks to God's intervention via Jeanne d’Arc.  But for the extraordinary turn of historic events surrounding her brief career, the English might have won the Hundred Years War, and France become a fiefdom of the king of England.  Since we Americans also fought against the English for much the same reason, I think any American student should be free in any classroom to bring these facts up for discussion.

Alas, I'm afraid that Daniel is too intimidated by the politically correct cloud over any exercise of free speech that happens to be religious in nature — here in this land of the free and home of the brave. 

Daniel is not a shy or cowardly boy.  Ten weeks or so beforehand, he had conjured up the courage to give his first public speech (albeit only one sentence) to an anti-Iraq War crowd of about 1000 people.  He participates in drama and orchestra; he shows little problem with stage fright.  And yet in the familiar surroundings of the classroom, where he spends 180 days per year, the same boy was afraid to speak about a great hallmark of history.  Why?  Because it included a religious dimension.

 

With Daniel, my oldest son, , 1/1/2003

Education is an expression of love for our youth.  Inculcating a servile and craven fear of speaking freely about spiritual matters is doing our children no favor, and is sure to damage the character of America’s future leaders.  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment.” (1 John 4:18, KJV)

On the basis of the effect on public education alone – not to mention the many unfortunate developments in society at large – it is time to recognize the grand experiment as a failure at best, and at worst as a collective captivation by sirens.  The mere recognition of past errors will, however, do us no good unless we amend our ways.  Given the state of politics at the federal level, any solution implemented from Washington, D.C. is likely to be so diluted and watered down as to be worthless, or worse.  Our best hope is in the 50 states at the grass roots of society, where we the people can initiate an Article V convention that reconciles church and state, once again letting religion exercise its old and time-tested ethical effect.

Of course no constitutional reforms, however beneficent, can cure the spiritual stupor afflicting modern society.  No legislation will rescue the multitude of adults and children who wander in the wilderness of moral anarchy.  No constitutional amendment can liberate a person or a culture from spiritual poverty.[171]  But laws are useful for breaking down barriers that impede improvement.

According to 20th century philosopher, Jacques Maritain, the state can assist the church by removing obstacles and opening the doors.[172]  Especially in public schools law can open curtains so that light may enter.  The illumination will diminish the spiritual darkness infiltrating the youth culture via drugs, the entertainment industry and sinful peer pressure.  Law cannot build character, but a constitutional amendment can open education to the disciplines and principles that do.

 

 

 

Conclusion

A final consideration concerns the wisdom of enacting economic and social reforms by means of a constitutional Amendment.  Recasting part of the political framework, the U.S. Government, is by its very nature a constitutional change.  Clearly, such are the reforms under Preamble I of the constellation amendment, sections one through six.

But what about the economic and cultural changes?  Some constitutions fail precisely by saying too much and trying to regulate every aspect of national life, or by intruding into the province of statute law.  Note, however, that the sections under preambles II and III of the arch-amendment relate to limited areas within the economic and cultural spheres.  Moreover they contain no constitutional mandates for explicit practices, but rather general principles followed by optional avenues constitutionally cleared for Americans to use when they see fit.

Preamble II recognizes the right of an able-bodied citizen to make a living by working.  Economic participation rights have developed extensively in Europe while the United States has lagged far behind.[173]  Under the constellation law the United States would seize the initiative in developing the worker's right to economic opportunity as distinguished from an emphasis on job guarantees.  Economic efficiency is reinforced by opportunity; it is undermined, however, when government overrides the laws of supply and demand to guarantee anyone a job.

The general principle that more plentiful opportunity to earn one's livelihood will be required of the economy, is then followed by two specified avenues (optional and not to exclude others) whereby the Congress will have authority to generate jobs and tighten up the labor market.  In the event that one of these tactical courses is taken, the constitutional parameters will be defined with clarity, so as to avoid litigious quagmires predicated on unconstitutionality.  The economic obstacles will be difficult enough; having to fight simultaneously against corporate attorneys on constitutional grounds might well doom the reform.

Likewise on the cultural issues.  Under preamble III, carefully defined means are spelled out so that society has at least the option to act decisively and directly against pornography.  Defending the moral integrity of the culture is a natural social right, which the constellation law will reaffirm in principle by establishing the elective office of Cultural Laundress.  In practice whether society exercises the option of self-defense, and how firmly, will become a democratic decision rather than an iron decree in the negative by an unelected politburo of judges.  The voters will be free to prioritize or to de-emphasize the process, acting through biennial elections replete with checks, balances and procedural safeguards.

Similarly in public education: no religious exercises are mandated, but the constellation law would clear roadblocks from certain avenues.  The answer to years of anti-religious retrenchment behind high palisades of legal precedent and interpretation is to guarantee a corridor by means of the written Constitution itself.  Nothing will compel society to move through the breach, but the arch-amendment will assure Americans the opportunity.

The intent of the constellation amendment is not to make the Constitution an economic or cultural blueprint, but rather to clear avenues for we the peopleto decide our own destiny in the economic and cultural spheres.  To this end the nation needs constitutional corridors which are safe and sure.

 

Moreover, the pervasiveness of the postmodernist revolution requires a counterrevolution equally pervasive.  Because postmodernists are notoriously driven by emotion in preference to reason, they have produced no equivalent to the Communist Manifesto, or to Mein Kampf, outlining a preconceived design for the postmodernist future.  Now, however, that their revolution has reached the stage of consolidation, the basic form is becoming discernible.  In America the postmodernist vision seems to be as follows:

 

·         Political:  National sovereignty is to be reprogrammed into a component of the new world order, with the USA like a state or province within a federated world government.  The latter is slated to secure taxing power over the American people. 

Elected officials in this country will be allowed to micro-manage budgetary matters, as well as law and order matters, subject to oversight by an international body.  As long as the United States remains the world’s sole military superpower, the commander-in-chief of the American military is to be a kind of international chief-of-police, less and less accountable to our elected representatives in Congress.

 

·         Economic:  The U.S. economy will be fully integrated into the world economy, presided over by the WTO and other multi-national governing bodies like NAFTA, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.  (Economic decision makers will thus be utterly beyond the control of U.S. voters).  The WTO et. al. will macro-manage national economies – here labor and greens have already warned us of the threat – backed by free trade treaties and protocols. 

Analogously, the interstate commerce clause allows the Federal government to regulate economic enterprises in the states.  After taking over macro-management of the economy, the postmodernist regime will leave micromanagement to the plutocratic interplay of corporate power and elected government at the federal, state and local levels.

 

·         Cultural:  The task of macro-managing America’s direction as a society will fall to life-tenured judges, looking increasingly to international precedents and tribunals for guidelines.  Autonomous cultural forces, like the three great monotheistic religions, will be pushed to the back of the bus.  Individuals and groups will be ghettoized who contradict the obligatory quasi-religion, with its secular trinity of tolerance–diversity–choice.  Public policy will therefore become increasingly hostile to the Ten Commandments, the Bible, and other “intolerant” expressions of loyalty to the one true God.

 

If a counterrevolution succeeds along the lines proposed in this chapter, we can look forward to restoration of America the Beautiful under God and the written Constitution.  Restoration focuses not on abolition, but on rebuilding – i.e. building upon the legacy we have from the Founding Fathers.  In some cases, however, we would nullify latter-day distortions of the Framers' intent.  Such mutilations include skewing of the electoral process in favor of incumbents; also interpretations of the first amendment that have generated church-state hostility, or have opened the flood gates to pornography.  But the thrust of the proposed counterrevolution is not just to abrogate abuses but also to build upward on the sound foundation that dates from the American Revolution.

An ancient example of restoration is seen in the reforms of Kings Agis and Cleomenes in the polis of Sparta.  Though the case in point took place in a city-state in the third century, B.C., it is certainly relevant to nations irrespective of size, and in any era where counterrevolution is prerequisite to restoration of national health.  In Sparta, Plutarch tells us, the regal reformers

did not set about removing partial evils and curing petty incidents of disease, which would have been (as Plato says) like cutting off one of the Hydra’s heads, the very means to increase the number; but they instituted a thorough reformation, such as would free the country from all its grievances, or rather, to speak more truly, they reversed that former change which had been the cause of all their calamities, and so restored their city to its ancient state.[174]

 

 

 

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ENDNOTES

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[1]Parts of the political section of this chapter are taken directly from Robert Struble, Jr., & Z.W. Jahre, "Rotation in Office: Rapid but Restricted to the House," PS: Political Science & Politics 24: 34-37.

[2]In 1975 on the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere's ride, Gerald Ford, then President of the United States, was at the Old North Church in Boston (Christ Church) along with various statesmen and clergymen.  After the service, President Ford and the Rev. Robert Golledge, Vicar of the church, bore together a third lantern which took its place beside the other two, high in the church steeple.  It was to serve, said the Vicar, as "a new signal" that we will yet bring to reality the American promise. (Boston Globe, 19 April 1975, pp. 1,4,6; Boston Herald American, 19 April 1975, p. 1, and April 22, p. 3).

[3]See, for example, The Great Seal of the United States, Dept. of State Publication 8868 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, July 1976), p. 6.
            "The eye over [the pyramid] and the motto [Annuit Coeptis] allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favor of the American cause." [Report of the secretary of Congress, 20 June 1782, in Journals of the Continental Congress XXII, p 339, upon enactment of the bill creating the Great Seal].

[4]Writes Pope John Paul II:  "Nowadays there is a tendency to claim that agnosticism and skeptical relativism are the philosophy and the basic attitude which correspond to democratic forms of political life.  Those who are convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view, since they do not accept that truth is determined by the majority or that it is subject to variation according to different political trends."
            The Pope counters that "if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power.  As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism."  Encyclical Centesimus Annus 46 (1 May 1991).

[5]Vaclav Havel, Disturbing the Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990), p.181.  First published in the mid-1980s.
            The quote from Havel calls to mind the reflections of Professor Glen Tinder of the University of Massachusetts.  "A human being may feel as inadequate to the demands of historical circumstances as five loaves and two fish to the hunger of many thousands of people; such incongruities – according to Christian faith – can be left in the hands of God."  Glen Tinder, The Political Meaning of Christianity (Baton Rouge: Lousiana State University Press, 1989), p. 9.

            Less reassuring is the observation by Daniel Berrigan, S.J. re his “Plowshares Eight” trial in 1981: “I know of no sure way of predicting where things will go from there, whether others will hear and respond, or how quickly or slowly.  Or whether the act will fail to vitalize others, will come to a grinding halt then and there, its actors stigmatized or dismissed as fools.  One swallows dry and takes a chance.”  Quoted in Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present (New York: Harper Collins, 2003), p. 602.

[6] The Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope web page was accessed at, http://clavius.as.arizona.edu/vo/vatt.html

[7]The three lunar astronauts in 1968 were Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders.  The reading was from the King James Version of Genesis 1:1-10.  (See for example, The New York Times, 25 December 1968, p. 1).  In 1969 Madelyn Murray O'Hair, the atheist leader, went to court to ban religious exercises in outer space, but failed to repeat her success of six years earlier in the school Bible reading case.  (See chapter 10, under the sub-section entitled "normative teaching").

[8]Proverbs 6:23.  "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light;..." (King James Version)  "Mandatum lucerna est et lex lux." (Clementine Vulgate)  In Collations on the Six Days 20:27, St. John Bonaventure refers to the Decalogue as follows: "Moses bore the lights from God to the people."

[9]There is a scholarly journal, published in Washington, D.C., entitled, Journal of Social, Political & Economic Studies.  Professor John Rawls of Harvard writes that "the basic structure of a constitutional democratic regime...consists in society's main political, social, and economic institutions, and how they fit together into one unified system of social cooperation."  John Rawals, "The Domain of the Political and Overlapping consensus," New York University Law Review 64 (May 1989): 240.

[10]Parts of the political section of this chapter are taken directly from Robert Struble, Jr., & Z.W. Jahre, "Rotation in Office: Rapid but Restricted to the House," PS: Political Science & Politics 24: 34-37.

[11]Howard Baker, "Congress According To Baker," The New York Times Magazine, April 1, 1984, pp. 68-69, 74; also Baker's "A plan to reform the mandarin Congress," Seattle Times, 29 November 1979, p. A12.

[12] For more on Eisenhower's plan, see chapter six.

[13] The four constitutional amendments on term limits which the House rejected 29 March 1995 were sponsored by: Democrat John Dingell [12/12 retroactive], rejected 135-297; Republican Bob Inglis [6/12, un-retroactive], rejected 114-316; Republican Van Hilleary [12/12, unretroactive, but defers to more stringent state imposed limits], rejected 164-265; Republican Bill McCollum [12/12 unretroactive and would override more stringent state limits]; approved by less than the requisite 2/3, 227-204; on February 12, 1997 it did likewise by a margin of 217-211 [50.7%].

[14] Dwight D. Eisenhower, Waging Peace, The White House Years, 1956-1961 (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1965), pp. 643-44

[15] Congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL) quoted in The New York Times, 31 March 1995, national ed., p. A14.

[16] Robert Struble, Jr., Second Time A Charm: Term Limits in Washington State, paper delivered at the 1993 Annual Meeting of the Western Political Science Association, Pasadena, CA, March 18, 1993.

[17]Max Farrand, ed., The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, 4 vols. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911),  1:20.  "Res[olved] that the members of the first branch of the National Legislature ought to be elected by the people of the several States every ___ for the term of ___; ...to be incapable of reelection for the space of ___ after the expiration of their term of service; and to be subject to recall."

[18] On section 3:2 of the constellation law, and checks against plutocratic corruption despite one-term rotation, see below, chapter six, the first two paragraphs under the subsection on recall.  For extensive documentation and analysis of how corporate plutocrats rent and purchase elected politicians in the “industrial democracies,” see Noreena Hertz, The Silent Takeover: Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 100, cf. the rest of her fifth chapter, “Politics for Sale,” pp. 88-108.

[19] Quotation from Edward Abbey (1927-1989). http://www.abbeyweb.net/quotes.htx

[20] Alan I. Abramowitz, Brad Alexander, and Matthew Gunning, “Incumbency, Redistricting, and the Decline of Competition in U.S. House Elections,” paper for the Southern Political Science Association meeting, January 6-8, 2005.  http://www.emergingdemocraticmajorityweblog.com/spsa/spsa.html  The authors are political science professors at Emory University.

[21] Ibid.  On declining competitiveness since WW II, see tables 2 and 3 and figure 7.

[22] Ibid.

[23]According to Nelson Polsby a major development in the late 19th and the 20th century history of the House of Representatives has been what he calls the hardening of boundaries.  As boundaries harden, three things are said to happen: turnover slows, entry into the office becomes more difficult, and internal leadership becomes professional and persists.   Nelson W. Polsby, "The Institutionalization of the U.S. House of Representatives," American Political Science Review 62 (March 1968): 145-46.

[24] The paragraph in text is taken verbatum from Robert Struble, Jr. & Z.W. Jahre, "Rotation in Office: Rapid but Restricted to the House," PS: Political Science and Politics 24 (March, 1991): 36.

[25]Morris P. Fiorina, "The Case of the Vanishing Marginals: The Bureaucracy Did It," American Political Science Review 71 (March 1977): 180.

[26] Robert Schindler quoted by American Family Association Online, March 29, 2005.

[27] Planned Parenthood v. Ashcroft, June 1, 2004, San Francisco.

[27a] Citizenlink.org 4/19/07.

[28] Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, 21 Jan. 1812.  "A letter from you (Jn. Adams) calls up recollections very dear to my mind.  It carries me back to the times when, beset with difficulties and dangers, we were fellow laborers in the same cause, struggling for what is most valuable to man, his right of self-government." (emphasis mine)

[29] Robert Bork, Coercing Virtue, The Worldwide Rule of Judges (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute Press, 2003), quoted in, Jay Ambrose, “Courts overriding our democracy,” Scripps Howard News Service, November 17, 2003.

[30] Bob Struble, "Replacing Morality with Psychology," Kitsap Sun, July 10, 2005, page A-16.  This guest editorial was similar in form to one published earlier in the Bremerton Patriot, week of July 2-8, 2005, page A4.  These articles were published after approval by the TCVC.  The endnotes in the article are added for this book.

[31] McCreary County v. ACLU, June 27, 2005.

[32] Bryan Fischer, Save the Commandments Coalition, email newsletter, Boise ID, 2/28/05.  www.keepthecommandmentsidaho.com

[33] McCreary County v. ACLU, Scalia dissent, 2nd last paragraph of part I.

[34] In a 6-3 decision, (Clinton v. City of New York, June 25, 1998) the high court declared unconstitutional the line-item vote legislation of 1996 that allowed the president to cancel specific items in tax and spending measures. 

The statute had passed 232-177 in the House and 69-31 in the Senate.  The line item veto had been a major provision of the 1994 House Republican "Contract With America" campaign manifesto. Before it was overturned, President Clinton used the line item veto 82 times on parts of 11 laws, cutting an estimated $355 million in government spending, but Congress restored 38 of the items by overriding the L.I.V’s.

[35] Pat Buchanan, “The Judges War: an Issue of Power,” Townhall.com, July 6, 2005.

[36] Serge Lancel, Carthage: A History (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1995), pp. 114-116, 403; Gilbert & Colette Picard, The Life & Death of Carthage, tr. Dominique Collon (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1968), pp. 141-46; B.H. Warmington, Carthage (London: Robert Hale Limited, 1960), p. 196; R. Bosworth Smith, Carthage and the Carthaginians (Longmans, Green, & Co., 1913), pp. 23-24; Aristotle, The Politics 2.11.  Note Smith’s analysis especially.  See also chapter seven, below.

[37]Robert J. McKeever. Raw Judicial Power? The Supreme Court And American Society, 2nd ed., (Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1995) distributed by St. Martin's Press, New York.  323 pp. As reviewed by Thomas R. Hensley, Kent State University, in The Law and Politics Book Review, C. Neal Tate, editor.  “In discussing noninterpretivists, McKeever emphasizes that many writers not only argue that the modern Supreme Court does not operate on any basis of interpretivism but also approve of noninterpretivism and offer numerous justifications for this practice by the Court. For example, he argues that Jesse Choper and Michael Perry present a functional justification to support the Court's noninterpretivist approach, and their position is that the Court's performance and results have been positive.  McKeever thus argues that a vast array of social forces have coalesced to produce an activist Court involved in the exercise of raw judicial power.”

[38] “Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government” (Lawrence v. Texas, 26 June 2003, emphasis mine).  Justice Scalia’s dissent in the same case states: “nowhere does the Court's opinion declare that homosexual sodomy is a "fundamental right" under the Due Process Clause.”  On the distinction between a “full right” and a “fundamental right” (if any) see below, chapter nine.

[39] Here is the chronology of events in Massachusetts leading to “gay marriage.”

         April 11, 2001 - Seven same-sex couples, denied marriage licenses, sue in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston to challenge the state's gay marriage ban.
         May 8, 2002 - Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly rules against granting marriage licenses to seven same-sex couples, saying the legality of same-sex marriage should be decided by the Legislature, not the courts.
         July 17, 2002 - Lawmakers adjourn constitutional convention without taking a vote on amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in the state. The amendment was initiated by a petition signed by 130,000 citizens.
         March 4, 2003 - The state Supreme Judicial Court hears arguments in appeal of Judge Connolly's ruling; brought by the seven same-sex couples to legalize same-sex marriage. 
         June 26, 2003 – US Supreme court declares sodomy a “full right” under the US Constitution.  [Lawrence v. Texas] 
         Nov. 18, 2003 - The Supreme Judicial Court of MA overrules Judge Connolly and issues an edict to the effect that it is unconstitutional to bar same-sex couples from marriage.  The SJC gives the Legislature 180 days to come up with a solution to allow gays to wed.
         Dec. 11, 2003 - The Massachusetts Senate votes to ask the SJC if Vermont-style civil unions would satisfy the court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
         Feb. 4, 2004- The SJC clarifies its earlier ruling, saying only full, equal marriage rights for same-sex couples - rather than civil unions - are constitutional.
         May 17, 2004- Marriages of sodomites begin. 

[40] Some 12 weeks after White’s arrival, the Court began its purge of religion from public education with Engle v. Vitale, June 25, 1962.  White did not take part in the decision.

[41] Said Rehnquist, “He came as close as any of us to meriting Matthew Arnold's encomium: “he ‘saw life steadily and saw it whole.’” Remarks from the Bench, US Supreme Court, Tuesday, April 16, 2002.

[42] US Senate Republican Policy Committee article, 25 April 2002, “The Left's Iron-Clad Litmus Test on Abortion: Justice White Could Not Be Confirmed Today,” quotes Byron White’s response to the Senate committee hearing on his nomination to the Supreme Court: "I think it is clear under the Constitution that legislative power is not vested in the Supreme Court. It is vested in the Congress; and I feel the major instrument for changing the laws in this country is the Congress of the United States. The business of the Congress is that of changing the law."

[43] USA Today, April 17, 2002, quoted in US Senate Republican Policy Committee article, supra.

[44] Patrick Buchanan, Death of the West (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002), p. 90; cf. chapter 4, “Four Who Made a Revolution,” pp. 73-96.

[45] The Bible indicates four sins which cry to heaven for vengeance: willful murder [Genesis 4:10], the sin of Sodom [Genesis 18:20-21], oppression of the poor [Exodus 2:23], and defrauding laborers of their wages [James 5:4].  The first two (abortion and sodomy) have now been incorporated into the US Constitution by the US Supreme Court. 

            According to the Bible, God sees sodomy as “an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:10).  One does not need a doctorate in divinity to discern the danger that sodomy alone (not to mention the other three sins) puts a nation at risk of losing divine providence in proportion as the sin rises to prominence.  See, for example, 1 Kings 14:24, 15:12, 22:46; Isaiah 3:9.

[46] Robert H. Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline (New York: Harper Collins, 1996), chapter six and p. 117.

[47] “Populist 1994 Agenda Fades As Republicans Prolong Rule,” USA Today, 9/27/04.

[48] Passing the Employment Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. 1021) the Democrat controlled Congress declared that it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to use "all practicable means" to create and maintain useful employment opportunities for those "able, willing, and seeking to work."  In 1978 the Democrat controlled Congress “reinforced” this statute with the Humphrey-Hawkins Act (U.S. Public Law 95-523).  But unemployment persisted.

[49] Ted Howard and The Peoples Bicentennial Commission, Voices of the American Revolution (NY: Bantam Books, 1974), p. 117.

[50] Written to the nation by President George Washington, on the 9th anniversary of the US Constitution, 17 September 1796.  The full quotation is as follows:  “If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.”  This passage is a little over halfway through the address.  Available online, and in innumerable printed sources.

[51] See, for example, Patrick J. Buchanan, "A Jeffersonian Rebellion in the West," March 10, 1997.  The article refers to a bill in the Washington State House of Representatives, entitled The Balance of Powers Restoration Act, introduced by Rep. Cathy Lambert.  I was one of the citizens testifying for the bill in committee.  The bill died as a result of what had all the appearances of a horse-trade with the state supreme court.  The latter overturned term limits that the voters had applied to the legislature, even as the legislature pigeonholed the Lambert bill.  Subsequently, when Justice William Rassumusson, who wrote the decision against terms limits, appeared in the legislature he received a tumultuous ovation.

[52] For the title of this poem I am indebted to Publius, writing in Federalist No. 03-35, 8/29/03.  “The core question raised by [Moore’s Ten Commandments] case is whether our Constitution should be altered by amendment (as per original intent), or adulterated by adjudication, which our Founders (as explicated in the Federalist Papers) and the states clearly rejected.”  The Federalist is a Town Hall Citizen Organization and an online publication of Publius Press, Inc.  Bracketed overtype is mine.

[53] Greenland’s ice cap at its thickest is more than 16,000 feet (10,600 ft above sea level and an additional 6,000 feet below sea level).

[54] For a good resource on congressional war powers, including analysis of usurpation of war making power by Presidents since Harry Truman, see Karl K. Schonberg, “Global Security and Legal Restraint: Reconsidering War Powers after September 11,” Political Science Quarterly 119 (Spring 2004): 115-42.

[55] Geo. Washington, letter to Governor William Moultrie, 28 August 1793, cited in Schonberg, ibid., p. 131.

[56] On December 8, 1941, the U.S. declaration of war against Japan passed the Senate, 82-0, and the House, 388-1.  On December 11, 1941, our declaration of war on Germany passed the Senate 88-0, and the House 393-1.  The same day the U.S. declared war on Italy (90-0, Senate; 399-1, House).

[57] Karl K. Schonberg, “Global Security and Legal Restraint: op. cit., pp. 123-27.

[58] Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952) at 587.  Black’s obiter dictum about warfare being “an expanding concept,” is alarming morally, politically, militarily, and jurisprudentially.

[59] Ibid., at 640.

[60] See chapter five for some detail on just war doctrine.  See also, Mark Edward DeForrest , Just War Theory And The Recent U.S. Air Strikes Against Iraq, Gonzaga University School of Law, May 1997.  DeForrest includes an excellent scholarly examination of just war theory from antiquity to the present, with references to other works on the subject.

Deforrest notes that in the just war doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas, the core principles consist of three elements: 1) just cause; 2) competent authority; and 3) right intention.  The second element means that for a foreign war to be just, the decision to go to war must be lawfully made.

[61] Duane Grindstaff, Seattle Times, 3/29/03.

[61a] The Lynch propaganda was not an isolated incident.  In a statement issued March 27, 2007, after the Defense Department released its latest report into the friendly fire death in Afghanistan (April 22, 2004) of the Army Ranger, Pat Tillman.  Corporal Tillman’s family issued a statement complaining that the cause of his death had been systematically covered-up and, “once again, we are being used as props in a Pentagon public relations exercise.”  The family objected also to a “relentless pattern of the Bush Administration of deception, evasion, and spin in the conduct of the entire dual-occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

[62] Tim Carney, “Congress Doesn’t Know If We’re at War,” Online Human Events: The National Conservative Weekly, October 22, 2001

[63] See, for example, Neil A. Lewis and Eric Schmitt, “Lawyers Decided Bans on Torture Didn't Bind Bush,” The New York Times, June 8, 2004, online ed.  Also the memos prior to Abu Ghuraib by Alberto Gonzales, later Bush’s Attorney General.

[64] Some forms of war are indeed more civilized than other kinds.  Anyone who supposes that all warfare is equally uncivilized should compare and contrast the military careers of George Washington and George Rogers Clark, or William Tecumseh Sherman and Robert E. Lee, or Geronimo and Chief Joseph.

[64a] NPR special report, 1/26/07

[65] Abraham Lincoln, Feb. 2, 1848 letter to William H. Herndon (my wife Jeryl Struble’s distant grandfather), in Roy Basler, ed., The Collected Works  of Abraham Lincoln, (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1953), Vol 1, p. 451.  Emphasis in the quotation is Lincoln’s.

[66] Lincoln quoted in Doug Bandow, “The Power to Declare War – Who Speaks for the Constitution?” Part 1, Online ed. by the Future of Freedom Foundation, http://www.fff.org/freedom/0695e.asp, June 1995.

[67] Federalist Papers, #69, paragraph six.  The President’s power as Commander in Chief would, says Hamilton, “amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military …; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies, — all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.”

[68] Schonberg, op. cit., p. 129 .  The defeated proposal was presented by Pierce Butler of South Carolina.

[69] Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, 6 September 1789.  Parenthesis mine.  T.J. was in Paris and did not attend the Convention of 1787.

            “We have already given, in example, one effectual check to the dog of war, by transferring the power of declaring war from the executive to the legislative body, from those who are to spend, to those who are to pay.”

[70] Ibid.,Schonberg, supra, p. 125, quoting Louis Fisher, “Military Action Against Iraq,” Presidential Studies Quarterly 28 (Fall 1997): 795.  Fisher is Senior Specialist in Separation of Powers with the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. Among his books are Presidential War Power, Religious Liberty in America, and Constitutional Conflicts between Congress and the President.

[71] US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 1969, quoted in Ibid., p. 134.

[72] May 11-12, 1846: House of Representatives: 174-14; Senate: 42-2 with 3 abstentions.

[73] Matthew 7: 4-5.

[74] Justice Jackson’s concurrent opinion in Youngstown, op. cit., 343 U.S. 579 (1952) at 636.  “…there is a zone of twilight in which he (the President) and Congress may have concurrent authority, or in which its distribution is uncertain.” 

[75] The imperialist Spanish-American War of 1898-99 initiated fighting in Cuba and the Philippines.  The next two decades saw a series of US interventions in the Caribbean and Latin America, including the Pershing search party for Pancho Villa in northern Mexico.  We also played a role in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion in China and in supporting the Whites during the Russian Civil War.  But after the war with Spain our only major military conflicts during the 53 years, 1898-1951, were WWI, WWII, and Korea. 

During the 53 year period, 1950-2003, the US conducted eleven less than major military forays into Lebanon (1958), the Dominican Republic (1965), Iran (1980) Lebanon (1982-84), Grenada (1983), Tripoli, Libya (1986), Panama (1989), Somalia (1992-93), Haiti (1994), Bosnia (1995), Serbia (1999). 

[76] Article I, section 8, authorizes Congress, “To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years”

[77] Public Law 93-148, section 5b (enacted 11/7/1973).  Section 5b declares, “Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted [to Congress] pursuant to section 4(a)(1), whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces, (2) has extended by law such sixty-day period,…. 

[78] Scott Lindlaw, Kay Asks Why U.S. Thought Iraq Had WMD,” AP, 1/25/04.  "‘It confirms what I have said for a long period of time, that we were misled — misled not only in the intelligence, but misled in the way that the president took us to war,’" said then U.S. Senator John Kerry on Fox News Sunday, 1/25/04, referring to a statement by David Kay, the outgoing top U.S. inspector in Iraq, that evidence indicated that Iraq did not have WMD’s when the American invasion took place.  "‘I think there's been an enormous amount of exaggeration, stretching, deception,’" said Kerry.

The same article quotes Hans Blix, the former chief U.N. inspector to the effect that the United States should have known the intelligence was flawed when leads followed up by U.N. inspectors produced no results. "‘I was beginning to wonder what was going on,’" said Blix. "‘Weren't they wondering too? If you find yourself on a train that's going in the wrong direction, its best to get off at the next stop.’"

[79] Iraq War resolution [10/16/2002] stated, “Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.”  See the italicized words, two endnotes supra.  On Oct. 10, 2002, Sen. Robert Byrd had demurred on grounds that the resolution gave the President power “to use the military forces of this nation wherever, whenever and however he determines…and for as long as he determines, if he feels he can somehow make a connection to Iraq.”  Byrd quoted in Schonberg, “Global Security and Legal Restraint,” op. cit., p. 120.

[80] A supermajority in Congress would have to recognize that a declaration of war is unwise in a conflict that exceeds a fortnight. 

I myself find the rationales for avoiding declarations of war less than compelling.  Some are discussed in Tim Carney, supra.   Here are five:  [1] When we fight against an enemy that is not a signatory to the Geneva Convention, we should be as free as our foe to violate the Geneva limitations.  [2] Declared wars end with a peace treaty, which is hard to obtain from a private organization like al Qaeda, or a government unrecognized by the USA, like North Korea, Castro’s Cuba, or the Taliban of Afghanistan.  [3] A declared war might void more life-insurance policies for Americans than an undeclared war.  [4] A declared war might impact domestic law enforcement.  [5] Give the government more leverage in restricting press reports on war related incidents and issues.  [6] International law enthusiasts fear a declaration of war would give the U.S. government more independence in dealing with POWs, by reducing the jurisdiction of international courts.  But Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) is a defender of American sovereignty; he sees freedom from world government as a point favoring declarations of war.

[81] A plurality is a vote total greater than any competitor, but less than a majority.  A simple majority, Jefferson’s lex majoris partis, is anything over 50% of those present and voting; whereas a constitutional majority requires votes totaling more than half the seats, whether the members are present or not.  Likewise, a supermajority is 2/3 of those present and voting (required to oust a President under the current impeachment process); whereas a constitutional supermajority requires 2/3 of the potential vote, so that absences and abstentions are factored into the count.

[82] 5th Amendment: “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”

14th Amendment: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

[83] David Leonhardt, “Unemployment Rate Rises to a 9-Year High,” The New York Times, online ed., 7 June 2003.

[84]J.L. Porket, Work, Employment and Unemployment in the Soviet Union (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989), p. 89, discusses the extensive propaganda about unemployment in the West.
            In 1990, at the 28th Communist Party Congress of the USSR, politburo member and KGB chief, Vladimir Kryuchkov, decried the drift toward capitalism in the Soviet Union, and declared that the mass unemployment that accompanies capitalism was unacceptable to the Soviet people.  (The New York Times, 4 July 1990, p. 5).  In 1985 at the Geneva summit conference, Mikhail Gorbachev countered President Ronald Reagan's human rights pressure by citing unemployment and homelessness in the United States.  (Newsweek 2 December 1985, p. 16).  During a gravesite rally commemorating the 100th anniversary of Karl Marx's death, a spokesman for the New Communist Party of Great Britain, Eric Trevitt, declared that "`mass unemployment in the citadels of capitalism — Britain, Germany and the United States — provides ample evidence of the validity today of Marx's critique of capitalism.'" (USA Today, 14 March 1983, p. 9A).

[85]V.I. Lenin, 1912, linked open unemployment with the capitalist mode of production.  Collected Works, 17:476, cited in Porket, ibid. p. 51.

[86]Paul Simon, Let's Put America Back To work (Chicago: Bonus Books, 1987), pp. 11-12, gives anecdotal evidence for the extreme stress people undergo when they lose a job.  He also gives details of a 1980 study which found that job loss is the most stressful of 42 life changing emotional events, behind only the death of a spouse or close family member.

[87][John Paul II, encyclical, Centesimus Annus 43 (1 May 1991).

[88] Gabriel Packard, “US Prison Population - A Staggering 2.1 Million,” Inter Press Service, 15 October 2003.

[89] The following European nations (not counting the smallest, Vatican City) have fewer than 2.1 million people: Macedonia, Estonia, Slovenia, Luxemburg, Iceland, Malta, Lichtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino.  

        For a scholarly study of the origins of the “carceral state,” see Marie Gottschalk, The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 451 pp.  See also, Bryan A. Stevenson, “Confronting Mass Imprisonment and Restoring Fairness to Collateral Review of Criminal Cases,” Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, vol. 41, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 339-368.  See also, Bryan A. Stevenson, “Confronting Mass Imprisonment and Restoring Fairness to Collateral Review of Criminal Cases,” Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, vol. 41, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 339-368.  Stevenson cites the following:

. In 35 years from 1972-2006, prison population rose from 330,000 to almost 2.3 million. 

. The USA now has highest rate of incarceration in the world.  Almost 5 million are on probation and parole in USA.

. From 1980-2001 state and federal “corrections spending” rose from 6.9 million to 57 billion.

. From 1985-95, prisons were constructed at a rate of one new jail opening per week.

. 1/3 of blacks born today can expect to spend some time behind bars.  1/10 of blacks in their twenties are currently living in prison.  1/3 of blacks in their twenties are currently under criminal justice control, i.e. prison, probation, parole, etc. (Endnote 8)

[90] Packard, supra, indicates that the U.S. spends $40 billion annually on prisoners. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice, federal expenditures on corrections (as distinguished from police and courts) rose from $9.0 billion in 1982 to $65.1 billion in 2005 – a sevenfold increase.

[90a]Cynthia Martone, Loving through Bars: Children with Parents in Prison (Santa Monica CA: Santa Monica Press, 2005).  See also, Mary Pattillo, David Weiman, and Bruce Western, eds., Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration (NY: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004), pp. 9, 256-57.

[91] Noreena Hertz, 2003 interview w/ German press, (Simon Heusser, Weltwoche 51/03)

[92] At the end of 1960 the prison population in the U.S. was 212,953.  By 1983 it had doubled to 437,248; by 1989 tripled to 712,563; by 1992 quadrupled to 883,656; by 1995 quintupled to 1,126,293, and by the end of 2003 it was 10.4 times the 1960 figure, or 2,212,475.  Source: US Dept of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

[93] Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.  Both available online.  See also, Fox Butterfield, “Study Finds 2.6% Increase in U.S. Prison Population,” The New York Times, online ed., 7/28/03.

[94]Isabel Wilkerson, "Facing Grim Data on Young Males, Blacks Grope for Ways to End Blight," The New York Times, 17 July 1990, p. A8; Butterfield, ibid., cites US Dept. of Justice figures indicating that 10.4 percent of black men ages 25 to 29, or 442,300 American blacks, were in prison in 2002.  Brian Stevenson (2006) supra, finds that 1/3 of blacks born today can expect to spend some time behind bars; 1/10 of blacks in their twenties are currently living in prison; 1/3 of blacks in their twenties are currently under criminal justice control, i.e. prison, probation, parole, etc. (Endnote 8)

[95]Coretta Scott King, ed., The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. (New York: Newmarket Press, 1983), p. 45, quoted in Simon, Let's Put America Back To work, p. 11. 

[96] RFK, speech at Indianapolis, 4 April 1968, informing crowd of African Americans about Martin Luther King’s assassination earlier in the day.

[97] Sirach 34:22; cf. 4:1.  In the Epistle of James 5:4, defrauding the laborer of his wages is one of the Bible’s four sins which cry out to God for vengeance, indicating the importance of fair labor practices in the divine plan.

[98] Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in support of striking AFSCME sanitation workers at Mason Temple, Memphis, 4/3/68

[99] James Tobin, "On Improving the Economic Status of the Negro," in William G. Bowen and Orley Ashenfelter, eds., Labor and the National Economy, rev. ed., (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1975), p. 65.

[100] David K. Shipler, The Working Poor: Invisible in America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 319 pp.

[103] Christopher Lasch, "Conservatism against Itself," First Things, April 1990, pp. 20-21.

[104] Ibid

[105] John A. Garraty, Unemployment in History (New York: Harper and Row, 1978), pp. 153, 206‑07.

[106] Thomas Janoski, The Political Economy of Unemployment: Active Labor Market Policy in West Germany and the United States (Berkley: University of California Press, 1990), p. 67.

[107] According to the historian Marshall Dill, "there can be no question that the promise which won Hitler the most votes in the black depression days was to end unemployment."  Marshall Dill, Jr., Germany: A Modern History (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1961), p. 358, cf. p. 337.

[108] U.S.S.R. Constitution of 1977, Article 40, cf. Article 60.  Janine Ludlam, "Reform and the Redefinition of the Social Contract under Gorbachev," World Politics 43  (January 1991): 285-86, 299, describes job security for everyone of age as the key component of the old Khrushchev-Brezhnev social contract.  See chapter 1 above for a fuller discussion.

[109] The USSR officially abolished open unemployment in October, 1930.  [Porket, Work, Employment and Unemployment in the Soviet Union, pp. 41, 51].  Since no official figures on unemployment exist for the USSR after 1930, Porket, pp. 76, 79, cites official figures on non-participation, meaning working age people who "neither participated in social production nor studied full time."  The figure for men was 10% in 1959 but only 5% in 1970.  Two independent estimates for unemployment in 1986 and 1987 put real unemployment at 3% or below [p. 112].

[109a] Robert Reich, Supercapitalism: the Transformation of Business, Democracy and Everyday Life (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), p. 209.  Negative social consequences of supercapitalism, which has penetrated most deeply in America :

[109b] Reich, ibid., pp. 98-99; chapter 6, pp. 209-225.

[110] J.F. Rischard, High Noon: Twenty Global Problems, Twenty Years to Solve Them (New York: Basic Books, 2002), pp. 66, 146-48.

[110a] Reich, supra, pp. 15-16, 56, 60, 88-89, 92, 97.  On the dispersion of astronomical gains to the rich while the median household income has "gone nowhere," see esp. p. 106.

[111]Eugene McCarthy & William McGaughey, Nonfinancial Economics: The Case for Shorter Hours of Work (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1989).

[112] Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), paragraph 2415.

[112a] Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush & his Corporate Pals are Plundering the Country & Hijacking our Democracy (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2004, 2005), p. 61; John Cronin & Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., The Riverkeepers: Two Activists Fight to Reclaim Our Environment as a Basic Human Right (New York: Touchstone, 1997, 1999), pp. 276-79.

[113] John Keats, “To One Who Has Been Long In City Pent,” (1816); Keats, “Endymion,” book I (1817).  Cf. Sonnet to Solitude (1816).

[113a] Cronin & Kennedy, The Riverkeepers: supra, pp. 194-95.  Cf. pp. 191-96.  On pitting people against the environment, with the P.R. effects of such arguments, pp. 275-77.   At p. 91, RFK, Jr. approvingly describes Cronin's perspective that humans and their livelihoods are part of the environment, not separate from it.

[113b] Ibid., pp. 266-67.

[114] Mary Graham, The Morning after Earth Day: Practical Environmental Politics (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1999, pp. 10, 31-39, 88-89, 117-118; Kennedy, Crimes Against Nature, supra, p. 175. 

[115] Established in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a powerful new global commerce agency which transformed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) into an enforceable global commerce code.  GATT, established in 1948 with 23 member countries, became the WTO, a 144-member organization.  Dispute settlements under the former GATT rules required absolute consensus; therefore all countries effectively lost their veto power upon transition to the WTO.

[116] Graham, ibid., pp. 64-65, 87; Robert Kuttner, "Globalization and Its Critics," The American Prospect, vol. 12 no. 12, July 2-16, 2001, accessed online at http://www.prospect.org/print/V12/12/index.html.  Two pertinent articles well worth study are in the same issue: Richard C. Longworth, “Government without Democracy;” and Chris Mooney, “Localizing Globalization.”

[117] After NAFTA in 1993, Ralph Nader's Global Trade Watch began putting together the Citizens Trade Campaign, a coalition of labor, environmentalists, consumer groups and churches.  "I used to hate the Nader people. I despised them," said Chuck Harple, political director of the Teamsters union. "Now I revere Lori Wallach." [David Postman and Lynda V. Mapes, “WTO In Seattle: Why WTO United So Many Foes,” The Seattle Times, 6 December 1999].

[118] See Noreena Hertz, “I'm On Their Side, To a Point,” Washington Post, Sunday, July 29, 2001; p. B01; Robert Weissman, “Why We Protest,” Washington Post, Monday, September 10, 2001; p. A21.  Says Weissman, “The IMF and World Bank hurt poor countries and undermine democracy.”

[119] William Greider, One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism (New York: Touchstone, 1997), p. 58, reports on the 1993 convention of more than 90 metalworkers unions in Zurich.  Held on the centennial of the International Metalworkers Federation, the convocation concluded that “the globalization of production has dismantled a century’s work, the collective mobilization of workers.”

[120] Kuttner, "Globalization and Its Critics," op. cit.  Kuttner adds that “as national barriers have come down in the name of freer commerce, so has the capacity of governments to manage capitalism in a broad public interest.”

A citizen watchdog group, Public Citizen: Protecting Health, Safety & Democracy, states that the principal function of the WTO has been “to pry open markets for the benefit of transnational corporations at the expense of national and local economies; workers, farmers, indigenous peoples, women and other social groups; health and safety; the environment; and animal welfare. In addition, the WTO system, rules and procedures are undemocratic, un-transparent and non-accountable and have operated to marginalize the majority of the world's people.  Accessed at http://www.citizen.org/trade/wto/Dispute/articles.cfm?ID=5499

[121] Longworth, “Government without Democracy,” attributes the term ‘wild capitalism’ to Benjamin R. Barber, The American Prospect , "Globalizing Democracy," September 11, 2000.  Longworth cites Barber to the effect that “the global economy has escaped national boundaries, but democracy and its practitioners have not.”

[122] Protests in Seattle burst forth in December, 1999.  Among the many subsequent anti-globalist demonstrations that attracted worldwide attention were these: April 2000, Washington, D.C.; April 2001, Quebec; June 2001, Goteborg, Sweden; July 2001, Genoa, Italy; March 2002, Barcelona, Spain; April 2002, Washington, D.C.; October-November, 2002, Quito, Ecuador; November, 10, 2002, Florence, Italy.

            On the Quito action against the move to expand NAFTA into a pan-hemispheric FTAA, see: Justin Ruben, “Protests In Quito, Ecuador: A Stirring First Hand Account,” 2 November, 2002, Znet. Accessed online.

[123] PJB is not the only leader of the right opposed to globalism.  Other conservative opponents of WTO include Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas).  See also, Henry Lamb, “Sovereignty no match for WTO,” World Net Daily, 6/23/2000.  Lamb quotes Lewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., president of the Von Mises Institute, who says "’We should toss the WTO into the dustbin of history...’ because ’What appears to be a step in the right direction ­ towards greater liberty in trade across borders ­ turns out to be a leap into world statism.’"

On PJB’s views see, for example, Patrick J. Buchanan, “The New World Order Grows Teeth,” September 9 2002.  Accessed online.  Buchanan states that after 1933 both major political parties sold out to the free traders.  The close call in Congress against NAFTA in 1993 created a sense of urgency among globalists, who “wrote their free-trade ideology into international law, to impose it on the United States, forever, from without.  Davos Republicans (World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland, 1/2001) had colluded with San Francisco Democrats in economic treason. Both put free trade before country and sold out American sovereignty.”  See also, Patrick J. Buchanan, The Death of the West: (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002), pp. 236-42.

[124] Longworth, op. cit., warns of a “growing code of global laws – often written by representatives of national governments and enforced by regulators from those governments – that supersede national laws and increasingly govern the lives of citizens who have no say in how they are written. This is governance, and it is certainly a rule of law. But by no means can it be called democracy.”  In the same 2001 issue of the American Prospect, Chris Mooney, “Localizing Globalization,” writes that what NAFTA and the proposed FTAA really threaten is “the ability of states and nations to opt for a regulated and democratically governed form of capitalism rather than a laissez-faire and politically insulated one.”  Mooney continues: “Treaties like NAFTA allow foreign companies to challenge federal and state regulations alike, with recourse to corporate-friendly panels that are a far cry from American-style due process of the law.”

[125] Graham, The Day After Earth Day, op. cit., p. 58.  As of 2003 Graham was a Fellow of the Harvard Information Infrastructure Project. She held the appointment of Associate the HIIP from 1998 to 2001. In addition, Graham has been a Fellow of the Governance Institute and the A. Alfred Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Kennedy School of Government with broad experience as an analyst of regulatory policies.  She is a lawyer, writer, and received funding from the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars to conduct a conference on emerging issues in environmental policy in 1999, including the issue of information disclosure as a means of regulation.  Graham grew up in S. Chicago, where daily awareness of steel mill pollution and beauty of Lake Michigan helped make her an environmentalist.

[126] On the green zone variance, see section 9:5 whereby an act of Congress ­– with a four year sunset clause – can set parameters within which state and local government may regulate the tax-free green zones around homes and rentals.  To protect especially sensitive locales – for example salmon streambanks – Congress might authorize regulatory intrusion by states into green zones that have been gerrymandered to frustrate fish habitat ordinances.  Here the restored constitutional link between state legislators and Congress, i.e. recall of Congressmen (section 2:12-13), will strengthen the state’s hand for the purpose of pushing its congressional delegation, pro or con, in regard to authorization of any green zone regulation.

[127] Graham, ibid., pp. 42, 45, 78-81, 98, 112, 116-18.  Graham contends that the “race to the bottom” in terms of pollution, whereby states would minimize environmental regulations in order to keep firms from relocating, and to attract new business, was a 1970s phenomenon, and “does not describe federal-state relations 30 years later…” (pp. 117-18).

[128] It is in accord with our republican institutions that elected representatives, exercising democratic oversight, should check or prod (as the case may be) what is euphemized as administrative discretion and experimentation.  Here the elected federal ombudsmen will be in position to help enormously (section 1:5-8). 

[129] Assuming a perfectly square footprint, the distance from the center point to the midpoint of an edge will, when extended that distance again, intersect with the outer area of green space triple the square footage of the building it surrounds.

[130] In ancient Greece, during democratic periods, landowners were able to check laws that would impose property taxes; such taxes were more common under tyrannical regimes.  Chester G. Starr, The Economic and Social Growth of Early Greece, 800-500 B.C. (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1977), pp. 175, 186.

            In ancient Rome, taxes were relatively low and diversified until about the year 200, AD.  From and after the reign of Diocletian (284-305, AD), with cities in decline and the economy in ruins, some 90 percent of government revenues were collected as tax on land, mainly taxation of croplands, vineyards, pasture land, with head-taxes on livestock and on laborers working the land.  Before the collapse of advanced commercial and urban life, the Roman government looked to a diverse set of property, poll, occupation and sales taxes.  Tenney Frank, Economic History of Rome (New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1927, 1962), pp. 391, 491-92, 501-02; A.H.M. Jones (posthumously), The Roman Economy: Studies in Ancient Economic and Administrative History (Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1974), ed. by P.A. Brunt, pp. 82-86, 133, 291-92.

            The Holy Roman Empire of Medieval times relied on direct land taxes.  As the Renaissance gave rise to commerce and cities, taxation in the German principalities developed property tax from its “early rural stage” of a tax on land, to a levy on both real estate and movable goods.  George C.S. Benson, Sumner Benson, Harold McClelland, Procter Thomson, The American Property Tax: Its History, Administration, and Economic Impact (Claremont, California: Claremont Men’s College, 1965), pp. 15-16.

In the United States at mid-19th century, before the industrial revolution really took off, property taxes accounted for most government revenues at all levels. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition, (1992), vol 28, p. 425.

[130a] District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. ___ (2008) at 24 states: “As the most important early American edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries (by the law professor and former Antifederalist St. George Tucker) made clear in the notes to the description of the arms right, Americans understood the ‘right of self-preservation’ as permitting a citizen to ‘repe[l] force by force’ when ‘the intervention of society in his behalf, may be too late to prevent an injury.’ 1 Blackstone’s Commentaries 145–146, n. 42 (1803) (aka Tucker’s Blackstone). See also W. Duer, Outlines of the Constitutional Jurisprudence of the United States 31–32 (1833).”
[130b] D.C. v. Heller, ibid., at 113.
[130c] Ibid., at 66.  See also, Jonathan Martin, “High Court's Gun Ruling Means More Legal Fights Ahead, Washington Advocates Agree,” Seattle Times, June 27, 2008, online ed.  Martin interviewed Andrew Siegel, a professor of constitutional law at Seattle University. Siegel noted that the Heller ruling did not set a legal test to define “reasonable” restrictions on firearms.  Continued Seigel, “If you think about it in terms of the First Amendment, we've had 100 years of complicated tests for [defining] free speech,” Siegel said.  “We're going to start that process with the Second Amendment.”

[131] Stephen P. Halbrook, the Wall Street Journal Europe, June 4, 1999.  Online at http://www.theblessingsofliberty.com/articles/article11.html 

[132] U.S. V. Miller 307 US 174 (1939) 179-82 chronicles statutes from colonial times up through 1785 requiring all able-bodied male adults up to a certain age to keep and maintain firearms of a type and potency appropriate to the militia. 

[133] US Dept of Justice statistics show a steady decline in burglary from 110 per 1000 households in 1973 to 28.7 in 2001.  There are some 105 million households, so the lower figure represents just over 3 million burglaries per year.

[134] Andrea Elliott, “In Stores, Private Handcuffs for Sticky Fingers,” The New York Times, online ed., 6/17/03.  Merchants' privileges allow stores around the nation to detain people on suspicion of shoplifting without police involvement. 

[135] U.S. V. Miller 307 US 174 (1939), supra, at 177, 182.  At p. 177 the Court states:  “In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.  Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.”

For a thorough commentary on this decision see, Richard W. Stevens, and Aaron Zelman, Firearms Sentinel, Fall/Winter 1995: “The basic concept on which the Court relied is that the types of firearms that may lawfully be owned depends solely on whether or not such weapons have militia or military uses. There can be no other explanation for the Court's including in its long quotations from colonial era militia statutes, the passages giving details of military firearms, ammunition and accessories. As the Court had heard no evidence that short-barreled shotguns had militia or military uses, it rejected the claim by Miller and Layton that they did not have to register such a weapon according to NFA '34.”  Stevens and Zelman apply the court’s logic in Miller to conclude that bans on fully automatic weapons are clearly contrary to the 2nd Amendment. 

[136] In 1833, Justice Joseph Story, appointed to the Supreme Court by James Madison, one of our Constitution's principal authors, wrote the following in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, (Book III, chapter 44, §1897): "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."

"To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them..."  Richard Henry Lee, Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican."  To disarm the people (is) the best and most effectual way to enslave them...."  George Mason, 3 Elliot's Debates, p. 380.  "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is. . . to protect themselves against tyranny in government."   Thomas Jefferson.

The quotes in the foregoing paragraph were gleaned from various online sources.   The alleged speech by G. Washington ["Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself.  They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence….] appears to be spurious.

 Although a more exact confirmation of such quotations would be desirable, there is no doubting a consensus among the Framers and the Founding Fathers that an armed populace provides enhanced security against tyranny.  How well they knew that from experience!

[137] Philip Freneau, Reflections: On the Gradual Progress of Nations from Democratical States to Despotic Empires, 1815.

[138]In Spirit of the Laws 3.3, 8.12, Montesquieu, argued forcefully that virtue is a prerequisite to democracy.  Montesquieu's philosophical/political works had considerable influence on ideas in the American Revolution.  See, for example, George Washington's first annual address to Congress, 1/8/1790 quoted in connection with endnote 146 below , and his farewell address to the American people, 17 September 1796, quoted below in the conclusion to chapter 11.

[139]Ben Franklin, speech in Convention at Philadelphia, 1787.  Taken from The World's Famous Orations, William Jennings Bryan, editor, 10 vols. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1906) 8: 54.

[140]Patrick Devlin, The Enforcement of Morals {Oxford: Oxford University Press paperback, 1968}, p. 94.

[141]The house of Burgess, the first representative assembly in the Western Hemisphere, held its initial meetings (beginning 30 July, 1619) in the Anglican church in Jamestown, the ruins of which still stand.

[142]Samuel Francis Smith, America {1831} stanza 1: "My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing."...

[143] Russia was second.  The U.S. incarceration rate, 1980-2001, i.e. sentenced inmates incarcerated under State and Federal jurisdiction as a percent of the U.S. population, more than tripled, from 1.39% to 4.70%.  Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 30, 2002.  Fox Butterfield, “Infections In Newly Released Inmates Are Rising Concern,” The New York Times, Internet ed., 1/28/03.  

In 2000, about nine million people were released from jail and prison, according to Allen J. Beck, of the bureau of justice statistics, the statistical arm of the justice department.   In 1999 there were 1.9 million Americans in jail or prison, vis-à-vis just under 1.1 million U.S. military personnel in active service, i.e. total number of soldiers in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force — a ratio of 1.7 to 1.

[144] Direct expenditures by criminal justice function, 1982-99, Police, Judicial and Corrections.  Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, February 10, 2002.

[145] The phrase, “America the beautiful,” owes its fame to the venerable song of the same name, composed by Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929).  She wrote her original version in 1893, revising the lyrics twice in the next 20 years.  I found an average of one ideal or ethic per stanza which the postmodernist regime repudiates.

[146] Washington’s first annual address to Congress delivered on 1/8/1790.  The full text appears in the Annals of Congress, US Senate, 1 Congress 2, p. 969.  Available online at http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llac&fileName=001/llac001.db&recNum=485

On colonial antecedents to this philosophy see, for example, John Winthrop’s speech to the Massachusetts General Court, 3 July 1645, in which Winthrop discusses the distinction between civil liberty and the freedom we have in common with beasts, i.e. the distinction between genuine liberty and license.  Winthrop, the first regularly elected president of Massachusetts Bay Colony, was often quoted by President Ronald Reagan in reference to America as a “city on a hill.”

[147] John Adams, Address to the Military, Oct. 11, 1798.  See full quotation with context, chapter one.

[148] FBI figures for 2003 show 93,433 forcible rapes reported in the USA.  Source on crime, FBI statistics, 2004, table 2.2.   http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_03/xl/03tbl01.xls

[149] In 2003 Americans victimized by murder or non-negligent manslaughter numbered 16,503, nearly 28% of the 58,000 wartime deaths during ten years in Vietnam.  The total had risen steadily from 15,586 murders / non-negligent manslaughters in the year 2000.  Source, ibid.

[150] “Supreme Judge of the world,” is the title for God used toward the end of the Declaration of Independence, 1776.  An indicator of the degree to which American culture is being sanitized of religion was seen in the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates of 2004.  Although there were a few pro forma references to God, when substantive moral issues came up in the debate,  like homosexual marriage or abortion, none of the candidates marshaled a religious argument.  In other words we live in such a paganized nation that it is acceptable in serious discourse to flaunt folly, but obligatory to hide the wisdom that proceeds from above.

[151] Execution eve reflections by the serial killer, made in an interview with Dr. James Dobson, 23 January 1989

[152]The Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pornography and Violence in the Media: A Pastoral Response, 17.  The Vatican, May 7, 1989.  English version printed in Origins, 8 June 1989, pp. 49-54.

[153] Mark 7:22.  Also translated as foolishness or folly.

[154] New York Times, national ed., 23 June 1995, p. A1, A10.  The U.S. pregnancy rate of teenagers under 19 is ten times that of Japan or the Netherlands according to Dr. Henry Foster.

[155]Thomas Babington Macaulay, “Hallam’s Constitutional History” (1828) in Critical, Historical And Miscellaneous Essays And Poems ..., 3 vols. (New York: William L. Allison, 1880) 1:353.  “If there be any truth established by the universal experience of the nations, it is this, that to carry the spirit of peace into war is a weak and cruel policy.... Languid war can do nothing which negotiation or submission will not do better: and to act on any other principle is, not to save blood and money, but to squander them.”

[156] Secularists have a Euro-centric variation on the heretical doctrine of non-resistance to evil.  It goes something like this.  Since the worst dictators of the 20th century were Hitler and Mussolini (this view ignores Stalin, BTW), and because brutal repression was key to their rule in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, therefore any form of political repression is, like theirs, either Nazi or Fascist. 

I suspect that most Americans do not consider the matter even this deeply.  Many on the left will readily charge resisters of evil with the term Nazi or Fascist, simply because they have a visceral dislike for moral crusaders.  Having been immersed for years in the sound-bite culture, they tend to fall back on name calling and ad hominem attacks when forced to defend their prejudices.  Americans on the right are too often guilty of the same shallow tendency to lump their political foes into a tainted category.  How many times do we hear hedonists, environmentalists, peace activists, or labor advocates all labeled as “socialists?”  I shall never forget being called a socialist at a Republican meeting, because I opposed the elder Bush’s veto of the family leave bill.

[157] On preferring the Ten Commandments to judicial decrees, see, for example, Robert Struble, “Of Heroes and the Rule of Law,” National Catholic Register 79 (October 12-19, 2003), p. 8

[158] ABC News.com, 28 January 2003. 

[159] The Pontifical Council for Social Communications, "Pornography and Violence in the Media: A Pastoral Response," 14, 16, the Vatican, 7 May 1989.  English version printed in Origins, June 8, 1989, pp. 49-54. 

[160]Wallace v. Jaffree, 105 S.Ct. 2479 (1985) at 2505.

[161] Santa Fe Independent School District, v. Jane Doe, 168 F.3d 806, at opening paragraph of the dissent.  Italics mine.

[162]On the word of God as the sword of the Spirit see, Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Corinthians 10:3-4.

[163]Sirach 20:29-30.  See Roman Catholic Bibles, Orthodox Bibles, or the Deuterocannonical section of the Common Bible.

[164]Board of Education of the Westside Community Schools v. Bridget Mergens, 110 S.Ct. 2356 (1990).

[165]As Justice Anthony Kennedy observed in his concurring opinion, (Ibid.): "It must be apparent to all that the Act has made a matter once left to the discretion of local school officials the subject of comprehensive regulation by federal law."

[166]Lee v. Weisman, 120 L Ed 2d, 467 (24 June 1992).  A poll conducted by the Wirthlin Group for Readers Digest (November 1992, p. 75), showed only 18 percent of the public supporting the Supreme Court's decree against prayer at graduation exercises and 80 percent in opposition.
            For an articulate example of adverse public reaction see Don Feder, "Prayer decision defies belief," The Boston Herald, 29 June 1992, p. 25, includes the following comment on the Weisman case:
            "I bow to no one in my devotion to religious pluralism.  My grandparents came here to escape the czar's anti-Jewish edicts....But this crusade to expunge even the most modest manifestations of religion for our public life has a toxic effect.  The secularist jihad reinforces all of the negative tendencies which promote social disintegration: atomization, isolation, self-indulgence, cynicism.
            "The lesson it imparts to youth is this: Religion is fine (well, actually, tolerable) when confined to the privacy of houses of worship.  But spiritual values in the public sector threaten our constitutional freedom."
            The following year, however, in a Texas case the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari and let stand prayers conducted by the graduates themselves.  [Jones v. Clear Creek Independent School District, 113 S. Ct 2950 (1993)].  This upheld an Appeals Court ruling that "a majority of students can do what the State acting on its own cannot do to incorporate prayer in public high school graduation ceremonies." [977 F 2d 963 at 972]

[167]Robert Frost, "Mending Wall" (1914).

[168]John Courtney Murray, S.J., "A Common Enemy, A Common Cause," address delivered 3 May 1948 to an audience of Catholics and non-Catholics in Wilmington, Delaware, reprinted in First Things (October 1992), p. 31.  A statement making similar points was issued the following month, June 17, 1948, by some of the most influential Protestant leaders in America, including Reinhold Niebuhr [ibid., p. 32].

[169]Many of the citizens who adhere to Judeo-Christian values are outraged or frightened by the current state of public education.  See, for example, Dr. Tim LaHaye, "What Really Happens to Children When They Go to Public Schools," Concerned Women (January 1990), pp. 18, 20.  "As a minister, author, and educator who has watched public education for over 40 years, I have come to the reluctant conclusion that the best way to waste or possibly pervert your child's mind is to subject it to the public school for 13 years.  For Christian parents, it can be a disaster." [p. 20]

[170]Nancy Gibbs, "America's Holy War," Time, 9 December 1991, p. 68.

[171]The church's "preferential option for the poor" is not limited, says Pope John Paul II, "to material poverty, since it is well known that there are many other forms of poverty, especially in modern society –– not only economic, but cultural and spiritual poverty as well."  Encyclical Centesimus Annus 57 (1 May 1991).

[172]Jacques Maritain, Man and the State (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), p. 179.

[173]  For a good analysis of participation rights with bibliography see, Thomas Janoski, The Political Economy of Unemployment: Active Labor Market Policy in West Germany and the United States (Berkley: University of California Press, 1990), pp. 17-18 20-23, 31-34.

[174] Plutarch’s Lives, “The Comparison of Tiberius and Caius Gracchus with Agis and Cleomenes,” tr., John Dryden, revised by Arthur Clough, 1864.  See elaboration on the counterrevolution in Sparta above in the Introduction.

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